Linda brought in her foreclosure complaint, courtesy of Chase Bank, a few days ago. After purchasing her home last year, she consistently made her mortgage payments on time. However, in February she started missing payments due to a temporary job layoff. Yet by June she was back to work, and actually had the money available to catch up on all of her past due payments. At the same time she started receiving letters from Chase’s lawyers threatening foreclosure. Those letters did not inform Linda of her right to reinstate the loan by bringing all past due payments current. Despite that Linda called the law firm and asked what that amount, referred to as a reinstatement quote, would be. In response to that inquiry, the law firm sent Linda another letter on June 17, 2014.
That letter, although not received until sometime after the 17th, gave Linda a reinstatement qoute of $3436.72, good as of June 17, and another reinstatement quote of $5477.72, good as of June 30, 2014. The purported reason for the difference between the two numbers was that foreclosure costs of $2100, including attorneys were added onto the balance. To add further confusion to the situation, Linda received a statement directly from Chase, dated June 16, 2014, indicating that her past due balance was $2924.80, rather than the $3400 stated by its lawyers, and that $3570.68 was due by July 1, 2014. Getting this conflicting information, Linda proceeded to go with the number set forth in the lawyer’s letter, and sent in the sum of $3437, via Western Union, on June 28. That payment was rejected by Chase and returned to her on July 8.
Rather than give Linda the chance to catch up on her past due payments, it filed a foreclosure complaint against her on June 26, 2014. In other words, contrary to what it stated to Linda in writing, Chase cut off Linda’s ability to avoid foreclosure altogether by simply paying the past due amount. In addition, Chase apparently did not follow the requirements of Linda’s mortgage by giving her thirty days notice of default and her right to cure the breach by paying the full amount due prior to filing foreclosure. Linda’s is a classic example of a bank’s rush to foreclose in this day and age where foreclosure is a profitable business. Without doubt, we will get Linda’s situation worked out. However, her story is indeed a sad reflection of the times we live in, where banks (actually loan servicers who do not own the loan), would rather drive people into default and foreclosure than work with them, allowing them and their families to stay in their homes.
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Kate Eyster contributed to this article.
Copyright 2014 Daniel L. McGookey