I Failed… and I’m So Very Sorry

Today, another victim of the foreclosure crisis took her own life.  She was a disabled American veteran and her family was counting on me to help.  And I let them down.

You see, when I returned from a trip to Hawaii earlier this summer to meet with members of the state’s legislature on how the state might better deal with the foreclosure crisis, I received a call and a letter from a couple who’s home was about to be sold by Ocwen.  The husband, afflicted by multiple sclerosis, could not be moved from their handicapped home and I couldn’t stand what watching what was about to happen… so I wrote about it… attacking Ocwen for allowing such an injustice to take place.

And Ocwen responded.  Within days the trustee sale was cancelled and Ocwen agreed to modify the loan so the family could remain in their home of so many years.  It should go without saying that the couple was joyous and thankful, although I couldn’t help but wonder about all the families about whom I would never be able to write about… and perhaps save from the pain of foreclosure.

Soon after that I received another letter and call from a couple’s daughter who lived in Hawaii… her parents were facing foreclosure in California and their lawyer who had been hired to help them had dropped the ball… they were on their way to being evicted.  They’re older… in their 70s, and they were caring for a disabled American veteran… a member of the family.

I tried to help… called an attorney friend of mine who stepped in and filed what could be filed, but acknowledged openly that it was a long shot.  Maybe some media attention would help, as it had previously, and I said that I would write about their situation.

But, the truth is that I never got around to it.  I had other pressing concerns.  And I’m only one person fighting a much larger fight.  I spent several weeks in Arizona, meeting with lawyers and homeowners… and filming a documentary that I’d come to believe is the most important contribution I can make to the war against the bankers and the foreclosure crisis that is quietly tearing about our country and destroying our middle class and our economy.

I found out today that a few days ago she took her own life.  Wells Fargo Bank had allowed the eviction to proceed; they refused to do anything else.  Maybe they wouldn’t have changed their mind had I found the time to publicize the couple’s plight… maybe not.  But, we’ll never know… I’ll never know.

The couple called me, their daughter called me… many times during the month of August, but I was away in Arizona, I needed the rest… my own health was in question and I felt I needed to rest and recuperate before I‘d be able to continue the fight effectively.  I spoke with the husband… and the wife… they sent me their story written out on many pages.  It all started when Wells Fargo said they had made a trial payment a couple of days late.  The couple said they had made it on time.  How petty a thing that could lead to such a tragic end…

I tried to calm them down… told them I would try to help them.  But, I never got back to them… never wrote their story.  And now it’s too late.

The last phone message I received was from their daughter.  I played it today when I got the news.  She was literally begging for my help.  But I didn’t hear it in time.  And now a disabled American veteran is gone.

I don’t know what to say except that I am so very sorry that I let them down.  So deeply sorry… and I’ll never forget them… I’ll try never to let something like that happen again.

But the other truth is that I’m angry.  I’m angry that I even have such responsibility… such power that my writing about someone’s situation has the potential to save their home from foreclosure.  It shouldn’t be the case.  The banks should not be allowed to lie to people, the process should be transparent… none of it should be done in secret.

God damn the bankers that continue to treat American homeowners struggling financially as a result of the global financial crisis and our country’s deepening recession that they caused as if they are meaningless souls… as if they are to be disposed of like diseased cattle.

And God damn those who have no compassion for the millions of Americans who continue to receive foreclosure notices every day… their lack of compassion comes from their ignorance of the facts involved, and at this point there is no excuse for that ignorance.

And God damn the Obama Administration for ignoring and abandoning the American middle class in favor of the banking billionaires to whom he has given a blank check as reward for their crimes.  None of this should be happening in my country.

But, again… I’m just so sorry that I let them down.  Please join in this prayer for a fallen soldier… its author is unknown…

I saw a soldier kneeling down,

for this was the first quiet place he had found.

He had traveled through jungles, rivers and mud.

His hands were scared and toil-warned.

He folded his hands and looked to the sky…

I saw his tears, as they welled in his eyes.

He spoke to God, and this is what he said.

