UNBELIEVABLE BREAKING NEWS: Senior Couple Being Screwed Royally By Mortgage Servicer – Specialized Loan Servicers
H. Vincent and Theresa Price have lived in their home in Alameda for 32 years. It’s where they raised their children. They had always planned to leave it as their legacy. They’ve NEVER been late on a mortgage payment… to this day! And they never wanted or asked for a loan modification.
Yes, everything was just fine at the Price home… until last September… when their mortgage servicer, Specialized Loan Services, made a mistake in their accounting department. A simple mistake… they didn’t credit the Prices for having made their August and September mortgage payments, even though they most certainly did, just like they always had, and on time too. Incredibly, less than five months later they had lost their home to foreclosure.
And today, although Mr. Price lies in a hospital bed with his wife at his side, they are scheduled to be LOCKED OUT by the Pasadena Sheriff’s Department pursuant to an order by the court. If everything goes as planned by the mortgage servicer, when his doctors discharge him, the couple will be homeless.
How is such a thing possible? Well, stay with me, because I promise you… this is not a story you’ve heard before.
According to the complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, on August 1, 2008, Mrs. Price made the couple’s mortgage payment as she’s been doing for 32 years. Certainly nothing remarkable about that. A month later, when their September statement arrived showing that they owed their September payment, she made their mortgage payment again. So far, so good, right?
It was right around September 29th that the Prices were notified that Specialized Loan Serivces had not received their August or September payments. Mrs. Price assured the servicer’s representative that she had made the payments, and on time as always, thank you very much.
The servicer requested proof, so Mrs. Price sent in her bank statement showing that the payments had been made to Specialized Loan Serivces, and the amounts were deducted from her account on August 3rd and September 4th, respectively. The Specialized representative called back to say they needed more proof, so she sent them a more detailed transaction report showing the payments having been made. Still, not enough according to Specialized. So, Mrs. Price went to her bank and had them print out her account’s record of the payment being made to Specialized and sent that document to the mortgage servicer.
The next call from Specialized came from a different representative of the servicer. He informed Mrs. Price that they had not yet located her payments, but that her proof was acceptable and that they expected to soon. Meanwhile, he assured her, the servicer was placing a waiver on the October and November payments, a show of good faith, if you will, until the missing payments were found. After a couple of weeks passed with no further word from Specialized, the Prices called to inquire as to the status of the situation.
They spoke with a woman who said her name was Lynette. She told the Prices that their account was showing “CURRENT” for August, September, October and November, that they should make their next payment on the first of December, and that a new accounting statement would be sent out.
When no new statement had arrived two weeks later, the Prices called Specialized yet again. It was November 23, 2008 and this time they spoke with another representative of the mortgage servicer, “Ben”.
They asked Ben about the new statement that was to have been sent out, but Ben had no idea what they were talking about. He stated that he wasn’t aware of any sort of arrangement regarding the couple’s August and September payments, and further, now that they were four months late, if they did not make the delinquent payments and associated late charges within the next 24 HOURS… Specialized Loan Services WOULD FORECLOSE ON THE PROPERTY.
You can just imagine what happened next. The Prices began calling the servicer asking to speak with the three representatives that had been speaking with over the last several months… the ones that had told them about the waiver and had been trying to find the missing payments. They called… and called… and no one answered or returned their calls. They then called the servicer’s Vice President of Customer Service… and… nothing. No return call… nothing.
It was January when the Prices received their first piece of written communication from Specialized… it was a Notice of Default and Election to Sell. Understandably, the couple was speechless. How could this happen? How was this possible?
The Prices were referred to a lawyer who said he was also a minister; a man identifying himself as a Mr. Reginald Jones. Mr. Jones told the Prices that he was highly experienced in these matters and that he would file a lawsuit as soon as possible. The couple would later learn that Mr. Jones was not an attorney. What he had done was go into court, appearing as a plaintiff by claiming that he had an interest in the property, and file a frivolous lawsuit, which was later dismissed by the court…. as it might go without saying.
Now, having been defrauded by the so-called lawyer-minister, the Prices were forced to defend an unlawful detainer action in pro per, meaning without an attorney. Unfortunately, they were not successful as they were told that they could not “litigate title in a summary proceeding,” which as I’m quite sure everyone would agree, they clearly should have known. They were advised that they should file an injunction, which they did, but unfortunately they mistakenly filed their injunction in the “wrong court,” and don’t we all hate it when that happens.
(I’m sorry for the sarcasm, but this is the most outrageous travesty of justice to which I’ve ever been exposed.)
The Prices searched and finally found an attorney they could trust, Zshonette Reed of the firm Lorden Reed in Chatsworth, California, but now it was only days before the Pasadena Sheriff would be locking the Prices out of their home potentially forever. As quickly as was possible, Ms. Reed prepared the legal documents required for the filing of a Temporary Restraining Order, or TRO, and with her clients at her side, and confident that this horrendous injustice would not be allowed to prevail, she appeared in Superior Court yesterday, September 15, 2009.
The Price home is to be locked up by the Pasadena Sheriff today, although because that office is closed for a special training day today, the event has been moved to tomorrow.
Astonishingly, the judge denied her motion for a TRO, ruling that he had no jurisdiction over the judgment that had been entered against the Prices in the unlawful detainer court. So, immediately she and her clients proceeded to the unlawful detainer court to ask that judge, in layman’s terms, to put a stop to the madness.
It may be hard for a reader to believe, but that judge also refused to provide the Prices any relief, because he said that the attorney could not litigate title in that court. It was a classic Catch-22. Ms. Reed couldn’t get relief from the Superior Court because that court said that it had no jurisdiction over the unlawful detainer court, and the unlawful detainer court wouldn’t provide relief because you can’t litigate title anywhere but in the Superior Court. Ms. Reed begged the judge, explaining that her client’s home was to be locked up by the sheriff the very next day. She needed time to prepare to present her client’s case to the appellate court. The answer was still no.
Ms. Reed and her clients left the courthouse shocked and scared. Mr. Price was clearly distressed as was his wife, and he was having a hard time breathing so he went to sit down on a stoop. He went into cardiac arrest right there in front of the courthouse and was rushed to the hospital where he is today with his wife by his side.
Meanwhile, the Pasadena Sheriff is scheduled to lock the couple out of their home today, although that looks like it won’t be until tomorrow due to the department taking today off for special training.
Can you even imagine the horror? After 32 years living in your home, raising your family, never being late on a mortgage payment… and then this? It’s unthinkable.
And it cannot be allowed to happen to the Prices or anyone else.
The worst part is that, although this is certainly an extreme case, it is far from being the only example of mortgage servicers and banks disregarding the law, and abusing homeowners. Why do they do it? I don’t know… because they can, comes to mind.
How can a homeowner hope to go up against a bank or mortgage servicer? They can’t. It would seem that even the President of the United States and the United States Treasury is having trouble getting these companies to behave like human beings.
It’s time that the people of this country come to understand what’s happening here. Past time.