7 Foreclosure Horror Stories (And One Possible Win)
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5. Sent to the Psychiatric Ward in Lodi, Wisconsin
An Associated Bank representative helped send Bill Schroeder to a psychiatric ward for 72 hours after a telephone argument over Schroeder's missed mortgage payments.
Schroeder told the Wisconsin State Journal that during their conversation the bank rep called him “worthless” and said the bank didn't care what happened to him as long as it got its money.
"I made an offhand response," Schroeder said. "I said, ‘Maybe I'll just go get my gun and shoot myself and you can have my life insurance.'"
They hung up and Schroeder made a trip to the grocery store. When he got back, a police car was in his driveway to take him to the hospital.
The bank rep was apparently slightly more concerned about Schroeder's health than he let on and had called the police. Yet it didn't seem to occur to the bank that perhaps the way to show real concern for homeowners' mental health would be to not make threats in the first place.
The Schroeder family wound up selling their home in a short sale, which left them still owing the bank $31,256 to make up the difference between their mortgage and the sale price of the home, which was down $66,000 after the bursting of the housing bubble. They estimated to the State Journal that they'll be making payments on a house they don't have anymore for the next seven years.
6. Disappearing Documents in Ohio
Gina Brooks and her husband applied for their first mortgage modification with Wells Fargo's ASC Mortgage servicer when they were only a couple of months behind on their payments. They were denied the first time and chose to go through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy—which would allow them to keep their home and keep paying their mortgage. “I had lived in this house for 14 years,” she said. “I didn't want to lose my home.”
In July 2010, after the bankruptcy, she submitted another modification request and was again denied. The money she and her husband were paying on their mortgage alone was leaving them little to live on, and they finally decided to switch to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which would leave them without their home. In a last-ditch effort, she wrote to her mortgage company, and then called in when she didn't hear back.
“I was told at that time they had no record whatsoever of anything I had ever sent in since I started in 2009,” Brooks said. No record of her repeated denials, her requests, her bankruptcies. Nothing. No one was familiar with her case.
Brooks had already started packing her home when a friend suggested she contact her senator. Through an intervention by Sherrod Brown (D-OH)'s office, she was offered a full refinance on her home by Wells Fargo—but after two years of fighting with the lender, her refinance added $31,000 to her mortgage. Brooks said she's grateful to have her home, but frustrated to be paying interest on interest. “Why did it take me two years, two bankruptcies and all of this headache when they could've done it in one month?”
7. Possible Victory in Minneapolis
Monique White's home was the site of one of the first Occupy-related foreclosure defenses last November, when she refused to be bought off by Freddie Mac's “cash for keys” offer. That would've given her a small reimbursement for voluntarily giving up her home after it had been repossessed by U.S. Bank and sold to Freddie Mac—without her knowledge.
Neighborhoods Organizing for Change had already been working with White, but they reached out to Occupy and the group responded, sending occupiers to camp out on White's property to prevent eviction.