Disabled FL Woman Fears Wrongful Foreclosure May Leave Her Homeless!

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Wondering what's driving the public outrage? Last year, CBS News and the New York Times polled 1,000 Americans to learn why so many Americans seemed so angry. They reported that eight in 10 people say it's because Congress is more interested in serving the needs of special interest groups rather than the people they represent.

Well that was last year. And this is this year. We don't need a poll to know that frustrations and anger have not receded --they've only mounted. Some may blame the swelling of public outrage on the lack of jobs. But that wouldn't be entirely true. It's about lack alright --the lack of accountability, lack of justice, lack of fairness and lack of concern for what's right and wrong.  

Here's a very brief synopsis to shed a little light. Let's start with this: taxpayers paid for mega-bank bailouts -and the banks' showed their gratitude by spiking credit card interest rates,  simultaneously cutting consumer credit lines --and ruining credit scores. Left without a lifeline to get through the recession and facing dropping property values, many turned to their banks (the one's they bailed out) for help. There was none.  But soon, the federal government would step in to offer hope. Spirits were lifted when the federal (HAMP) "Home Affordable Modification Program a/k/a "Making Homes Affordable" was launched. The intent was to help millions of people bring their mortgages in line with the value of their homes and allow struggling homeowners a way to save their homes and avoid foreclosure.

HAMP's promise had borrowers flocking to their mortgage servicing companies requesting an application. They had no idea what they were about to face: run-arounds, massive headaches and, in the end, broken promises, crushed hopes and destroyed credit --all of which led many homeowners straight into bankruptcy and foreclosure, the very thing HAMP was designed to prevent.

Many homeowners reported that their mortgage company had given them particularly harmful advice: skip payments in order to qualify. All the while, little did the borrowers know their home was on the fast track to foreclosure.

The failure of HAMP only served to add fuel to the already burning firestorm of anger, disbelief and resentment brewing. Various reports surfaced all indicating the mortgage servicing industry seemed to prefer foreclosures over loan modifications which then further stoked the fire.

Studies, national media and government investigations into the mortgage servicing industry uncovered widespread fraud, fabricated title documents, and abusive and predatory foreclosure and mortgage servicing practices were industry wide. Soon victims across the country were cheering. A sense of hope was restored. A feeling of vindication swept through consumer support groups and online blogs with high hopes that justice would prevail and somehow, some wrongs would be made right. But those hopes would soon be crushed once again when it seemed clear: nothing would change. People would continue to lose their homes, investigations would be dropped and those who were responsible for causing such economic harm to our communities, and country, would go unpunished -and undeterred. 

I hope the above brief synopsis --along with the below email from the daughter of a disabled woman who is desperately fighting to save her Mom's home from another unlawful foreclosure, will shed light on what is driving public outrage. 

Trish is worried an unlawful and UNNECESSARY force-placed insurance policy will end up leaving her parents homeless. Like many others facing similar mortgage servicing abuses, she asks: "What kind of country do we live in where someone who pays their mortgage faithfully can have their home ripped away from them by an unethical company?" 

Take the time to read Trish's email and learn why she asks that question;

My Mom is disabled and has been since she was 42 years old by a stroke.  She bought an affordable home in Florida with my stepfather many years ago.  They never missed one payment.

Recently their mortgage was bought by a company called Ocwen.  Their August payment was taken out of their checking account as it always was but, they noticed the
payment was $300 dollars more than is always was without any notice or
communication or explanation from Ocwen.  After calling Ocwen they were told that the additional payment was for "homeowners insurance". 

They already hold a homeowner's policy that is up to date.  When they tried to pay their mortgage the next month they were told their payment would not be accepted unless it was a "full payment".  They were told they were going into foreclosure and were called by a company identifying itself as a "foreclosure" company on their caller ID and told this.

After a little research, I found that there is a clause in most mortgages that lets banks tack on a homeowner's policy if they find that the home is under-insured. It is not under-insured it's valued at $50,000.  I also found that in order to get around a banking policy set forth by our government Ocwen has declassified itself as a banking institution and reclassified itself as a collection agency.

How is something like this being allowed to happen?  

My Mother and stepfather are in severe emotional distress because of this.  
They are terrified they will be homeless soon.

I made numerous calls on their behalf including a call to the attorney General's office in Florida.

I was basically told "oh, well....we can't help you".  I tried to call Ocwen and was told there is no way to contact Ocwen's corporate offices. (I finally found a number and left a voice mail) Their address is listed as a P.O box.

What kind of country do we live in where someone who pays their mortgage faithfully can have their home ripped away from them by an unethical company?

Someone please explain this to me.

Trish, Florida

If you are a Florida consumer attorney interested in helping Trish and her family, please get in touch with me or leave a comment below.

If you still don't understand the public outrage --or don't believe this could happen to you or your family --keep reading.

Start with William's comment.
He shared his heartbreaking situation by leaving a comment on this earlier blog: Disabled homeowner facing foreclosure pleads: Where is the heart?

William faithfully paid his mortgage for 18 years. His wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and when it became overwhelming for her --she tragically took her own life. William says he turned to his mortgage company for help --and like many others before him have reported --found no one willing to work with him. Instead of helping a disabled and grieving man keep his home of 20 years, it appears they have chosen to auction his home later this month. If you can help William --please get in touch.

If you still don't understand why there is such public outrage---keep reading.

Secret Docs Show Foreclosure Watchdog Doesn't Bark or Bite

Eye on Loan Modifications
A government program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure has left many in limbo instead.

Abuses of the foreclosure process, in which banks and mortgage servicers cut corners or even created false documents to move troubled borrowers out of their homes, have been extensively documented, along with failures by government to regulate the industry.

