From Gator Bradshaw: New “pretender lender” Tactic — Beware of Attempts to Get Borrowers to Verify Non-Existent Obligation

Fellow travelers,

I just had my first incident and wanted to warn everyone.
New client comes to see me after just being served. Wells (not original lender) sends them a “package” of documents after they are 30 days late telling them all about their efforts to work with them and prevent foreclosure. Enclosed was a letter to be returned to Wells verifying the balance. Of course this may also serve to verify the debt to this new lender. I am going to attack it the same way, but I have a feeling that when I get to court they are going to wave around that letter.
Just wanted to put everyone on notice to watch out for similar letters.

Also, Neil please post a warning on your Blog for folks not to sign anything.

Gator Bradshaw Esq.

10 Responses

  1. Hi, I am hoping that maybe you can help. A friend of mine in Georgia contacted me about a complaint she received from her lender, Bank of America. She thought it was a foreclosure complaint, but it is actually a complaint asking the court to allow them to correct a “scrivener’s error.” Apparently Bank of America failed to properly attach and/or mention the legal description of the property at the time the loan was made back in 2003.
    Can they now go back and correct this mistake after all this time has passed? Does she have a basis to object? If so, under what Georgia or federal statutes? She is delinquent in her payments and is trying to get a modification. My guess is that they are just trying to clean up their mistake before they end up initiating a foreclosure so that there won’t be any problems.
    Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Everyone beware,

    I recently applied for and FINALLY received a VA loan thru/from Suntrust Mortgage. Making a long story short–
    the loan officer wanted a list of my clients, you see, I am an attorney !
    I went around and around with her over the issue. I would have been disbarred for disclosing my clients names, addresses. I’m a criminal attorney. How absurd—

    Banks are now mining information from customers . The new world is selling, trading information.

  3. i need help from any one out there that put me in touch with a law firm or lawyer who is or will start a class action law suit against this company called ahmsi, they have changed my notel, payments, escrow, legal description, trustee’s name, and they will not respond to 18 certificed letters requesting who hold my note, what is my payoff, what is the legal description on my note, name and address of the person on the deed of trust, copies of all escrow and note payments from 2-2006 through 3-2010, they wanted to mod, my note, however demanded a fee of $74,000, and if i did not comply they would start foreclosure notice contact me any time lwalker1230@peoplepc.com

  4. I have been following this site since late march, when I discovered the 3year extende wright of rescission.OMG
    I read and read article after article and came to the conclusion that I was in fact steered into a predatory loan.The GFE was hand delivered by My daughter 3 hours from the closing, it was stamped oct/26/06 the same day. i had been lied to and went to closing and signed up for the worst kind of loan I actually never heard of-Interest only jumbo with a 225k piggy back HELOC. which buy the way was the real reason I thought i would be ok, NOT TRue. On the 14th month Countrywide suspended my 02/06/08 HELOC 1st ding on my near perfect credit score which “was” average 798. I am self employed in the Remodeling and Renovation Industry. In June of 08 WAMU suspended my BLOC, ouch. Well it has been tough as almost all of my credit has been reduced to zero and I finally stopped paying all unsecured debt.
    I found an Attorney through the Atlanta Bar Assoc, and we sent Countrywide A Notice of Rescission, which they ignored, I was prepaired for that as this seems to be the BANKSTERS PROTOCAL. The servicer of the loan signed for the letter on May 19, 2009. At this point I stopped paying on the note because I had rescinded the loan and from what I understand, the law says weather or not if the note holder makes any affirmitive action or not it is a statute and it is not up for arguement in state court. So we sent a default letter of the 3 year extended right of rescission, and we havenot received the certified signed receipt as of Aug 20/09. We are prepairing a Declaratory Judgment/Quite Title action against the new servicer Bof A. I received a Notice To Accelerate the mortgage and if I do not cure the “default-which is either true or false,I think the latter” The Banksters are filing on September 02, 2009, and what a surprise they will find. Georgia is a non judical state, however they have to record the forcloseure in the County Clerks office and then advertise for 4 weeks prior to sale. I am not sure if the way to initiate the forclosure or not ,but I a know they do not have to see a Judge to get started.
    I have ten days untill they file in the clerks office, and I would love tobe there when they attempt to file.
    The law states that if the note holder does not reply that in its self is a violation of the “TILA”. It is going to be very interesting as this unfolds and I wish I had moer resoures to yell to all the people who do not know there rights and they are having their homes stolen right from under there feet like a rug pulled out while you are standing on it. More to come as this unfolds.

