AP IMPACT: Caught by mistake in foreclosure web


AP IMPACT: Caught by mistake in foreclosure web

AP IMPACT: Caught by mistake in foreclosure web

Christopher Marconi was in the shower when he heard a loud banging on his door. By the time he grabbed a towel and hustled to his front step, a U.S. marshal’s sedan was peeling out of his driveway. Nailed to Marconi’s front door was a foreclosure summons from Wells Fargo, naming him as a defendant. But the notice was for a house Marconi had never seen — on a mortgage he never had.

Tom Williams was in his kitchen thumbing through the mail when he opened a letter from GMAC. It informed him that the bank would confiscate his house unless he immediately paid off his mortgage balance of $276,000. But Williams had never missed a mortgage payment. And his loan wasn’t due to mature until 2032.

Warren Nyerges opened his front door to find a scraggly haired summons server standing on his stoop. He plopped a foreclosure notice from Bank of America in Nyerges’ hands. But Nyerges had paid for his house in cash. And he’d never had a checking account, much less a mortgage, with Bank of America.

By now, you may have heard the stories of bank robo-signers powering through hundreds of foreclosure affidavits a day without verifying a single fact. But most of those involved homeowners who had stopped paying their mortgage. They were genuine defaulters. Now a new species of homeowner is getting pushed into foreclosure hell.

People have always loved to complain about their banks. The push-button circus that passes for customer service. The larding on of fees. But the false foreclosure cases are hardly the usual complaints. These homeowners paid their mortgages — or loan modifications — on time. Some even paid off their loans. Worse, those on the receiving end of a bad foreclosure claim tell similar stories of getting bounced from one bank official to the next with no resolution while the foreclosure process continues apace.

Many have to resort to paying a lawyer, even after presenting documentation. They say they have to sue not only to stop the wrongful foreclosure but also to attempt to win back their costs.

There are no official statistics for these homeowners, but lawyers, real estate agents and consumer advocates say their ranks are growing. In November, during foreclosure hearings on Capitol Hill, senator after senator scolded the banks about wrongful foreclosures. They said their offices were deluged with complaints from people who had done everything right but were being treated by banks as if they had done everything wrong. And the Florida attorney general’s office is also investigating the issue as part of its foreclosure probe.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” says Ira Rheingold, an attorney and executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates. Diane Thompson, a lawyer with the National Consumer Law Center, has defended hundreds of foreclosure cases. “In virtually every case, I believe the homeowner was not in default when you looked at the surrounding facts. It is a widespread problem throughout the country.”

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3 Responses to “AP IMPACT: Caught by mistake in foreclosure web”

  1. Neva says:

    What many people do not understand is that the pretender/lenders are playing “chicken” with you. They push and push and hope (they are right most of the time) that you will give up (not hire a lawyer), and they can take your home away from you ILLEGALLY!!!! There is no one to prosecute them. Do not give up. Remember, they have to hire a lawyer, too. A lawyer who charges lots of money per hour, like, $350 to $500 an hour. There are also court costs. Sooner or later, the lawsuit will cost more than the house is worth. When that happens, you are in a better position; you have more leverage. Of course, you must also make sure that you know they have TWO COMPUTER SYSTEMS going. One is negotiating with you (or loan Mod) and the other is going to foreclosure. Make sure your lawyer knows about that and opposing counsel knows about it. http://www.challengingforeclosure.com Sirak@challengingforeclosure.com

  2. doubtful says:

    I find these headlines fascinating to read. Thank goodness we have the Associated Press to do such great reporting on the facts. I have just a few questions For Mr. Marconi. I know that the US Marshal’s service (A division of the Federal government) is very busy with their witness protection program, the fugitive apprehension specialized teams and the overall work with the Federal court systems and Homeland Security overall, but… I did not know they have now worked in Service of Process at the State/county level.
    In addition I was wondering when you checked the door where the Marshal “Nailed” the notice, did they use roofing, finishing, or stud nail to secure to documents. I would use a roofing nail because it has that fat head that would keep the documents from blowing away. I would think the Marshall’s service could afford one of those battery powered nail guns but that is just me. I also did not know that the US Marshall’s service had on the side of their sedans written “US MARSHALL’S SERVOICE DIVISION OF NAILING DOCUMENTS TO THE DOOR DIVISION” for your easy identification of who was driving. I am confounded as to why they would speed away. They have guns, badges and really cool jackets that say “US MARSHALL” on the back. I would think they could just walk back to the sedan, I know I would not confront them.
    Thank goodness we have people like Mr. Marconi and the fine people at Stop Foreclosure Fraud to report these riveting stories for our reading pleasure. I wonder if after reading this,,, Wells Fargo seen the error of their ways, found the correct address was to be served and then sent the paperwork to the FBI so they could correctly get the owner served.


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