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7 Foreclosure Horror Stories (And One Possible Win)

Around the country, families are being tossed out of their homes with astonishing regularity, with local law enforcement enlisted to do the bidding of big banks.

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“It took me three years to convert it into the way it looks now, I did a lot of wiring, tore down all the walls, gave up my social life completely because I was dedicated to do this, because this is like the American Dream, to own property, so it was very exciting,” Spears said.

To make matters worse, it turns out that Wells Fargo wasn't even the owner of the note, but merely the servicer. And then, when the foreclosure did go through, the home was sold to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (commonly known as Freddie Mac) for all of $500. Yet Spears wasn't able to modify his mortgage to stay in his home. “I was willing to pay way more than $500,” Spears said. “What kind of justice is that?”

Take Back the Land Rochester, Occupy Rochester and others are fighting to get Spears back in his home—there's a petition you can sign.

3.Threatening Phone Calls in Waterford, Michigan

After a car accident  Kathryn Nava wound up on disability and had trouble making her mortgage payments. She had a friend who was willing to help her make her back payments, but that friend wanted to see a payment history before giving her the money. Nava called her mortgage lender to request that history—and was told it would cost her $50 per hour, and take 90 days to receive it.

So she tried again, calling the president of the company. She got a voicemail response that shocked her so much she recorded it and saved it.

 

“Let me enlighten you, Kathy. First of all, there's nothing in your contract with us says we owe you any history, now, next year, five years from now or the next time...I've begun foreclosure today. I bet you're sorry now that you made that phone call. I don't need to put up with your crap, OK?...Bottom line, I'm doing nothing for you now.”

Indeed, she did end up losing her home.

4. Illegal Eviction in Los Angeles

Eduardo Acosta and his family had won their case—a judge ruled that Green Century Investment Group/IndyMac had no right to foreclose on the family, that they'd filed fraudulent paperwork.

A month later, the local sheriff posted an eviction notice to the family anyway.

This came on the heels of an audit of California foreclosures by the San Francisco County Recorder, which found that 99 percent of the foreclosures examined had “ irregularities,” and there were clear violations of state law in 84 percent of them.

Acosta had applied for a mortgage modification after his payment shot up to $2,000 a month, his wife fell ill, and his monthly income plummeted. But while the bank reviewed his modification request, it also began foreclosure proceedings—a common enough process that it has a name, “dual tracking.” There's a bill in the Senate that aims to ban the practice and only allow lenders to proceed with foreclosure after working with borrowers. This process all-too-often allows for “accidental” foreclosures, where one side of the company forecloses on a home that another department is ostensibly working to help the family keep.

Occupy LA posted a call for help for the Acosta family after their eviction notice. “I’m sure there are a lot of people going through this,” Acosta said. “Let’s step up and help each other out.”

The Acostas are still in their home as of the latest report, but keeping them there has required a constant fight.