Oops -they did it again. Mortgage Servicing Company Creates Wrongful Foreclosure...

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Michael and Marilyn Elliott's mortgage was paid in full but that didn't stop their mortgage servicing company Ocwen Bank from moving to foreclosure on their home. Marilyn and Michael Elliott learned that a default judgment had been entered against them and that their home was sold in a sheriff's sale to the lending bank, J P Morgan Chase Bank. Trouble is, Chase had no record of this foreclosure.

Here are a few facts of the case as noted in the Indiana Appeals Court Opinion filed for publication February 3, 2010.

On September 17, 2007, the Elliott's filed a consumer complaint with the Comptroller, which opened a file and began an investigation.

As the Comptroller conducted its investigation, Marilyn continued to try to sort out the underlying details of her situation. To that end, she opened a correspondence with Chase. On November 27, 2007, Chase sent Marilyn a letter stating, in pertinent part, as follows:

After a review of Ms. And Mr. Elliott‟s account, we found that this account was paid off on October 4, 2001. Chase Home Finance ("Chase) has no record of a foreclosure action on this account. If you have documentation of a foreclosure action executed by Chase, please forward it to my attention in the enclosed return envelope. . . .

On April 23, 2008, the Comptroller sent a final letter to the Elliotts, stating as follows:
. . . We recontacted [Chase] regarding your concerns [about foreclosure] and their review determined that the loan servicer is Ocwen Bank. Ocwen Bank would have all loan origination records and should be able to address any concerns you have regarding the origination of the loan. Ocwen Bank initiated the foreclosure; [Chase] is the Trustee and did not initiate the foreclosure. They advised you to direct all future correspondence to [the attorneys] representing Ocwen Bank regarding this action...

On April 30, 2008, within a week of receiving the letter from the Comptroller, the Elliotts filed a cross-complaint to set aside the mortgage with jury demand, motion to set aside judgment of foreclosure and sheriff‟s sale, and motion to withdraw order of possession.

The Elliott's later clarified that they were seeking, among other things, relief from the judgment pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 60(B), arguing that inasmuch as Chase had released the mortgage and denied knowledge of the foreclosure action, the underlying judgment was void.

The trial court held a hearing on the motion for relief from judgment on April 23, 2009 and summarily denied the Elliott's motion on June 19, 2009.

The Elliott's appealed...

For additional facts of the case and the rest of the ruling, see Elliott v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, No. 30A01-0907-CV-356, (Ind. Ct of App., February 3, 2010) available here.

The mortgage servicing industry has little to no oversight or regulation. And there are no shortage of complaints against mortgage servicing companies and their abusive or often illegal practices.

Here are a few links to an array of mortgage servicing complaints against servicing companies  such as  EMC, Ocwen and others.

 See Produce the Note video here.

If you have your own story -share it! If you are facing abusive or predatory mortgage servicing practices, see earlier blogs here.

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I am writing this to you so that you will know that you CAN make all your home mortgage payments, never being late and STILL LOOSE YOUR HOME!!

This is currently occurring to me and is often referred to on the internet as "forced foreclosure."

The story: my loan closed 9/21/2007, Taylor Bean & Whitaker (TBW) being the "servicing" company. On Monday, August 3, 2009, TBW was closed by the feds (TARP, IRS/Justice dept., guns, etc). About August 20, 2009, I received a notice from Cenlar that they would be servicing my loan beginning 8/17/09. I did not make my August payment until in Sept, I had a 60 days delay time due to the forwarding of servicing thereby no late fees. I had NEVER been late w/TBW. Then later in September, I made the Sept. payment, my Oct. Payment paid in Oct. and Nov. payment to Cenlar.

In Sept. I had made a "modification" application because I am topsy/turvy in my loan (substantial decrease in property value vs. original finance amount). The first of Nov. Cenlar notified me that they could not do the modification, they are only authorized to "service" loans. They were forwarding my loan to OCWEN. I immediately began reading, on the internet, about OCWEN, and became very, very concerned as to their questionable reputation, law suits filed against for abuse against borrowers, etc. (do google, complaints against ocwen).

