Sacramento homeowner loses house twice to [mistaken] foreclosure

Oh bother, and Chase CEO Jamie Dimon says that no-one has lost their home due to paperwork errors.  WRONG!

SACRAMENTO, CA – Miriam Lord lost her home of 19 years to a bank error, then lost it again while the bank tried to correct its mistake.

“It was a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing,” said Lord’s attorney, Paige Hibbert.

Lord fell behind in her payments to Chase Home Finance two years ago following a divorce and personal injury, but was approved to enter into a trial loan modification program in March 2010.

“If you make your new payments timely…we will not conduct a foreclosure sale,” the letter from Chase promised.

Home auctioned during trial period

Lord dutifully made four monthly payments by mail and in person at the Chase branch near her home beginning in April 2010.

When Lord called Chase in July 2010 to ask about progress on a permanent loan modification, a bank representative told her the house had been sold at auction.

Fannie Mae, which owned the loan serviced by Chase, began eviction proceedings a month later.

Homeowner evicted

Lord fought the eviction on the grounds the foreclosure was improper, but a Sacramento judge ordered her out of the house no later than Feb. 1, 2011.

Lord and her teenage son moved into a rental house at the beginning of the year.

Loan payments misapplied; bank realizes mistake

Chase bank statements later revealed the four trial loan modification payments had been applied to the wrong account.

Property records suggest Chase and Fannie Mae recognized the error in early March, when the trustee’s deed upon sale was formally rescinded.

Foreclosure round two

On March 12, Chase sent Lord a letter notifying her that her loan modification had been approved, but the bank sent the letter to the house where she no longer lived.

Lord, of course, made no mortgage payments because she didn’t know the house was hers again.

Warning letters came in the spring, followed by notice of a new foreclosure auction scheduled for Aug. 4.

Vacant house vandalized

Hibbert said the bank’s letters were eventually forwarded to Lord’s new address, but by the time she got them, the house was already a wreck.

Following Lord’s eviction, the house was vandalized, fixtures were stolen and there was evidence squatters had taken up residence.

“In essence what (Chase) said was ‘here, have a piece of garbage back.  Now you’re the owner.  Start making payments again,'” Hibbert said.

Hibbert is suing Chase for $1 million in general damages plus $5 million in punitive damages claiming negligence, unlawful business practices and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Chase spokeswoman Eileen Leveckis said she could not comment on the circumstances surrounding the double foreclosure because of the pending litigation.

Adding insult to injury

Sacramento County code enforcement filed a complaint against Lord in July about the shabby condition of the home because she is still the owner of record.

The Aug. 4 auction was postponed for unknown reasons and according to, no new date has been set.

Lord said she has no interest in returning to the only house she ever owned.

“It used to be a home and it’s no longer a home,” Lord said. “It’s just got a lot of bad memories.”

Full story

Chase closes long-time customer account for no reason

Another story that attests to the mysterious and often backwards ways of Chase.  The story calls the seemingly random closing of good standing customers accounts for no reason (that Chase will give) a mistake, but I can’t help but wonder if Chase just determined the customers weren’t profitable and decided to cut them loose.

MONROE, Wash. – Mike and Meagan Farrell have been customers at their neighborhood bank on Highway 2 in Monroe for six years. First, when it was Washington Mutual and later, when it became Chase.

They’re on a first name basis with the tellers and managers.

“It was our personal banking place, you know, one stop banking,” said Mike Farrell.

The Farrells not only had their checking and savings accounts at Chase; they had individual retirement accounts there, even a savings account for their 10-year-old daughter.

They had tens of thousands of dollars in the bank. And they were happy customers.

“We were considered platinum, premium customers,” said Meagan Farrell.

Then on Saturday, August 27, Meagan walked to the mailbox.

“I went and got the mail, and I opened it up, and I was mortified by what I read,” she said.

Account closing

It was a letter from Chase.

“It says here [in the letter], ‘We are writing to notify you that we are closing your deposit accounts in accordance with your Chase deposit agreement terms and conditions,’” said Mike Farrell.

It was a one-page form letter that said, “Your account will be closed 10 business days from the date of this letter.”

The letter set off a cascade of problems the Farrells are still recovering from. It instructed them to stop using their ATM debit cards and destroy them. Missing among all of the fine print and instructions was any reason for Chase’s drastic actions.

So the Farrells called the phone number on the letter and talked to customer service.

“They just told us, ‘We’re closing your account,’ and they said that they could not give us a reason why,” said Mike.

It was a weekend. So the Farrells figured their friends at the local branch in Monroe would be able to sort it all out on Monday. Yet when they arrived at the bank they’d always counted on, they were in for another shock.

“Our accounts were already frozen and they had already bounced all of our outstanding checks. Even though there was sufficient funds to cover everything,” Meagan Farrell said.

The Farrells say the bankers were sympathetic but said that the decision had been made at the corporate level.

“They also seemed confused. The manager said they usually only see this sort of thing in cases of check fraud, which they knew that we weren’t committing any check fraud,” said Meagan.

Read more …

Could this be why WaMu failed

The urban dictionary has an interesting definition for WaMu.  They probably should have checked before going with “WaMu.” 🙂

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