God Bless my men, who now lie dead;

I know not what You have in mind,

but when You judge, please be kind….

when they come before You, they will be poorly dressed

but will walk proudly, for they have done their best.

Their boots will be muddy and their clothes all torn…

but these clothes they have so proudly worn.

Their hearts will be still and cold inside,

for they have fought their best and did so with pride.

So please take care of them as they pass Your way…

the price of freedom they’ve already paid.


Mandelman out.


  1. sherryh says

    Dear Martin,

    I know from personal experience you do everything you can to assist the homeowners who have lost or are losing their homes. We have talked at length by phone about my husband and my own plight. You even called Phillip Kramer to see if we had a case in the Mass Joinder, not once but twice. That came to nothing, he never had anyone contact me and I don't think there will ever be a lawsuit, but really that does not matter anymore.

    We are all bloodied by this battle to save this country, our homes and the Middle Class itself. At every turn we have been raped and pillaged by our own Government and incredible Corp. Greed. Surely, I thought once the Robo signing was found out the foreclosers had to stop but it didn't and it doesn't.

    You have done so much to assist so many of us. Many times when I am reading your blog I am laughing at your wicked wit and crying at the crisis the Bankers and our Govt. continue to perpetrator on us all. The mortgage mess is just the tip of the iceberg I am afraid, the underbelly is so corrupt, and fraught with financial stench that I don't know if many people will survive the full onslaught when the dollar takes us into hyper inflation. I use to be a financial consultant that saw long ago that the Stock Market is a crooked game. I sure wish I had understood that they were securitizing our loans, I would have never bet my house on it with a refinance.

    Martin, I totally understand the pain and suffering this family is going through and how you now seem to feel responsible for this. But, honestly there is probably not much you could have done anyway. It is shocking to think that this woman took her life over this, but you can not take on this burden. I also know that I too came to a point of pure exhaustion after fighting for over 3 years with the Banksters who destroyed our family on purpose. I am the one that lost sleep, they didn't, I am the one that cried; they didn't. Emotionally and physically it comes to a point where you just cannot take any more.

    My husband and I let 30 years of home-ownership go. It is painful, we went to our home on Sunday, the doors have been taken that we spent 100's of hours finishing. The hardwood floors were stripped out. My husband looked in the bathroom window and could see even the toilet was taken. Now it will just sit there and mold, it is criminal and the Bank has more than gotten their share, since they didn't own it anyway and they received full mortgage insurance on it. They could have just given us the house after they took "their money", but instead it has been destroyed for the value of the materials we so lovingly put into it.

    Martin, I am one of the many who believes in what you are doing. I have contributed a small amount to your Documentary and I do hope that it at least opens people's eyes to what is really happening here in America. I tell people, go watch "Too Big to Fail" and you will get in 2 hours what took me 3 years of researching to understand.

    I have past clients still who only want to live in retirement and get their social security for the next 20 years, they want to garden, do their hobbies and enjoy the reward from their hard work, but I don't really think that is going to be there for them in 20 years. My husband and I have already lost it all and gone through the emotional turmoil from this. As more and more Americans are defrauded of their assets it is hard to say what is going to happen. I mourn for them just as you do.

    This message is to just say to you, what I am sure you already know under your pain. You are not responsible for this woman's death. You are one man fighting the good fight and spend each day rolling the peanut up the mountain with your nose with your hands handcuffed behind your back. You are the person who speaks out, gets on airplanes, spends hours each day researching and writing this free blog. Your compassion comes through as you talk with each person. What more can you possibly do?

    Through thick or thin Martin, I want you on my Team. No matter what, you will fight for what is right. It is in your strong moral values and your big heart. Please take care of yourself and allow yourself the grace to stumble along the way.

    Peace and blessings,

  2. sobtilawgroup says

    What a powerful article you have written Martin. I empathize with you for the pain you must feel but I hope you do not hold yourself one bit responsible for the tragic ending.
    Also, kudos to Sheryl H for an extremely well written response. I agree 100%!