Due to the lowering of my taxes, through the county because of a decrease in value of property in this area related to SSSSOOO many foreclosures in 2008-2009, I had overpaid my tax escrow.

I had Cenlar pay my taxes (they had paid for my home owners hazard renewal in Sept., 2009) and they adjusted my account, refunded balance of overpayment to me, setup the transfer escrow for OCWEN. I thought everything would go as smoothly as it went when Cenlar took over my account from TBW.


OCWEN out-sources their customer service to INDIA and I contacted their customer service around Dec. 10th to make sure that they were aware that the taxes ($621.21) had ALREADY been paid. A male INDIAN told me that my account showed that, not worry, everything was ok. Shortly after, I received a phone call from a very, very rude male INDIAN who demanded to know my Allstate agent’s name and phone number in order to change the loss payee. I provided same; contacted my agent’s office in a couple of days to verify change was made, requested a copy of endorsement for my records. It was confirmed that the change occurred and endorsement from Allstate was on it’s way to me.

I made my 1st payment to OCWEN in Dec., looked at my account on-line, everything looked ok. Made my Jan. Payment on line, looked at account, all looked ok.

I received on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010 (a week ago) my payment statement from OCWEN for my Feb. payment and ALL IS SCREWED UP!!!.

My escrow is several hundred dollars short (it should reflect $418.23) it showed , my payments lowered to $543, escrow lowered from $172.25 (monthly from payment) to $110!!! In getting on the phone I learned they PAID MY TAXES AGAIN, $621.21, 1/22/2010!!

The short of the long: their "tax department" is actually a company here in Ft. Worth named "First American Real Estate and Taxing Servicing Company." This past Mon. (1/25) I talked to a manager named "Claudia" at First American, who looked at my tax account w/the county while we spoke and she agreed, they had screwed up because the tax balance was a "0" having been paid on 11/12/09 for taxes due for 2009. She said she would get this corrected in a couple of days /w the county. I called back Tues.to check progress, could not get in touch w/ her.

I talked to the "onbudsman" person at OCWEN on Wed.(1/27) who said she would get it the error corrected. I told her, as I had told a supervisor in India and several other OCWEN people that they have broken Texas law because unless your loan is paid down to about 75% or so, state law requires ALL mortgage loans have the insurance (and taxes) escrowed.

This was immediately corrected (my account showed OCWEN responsible by midnight Wed. on my account online). HOWEVER, ALL they have done is fix my net viewing of my account back to the $605.21 payment for Feb. And THEIR records have evidently not been changed because tonight I talked to a person at OCWEN in Florida who emailed to me what she saw on HER screen re: my Feb. Payment is STILL SHOWING THE REDUCED FEB. PAYMENT AMOUNT AND THE ESCOREW NEGATIVE BALANCE" AND NO INSURANCE ESCROWED.

I see the hand writing on the wall: telling me (onbudsman) that things are "corrected" and it’s straightened out. Waiting for my Feb. Payment which I am NOT going to pay–they want money and will not timely get the money back from the county until whenever (at least 20 business days from date requested, according to the county). I am already getting shortage notices, requests wanting my "new" insurance company info (due to my insurance being escrowed OR not escrowed?).

This is a mess; this is directly headed to "forced foreclosure" due to the biggest crooks (worse than TBW) jicking w/my escrow. Everything was FINE until my servicing was changed because I needed help; well, I have CX my modification request, complete payment records are coming from Cenlar back toTBW 1/2009 (which I also got tonight at my account w/TBW, was surprised it was still available).

I DEMANDED thru the ombudsman that my account be returned to "status quo" because this had NOTHING to do w/me, I had paid EVERYTHING I was to pay and done EVERYTHING I was suppose to do and I did not cause this screwup, their incompetent employees/contracted or not, did NOT do their homework and pull my tax account at the county as is REQUIRED (by their own words) and I should not be involved in this batle what so ever; this ia battle between OCWEN, their "tax dept." and the county tax assessor’s office. The ombudsman person proceeded to blame Cenlar, can you believe that one!!!

