Warning: Desperate Homeowners Targets for ‘Mass Joinder’ Scams
- 27 Sep 2011
- Written by Katharine Russ
RUSS REPORT - Imagine opening your mail to find that the bank you faithfully paid your mortgage payments to for years was suddenly claiming an arrearage in payments for almost the entire time you lived in the home.
Otis Cooper Jr, legal investigator for 18 years, who investigates civil family and criminal cases for attorneys and corporations and a Congressional Candidate for the 29th District of California, opened his mail on September 21, 2011 and was stunned to find a letter from Real Time Resolutions (RTR), a collection agency, informing him that he was 54 months in arrears, totaling $76,735.66, on a home his family purchased 61 months prior.
Cooper’s mortgage lender is Wells Fargo Bank aka American Home Mortgage. He says his original loan was for $635,000- that’s $508,000 on a first mortgage and $127,000 on a second. Both loans were done through Option 1 Mortgage Co, owned by Wells Fargo and American Home.
In 2008, Cooper was seriously injured at work when a 60 lb box fell on his head. Because he was unable to work, Cooper sought to modify his mortgages in early 2009. American Home Mortgage approved the loan modification on April 1, 2010.
By all appearances, Wells Fargo or its subsidiary sold the “charged off” second mortgage to RTR without advising Cooper of its actions. As well, it appears as if Wells Fargo never processed the loan modifications properly that Cooper applied for and was approved for. He now finds himself saddled with $750,000 of debt against a home that was appraised for $380,000.
Cooper has no idea what happened to all the payments he made between May 2007 and September 2011 which totaled $76,735.66 but he does know that he could lose his home if these issues are not resolved.
Wells Fargo is one of the many banks currently being sued for, among other things, fraud, predatory mortgage lending, illegal foreclosures and Breach of Fiduciary Duty and is, or has been, a named Defendant in over 22 lawsuits. It joins Wachovia, Bank of America, Countrywide, JP Morgan/Chase, Washington Mutual, Aurora Loan Service, Lehman Brothers, GMAC, Ally Bank, One West/IndyMac, Citibank, Litton and HSBC on the list of lawsuits against financial institutions.
Because of the massive number of foreclosures, and attempts to profit from them, the State of California has sued 14 agencies/ corporations, including law firms and individual attorneys, alleging fraud through deceptive marketing practices via invitations sent to distressed homeowners in the throes of potential foreclosures.
Cooper received one such invitation from a California law firm giving the appearance of a “class action lawsuit” not the ‘mass joinder’ case it actually was … where prospective plaintiffs must contribute, sometimes as much as $10,000 or more with no guarantee of saving their homes.
Invitations, such as this one, prey on desperate homeowners who are unaware of sales pitches such as, “You may become a joined named plaintiff in a significant lawsuit that will seek, among other things, to void your note(s), to give you your home free and clear and/or award you relief and monetary damages.”
Cooper is certain that many of his constituents are falling prey to potential schemes out of fear of losing their homes. He has heard several horror stories of “up front” fees charged by attorneys and other agencies who simply took money and did nothing for their clients leaving them to fend for themselves.
Because of his first hand experience with alleged predator banks, Cooper and his team of loan forensic investigators have partnered with CFG Financial Solutions in Glendale to provide information FREE OF CHARGE to Angelenos who are facing foreclosures.
Cooper promised, “We will look at a home owners loan documents at NO charge to the homeowner. We will explore viable options on how to handle their situations. Sometimes a loan modification, short sale, or litigation could be a homeowner’s best option. We will discuss any other options the homeowner feels they might have and answer any questions they may have. ”
Julio Gonzalez, President of CFG Financial Solutions, added, “I have seen a variety of markets in my tenure since 1994, but I have never experienced the amount of fraud these markets are now creating.
“I have a hard time understanding why it takes a bank up to two years to modify a loan and suspect that TARP funds contribute to that reason.
“Lenders are in no hurry to help the consumer and by the time they get around to it, the consumer has amassed excessive debt and doesn’t want to pay for the loans. Ultimately, those are the people who will lose their homes.
“My company, along with Cooper’s team, will endeavor to help anyone who earnestly needs help based on real financial figures.”
Tags: foreclosure, California, mass joinder, scams, DOJ, Department of Justice
Vol 9 Issue 77
Pub: Sept 27, 2011