  3. p-off professional says


    You "Honestly" can't do everything. There are many of us that have fought to make sure such issues don't happen. There are gleams of sunlight that really brighten up our days. Your postings are one of them.

    I feel so disheartened for the homeowners in these Fiasco's. But it's not their fault. Your dealing with people who endorse fraud nationally and MOST JUDGES won't do anything to STOP THE FRAUD! This crisis has been manufactured by collection agency managers/servicers. They do horrible things when one is honest and trying to do a fair and honest job.

    Nothing has changed since I received my two separate sua ponte recusals. The only thing that has changed is its the same people getting nailed for fraud with NO ONE to make them RESPONSIBLE!

    This crisis has been allowed to happen...this is by the same Sr. Dist Ct Bk judge I sued in 08 for theft of my home. Just more solidifies I'm not alone in understanding he's NOT FOLLOWING THE LAW!

    Some how Recusals have to be regulated. There is nothing saying a judge has to pass in ruling on cases. They need to quit trying to play coverup and lies with everyone! Their actions are detrimental for so many!

    30. Everything that has now been forced down American's throats has come full cycle. The judge I made counter claims against Sr. District Court Bankruptcy Judge Barry Schermer has now handled another case in a similar way on a corporate bankruptcy. He with other “Judicial Officer's” with their, and his actions almost cost the company $40-$43 million dollars over malpractice. This case is even more interesting as to “Judicial Economy.” How many times does it take to “TELL THE TRUTH?” Along, with get JUDGES to DO THEIR JOB FAIRLY?

    Judge Schermer continually says that someone trying to get fairness is requesting a “Second bite at the Apple”, when in fact there was “No Bite At The Apple”, within our courts to get any justice.

    31. Federal District Court Judge Charles Shaw of the MO Eastern District the Second judge to Recuse in my case has even made a standing for MERS in another important case.

    MERS has hung its hat in the media on this one as shown above. There's various information available on each one of these so called “Judicial Officers” that if reviewed properly put's Missouri and Arkansas in just as bad of shape “Judicially” as so many other states. Especially, this read considering the VP of the Missouri Bar is involved with others that have committed theft within the state of Missouri and abroad. Hmmm wonder what bank they used to do these thefts thru.


    People are lucky if they get any service out of these attorneys or judges. I'm not a judicial hater but someone who believes in the truth and the truth is what counts in these cases. Regardless of who they claim to be in court they are allowing things to happen that shouldn't. Now what HAT ARE THEY WEARING?

    I have every reason these atty's are working for several different banks at once and you have no way to know who they really represent unless they show their contract with the bank they claim to represent then if only the true investor is shown and a note is properly endorsed should a sale be able to happen. There is no disclosure as to who the real owners of the notes are. Its very frustrating to not be given the benefit of doubt by so many.

    Life experiences happen that put some of these cases beyond control or help but somehow there has to be people that can get these people assistance! This is WRONG! They are the best at trying to cover the truth but a little digging and the scene becomes horrific when you find out what their allowed to continue to get by with! I've lived thru the crisis but still won't sign my name to defraud someone of their home! It's more than a home for so many.

  4. tc4gold says

    Please do not feel to blame, I have been close to this myself with Wells Farto and their lying executives and other staff. THey are such crooks and still not in prison. I told them before they have blood on their hands, I hope they all lose their jobs, their homes and are put in this same position. Perhaps we should require them all to do a stint in Iraq or Afghanistand and do something right for their country instead of raping it. Oh but then that won't work as they are all cowards to the nth degree and would never leave their cushy jobs, homes, pensions to do the right thing. KEEP ON FIGHTING FOR US.
    We need a clean sweep of government, no more pensions for life, no job for life, it should be a priviledge to serve your country both in the services and in the government, isn't that how it got started but then what do I know I am just a LEGAL immigrant to this country who is now a citizen. Am I reading your history wrong, if so please correct me. Any politicion should have had to run a small business before they are allowed to be elected to office. They should have the same Social Security and Health Care the rest of us have not a special one.