  5. Steve,

    How did you situation work out? What county were you in?

  6. Michael Castrillo we would be very interested in speaking with the lady formerly of Option One/AHMSI possibly to do some consulting work for our firm. Please have her contact me directly if she is interested at tneely@carmanlegal.com

  7. I am running in circles trying to get the attention of SOMEONE who will listen and understand my circumstances with a REFI.

    My wife and I closed a loan via a broker in Oregon who was not licensed in MO where we reside.

    The loan was for $750K. Terms were 2-28/5.375%/adjust w/libor for 28.

    We got our first look at the docs the evening we closed with a “roaming Notary” who closed us in the children’s gym of a McDonalds across town.

    We received NO explanations as to the note, NO explanations as to the disclosures, costs, etc..

    When we asked the Notary simply said we had “three days to accept the money or forget it.”

    I learned in October that there were approximately 11 violations of TILA and RESPA as to the closing docs.

    Further I learned neither the Oregon Broker nor Fremont were licensed in MO and the license number was ‘lifted’, (a term used by the MO DOF when I called them to find out the association of the license number and name of holder. The numbers matched neither the lender nor the broker.

    At this point my mortgage payment is being demanded to be paid by Three banks, Fremont, Wells Fargo, and HSBC, via Litton Loan Servicing.
    I thought we had a new loan servicer but it turns out Litton admitted it hired Titanium Solutions to offer us a Modification. Then, two weeks ago we received a new notice of Modification, an offer to pay off in cash for $475,300, AND a notice of Foreclosure,.. all in the same day!

    Still, all the time since October, NO response to my mail, email, phone calls as to the RESPA and TILA violations nor the license violation.

    DOF MO said it could be “jail time” for the license fraud.

    There was a large amount marked ‘POC’, Points, Discount fees, and a herd of other charges most of which I found to be legitimate, but I now learn the points and the discount fees and POC amounts are not legitimate.

    I need guidance. Foreclosure is scheduled in 18 days.

  8. Neil,

    I’m from New Orleans and YOU saved my home. I’ll send you the docs if your interested BUT right now:

    After Katrina there was one lady at Option One/ AHMSI that did all she could to help us without breaching her fiduciary obligations to her employer. THEY FIRED HER. She’s an insider and would make a great consultant to some law firm out there but needs a job, maybe with a good mortgage company/ servicer in Southern California. She’s a great asset and on our side:

    “Dear friends,

    I recently found out I’m being laid off. My last date w/ the company will be April 15th. Though I’ll receive a modest severance amount, I’ll be needing to find another job shortly thereafter. And, in order to receive that severance, I must remain employed through April 15th. I’ve been with this company for 10 years. So, as you can imagine, I’m a bit out of practice with searching for a job. So, I’m reaching out to all of you, in the event you know someone who knows someone… 🙂

    My resume is attached. I need to stay in southern California. I have 12 years experience in the mortgage business, and have done everything from management, project management, public speaking and research to extensive business/technical/legal writing in our Legal Department (my current role). My talents, and thus my passion, are for both writing and public speaking. I needn’t stay in the mortgage business, either. I am available to work anytime after April 15th.

    Feel free to share my resume with anyone you believe may know of work suitable for my experience.”

    Her resume:

    OBJECTIVE To find a career where my training, knowledge, and technical skills can be utilized in a legal environment with stability and opportunity for growth.

