DOER UPDATE: Patricia Martin v. Wells Fargo – Court Grants Injunction, Injustice on Trial Ahead
What you’re about to read about should never be allowed to happen in this country, and what is particularly troubling is that Wells Fargo Bank could have very easily prevented it by simply communicating with its customer honestly or competently.
And the law firm employed by Wells Fargo to wrongfully foreclose on this 73 year-old widow’s home of 43 years, Anglin, Flewelling, Rasmussen, Campbell & Trytten, LLP of Pasadena, California, could have stopped this travesty of justice as well, but these lawyers can’t even be bothered to actually appear in the courtroom, choosing instead to phone in their odious nuggets of legal claptrap, entirely devoid of common sense, because that’s how they roll.
As it stands, and as a result of Wells Fargo’s handling of the matter, a 73 year-old woman is at risk of losing a home that she has owned for 43 years… and all because she fell behind on her mortgage by $104.27.
That’s right… we’re talking about a hundred bucks and change here. You want some offensive stupidity? Wells you’ve certainly come to the right fargo.
A Personal Note to Laurie Maggiano at Treasury… I just wanted you to know that I was sincere when I told you that I’m trying to suppress my aggressive tendencies and stop being so snarky all the time, but are you following this case at all? Because as long as the Obama Administration continues to ignore this sort of thing, you could be the Michelangelo of Home Preservation and it won’t matter because your ceiling’s being covered in a Navajo White semi-gloss with a stipple effect. I’m just saying…
Remember Patricia Martin’s foreclosure situation with Wells Fargo?
I wrote about it on February 20th of this year, and if you didn’t see it, I’d suggest that you continue reading what follows and then if you think it necessary, you can click DOER ALERT to read the original article.
Patricia Martin’s DOER ALERT, by the way, was the only one that did not succeed. Although Wells Fargo had responded to a DOER ALERT in the past, this time they completely ignored our pleas for the bank to do the right thing and stop her eviction.
She was not evicted, however, as her attorney, Mark Zanides (who happens to be a good friend of mine), drove a few hundred miles to appear in court on her behalf and successfully stopped the eviction.
And this past week, Mark won in court again, with the court granting the preliminary injunction… so at this point… Patricia Martin will be remaining in her home as the case proceeds to trial… a jury trial, by the way. (You can read Patricia’s declaration HERE.)
You can call me naïve, but I just can’t believe that even Wells Fargo, the bank that appears committed to being the worst the servicing industry has to offer, wants to do this.
Zanides estimates that the bank has spent a significant amount already on legal fees and now is certain to spend a whole lot more. Patricia Martin’s home is worth no more than $275,000. How can it be worth it to spend $50,000 or more to take her home, when she wasn’t even late… didn’t want a loan modification… and could have simply continued making her payments… as she has for the last 43 years?
How can anyone want this to happen?
Memo to Wells Fargo: If you’ll just have someone contact me to explain the reasoning behind this situation, I promise to explain it from your perspective and stop calling your bank disparaging names.
But, until then, and absent any information to the contrary, what am I or anyone else to think other than that you are the epitome of the worst sort of corporate citizen… the sort of bank that is not to be trusted… a bank that we should all warn our children about… a bank that should reasonably be despised for its behavior.
Here’s an in-a-nutshell type recap with quotes from the declarations of those involved:
Patricia Martin’s daughter, Nicole Ortega (who lives in the home with her husband and her mother) went into a Wells Fargo branch on September 27, 2010 and asked how much was owed to satisfy the August and September payments. She then paid the amount that Wells Fargo said she owed, $3238.30, which she thought represented a monthly payment of $1619.15.
She didn’t know it for several months, but the amount she was paying was $104.27 short of the required amount. In her own words, from her declaration…
“I had previously been told by Wells Fargo Bank’s agents that the bank does not take partial payments. The fact that the bank took these payments confirmed to me that I had made a full payment. Had I known that the full payment for September 15 was supposed to be $1723.41, I was ready willing and able to pay it. In no way would I ever jeopardize our family’s home to save $104.27, that is, the difference between the amount paid and what was apparently the amount owed.”
Yes, and we certainly believe you. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that every single human being with a fully developed adult brain on the planet believes you… okay, except maybe Larry Summers and Ed DeMarco… and the fact that you had to write a declaration stating this fact so that it could be used in court is absolutely emblematic of the insanity American homeowners continue to face today.
Roughly five years into the financial and resulting foreclosure crises, and this story, instead of shocking every ear who hears it, is starting to sound like meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
Wells Fargo’s employee, Michael Dolan, states in his declaration that he is an Operations Analyst in Wells Fargo’s Mortgage Lending Operations, located at 4101 Wiseman Blvd. in San Antonio, Texas.
