Daily Archives: July 28, 2013


Demonstrators picket San Marino home of Wells Fargo CFO

Demonstrators picket San Marino home of Wells Fargo CFO

Protesters angered over home foreclosures gathered to picket in front of the San Marino home of a Wells Fargo executive Saturday, testing a recently adopted city ordinance banning such demonstrations.

The act of civil disobedience by about 70 protesters resulted in no arrests, San Marino police Sgt. Tim Tebbetts said. The crowd promptly dispersed once police announced via loudspeaker that the gathering was declared an unlawful assembly.

The protest, organized by the activist group Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment in partnership with other nonprofit organizations, took place in front of the home of Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer Timothy Sloan. The home has been picketed twice before, in October 2011 and in April 2012.

“Predatory lender, criminal offender,” shouted the protesters as they stood in the street holding signs and banners. “Wells Fargo, shame on you.”


Bank pays its attorneys with Hardest Hit money and still takes Florida woman’s home

Bank pays its attorneys with Hardest Hit money and still takes Florida woman’s home

More than $17,000 in taxpayer money went to save a Pinellas County woman’s home from foreclosure through Florida’s key prevention program but her lender repossessed the property anyway after using some of the money to pay off its own attorneys.

Sandra Morales, 68, received $17,102 from Florida’s $1 billion Hardest Hit program. Of that, her lender, Florida Central Credit Union, used $4,600 to pay its own attorneys’ fees and “other expenses,” according to court documents. A final foreclosure judgment of $184,292 awarded in April in favor of the credit union included another $4,462 in attorney’s fees.

On Wednesday, the credit union bought the house back at a final foreclosure auction for $72,900.
Although Morales was eligible to receive more money from the Hardest Hit fund, the credit union stopped participating in the program, cutting her off from additional funding.

“They will flip it,” said Morales, a 20-year former FEMA employee who traveled the country helping victims of major disasters. “They have already made money on it and took Hardest Hit money and got the house.”

The Palm Beach Post wrote about Morales’ struggle to keep her home in a May story about how the Hardest Hit funds can be used to pay lender attorneys’ fees but not those of homeowners.

The Treasury Department determined in 2010 that legal aid for borrowers was not allowed under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. One of Florida’s original proposals to use Hardest Hit money was rejected because it included $25 million for legal counseling and representation for homeowners.

“Even though it’s a good-intentioned program, it is a funnel to the banks,” Morales’ attorney Rory Rohan said in the May article. “The end result seems to be the banks get the money and the homeowner doesn’t get the house.”

– See more at: http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/realtime/2013/07/26/bank-uses-hardest-hit-money-to-pay-off-its-attorneys-and-still-takes-florida-woman%e2%80%99s-home/#sthash.VMQZLOwN.dpuf


Boca Raton homeowner wins multi-million dollar foreclosure suit after legal misstep

Boca Raton homeowner wins multi-million dollar foreclosure suit after legal misstep

A Boca Raton homeowner whose waterfront mansion has been in foreclosure since 2008 had her case voluntarily dismissed by her lender Thursday in Palm Beach County court after a legal misstep during trial.


Because the case is so old, homeowner attorney Roy Oppenheim said the bank may run into trouble trying to refile it. There is a 5-year statute of limitations on foreclosures.

Homeowner Valerie Kaan bought the 13,000-square-foot home in 2003 for $8.4 million. Her loan was for $6.8 million from Washington Mutual Bank, which was later purchased by JP Morgan Chase. The outstanding balance as of Thursday was up to about $10 million with late fees, taxes and insurance, Oppenheim said.

“I always tell my clients that a good settlement is usually in everyone’s best interest but in this case, for some reason, the bank did not recognize their own foibles,” Oppenheim said. “Maybe this will send a message to banks that when people come to the table in good faith with a reasonable offer, they should more seriously consider it.”

Oppenheim said Kaan was in negotiations for a short sale and loan modification for two years before negotiations broke down.

Chase declined comment.

At Thursday’s foreclosure trial, Oppenheim said the bank tried to introduce the original “wet ink” note, which had allegedly been lost previous to the 2008 foreclosure filing.

But because the bank did not amend its pleadings to include the note or notify the borrower and the court that it existed, the move violated civil procedure, Oppenheim said.

– See more at: http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/realtime/2013/07/26/boca-raton-homeowner-wins-multi-million-dollar-foreclosure-suit-after-legal-misstep/#sthash.2jMtXG4M.knNpSKZt.dpuf