Yes, you read that right! Unbelievable but true. I am out in the field talking to homeowners every day. Here is a TRUE story of California home owners who are fighting back and winning against these greedy giant corporate banks. It's shocking to know that OUR taxpayer bailout money is being used to support such bad business practices by lenders like Citibank. This homeowner's story has developed over the past year.
The Homeowners refinanced their house in the Spring of 2004, with a 6% ARM fixed for 2 years. No problem, they would refinance into a better loan at the end of 2 years. Unfortunately by that time, the market had changed and they couldn't refinance out of that ARM loan.
1. Due to the interest rate on the ARM loan increasing to approximately 11%, the homeowners' payments jumped from $1,800 to about $3,600 per month (not including taxes and insurance). Note that these interest rates are being charged to the homeowner at a time when the federal rates were the LOWEST ever (4 to 5%). Citi was currently servicing their loan, which had been transferred several times after their initial loan.
2. After getting behind in payments, the Homeowners first tried to negotiate with their lender Citi. Citi demanded large payments to get caught up. The Homeowner asked Citi if they could do a Loan Modification because they wanted the interest rate lowered. Citi stated that they do not do Loan Modifications. (Citi's computer called them automatically 2-3 times per day from Citi's collections dept. The homeowners had to submit a "cease & desist" letter asking NOT to be called from Citi, in order to stop the harrassing phone calls.)
3. The Homeowner was unable to make the payments and contacted the HOPE government agency for help. Citi ignored the HOPE program's request and refused to contact the Homeowner.
4. The Homeowner's attorney then wrote 2 separate letters to Citi, with no answers or results from Citi. The homeowners continued to contact Citi. They got the "run-around" of being transferred from department to department, with no answers, no rep assigned to their case, and no one to return their phone calls.
5. The Homeowners heard that Citi was now offering Loan Modifications. The Homeowners then submitted their financial form to Citi, requesting a Loan Modification. The Homeowners contacted Citi every week with no answer or reply. Finally, they got a letter denying their Loan Modification request. Citi said it was denied because the file was incomplete because an additional paper was needed. The Homeowners were never notified that additional paperwork was needed. Citi said they could not contact the Homeowner because the Homeowner had asked Citi to "cease & desist" making collection calls (they were harassing the Homeowners by having the collection dept. computer calling them twice per day). The Homeowners then pointed out that they had sent Citi a fax authorizing to be contacted on their cell phone regarding the Loan Modification. The Homeowners asked Citi why they didn't simply send them a letter requesting the additional paperwork. Then Citi stated that the Loan Modification application had been deleted from their system, and if the Homeowners wanted a Loan Mod, they would have to reapply and start the process all over again. Citi stated that their Loan Modification process was a 4-6 week process. The Homeowners pointed out that Citi had set the Foreclosure sale date only a few weeks away, and asked if Citi could postpone the sale date. They said they could not.
6. The Homeowner then hired a Loan Modification company. Unfortunately, after many attempts of dealing with Citi's senior management, the Loan Modification company was not able to obtain a loan modification because Citi refused to cooperate with them also. First, Citi said that the Homeowner didn't have enough income to qualify for the Loan Modification program. Then Citi said that the Homeowner had too much income to qualify! (Fortunately, this company offers a money-back guarantee if they can't perform.)
7. Next the Homeowner hired a legal services program to file a fraud lawsuit against Citi. After a couple of weeks, the program's lawyers could not get it filed in time because of their backlog of so many cases. (This company called the Homeowners and told them the attorneys weren't going to be able to get their lawsuit filed before the foreclosure date. And yes, they sent the Homeowners' money back to them the next day). They received a Notice of Trustee's Sale (Foreclosure sale) from Citi. The sale date was set for January 30th.
8. The Homeowners next hired Home Defense Group to file a lawsuit against Citi. With less than 2 weeks before the Foreclosure sale date, Home Defense Group filed a very strong lawsuit against Citi. Reading from a court-certified copy, the first page says:
1. DECLARATORY RELIEF
2. VOID, CANCEL, AND SET ASIDE:
(a) NOTICE OF TRUSTEE'S SALE UNDER DEED OF TRUST;
(b) NOTICE OF DEFAULT AND ELECTION TO SELL UNDER DEED OF TRUST
3. CANCELLATION OF INSTRUMENTS
4. QUIET TITLE TO REAL PROPERTY
6. INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
(a) Temporary Restraining Order
(b) Preliminary Injunction
(c) Bad Faith Foreclosure
(d) Violation of Statute(s)
9. After receiving this lawsuit, Citi postponed the Notice of Trustee's Sale (Foreclosure sale). Citi did not notify the Homeowners or the law firm. This information was discovered when searching the foreclosure public records. The Sale date postponement was postponed from January 30th to March 2nd.
10. Meanwhile, Home Defense Group will continue to work on behalf of this Homeowner until the case can be successfully concluded.
PLEASE NOTE that there is NO guarantee that ANY particular program or lawsuit will be successful on your behalf. I have heard a rumor that some lawyers, although they had filed valid cases, were not having the success they sought. I heard it was because some corrupt judges were siding with the huge corporate lenders, who are paying millions of dollars to try to get these lawsuits thrown out. These huge corporate lenders are afraid that losing a fraud lawsuit will set a precedent, opening the floodgates to thousands of other Homeowners who will sue on the same grounds, and the lenders will do everything possible to stop these type of lawsuits.
Although I hope and pray that these cases get heard fairly on behalf of homeowners, I can't deny that corruption, favoritism, and unfairness exist in every society. Our American justice system is not perfect, and life is not always fair. However, I feel that homeowners have a GOOD SHOT at getting some POWER back in their hands with these experienced attorneys who are willing to put their careers on the line to FIGHT back for American citizens. God bless them!!!
If you question the legitimacy of this tactic, consider this: Your lender may have sold your promissory Note and they may not own your Note -- which may mean that they do NOT have the right to foreclose, and maybe even don't have the right to collect your mortgage payment. Smart attorneys are working with home owners to make the lender PRODUCE a valid note. Here's Lou Dobbs from CNN.
According to Ohio congresswoman Marcy Kaptur as interviewed on LouDobbs.com on CNN.com, if your lender tries to foreclose on you, hire an attorney and fight back! Stay in your house, do NOT move out.
In this CNN clip called "Fight Foreclosures: Be a Squatter!", check out the video here:
Please reference my previous blog, "Bank Foreclosing? Don't Move Out, Stay in your Home" at http://activerain.com/blogsview/911789/Bank-Foreclosing-Dont-Move-Out-Stay-in-your-Home
Can Home Defense Group's program work for you or your homeowners? Contact us today to find out if your loan qualifies and you can put their powerful program to work for you.
Join my new AR group and post your blog at http://activerain.com/groups/virtualoffice
Regina P. Brown
Broker, Realtor®, e-Pro
Author of eBook "Stop Foreclosure Fast: Solutions to Save your House"
Text copyright © 2009 R.P. Brown, All Rights Reserved