Prior to his current position, he states he was a Vice President in the Portfolio Retention Department at Wachovia Mortgage, FSB, and prior to that he says he was Vice President of Loan Services at World Savings Bank, FSB. He also mentions that he started at World Savings in 1984, so he was at World and Wachovia for a combined 23 years. So, I’m going to go ahead and assume that he knows how to read a calendar and mail a letter.
Here’s what Patricia Martin’s daughter’s declaration says about a statement made in Mr. Dolan’s declaration…
“The Dolan declaration states that ‘on or about September 29, 2010, the Bank sent the borrower a letter informing her that the loan was due for September 15, 2010 loan payment, and that $1619.15 had not been applied to the loan because it was not enough to cover the balance due.’ (The letter is marked Exhibit Q.) I am aware that my mother did receive this letter dated September 29, 2010. However, we did not receive this letter until early June 2011, when it arrived in an envelope postmarked May 30, 2011. I have attached this letter and the envelope in which it came. I remember this letter specifically because it arrived so far after the letter itself was dated. I thought that was significant, so I saved the envelope in which it arrived.”
Now, you see Mr. Michael Dolan… that makes you a lying piece of itinerant trash, because not only did you lie in your declaration, but you also figured you could cover the lie and your worthless ass by sticking a backdated letter in the mail more than eight months later.
And why not?
I mean, what are the chances that anyone would have kept a certain blue dress around all that time without sending it to the cleaners, right Mikey?
If this were the first time that Wells Fargo was ever accused of such behavior, I’d have the tendency to say… maybe it was an error. If it were the second time… okay, what the heck. But since no one can even count how many similar things Wells has not only been accused of doing, but in fact has been proven to have done… well, there’s no benefit of the doubt due here. The mere suggestion is utterly laughable.
Patricia’s daughter continues in her declaration to state what anyone would have to agree is the obvious. (You can read the Plaintiff’s Evidentiary Objections to Dolan’s Declaration HERE.)
“I did not know the September payment whose amount had been given to me by the bank employee and which had been paid on September 27 had not been credited. Had I received Exhibit Q in early October, it would have explained what happened and I would have asked how I could pay the remaining balance of $104 or so and made arrangements to pay the late fees.”
Yes, that’s right because that’s what ANYONE would have done under the same circumstances. She continues…
“Had I received Exhibit Q, I would not have had to make all of the calls to the bank seeking clarification that I made later on in December when I learned the September payment had not been credited. Nor would I have needed to write the letter in December seeking explanation of why the September payment had not been credited.” (Her letter is marked “First Ortega Dec. Exhibit A.”)
And again… she is making complete sense. The question is why is any of this being questioned and who is the imbecile questioning it? She continues…
In early October, I received a letter dated October 5, 2010, stating that the September payment had not been made. (Marked “Dolan Exhibit R.”) The letter states that ‘if this payment has already been made, then please disregard this notice.’ Since I knew that I had made the September payment, I disregarded the notice, as the bank’s letter invited the borrower to do.”
Yep, that’s what I would have done as well.
Okay, look… this tale goes on and on and as it does, it gets worse and worse.
The homeowner received another letter late in October saying that the last two payments had not been received, and that the loan was now in default. Another letter arrived a few days later saying basically the same thing. Again, the homeowner assumed that the letters were wrong, as in their mind the September payment had definitely been made, so they did the next logical thing… they called Wells Fargo at the number provided on the letters.
The homeowner’s daughter told the bank that they were aware that they owed the October and November payments, explaining that her mother, Patricia Martin, had been hospitalized and there were other hardships involved… but that the September payment had been made.
They asked the bank if it would be okay to make the October and November payments on December 3, 2010… and Wells Fargo representative stated that by doing so, “you will be fine,” with the exception that the December payment would be due later that month.
The Wells agent then said that she would notate the account to that effect.
During that same call, the Wells Fargo representative uttered the words that would make a bad situation far worse, she suggested that the borrower should apply for a Map2 modification, and then transferred the call to a Ms. Leffert.
Patricia Martin’s daughter spoke with Ms. Leffert and gave her some of the information she requested. She didn’t have all of the information, however, and told Ms. Leffert that she would have to speak with her mother before going further. Subsequently, she called Ms. Leffert to provide the missing information, and in late November Ms. Leffert stated that “you qualify” and that “you’ll be ahead of the game since the late payments will be added to the modified loan.”
And then things got even worse. A letter dated November 18, 2010, but not received until the end of that month, now said that the note was delinquent and would need to be reinstated by paying $4829.96 by November 30th. Patricia’s daughter immediately contacted Wells Fargo to find out what was wrong with their system and records, as she had already made arrangements to pay October and November payments on December 3rd.