    EMPLOYMENT

    American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. (formerly Option One Mortgage Corp.,
    September 2008- Paralegal III
    Present Respond to written complaints from attorneys, regulators and government entities
    Responsible for the review, research and formal written response to regulatory complaints and inquiries, which include mortgage payment misapplications, foreclosure matters, bankruptcy matters, escrow accounts, all of which pertain to mortgage loan servicing.
    Responsible for directly assisting in-house counsel with legal matters pertaining to mortgage loan servicing, loan origination, lien reinstatements and settlement negotiations
    Appear in Small Claims and Depositions, representing company, as a subject matter expert

    September 2007- Manager, Office of Customer Advocacy & Home Preservation Office
    September 2008 Oversee day to day operations of Office of Customer Advocacy & Home Preservation Office
    Instrumental in the creation of the Home Preservation Office, a loss mitigation team dedicated to the non-profit organizations, consumer advocacy groups, Attorney Generals and Regulators.
    Manage the initiation & maintenance of relationships with NACA, ACORN, NFA, and many other non-profit agencies by way of proactive & open communication
    Initiated and maintained relationship with the Massachusetts Division of Banks, including
    Traveled nationwide to participate in face-to-face loss mitigation.
    Presented, face-to-face, company’s commitment to home ownership to large audiences of housing counselors, regulators and members of Attorney Generals office.
    Manage resolution of highly escalated complaints of entire team

    July 2006 – Project Business Manager
    September Analysis of escalated complaints enterprise wide
    Analysis & trending of all Type 1 complaint (those from a regulatory agency or attorney).
    Analysis & trending of all Type 2 complaints ( those that do not appear to have direct legal or regulatory ramifications and are written by the borrower)
    Analysis & trending of complaints posted on 1 of various websites related to Option One and 11 competitors
    Analysis & trending of all Federal Trade Commission complaints
    Quarterly presentation of all complaint analysis to executives. Ability to tailor complex information to suit appropriate audience.
    Used monthly reports and experiential data, problems & process gaps are identified and raised with the appropriate department. Subsequent management of corrective action.
    Liaison & business relationship manager for ACORN and other non-profit customer advocacy groups.
    Resolution of escalated complaints with potential for media coverage.
    Extensive technical writing, focused on Legal & Compliance requirements

    July 2005 – Specialist, Office of Customer Advocacy
    July 2006 Resolution of executive level complaints
    Focus on resolving complaints completely & quickly, within the scope of compliance & possible out of scope of traditional procedures
    Extensive technical writing, focused on Legal & Compliance requirements
    Complex problem resolution
    Extensive follow-up skills, written & verbal communication skills & ability to multi-task.

    August 2004 – Servicing, Customer Resolution/Research Supervisor
    July 2005 Supervise team of 12 Research Representatives
    Responsible for the performance and development of those associates.
    Knowledge of processes related to origination, servicing & default
    Six Sigma – Process mapping
    Answer Research Representatives questions related to department, policy procedures & performance.
    Interviewing, Training, mentoring, coaching, counseling and career pathing of associates
    Identify opportunities for process driven efficiencies and implement
    Facilitate communication between department and other departments or branches.
    Create and develop Standard Operating Procedures in order to offshore choice processes

    October 2002 – Servicing, Customer Resolution/Research Specialist
    December 2004 Research Type I & II complaints and provide written responses to State and Regulatory Agencies, Better Business Bureau, Attorneys, Attorneys General and borrowers
    In-depth research of Type I, Type II servicing and origination complaints and disputes
    Extensive business writing
    Mentor junior Research Representatives by answering technical questions, editing their outbound work, and providing feedback for both technical and personal development
    Prepared Research training materials for migration to India in association with Six Sigma philosophy
    Spent 1 month in India, assisting with the facilitation of training in the migration process

    February 1999 – Asset Control Supervisor
    October 2002 Supervise team of 6-11 Loan Counselors
    Responsible for the performance and development of those associates.
    Extensive knowledge of Alltel
    Administer Davox – predictive dialing system
    Thorough understanding of FDCPA
    Knowledge of loan modification programs: forbearance, short sale and deed in lieu.
    Resolve borrower complaint telephone calls & prevent further escalation of borrower issues.
    Perform account reviews to ensure counselors perform logical progressions of collection efforts.
    Review daily productivity and delinquency report to extract information in order to devise daily game plan.
    Follow-up on research issues with the respective internal department that have been either elevated by counselors or identified during the normal course of daily activities.
    Write and implement team workflow.
    In-depth understanding of Freddie Mac Early Indicator scoring model.
    In-depth knowledge of State Specific (PA, NH & MA) laws as they pertain to collection efforts & communication with borrowers.

