Foreclosure Defense: Wells Fargo — unsettling disclosures



In the course of defending numerous foreclosure actions around the United States, we have come across some fairly horrendous fact patterns, but to date, that described here (a true story, by the way) takes the cake hands down. The actions of Wells Fargo and its associated mortgage broker Premier Mortgage Funding can only be described as the ultimate in corporate greed and arrogance. As the matter is now the subject of a formal claim, we cannot reveal the name of the innocent victim, but can and do disclose the identities of the guilty perpetrators of this most insidious scam.

The victim is a single young woman who was looking to purchase a home. After viewing several properties, she decided on a particular home and initiated the loan application process to see if she qualified for an amount of financing needed to purchase the property. Loan application documents naming several potential lenders, including Wells Fargo, were filled out through Premier Mortgage Funding. However, in the days that followed and within the legally prescribed period to decline the transaction, she decided for her own reasons not to pursue the purchase. She notified the broke, and signed a Release of Purchase Agreement. These events occurred in late September, 2007.

Six months later on March 21, 2008, she received a call from a representative of Wells Fargo advising her that she was being placed in foreclosure, as Wells Fargo claimed that she was in default on a mortgage which Wells Fargo had placed in her name on the property which she had decided not to purchase in the fall of 2007. She advised Wells Fargo that she had properly declined to go through with the purchase, had signed a release of the purchase agreement. However, Wells Fargo stated that they were in possession of a mortgage in her name for the subject property, were proceeding with the foreclosure, and that Wells Fargo had placed the loan and foreclosure on her credit report.

Although she persisted in her attempts to rectify the matter informally, Wells Fargo did nothing but stall, make excuses, and eventually do nothing. Wells Fargo first promised to rectify the matter “within 3-4 days”, then “within 6-8 weeks”, with eventually nothing being done at all other than Wells Fargo admitting to her that they had “no documents on this file”, but that Wells Fargo still would not remove the loan and the negative information on her credit report.

What apparently took place was that Wells Fargo had presold the mortgage at or about the time that the victim filled out the loan application, and obviously sold the “mortgage” without any closing taking place as the victim had canceled the transaction and no closing ever occurred. Notwithstanding that there was no valid purchase contract, no executed loan documents, and no closing, Wells Fargo created a fraudulent mortgage which it apparently sold to a third party; created a fraudulent foreclosure on property which the victim did not even own and which was not in her name; and created and published fraudulent negative information on the victim’s credit report. In the ultimate act of corporate arrogance, Wells Fargo continues to refuse to cause the negative information to be removed from the victim’s credit history and insists that the victim is in default on the (phantom) mortgage.

Given that Wells Fargo is one of the largest financial institutions in the United States and given that Wells Fargo perpetrated this fraud upon an innocent victim obviously as part of a scheme involving resale or assignment of phony mortgages to third parties, it is more than likely that the victim here was not the only victim of the Wells Fargo Fraud Machine. The only question at this point is how widespread was this fraudulent operation, and what will it take to cause Wells Fargo and its co-conspirators to cease their illegal and unlawful conduct.

Stay tuned. We are sure there is more to come.

Jeff Barnes, Esq.

7 Responses

  1. Anyone ever see Wells Fargo’s “Broker In Agreement” OMY, I believe I have been correct in my research. My named lender on Note does not appear on my credit report except a notation that they pulled my credit report. Wells Fargo is listed as my mortgage creditor stating my account was opened in 06/06 which is when I refinanced. I found this agreement quite interesting due my named Lender, obviously they acted as just a “broker”

    Heres the link to the application I found. The internet is a wonderful weapon

  2. How can Wells Fargo get away with this? We refinanced two years ago and apparently (we were notified only by statements) WF took over the loan. We made payments but each amount we paid seemed to be SUBTRACTED. We called and called but it was like talking to Martians. They stated we were FIVE MONTHS behind and sent us a forebearance agreement to sign that obligated us to pay over $9,000 in one lump sum???? Our lawyer called and wrote. We continued to make payments until I lost my job and missed ONE payment. They immediately foreclosed, stating we were six months behind. We are fighting the foreclosure of course and are ready to go in front of a judge with proof that we have been paying after the date they say we are in arears. Now WF has postponed the court date three times, probably because they realized they are at fault. Who knows? In the meantime we have to pay for a lawyer and suffer the stress and humiliation of foreclosure through no fault of our own.

  3. I have been a victim of Wells Fargo as well. They have turned me over to collection agencies, when I call them to tell them that I have proof that the account was paid, the local branch actually told me “Pay it again and we will leave you alone.” The most horrific one though is that I had a car loan w/ them and refinanced it to another bank in August of 2002. Starting in 2003 the have been putting an average of 3-4 late payments and 2 repos per year on my credit report. I have disputed this and been told WF can verify the information, I have filed a complaint with the OCC, and talked w/ their home executive office. They tell me they will remove it, but never do, then come back and say they can prove it, and for 7 years I have asked to see the proof, they will not let me. Finally they told me if I want to see the proof I would need to get a lawyer and subpena it. I hear this is consumer fraud.

  4. My senior citizen mother is a victim of an illegal, fraudulent, oppressive foreclosure by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.. Have you established a relationship with victims of, or any former employees of Wells Fargo Bank that would know of the entities’ practices that would be the evidentiary foundation for RICO predicates.

    Yours truly,

    David Chey
    Email Address:
    Telephone Number (949) 262-1499 (best time to call between 8 A.M. – 2 P.M. P.S.T.)

  5. Wow, I’m not finding much hope in all these reading on Wells Fargo. My dilema is really, in my opinion, bizzaro. I received “formal notice” that my loan modification was granted (dated January 28, 2008) and my new payment was to start April 1, 2008. Constant contact with the lender to make sure payments were received, all good so far. then I get a letter I’m in the arrears of over $7,200.00! Call them up in the beginning of July 2008 and was told my mortgage modification was not approved. So far to date, no satisfactory resolution even though I evidenced all payment history, copy of approval letter, letter from my bank……zilch nothing. Forget being advised to follow up with the “manager” of any particular department….manager means voice mail over there at Wells Fargo. Numerous voice mails to the “manager” of loss mitigation were left per day for days after days after days and to date…you guessed it, no return call. Hey wait, I lied, I did get a response in the form of a letter threatening foreclosure, wow, generous of them huh LOL. I’m not stressing this, I am an employed paralegal and as such I have free legal representation aka my boss. I like a good mission, hope WF is ready for me, I”m venomous

  6. Sometimes it’s the small victories that provide true satisfaction in life.

    Good going.. Make the pay at every turn

  7. We recently had over $20k in damages due to lightening and our insurance company USAA was great!!! They wrote a check to us, the contractor and Wells Fargo, our mortgage company. We called WF and they said to send the check certified mail and they would sign it and send it back. We did just that and once they received it we called and they said that they would not release the money until we fixed the damages. This was a week ago and we’re still in shock. We’ve had to withdraw money from our 401k to pay for the damages in order to get refunded what we pay out. The joke is on them however. They sent the check back to us to have us sign it but my husband told him that he would keep it until we were done with the work and once they inspected it and signed off on in then he would send the check. At least this way they won’t draw any interest off of our hardship.

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