She spoke with a representative named Jason who told her that there were some unapplied funds in the amount of $1619.15 that it looked like something was happening with, also saying that it may be applied to October’s payment.
Jason was told that September’s payment had been made, and he said he couldn’t tell her why September was not credited, but he suggested that she wait and let the bank finish whatever they were doing and it would clear things up.
Patricia’s daughter then states in her declaration…
“Had I been told by the bank’s representative that we were required to make a payment of $4829.96 by November 30 or lose our home, we could and would have done so.”
And again, all I can say is… OF COURSE YOU WOULD HAVE. Your mother has lived in the home for 43 years… good Lord, when did our world lose its common sense and critical thinking skills?
So, of course, when she goes into branch on December 3rd to make her two delinquent payments as she had arranged that she would do… the bank won’t accept the payments, as they were due by November 30th.
Does everyone realize how many billions in delinquent and defaulted loans Wells Fargo has on its books… to say nothing of the untold billions in worthless garbage that exists off the bank’s balance sheet? You do, right?
And does everyone realize that the President of the United States, the U.S. Attorney General and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development have all made it abundantly clear that unnecessary foreclosures are to be avoided as they are not in our national interests?
So, what possible difference does it make whether a homeowner is paying on November 30th or December 3rd? Wells Fargo… are you stupid, irrational and incompetent… or are you just plain evil and sadistic?
And don’t start blaming anything on “the investor,” Fannie Mae, or the mystery trust that thinks it holds this loan because this beauty of a loan is one of those fabulous pick-a-pay jobs made popular by World Savings, so it’s on you, Wells Fargo, all the way. And should I even ask who might be responsible for such a loan being sold to a 68 year-old widow?
I’ve never been a great speller, so maybe someone at the bank could help me out here… how many “Wells” are there in “predatory shithead?”
By January Wells Fargo says they won’t fix it, won’t accept payments, and months later when loan modification is denied, house goes to foreclosure sale and is taken back by the bank.
The modification, by the way, is denied months later because Wells Fargo says they won’t consider Patricia’s son-in-law’s income. He lives in the house with his wife… her daughter… ever since Patricia, whose husband passed on a few years ago, started having some serious medical problems. Oh, and he’s a police officer… a sergeant on the local police force… someone who protects and serves his community.
Writing this article, I had to wonder… on how many other occasions has Wells Fargo improperly credited amounts paid by borrowers? Luckily, I didn’t have to wonder for very long, as I remembered the article I wrote a little over a week ago about a case in Louisiana involving Wells Fargo and in front of Federal Bankruptcy Court Judge Elizabeth Magner. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend that you do.
In Judge Magner’s own words, after describing Wells Fargo’s behavior as being, “highly reprehensible,” she went on to say…
“Wells Fargo has taken advantage of borrowers who rely on it to accurately apply payments and calculate the amounts owed, but perhaps more disturbing is Wells Fargo’s refusal to voluntarily correct its errors. It prefers to rely on the ignorance of borrowers or their inability to fund a challenge to its demands, rather than voluntarily relinquish gains obtained through improper accounting methods.”
So, is what has happened to Patricia Martin yet another example of Wells Fargo’s systemic misapplication of funds in order to repossess homes?
I would imagine that Wells Fargo would answer “No,” to that question.
So, fine… then you’d have me believe what? That it’s a fluke? An aberration? Some sort of inexplicable, unfortunate deviation from the norm perhaps?
For all of you legal eagle types… You can read Wells Fargo’s Opposition to the Preliminary Injunction HERE, Wells Fargo’s Appendix to Opposition to Preliminary Injunction HERE, and the Plaintiff’s Reply to Wells Fargo’s Objection to Preliminary Injunction HERE.
HEY DOERS… Looking for Something to DO?
Wells Fargo’s CEO, John Stumpf “earned” $19.8 million last year, according to the Wall Street Journal and documents filed with the SEC in March of this year.
If you’d like to congratulate him, you can try reaching him by email:
Or, by phone: (415) 396-7018 or (866) 878-5865
Or, if you want to have some fun, since I know this physical address is correct, why not grab an envelope, buy a stamp and reach out to him via regular mail. For extra smiles, consider throwing old keys in with your letter, or I’ve always enjoyed tossing a small handful of sunflower seeds in before sealing…
John G. Stumpf
Chief Executive Officer
Wells Fargo Bank
420 Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94163
You’ll also be happy to hear that Wells has just launched its new business unit, Abbot Downing, which is dedicated to caring for the wealth of the super rich… its clients have more than $50 million in investable assets. Only recently launched, Abbot has already recruited about $33 billion in investable assets under management. So, very well done there. (And I heard that one of their clients holds the patent on the color “blue.”)