The headline is Martin Andelmans. I use it, but with the following disclaimer;
I do not believe Wells Fargo is bad. The are standing up and doing some great things in this arena. I know this first hand. They are lending to homeowners when others are pulling back and they account for 1 in 3 loans being made today.
With that said, I believe these stories MUST be told. I believe the training the front line people receive, who deal with homeowners is inexcusable.
Martin Andleman (I cut out some for space. Read the whole thing by clicking on;
Just like the last VICTIM OF WELLS FARGO I wrote about, Wells Fargo claimed that Norman and Oriane Rousseau had missed a mortgage payment. But the payment HAD been made in person at a Wells Fargo branch by Cashier’s Check, and Mrs. Rousseau has the receipt for the transaction.
The Rousseaus file a dispute with Wells Fargo over the supposed missing payment. Wells Fargo “investigates” and comes back saying that the Rousseaus had stopped payment on the check. They stopped payment on a Cashier’s Check? Seriously?
I don’t want to spend too much time on this ridiculous point, so here’s how Rousseau’s lawyer explains this technical yet wholly insipid issue, and then we’ll move on…
The teller’s receipt establishes that the cashier’s check was in the custody and control of Wachovia on April 1, 2009, and the research by the Cashiering Department should have concluded that Wachovia screwed up by not applying the cash-equivalent funds to the Rousseau’s account. After delivery and acceptance to the branch office, it was Wachovia’s responsibility to safeguard the instrument; Wachovia itself effectively stopped payment on the cashier’s check.
Okay, so let’s get back to the meat of the story…
Concerned that they could not resolve the payment dispute but told they should apply for a loan modification, the Rousseaus hired a law firm and submitted a loan modification application. After that it was standard operating procedure at Wells Fargo… we lost this, and we lost that, resend this, and resend that… for almost a year.
Good Lord, Wells Fargo, could you please do something differently just once? This article is almost becoming a form letter.
Wells Fargo then of course told the Rousseau family not to make their payments, that they were being considered for a loan modification and that making their payments would immediately disqualify them.
So, they saved their payments just in case Wells decided to deny them a modification. Saved every single one just in case the bank decided to act like… well, Wells Fargo Bank.
Then Wells sent them a Notice of Default, but when they called to say they wanted to reinstate their loan, Wells said what they always say… IGNORE IT… don’t worry about it, everything’s fine, it’s just an automated sort of thing… why, you’re being considered for a loan modification.
Then Wells filed a Notice of Sale on October 28, 2010. Their home would be sold on November 22, 2010. And still Wells said… IGNORE IT… it’s just another automated sort of thing… your loan modification is still pending… and please re-submit some documents.
It was November 10, 2010… just 12 days before their home was to be sold… when the Wells Fargo representative told the Rousseau’s that their loan modification had been denied. The reason: Insufficient income.
Yeah, but you know the funny thing about that is that their income hadn’t changed a nickel since they applied for the loan modification. So, what’s the deal? Did it take Wells Fargo a year to figure out the Rousseau’s income was insufficient? Is that the story I’m supposed to be buying into?
You’re a liar, Wells Fargo. Either you knew you weren’t going to approve their loan modification, or you’re the most incompetent financial institution in the history of the world. And you don’t just do this sometimes, you do this all the time… and especially to people in their 60s or older. Why is that do you suppose?
That same day the Rousseaus found a lawyer and discovered they had a RIGHT TO REINSTATE their loan. (Nice of Wells not to tell them that, by the way.) They contacted Wells and requested a reinstatement quote… TWO DAYS LATER Wells finally gave them the phone number for RCS, the trustee.
But, RSC said that reinstatement would take two weeks and trustee sale was going off as planned in 8 days. Wells got them their reinstatement quote too… it was dated November 15, but received via email on November 17, 2010.
And it expired in two days and had to be received in Texas by November 19, 2010.
The Rousseaus had more than enough in savings to reinstate their loan, they told Wells Fargo that… but now they couldn’t get the money from their IRA in time for the 2-day deadline and Wells refused to postpone the sale.
So, the Rousseau’s home sold at the trustee sale on November 22, 2010.
Next the Rousseaus go through a series of lawyers. Finally, they get a good one and in July of 2011, the court grants an injunction contingent on them making a monthly payment of $1800.
But, by December of 2011, Wells finally wore the Rousseaus down and they just couldn’t make December’s payment. They used up all their money fighting Wells Fargo, and Norm had been unemployed since the foreclosure. He was taking odd jobs as a handy man to make ends meet.
Wells Fargo immediately goes to court… gets the injunction dissolved… then proceeds with the Unlawful Detainer… the lockout is set for May 15th, 2012… at 6:00 AM.
THAT’S TOMORROW MORNING… AT 6:00 AM.
Over this past weekend, Norm Rousseau talked with their attorney who is working pro bono by the way. Basically, his lawyer tells him…
“Look… let’s face the facts here. We’ll proceed with the lawsuit. We’ll fight like hell to get you back in the home, but you have to be ready with some sort of plan so you’re not left homeless and on the streets.”
Norm found someone who has a 27-foot motorhome he can use, but after he gets it home on Saturday… it stops running… it won’t start. But, Norm Rousseau is a man in his 50s with mad skills. He goes to work around the clock taking apart the engine, doing everything he can to get it running so that on Tuesday morning he will have somewhere to house his family. He’s up all night Saturday night, but still can’t get it running. It’s too big to tow with a car.
**The story continues with details and summation of what was going on in Norms mind. It discusses the Option Arm loan that as an expert, I had trouble explaining to Loan Officers and get them to understand this complicated and sophisticated mortgage instrument and how they followed the lead of their World Savings representative Eric Cooper. Martin, annihilates him and while I was not there, many of the Option Arm loan officers were the worst the industry produced. The loan wasn’t so bad, but the creeps selling it were in most cases, slime.
The bottom line…
So, it was Sunday… yesterday… (Today is Tuesday, May 15, 2012) around 10:00 AM… and Norm couldn’t get the motorhome running. He must have realized that he couldn’t handle the shame of seeing his wife and stepson evicted with nowhere to go… living on the street. I don’t know how anyone could face that reality. I don’t think I could.
How could it be that just 12 years before they had put their life savings down on their first and likely last home? They had done everything right, but nothing was right anymore, and I’m sure to Norm Rousseau, nothing would ever be right again.
Sometime mid-morning on Sunday Norm Rousseau ended his own life. He went into his garage and shot himself. At one point he could have reinstated his loan, that’s what he had planned to do, but Wells Fargo had made that impossible… they stripped him of everything he had.
And now, his wife and stepson are to be evicted at 6:00 AM tomorrow morning. They have nowhere to go, they have no money, they are still in shock over the loss of Norm.
Rest in peace, Norm Rousseau
**I have witnessed the mass confusion surrounding homeowners asking for help in a loan modification, while it has gotten better, it is still a joke. To be so callous as to dismiss the efforts to try to stop the nonsense as interfering with the free market is wrong on so many levels.