  5. tc4gold says

    Solve the mtg crisis by giving everyone who wants it a 3% fixed rate
    P &I mgt. Neg am loans start at original loan balance not the inflated ones that they pushed on people to serve themselves. If they want to get some back then add 5-10 years to each loan with a maximum 40 year loan. No more paperwork required from homeowners, just send them the new deal. If they opt in they agree that they cannot refinance their home to take cash out for 20 years.

    If people cannot afford the 3% fixed rate P & I then they probably shouldn't be trying to own a home. This would stop all this crazy spending on attorneys, robo signers and the like. Foreclosures would be vastly reduced. The economy would get moving again slowly upward as their would be confidence. Simple I know but will they do it, no because the big fat liar banks and their execs wouldn't get such high bonuses, kick backs etc. Is it a simple workable solution YES.

  6. WFMortModScam says

    This is precisely why every single homeowner who is being jerked around by a fraud-factory bank needs to do whatever he or she can to fight back. If every person who is trying to save a home from foreclosure - and everyone who has a friend, colleague or family member in that situation - would step up and say "NO! This is NOT okay," and remove their money from those banks, that would certainly help. This fight is too big, and too important, for one person, one family, one blogger to take on alone.

    When I decided to fight for my house, I had to acknowledge that the odds are against me, that Wells Fargo is likely to win. But I couldn't in good conscience allow a system I clearly see as destructive, foolhardy and outright illegal to run over me. By doing so, I would be giving tacit approval for the same thing to happen to others and that's just not right.

    * So, I blasted Don Henley - "I will not go quietly. I will not lie down" - when I needed inspiration and the energy to make one more futile phone call, to send one more letter that would go unanswered.
    * I built a website and started writing a blog (quite therapeutic, especially on those many nights when worry or anger kept me awake.)
    * I finally figured out what the point of Twitter was and connected with all kinds of people who also seem to see the fraud, the erosion of our economy and society, and the outright evil that is being done.
    * I started educating myself about what is really going on in this country, - aided and abetted by our government and our legal system and it scares the crap out of me. But hiding my head in the sand isn't going to make it not so.

    Choosing to believe the bankster's "spin" that people seeking mortgage mods are "deadbeats" who are "just looking for a free house" is setting yourself up to be manipulated now so that you can be the victim later, when the corporate machine has completely taken over our government and corrupted the rule of law to the point where the only recourse will be revolution.

    One of my favorite resources has been your blog, for which I thank you most sincerely. I also thank you for sharing this story, painful as it must have been to write. You are only one man and you can only do what you can do to help people fight this awful fight. This one slipped by you, and that's a terrible thing. But you've helped more people than you will ever know about just by continuing to tell the truth as you see it.

    I've been fighting Wells Fargo for 18 months and I told my legal counsel going in that have two goals. 1) To walk free and clear when/if I lose the house and 2) To cost Wells Fargo as much time and money as I legally can on my way out the door.

    I tell the story of what Wells Fargo and the other big banks are doing to me, to other homeowners and to this country to anyone who will listen, including the two nice clerks at my local post office who wonder why I send so many certified mailings. And, as long as there is breath in my body, I will continue to speak against Wells Fargo in every way I can.

    My website is at www.WellsFargoMortgageModScam.com and I blog at http://wellsfargomortgagemodscam.com/blog

  7. jlukawitz says


    I just texted you privately, but YOU SIR are part of the solution, and while not every battle will be won, NONE will be won if we give up.

    You are only one man, but you have motivated me to become a DOER and through my small website www.RebeccaMairone.com I have met other DOER's who have stepped up and tried to help people.

    May God Bless not only you and your family, but the family who lost their mother and wife and veteran.

    Thank-you for inspiring me.


  8. Sarah W says

    Mr. Mandelman,

    You are hurting because you have a soul, which is what makes you so effective in your writing. As one of the people who attends the meeting of foreclosure strategists and homeowners in Arizona, where you took some much-needed time not only for yourself but for us, I want to thank you, and to encourage you. You feel guilty because you took time away, for other important things, like your health, your perspective, and other matters of interest (like helping us, like participating in a documentary) -- and couldn't therefore be one deserving person's savior. I feel for you in my heart, but want you to recognize how appreciated your visit to Arizona was, and how much more effective you are for all of us when you focus on the big picture.

