Foreclosure Stories: Bank forecloses based on its own mistake

Mar 29, 2012




 This is a weekly column by Sandusky attorney Dan McGookey, devoted to telling true stories of homeowners who have been victimized by a lending system which makes it profitable to foreclose. The names used have been changed for privacy purposes. This is Carl's Tale.

 After being forced to escrow his home insurance in 2010, Carl received a notice from the insurance company in 2011that his coverage was going to lapse due to nonpayment of premiums.  Of course because Carl’s bank forced him to escrow his payments, it was actually the bank's responsibility, not Carl’s to make sure that the insurance premiums were paid. Upon receiving the cancellation notice, not wanting his home to go uninsured, Carl went ahead and paid the entire years premium in advance.

Carl then advised his bank he had made the payment and requested relief from having to escrow it.  However, despite the clear evidence of payment Carl provided, the bank continued to insist Carl escrow his insurance, now causing his payment to be raised for a period of months in the first half of 2011.  Even Carl’s clear and unequivocal documentation as to what had happened wasn’t enough to placate the bank.

Then in August, Carl received a letter from the bank admitting the mistake, which was accompanied by a $1,300 check representing a refund for the premiums Carl was forced to pay because the bank did not.  Unfortunately, and to his great surprise, that notice also declared Carl in default on his loan.  Shortly thereafter, the bank sent Carl a new payment book with slightly revised payments which Carl then began to make.  Despite that fact, the bank continued to harass Carl by incessantly sending him letters declaring him in default.  All of this followed from the bank’s own mistake in failing to make the insurance premium payments on Carl’s home.

Finally, in early January, 2012 Carl received the inevitable foreclosure papers filed by the bank.  At that point Carl contacted McGookey Law Offices. Since then we have filed the necessary and appropriate papers in court to protect Carl. In addition, we have actively engaged foreclosure counsel in a detailed review of the background circumstances leading up to the foreclosure action.  By doing so, we know that we can convince counsel of the error of their client’s ways and encourage it to make proper recompense by reversing all adverse credit references, making a proper accounting of all payments and even giving our client a lower interest rate and more favorable loan terms than he had previously.

Carl’s story is yet another dramatic example of the fact that in the securitized lending system it is profitable for banks to foreclose.  Being on constant guard and eternally vigilant are unfortunately indispensable qualities every homeowner must have in order to navigate the turbulent waters of paying on his or her mortgage to their bank’s satisfaction and avoiding foreclosure.

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    Next week: The story of Alice, whose loan servicer routinely held her monthly mortgage payment for weeks after receiving it before cashing it, causing her to incur thousands of dollars in late fees and putting her at risk of foreclosure.

Copyright 2012 Daniel L. McGookey