A South Florida couple claims Wells Fargo engaged in fraud when it accepted thousands of dollars in exchange for a promise of a permanent loan modification never delivered.
The federal lawsuit centers on the issue of a Trial Period Plan (TPP).
When Jade and George Giourgas bought their home in 2002, they never imagined years later they’d been fending off a foreclosure.
“This was our dream to have a house,” Giourgas said. “This is home to us. I don’t know what else to say. This is hard.”
In February 2009, George Giourgas was laid off from his employment.
“When my husband lost his job, I couldn’t make the payments,” she said.
In the years that followed, while the couple looked for relief under various banking problems, George Giourgas suffered a heart attack and their son developed a chronic medical condition.
“We started getting bills for all the different doctor’s services,” she said.
Juggling it all on a teacher’s salary was tough.
“It’s been very stressful,” Jade Giourgas said. “It’s just been very overwhelming. Very overwhelming.”
THE TPP – TRIAL PERIOD PLAN
Then they received an offer from Wells Fargo called a “Trial Period Plan.” The letter begins by stating, “Wells Fargo Home Mortgage wants to continue to work with you to modify your mortgage.” According to the letter, the family “must make new monthly ‘trial period payments’ in place of (their) normal monthly mortgage payments” at a little more than $2,000 and “after all trial period payments are made, (their) mortgage will be permanently modified.”
“It felt like it was Christmas, you know, I cried. And we even sent the payments way ahead of time,” Giourgas said. “We were just very excited.”
But she said after making those three payments, and then several more, Wells Fargo worked to reschedule the foreclosure sale and no permanent loan modification was granted.
“It felt like the rug got pulled from under us. Because of the fact that I’ve given them everything and they still said, ‘No, you’re denied,'” she said. “It was very frustrating. Because you’re going through this modification process, you’re doing what the bank asks you to do because we’re told to trust the bank.”
“These are not the same banks we had growing up,” said Bruce Jacobs, an attorney who specializes in real estate and debt litigation. “The days of trusting banks are over.”
Links to cases on this legal issue:
—Wigod v. Wells Fargo Bank
—Young v. Wells Fargo Bank
—Corvello v. Wells Fargo Bank
—Topchian v JP Morgan Chase Bank
—Neil v. Wells Fargo
—Bloch v. Wells Fargo
—Senator v. JP Morgan Chase