BUT it doesn’t change what is happening: as long as OCWEN’s records (their computer info, which I was told is DIFFERENT than what I see at my account, interesting statement isn’t it!) show my escrow in the red, every time I make a payment, my payment will be short because they will be putting money in the escrow that is reflecting a lie, created by OCWEN and their "taxing department." And if my insurance escrow is done correctly, I'm quite sure that they will stick me w/THEIR insurance at much higher premium!!

It it quite apparent no matter WHAT evidence I provide them (i emailed as attachments copies of my Cenlar letters, records of payments and dipursements that they, Cenlar, sent to me in November), if they REFUSE to recognize them/it, this will continue and they will foreclose.

So, I will loose my home, even though I have never been late and done EVERYTHING I was suppose to do.

I am 62yrs old, live on S.S., disabled, I am a post-cancer transplant patient w/many medical complications, I cannot work and haven’t been able to for several years. I have no money for an attorney (one I talked to wanted $250 just to send them a letter!!–I am a college grad, certified paralegal before the cancer–bone morrow leukemia).


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Last Friday night I noticed a large number of cars driving by house slowly, sometimes stopping to look at the house. I kind of wondered what was going on but, still didn’t think much about it. The next day, a man actually stopped and walked around my yard looking at my house. This was odd, but before I got my shoes on to go outside, he had left.

Then, I got my mail form the mailbox and there was a letter that had stamped on the outside, “your house is listed for foreclosure” and was addressed to current resident. I didn’t think much about as I believed it was just junk mail from these many refinance companies that have sprung up since the housing crisis, and besides, I am employed and I have paid my house payment every month since buying the house in May of 2008.

Then I noticed a letter from some attorneys, that was addressed to a familiar name but nobody in my household. After thinking about it a minute, I thought I remembered it being the name of the guy I had bought the house from. I went on the computer and pulled up the law firms web address and sure enough, it was a law firm dealing in foreclosures and they had a little search tab to search foreclosure sales. I punched in my address, and sure enough my house showed as up for auction on April 6th. I about crapped my pants. Of course it was the weekend, so I couldn’t get a hold of anyone and had to suffer the rest of the weekend wondering what I had done wrong. I felt dirty, I felt as though I had done something wrong.

First thing Monday morning, I called the attorneys listed on the envelope and they informed the house was in foreclosure and they were representing Wells Fargo Mortgage. I told them I owned the house and my mortgage company was Bank of America. They told me impossible, and the house would be sold on April 6th. I pulled out my file from when I closed and called my closing attorney. My closing attorney told me they had been working on an issue for over a year that had been missed at closing, but they didn’t think it would come to this. I was a little shook up that they never informed me something was going on. They said they would get right on it. It occurred from some missed payment the previous owner had before I bought the house. It had nothing to do with me.

In the meantime I called Bank of America to let them know, that a house that they own the note on, was about to be sold at auction. All Bank of America told me was that I needed to call Wells Fargo and tell them that this couldn’t happen because Bank of America held the note. ( I would have thought Bank of America would be a little more aggressive as to a house they hold a $140,000 note on was about to be sold. But nope, they just talked like no big deal. Easy for them to say while my wife and kids are stressing out wondering if I was lying to them and that I really never paid my mortgage.

The crazy thing here is if I hadn’t stumbled across this, I would have come home from work on April 6th, or my son would have come home from school and to our surprise we would have been homeless. I began to wonder if this happens a lot to other unsuspecting people.

The real kicker here is there are 1000’s of people being granted loan modifications and being allowed to stay in their homes that are not paying their mortgages. I have paid mine every month, (sometimes a little late but never over 30 days), but I was inches away from being foreclosed on and kicked out in the street.

Well, it’s in the attorney’s hands now, and my family and I can only pray that this gets settled and we won’t be homeless in a couple weeks. I am super stressed out as are my wife and kids. I still can’t believe this was going to happen and I would never have known if a piece of junk mail to grab my attention.

I will be sending this to multiple people including my congressman, my senator, news organizations and the mortgage companies involved, not to just try and get a little support but to create awareness that this type of thing can happen. That somebody’s property can be pulled out right from underneath them, even when they are busting their behind to do the right thing.