    You know you weren't personally responsible for what happened -- you feel devastated because you didn't do more (couldn't have done more). What happened was tragic, and a dark omen for our times. Don't let it paralyze you. Get beyond your own remonstrance and sharpen your sword. You don't owe us each a personal article, a personal phone call or visit. Your best contribution to us is for you to do what you do best, and for you not to quit. I'm trying to talk you down out of this tree because we need you. We need you to talk about that dark omen, to expose the path of destruction this country is on if we don't turn things around, to galvanize the public to act, and to shame the powers that be into considering the individuals whose lives they've ruined in their path to power. Please, forgive yourself, find your equilibrium again, sit down..... and write!

    God bless you and your tireless work on our behalf.

  9. tc4gold says

    Based on this and another suicide I sent this letter to all the WF EXECS, please feel free to copy and do same so they know we are united.

    Dear Mr. Stumpf and your legion of staff (alias liars, crooks and thieves):
    I wonder how you all sleep at night knowing that you have blood on your hands, knowing that you are responsible for people killing themselves because of the HELL you put them through. SEE JUST A TINY FEW OF THE STORIES BELOW IF YOU HAVE THE GUTS TO DO SO. Oh, I forgot you do not care, you just pretend to. You sit in your ivory tower offices, taking your exorbitant salaries, failing your customers and the country but you don’t care because you are taking REALLY GOOD CARE of YOURSELVES. You have pensions, health care, bonuses and more. While the rest of us have little except the stress of dealing with the Banks lies, deceit, fraud, multiple requests for paperwork you conveniently lose. You pretend to follow HAMP and other guidelines to help people refinance but you don’t; it is all a pure SHAM. How dare you put people through this hell and lie, steal and cheat and assume we will all either give up, commit suicide, walk away, crack under pressure and more. Well, you took me to the brink but I will not give you the satisfaction of giving in, I and others will fight until we see you all lose your jobs, your homes and your hope, it is what you deserve.
    Of course you will dismiss this letter if you even read it but rest assured many of us are keeping very good notes, tape recording calls, banding together to put a stop to your FRAUD.
    Mr. Stumpf, you and your staff of liars DISGUST ME, you do not deserve to be in charge of a company, you do not deserve the life you have given yourself at the expense of others lives. You should be in jail for what you and others of your ilk in the banking industry have done. You and your staff should be totally ashamed of yourselves but I know you are not. Your actions lead to the deaths of veterans who served this country and paid the price with disability and you can’t get your act together enough or have compassion enough to cut through the BS and Red tape to help them. You and your ilk wouldn’t have the guts to put their lives on the line for our country yet you can’t step out of your gilded cage to help someone who did; that Mr. Stumpf and your staff of liars really shows how little ethics and humanity you have.

    I can write this letter because you can do no more harm to me than you already have. I like many others hope you rot in jail where you all belong for the fraud, lies and deception you have and continue to commit.
    Homeowners of America United
    Kimberly Bridget woods supposedly in executive office but one of your biggest liars
    Amanda Supposedly in the executive office, Mark Perez. Supposed forbearance manager Shae Schroder Ernst, Erica Alvarez, Reggie, Melissa,Miki, Kiosha just to name a few more of your staff who LIE. I could put a list here that is pages long but I will save it for the legal system as our time will come and all those people in your company who have lied to customers will be exposed. Please read the excerpts of stories below.
    It all started when Wells Fargo said they had made a trial payment a couple of days late. The couple said they had made it on time. How petty a thing that could lead to such a tragic end…
    I found out today that a few days ago she took her own life. Wells Fargo Bank had allowed the eviction to proceed; they refused to do anything else. Maybe they wouldn’t have changed their mind had I found the time to publicize the couple’s plight… maybe not. But, we’ll never know… I’ll never know.
    1. Sheriff sale notice taped to the front door of our home. Two days later my husband shot himself in the basement, I found him when I returned from work 4 hours later. The sheriff sale date was 3/16/11. Got through funeral the first week, started dealing with the actual suicide the second week. Monday 3/14/11, I call Wells Fargo, state the prior information, they sound sincere, they claim they will help me, I fax required documents to assume the mortgage(only in husband's name). I was told to telephone later in evening to verify docs received, I did, they would not speak to me(not on mortgage,..... doc sent years ago stated permission to speak to wife). Tues through Fri wells f calls my cell #, and asks for my husband, (will not speak to me), this was very upsetting to me.