    June 1998 City Mortgage Services, Costa Mesa, California
    – February 1999 Quality Control Specialist
    Developed and facilitated Quality Control function for default
    Designed and implemented quality control mechanism for the default department.
    Created policy and procedures and managed implementation thereof.
    Performed quality control audits on all loans 60-150+ days delinquent.
    Provided training of quality collections to junior department personnel in Dallas, TX and West Virginia, VA facilities.
    Represented entire default team in all audits of the company

    January 1997 Loss Mitigation Specialist
    – June 1998 Assisted borrowers in payment plans and modifications to avoid foreclosure, litigation or HUD claim.
    Portfolio management of mortgage loans in legal default with the primary goal to reduce losses.
    Prepared uncollectible loans for foreclosure and HUD claim process.

    EDUCATION Six Sigma [Qualtec] – Greenbelt, certified

    Riverside Community College – Riverside, California
    General education
    Dual Concentration: English and Business Administration
    GPA 3.0 Completed approximately 30 credits

    Irvine Valley College – Irvine, California
    General education
    Dual Concentration: English and Business Administration
    GPA 3.0 Completed approximately 20 credits

    Century 21 Real Estate Principles – Huntington Beach, California
    Real Estate Principles, in preparation to become a real estate agent

    WORK RELATED
    SKILLS MS Word, MS Excel, Alltel/MSP Director.
    Hard working, independent, detail oriented, resourceful.
    Excellent verbal and written communication skills.”

    Thanks for helping her if you can. We’ve had to make a habit here in New Orleans of thanking people who have helped us, and Neil, you’ve helped me save my (flooded but almost rebuilt) house. I can’t thank you enough. I’m doing my part and have put together a packet for my friends and neighbors to help them get started.

    And I send them here!

    Michael Castrillo
    New Orleans

  9. Neil, not sure how to get something straight to you, but hoping this might get your attention as I find it interesting. The following article discusses fdcpa in several different contexts, including in foreclosure and with references to past cases:

    http://www.fairdebtfaircredit.com/fair-debt-foreclosure-bankruptcy.html

    Mostly it says fdcpa doesn’t cover the actual foreclosure sale. *but* there is an interesting case that might be applicable:

    “The most recent circuit case to broach the issue of proceeding in rem, Piper v. Portnoff Law Assocs., Ltd., [FN40] seems to suggest that proceeding in rem is debt collection and subject to the FDCPA. However, Piper can be distinguished in several ways. Although the court states that “[i]f a collector were able to avoid liability under the FDCPA simply by choosing to proceed in rem rather than in personam, it would undermine the purpose of the FDCPA,” the facts differ from the non-judicial foreclosure of a security interest discussed in this article. [FN41]

    In Piper, a city engaged the defendant law firm to collect payment for overdue water and sewer obligations. The law firm sent multiple letters to the plaintiff requesting payment to be made directly to the law firm. [FN42] State statutes provided a lien to secure delinquent water obligations.

    The plaintiff’s house was scheduled for a sheriff’s sale when she filed suit. By attempting to collect a personal liability and requesting payment to be made directly to the law firm instead of to the city, the law firm subjected itself to the FDCPA. These facts differ from simply foreclosing on a security interest without seeking personal liability.

    In addition, the Third Circuit stated that “the issue for decision is whether PLA’s communications to Piper were communications by a ‘debt collector’ with a ‘consumer’ in ‘connection with the collection of a [debt.]”‘ [FN43] The defendant argued that the decision to eventually proceed in rem, after failing to collect personally from the plaintiff, removed its communications from the purview of the FDCPA. The Third Circuit ruled that it did not.”

    I know that the letters many are sending out want money sent to the lawyer/debt collector not the lender. The amount they want to not foreclose includes other costs other than to cover the security interest on the property.

  10. Gator –

    I had a similar scenario with a client last week, but the lender was even more aggressive. My client said that he had approached IndyMac to inquire into a possible loan modification. IndyMac responded that before they would even entertain the possibility, he had to agree to a forbearance over the phone. My client then asked them if they could send him a copy of the forbearance agreement to read or at least consult with an attorney. IndyMac declined and stated that unless he agreed over the phone to enter a forbearance agreement with them, they would immediately start foreclosure proceedings. I followed up with the bank to inquire into whether they had heard of anything called the Statute of Frauds. Apparantly not – I was appaled to hear from the representative that this indeed was their policy. Amazing. – Chad Gordon (Los Angeles)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: