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While most of our cases involve personal injuries, we are handling some wrongful foreclosure cases as well. Many of these financial institutions do not know which way is up. They have a left hand which controls bad debt and foreclosures, and they have a right hand which controls modifications, and neither hand knows what the other is doing.

On top of the above, there are serious issues as to who or what actually owns the loan. Most of these loans have been bundled together into a security which was sold on the open markets. One of the ways this was accomplished was to assign the mortgage to a Trust. Many of these loans were assigned more than once, and a lot of documents have been destroyed. As a result, the institutions cannot always show who owns what, and therefore, they really have no right to foreclose on the loan.

Who should be responsible for these situations? Was it irresponsible for homeowners to overextend themselves? Yes. However, didn’t the financial institutions know the homeowners were overextending themselves? Yes, and if not, they should have or could have known. So, why did this happen? Greed. Greed is inherent in a lot of us. We want to be rich. We want that beautiful home. We want to make more money.

For some reason, when we talk about this, we forget that the mortgage companies and financial institutions are not simply companies. They are made up of people. Individuals who also want to be rich, want that beautiful home, and want to make money. So, what did those individuals do to contribute to this crisis? They approved loans they shouldn’t have. They came up with products such as ARMS and interest only loans to entice people to overextend themselves. Why? To make more money for themselves.

Now, we have this huge economic problem. And, what are the people at the banks and financial institutions doing? Foreclosing like crazy. People are out of work and losing their homes. These people have families. Do they have a legal right to do this? Maybe (if they own the loan and can prove it), but should they do this? Isn’t there a way where these financial institutions can rework these loans, and everyone comes out better? That’s what has been represented to us, but is that what’s happening? Apparently not. Otherwise, why would Chase suspend foreclosures in 23 states?

I’ll tell you about some situations we are dealing with now. A couple have to do with Chase, and one has to do with Bank of America. With respect to Chase, they have sent out letters to homeowners in default stating that "We are committed to Keeping you in your Home." At the same time, and sometimes with letters dated the same day, they are telling the clients that they are accelerating the loan and initiating foreclosure proceedings. Even their attorneys don’t know what their client is doing because they have sent the attorneys a foreclosure package to proceed with the foreclosure process while the other side is asking our clients for all of their financial information to see if they qualify for a modification to their loan. In one instance, our clients received a letter from Chase stating that they received the clients’ documents and were reviewing them, and on the SAME DAY, the clients received a foreclosure letter from the attorney. They want their cake and eat it too.

They are also asking for the same documents over and over again. One of our clients has sent their financial information with all of the proper forms to Chase at least five (5) times, and yet, Chase kicked them out of the process stating that they did not receive all of the proper information. This has been going on for a year. Instead of refinancing or selling the home, they relied on Chase’s represenations, and now, they are in a pickle.

Bank of America has actually foreclosed on our clients when they didn’t even have an interest in the home. Our clients weren’t even behind on their mortgage. They had refinanced with another institution, and Bank of America didn’t know it and wouldn’t accept the client’s documentation. You would think there would be an easy remedy for this, but instead, Bank of America is litigating the case with us – paying their attorneys instead of our clients. Now that makes sense.

Of course, nothing with respect to any of this makes sense. It’s all about the dollar. Not common sense. Not logic. Not economic sense. Just who can get what off the table the quickest. Pure Greed!

It seems to me that with rates as low as they are, the financial institutions could revamp all of their mortgages/loans to help people remain in their homes and salvage some revenue for the company. This way, the banks don’t become property managers; they still make money; people stay in their homes; and the economy is stabilized somewhat.

What do you think? Give us your comments below.

15 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Cat

    I have had the same problem. I lost my job and requested modification. Chase put us on a payment plan. We kept with the payment plan as requested only to get a foreclosure notice. Then we got a notice that for us to stay in our home we would have to pay them 5000/month for 6 months (impossible for us). We asked if we could spread that out for a longer period of time. It seems they dont give their call center personell any empowerment except for them to foreclose, fore close foreclose. Where the heck is the bailout, how many people have really benefited from this! We called and spoke to many different people only to find out that exactly the right hand doesnt know what the left hand is doing. We finally hired an attorney. This back and forth has been going on for 18 months. We tried working out a fairer payment plan but they refused. We just want to stay in our house. They need to assign one person to a home owner who could do it all. Separating the two, foreclosures/modifications just isnt working. But like you said, they really dont care, it all comes down to greed.

  2. Gravatar for Jon Lewis

    Thank you for the post Cat. I know it is frustrating. Your suggestion of having one person handle both sides would be a good start.

  3. Gravatar for Alaina

    We had our home foreclosed on by Chase (sold to GMAC)in Nov. last year, I had been in the middle of a Modification with Chase even keeping in contact via phone with them once a week to make sure all was "well". Then one day a woman came to our door and told us that our home had been sold to them (GMAC)and we had to get out. I tried to call Chase back but never got a hold of anyone that could/would talk to me except to say "Call them not us"... I'm in Texas and want to know if what is happening w/Chase & Gmac is someting I can look into.

  4. Gravatar for Jon Lewis

    Thank you for your comments Alaina. Yes, you should have an attorney look into it, but you would probably need an attorney in Texas.

  5. Gravatar for jeff

    I guess the horse finally caught up with the cart

    it is pointless to foreclose on a home that you cant resell in a genetically engineered depression.

    FINALLY THE BANKS MUST BEAR THE BURDEN OF THE MESS THAT THEY CREATED.

    Oh yeah its probably a good idea to focus on possesing the paper work that proves you own the house that you are foreclosing on, prior to foreclosure.

    but what do i know i am no banker

  6. Gravatar for Michael Doughty

    Jon,

    I have a loan with Chase. It was originally with Wamu. Saturday, October 2nd 2010 I received a notice to appear Nov. 1rst for a Summary Judgement Hearing. I have been trying to modify to no avail. Any suggestions (hypothetically)???

  7. Gravatar for Pamela

    I too was in modifaction,made all payments on time,Then Chase Jpmorgan said they were reviewing the loan ,sent over 54 pages of imcome eletric bills etc to proof I could afford my payments all of a sudden forecloure letter sent not all the paperwork recieved bs Called they told me that was that anything else I can do for you?No thank you chase you have ruined many lives shame on you.

  8. Gravatar for Jon Lewis

    Thanks Jeff. Good post.

    Michael, that's hard to address without knowing where you are in the case. If a Summary Judgment has been filed, do you have an attorney? You must file a response within 2 days of the hearing. I would be glad to discuss with you, but if it's not in Alabama, you will need an attorney licensed in your state.

    Pamela, that is awful, but unfortunately, typical. You should seek advice from an attorney handling these issues in your state.

    Thank you all for your comments.

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