A National Guard's battle for justice over illegal foreclosure stalls in courtroom

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Recently I blogged about the thousands of military families who have been overcharged for their mortgages by JP Morgan Chase bank.  Not only were these families made to pay too much, the inflated bills have ruined their credit and contributed to as many as 14 illegal and wrongful foreclosures.  Chase appears to be scrambling --trying to right a few of their mega-wrongs. Talk about wrongs: you've probably read about National Guard Reservist Sgt. James B. Hurley who while serving in Iraq had his Michigan home illegally foreclosed on. The foreclosure--in 2004--left his wife and children homeless.  Since then, he has fought to regain his property, his life, and his rights.

Hurley's story shows a complete disregard for The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, a  law intended to protect military families from financial harm while serving our country and in harms way. But what makes this case particularly disturbing is that more than six years after facing the illegal foreclosure Deutsche Bank Trust Company and its primary co-defendant, a Morgan Stanley subsidiary called Saxon Mortgage Services, continue to demonstrate an unwillingness to own up to their wrongs, and right them -fairly.

Justice delayed -is justice denied.   

The case is stuck in the courts. And the Hurley's are forced to endure more abuse. As usual, the bank is minimizing the effects of their actions. It seems incredible to me, but the bank is arguing that it owes Hurley nothing more than the market price of the home they stole away from him leaving his family homeless.  Hurley's lawyer is rightfully seeking more than that--including damages--which to most anyone aside from the bank, seems only reasonable since the bank's foreclosure was in violation of the law.  In the mean time, Hurley is now home from Iraq, disabled, and out of work.
In addition to being victimized by an illegal foreclosure, Hurley's case reminds us that victims often feel beat up by the system itself--a system supposedly designed to help us find accountability and relief from fraud. 

The battle to find justice is complex and it stresses every facet of your life. When we were kids we were taught to own up to our faults, apologize for our wrongs and take accountability for our actions. We strive to teach our kids the same values. Unfortunately, it's not like that in the corporate world where they tend to trivialize and minimize the human price their reckless actions caused. All too many seem to sweep their wrongs under a rug, make excuses and employ loopholes in laws designed to protect us.

Our military families shouldn't have to fight on two battlefronts: home and away. The point of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is to protect our military families from financial harm while serving our country. What has happened, and continues to happen, to the Hurley family is a crime. My heart goes out to Sgt. Hurley and his family.

For more on this case see:  A Reservist in a new war; foreclosure

Lenders Continue Dragging Out Lawsuit Despite Ruling That They Violated SCRA By Illegally Foreclosing On Active Duty Servicemember Original Complaint: Hurley_v._Deutsch_Bank_Natl_Trust_Complaint
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