My Dilemma is I am disabled in the line of work; I have a mortgage with Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC. and seems like I can never get any service from them about my loan modification, they tried to fix my loan prior to the new administration and all they did was raise my loan amount and take escrow from me and not pay my taxes, I am just managing to pay my mortgage and these people only seem to operate in India, they have no sympathy for our concerns here in the states and with the mortgage issue. I have been on two website where there are over 1600 complaints about this company and people of similar situations as mine. I think this company is committing fraud and we need a voice to help us people from being robbed by this company. I have been charged with late charges when I made the payments on time on their own website. They filed that I was in foreclosure to the credit bureaus when I was never even notified of such a disposition. The worse thing is that I cannot pay my home taxes because they have raised my mortgage to a point where I can only pay the mortgage and not the taxes which they are charging me escrow for paying off taxes that were due prior to a modification. I PAID 2000 dollars for a modification company to take care of this and had done nothing to help my situation, and they had the nerve to ask me for more money and I told them not until I get some results. They refused to help me. The people who tried to help me go by the names of Henry A. Rappa Jr. of Rappa Associates and some by the name of Chris Risko who email address is (chrisrko3@yahoo.com) and Rappa email is (hrappa@rappalaw.com). The person at the time represented some outfit called US Mortgage and always had different email addresses and showed unstable company backing, Another person who was involved is a man by the name of Cory Held who was apparently a supervisor of Risko. The email address for held at the time as (coreyheld1@verizon.net). I have written to the Attorney General of the United States and also to senators around these governing practices that these people held there offices in. I have submitted blogs all over the Internet to see how many people have had bad dealings with these people and Ocwen.
On April 2nd 2010 a few of us victims of Ocwen have started a group on the Yahoo groups exchange to try to get people to join. We hold a conference call every weeknight at 11 pm eastern standard time to try and network our dilemmas with this company. The link is as follows: (http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/oc-info-exchange/). We have collectively have around 20 people who are currently involved and we can claim at least 50 other prospect members who have complained on the Pissed Consumers web site(http://ocwen.pissedconsumer.com/ocwen-lawsuit-20090623150316.html)consumeraffairs(http://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/ocwen_loan_p2.htmland Complaints Board.com (http://www.complaintsboard.com/?search=ocwen%20&sort=date&everything=everything&page=7) . There are over 500 complaints on this website alone.

Ocwen Federal Loan Bank is without a doubt a Predatory Lender and it just seems like nobody is doing anything about these people, although I have been in contact with numerous people like me just being victimized. If there is an email address I could forward tons of complaints from all the sites listed above to prove our case. We as citizens of the United States and homeowners are begging of your support to help me and thousands of other homeowners to rectify this situation.
I keep getting this note from Ocwen as I have been sending them the info they asked for in triplicate for months on end...

Ocwen has received the financial package you submitted. However the information is incomplete. In order to respond to your resolution request, we must receive all required information. We have been unable to reach you regarding the details of the missing documentation. Please provide a copy of the following documents: HMP Missing Docs. Letter Sent; Mailed Out to the Borrower Please send a copy of your completed and fully executed hardship affidavit Please send a recent copy of a utility bill for the subject property and a copy of each borrowers drivers license We did not receive a copy of the completed and signed 4506-T form for each borrower on the account. Please send a copy, with signatures, of your most recently filed tax return for each borrower on the account Please submit your last 2,

Sincerely, Yours
Antonio Mareno Jr.
M.C.S.E Systems Engineer/ Web Master
(845) 746-6673

It is amazing how all of these families are losing their homes. I blame it on "trickonometry".
Once the loans are finalized, the rouge mortgage companies sell the loans immediately to keep from being sued. In my opinion, the banks are working
in conjunction with some of these rouges. I would like to see more families stand up and fight back. If we walk into a store and steal a box of crackers, we will end up in jail, however, a bank can steal your house and reap rewards. Instead of helping families stay in their homes, most often the home is taken away from the original owner and given to someone else for far less than the original owner owed. You would think the banks would lower the interest and the principal to help the owners remain in the home. I fear at some point there will be an uprising.

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