Then there's this week's piece from Gretchen Morgenson;
Fannie Mae Knew Early of Abuses, Report Says

Excerpt: Fannie Mae, the mortgage finance giant, learned as early as 2003 of extensive foreclosure abuses among the law firms it had hired to remove troubled borrowers from their homes. But the company did little to correct the firms' practices, according to a report issued Tuesday.

Learn more about foreclosure and mortgage servicing issues and read about some of the ongoing class actions and civil lawsuits and earlier investigative reports. It should help answer any further question as to why people feel let down, fed up and joined forces to speak out --especially when it comes to non-judicial foreclosure states --where taking a home is up to the bank --justified or not, and done without the homeowner having the chance to tell their side. Be sure to read: FL Fair Foreclosure Act of 2012: Fair is Fair but this Bill is Not!

To those who believe that allowing banks to move swiftly to take over someone's home is the ideal way to recover from this foreclosure crisis: you need look no further than the above stories.

Too many innocent families across this country have been wrongfully evicted from homes that were stolen out from under them. 

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Hi Trish, I too am in the exact same scenario, could you please tell me what can we do. I am disabled and I am trying to fight this without the help of a daughter though...it's just my husband and I and our two sons, who are struggling to stay in college, but it's looks like they may have to quit going.

I am writing because I too am a disabled person facing what I believe is an unlawful foreclosure.

I find myself almost two years into dealing with a Lehman Brother's / MERS loan. Though I am originally from NYC area, I ended up living just less than two hours north of Manhattan. I have been trying for seven plus years to sell my home on the heels of a car accident in which a teenage driver broke two bones in my neck with subsequent neurological & orthopedic damages.

I was (having done research) keenly aware of the practices of the Baum Firm my "bank's attorney" (see the "Beckhouse Papers" - in which an employee of the Baum Firm manipulated - broke the law - for their own personal gain under the auspices of the firm). Please see link at bottom for additional recent developments of fines they faced for breaking the law.
I'm sure you may already be familiar with just this aspect of the firm's many questionable practices. That said, I am enrolled in a vocational rehabilitation program, as a disabled New Yorker. Consequently, I have been dedicated, solution driven and as responsible in the face of the current economic landscape. I did have an agreement this past January/February from the then bank to sell 45 of the 85 acres here. Baum has been the attorney of record to the present.

Again, given the home and land are in foreclosure, this sale, would have - this past January / February - taken me out of foreclosure with proceeds to: 1) Pay for counsel, 2) Pay property taxes, 3) apply approximately 82% towards the principle of a loan that is questionable to begin with, and was granted based on my then life-long high credit score - now ruined. 4) Purchase heating fuel. 5) Comfortably apply myself in the Vesid /Access VR program as opposed to almost freezing - literally - to death. It was a rough eight months, and a time I will never forget. The above items are not complaints per se, but the facts as they pertain to your article and the fall out in my particular instance. I have lived with this insight while dealing with this questionable firm and its cronies, "servicers," your article has now validated what I have been saying all along. Lastly, had Baum et al. been more cooperative, I could have marketed and sold my (turn key) home and remaining 40 acres for a lower price-point more readily this past summer - therefore satisfying any outstanding debt. I was hindered and tormented in this regard as well. At the same time, I simply do not know how else to put it or say it: I also have reason to believe that mine is an illegal / wrongful foreclosure based on research and readings. Also, was told that "there is no proof of ownership" by an attorney who looked through my file; but, could not commit to representing me in a wrongful / illegal foreclosure action. My Congressman's office (the only helpful entity -) who has tried to help suggested to "request the original note."

However, for the first time in my life I find myself indigent living on a very small amount of monthly income from (for the time being) Social Security. Also, having scoured and researched the entire Hudson Valley, I also contacted the AG's office, Governor, TARP, and my Congressman's office. I wrote to all four on September 6th only to receive either no reply or "form" letters back (Congressman being the exception - but limited in scope of assistance).

I cannot reconcile - logically - how the state of New York / Albany via form letter(s) - and phone inquires - would or could dismiss one of many "key" issues I cited (The Baum Firm). Much less a disabled New Yorker whose claims are based in reality as your article once again substantiates. In my research, I also received a packet from the State of Connecticut after requesting "how to represent your-self in foreclosure," but clearly those laws may or may not apply in New York State. Consequently, a NY Federal Judge commiserates with Denise's article as well - please see below.

Denise’s article represents precisely what I am experiencing. If anyone can offer assistance or legal representation, please get in touch with me. Leave a comment or email or get in touch with me through Denise who has my contact numbers. Thank you, Keith

ALSO SEE RECENT LINKS / DEVELOPMENTS For myself and countless others (MERS affects / voids 50% of all USA mortgages according to a Federal Judge in New York)
1) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/l-randall-wray/new-yorks-us-bankruptcy-c_b_824167.html

2) Baum Law Firm to Pay $2 Million Over Foreclosure Practices -

Steven J. Baum’s foreclosure law firm, one of the largest in New York state, will pay the U.S. $2 million and change its practices to resolve a probe into its mortgage-related legal filings.

Seventy-year-old Sharon Bullington –she’s the sole caregiver for her bedridden husband and has been forced into a legal battle saving their home because she paid her mortgage early. "My husband is bedridden. It's almost more than I can bear."
Then there’s a 41-year-old man faced foreclosure after missing a mortgage payment on a St. Petersburg gas station by just one day. He made several attempts to continue paying and made a $50,000 payment in court earlier this month to settle the case, but the bank refused the payment. http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/article1186958.ece

Don’t forget about Calvin, Mary, Karen, Christine and others here shared. http://www.givemebackmycredit.com/blog/2010/09/disabled-homeowner-facing-foreclosure-pleads-where-is-the-heart-is-anyone-safe.html what would you do if your feat were in their shoes?

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