Wells Fargo Foreclosure: Another Unconscionable Foreclosure Tale


THE BIGGER PICTURE: Foreclosure fight


  • By SPENCER TULIS nyp2904@yahoo.com



In 1998, Leanne Labadee bought a three-unit home on Ogden Street in Penn Yan for $75,000. The 50-year-old faithfully paid her mortgage every month, the majority of the time with money orders.

She never missed a payment.

Like many, she received notices about her loan being resold to another mortgage company; federal banking laws allow financial institutions to sell mortgages or transfer the servicing rights to other institutions. Consumer consent is not required. It’s a common practice, and Leanne’s mortgage has been owned by at least three different banks.

In short, the secondary mortgage industry is huge.

In 2008, out of the blue, she was informed foreclosure proceedings were being started on her home unless the mortgage was paid in full. The mortgage company? Wells Fargo, an outfit that has dealt with controversy in recent years because of questionable business practices.

Leanne has been in a fight with Wells Fargo ever since, all the while still not missing a payment. She even enlisted Congressman Tom Reed to help fight on her behalf for two years — with no success.

One would think a few phone calls would be able to straighten things out. Leanne certainly couldn’t afford to fly to Wells Fargo’s headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. Chances are it wouldn’t have mattered anyway because it seems no one can find all the paperwork and account information that relates to her property.

Her sister, Lori, has been a tremendous help in this fight. Leanne is disabled due to a combination of diabetes, depression and anxiety. The ongoing foreclosure threats have done little to improve her health.

Lori has a file full of paperwork; it’s a foot tall. She couldn’t tell you the number of phone calls she has made on Leanne’s behalf, contacting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and New York State Attorney General’s Office, to name just two.

When mortgages are resold, consumers are not supposed to become collateral damage during the process. Mortgage companies have a legal obligation to protect consumers. That means paperwork should never be lost and should never hinder a consumer’s chance to save their home from unnecessary foreclosure.

Famous last words and, ultimately, empty promises for Leanne.

Two weeks ago her home was sold at foreclosure for $55,000. Not only did she lose out on all the equity she has put in through the years, but she received a bill from Wells Fargo saying the home was foreclosed for $87,200, and they insisted she has to continue making payments for the $32,200 difference.

If there is a “smoking gun” here, it may lay in some of the paperwork she possesses with the name Steven Baum on it.

In 2010, a federal, class-action complaint on behalf of tens of thousands of New York state homeowners who lost their homes to an alleged foreclosure fraud began. The fraud was orchestrated for years by a New York “foreclosure mill” attorney along with major mortgage companies. The case is filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, entitled “Connie Campbell against Steven Baum.

The action seeks to return tens of thousands of foreclosed homes to their owners, or its value, along with hundreds of millions in punitive damages against Baum.

“Mr. Baum is an attorney who knows better, yet his foreclosure filings for parties who have no standing to sue confuse the courts and homeowners while he and his banking clients profit tremendously by throwing people on the streets after their bad loans sold by the very same banks become unaffordable to innocent people,” said Susan Lask, who filed the claim: “The aforementioned false foreclosure filings potentially hit tens of thousands of New Yorkers who were foreclosed upon.”

Baum has been accused of deliberate sloppy filings to hasten foreclosures on unwitting homeowners and courts. In 2012, he was fined $6 million.

Last week Leanne found a Rochester attorney who has agreed to represent her in her fight against this injustice.

She is now living with her sister.


12 Responses

  1. Shame on the courts for allowing and granting foreclosures is such cases of terrible wrongdoing and hardship

    I asked the court to deny summary judgement because the decision does not harm the. SNL and places it in the position to modify the loan and collect what is due, where as a decision to foreclose removes the homeowner from
    their home and condones practices that violate consumer protection laws.


  3. Javagold, I agree , you have been around as long as me. New names same players. The lawyers bar card is the non disclosure they sign. They know like we know from that guy Keith back in 2009 that woke us up. I called Jim. That’s when I found out the truth. Ever since it’s not about fixing this mortgages it’s about all debt. We have been scammed since birth and since 1933 when the USA went BK. We are not suppose to know out note/ signature on the note creates the money at the federal reserve. Question to all does anyone have the actual promissory note from a previous home sold stamped paid in full? I sold 2 houses in 2004 and 2006. (In 2006 my husband lost his job 4 mo after purchasing a new home. 1year later still unemployed we sold an relocated an answer to anyone’s question about homeowner deadbeats how do you sell a home that lost 165k in equity after you put down 20% on a 260k mortgage? You don’t , you fight ) I do not have one promissory note stamped paid in full. I have letters from tha banks stating my mortgage was paid in full. Hmm. So where are my sign promissory note that these entities state they have the originals? That’s a big haha. Please look up zeitgeist addendum 2 on you tube. Knowledge is actually power. It keeps you in the fight. The lawyers? The judges? The money keeps the courts going. Think about it especially in Florida. I would like to see how many appeals cases increased since 2008. I bet there would be no bell curve just this / .
    Fighting for my home since 2009

  4. What would you say to the skeptics that are out there that think that all players involved with the GSE Business Model are engaged in a simple criminal scheme, albeit of a dimension that we have never seen before, that a prosecutor would call “theft by deception” with the American taxpayer as the victim?

  5. so when you wake up and stare in the mirror before going off to your “second job” – put a note on the mirror that says “My First Job is to Govern Myself, Govern my State and Govern the United States of America!”

    then you’ll have your life in proper perspective and no more whining and blaming will suffice


  6. but before i forget… don’t be pissed at the bankers or courts, YOUR ELECTED GOVERNMENT set this system up in exactly this way to siphon off your private value (hidden from your view) to embolden and empower them over you instead of being your servants… and you keep letting them…

    being a co-sovereign of a country with 400 million other co-sovereigns is not just about showing up to vote on some Tuesday in November…

    it is a pro-active duty if you only wake up and do your job – every day!

  7. now you get a hankerin’ as to why most attys drive you to a modification instead of taking up your gauntlet in a fight for what is right… their wings are pre-clipped before even going into court and the judge holds their bar card in a tweezers over a fire in front of them to remind them to play by the bankers’ rules or die…

  8. This is totally disgusting …….The fraud is so huge and the courts do not do anything, because all they are is administrative courts. They are there to collect money for their masters. Attorneys/lawyers are there to facilitate the process.

  9. It would not do a bit of good. I have been reporting to CFPB, FHFA and nothing has been done.

  10. This happened to me as well. I owned my home for 26 years. Purchased in 1986 for $68k and I made all kinds of improvementsand lost it in 2012. Never could find an atty to represent me when I had the money. Rescinded the 2007 refinance of $185k due to changed paperwork. Filed a case with Solano Co. DA, 6 mo before the fraudulent default. Barbara Boxer made attempt to help. Filed suit . BofA filed a demurrer, nevered served me and judge approved. Never allowed me to present a case. All to no avail. I lost the $180k in equity that I didnt touch in the refi. I too have been disabled since 2004. I lived in my car for 3 years as it is hard to find a room to rent when you are over 50. They didnt care.

  11. This is an absoulte shame and should never happen. Too bad we can’t get enough people involved to really put pressure on our very own government that is totally shafting us. Everyone knows that GES and FHAF took over Freddie and Fannie back in 2008,

    Most attorneys are bent on just getting the most they can in fees and the hell with the rest of us. Thanks again for doing such a great job on your blog Neil. Just too bad we can’t seem to get the right people involved nationally, but there are way too many crooks out there benefitting in my humble opine.

  12. What has happened to this website. It’s a shell of its former self.

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