    1. I have been having problems with Wells Fargo for months and months (I have mentioned in other posts). Fraud coverup of the co-borrower, no help or assistance when I could no longer make payments due to hospitalization
    and having to give up my business. They would not go after the co-borrower at all for the money. Just kept harrassing me with calls about payment and again would not call the other borrower.
    Wells fargo hell
    We were featured in a newspaper because of how terrible it is to deal with Wells Fargo. No callbacks, missing papers, then you keep getting the same packages..filling them out and it is the same thing with the same outcome.
    John.G.Stumpf@wellsfargo.com, Howard.I.Atkins@wellsfargo.com, James.M.Strother@wellsfargo.com, Richard.D.Levy@wellsfargo.com, Mark.C.Oman@wellsfargo.com, David.A.Hoyt@wellsfargo.com, David.M.Carroll@wellsfargo.com, patricia.r.callahan@wellsfargo.com, kevin.a.rhein@wellsfargo.com, Carrie.L.Tolstedt@wellsfargo.com, AVID.MODJTABAI@wellsfargo.com, BoardCommunications@wellsfargo.com, jluleji@co.santa-barbara.ca.us
    brenda.s.lauer-bursch@wellsfargo.com, mary.coffin@wellsfargo.com, sharon.cecil@wellsfargo.com
    Todd.M.Boothroyd@wellsfargo.com, kovacedm@wellsfargo.com, cara.heiden@wellsfargo.com, denise.erickson@wellsfargo.com

  10. tc4gold says

    Re: the posted letter to Wells fargo, I and others are hoping it goes viral but I do not have the tech skills to know how to do it so if someone here knows how to get that letter out on the internet to the papers any papers, the more that send it the more that WF will know that this isn't one crazy person but a whole host of people who are mad, angry, disgusted and want action. I will send it the white house but please if any one can get it published anywhere, it might help bring about some change or are we just dreaming here because of the underlying corporate greed, backhanders from politiicicans lining their own pockets and retirement accounts.
    Please tell me there really is hope for us and we are not wasting our time.

  11. My NPV says


    I was deeply saddened by your article. I can remember our discussion on "loan- alleged securitization"[sic], dating back to 2009. I have taken the opportunity to read some of your material, and you have obviously come quite the distance. This article in particular has blind-sided me, and I truly believe if more folks would stand to fight, that veteran would be with us all today. As you may already be aware, our firm has been providing the courts in New York with the Net Present Value Analysis since 2010.

    After reading your article I immediately forwarded such to our Board for review. I also provided each member with a proposal to provide the company software and proprietary "NPV Calculator" to every individual that has served in the military at cost.

    We understand the complexity involved with filing a modification and I will personally take the time to help each veteran run the NPV Test on our platform, and on the Department of the Treasury site "CHECK MY NPV" for free. Any veteran that passes our proprietary test will pass the test on the "checkmynpv.com" website, and we will provide the appraisal and software at cost. I would like for you to stay personally involved with this project despite other obligations to which you may have prior committed. I cannot do this alone and will be seeking the help of other true Patriots.

    The recent moves by the major lender / servicer companies is frightening, and will soon jeopardize homeowners residing within judicial process states. The AG settlement will not work as it requires the investors and originating banks to actually contribute future earnings to the settlement. I have begun speaking with several local veteran organizations and will start getting out the word next week.

    This story should never happen again.[/quote]

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