A recent New Jersey case was just handed down that highlights some mortgage lenders’ unfair and deceptive practices. In Sheldrick v. Wells Fargo Bank, US District Court New Jersey, December 16,2016, married homeowners alleged a fact pattern that is all too common. After taking out a mortgage loan with Wells Fargo, one of the homeowners fell ill and couldn’t work.
The homeowners attempted to work with the bank to modify the loan so they could keep their home. They spoke to multiple mortgage officers. They worked with government agencies such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). And they met with mortgage loan counselors. Throughout this time, Wells Fargo was alleged to have refused to speak to a mortgage loan counselor from HUD.
Eventually, the homeowners could no longer pay the mortgage, and Wells Fargo foreclosed. While the foreclosure was pending, the homeowners filed a Complaint alleging unfair and deceptive practices. Due to mistakes, Wells Fargo dismissed the Complaint and the foreclosure action was finalized. The homeowners then tried to file the Complaint again, only to have it also dismissed. Evidently, they needed to bring up these allegations within the foreclosure action—which was already finalized.
Even the court, in dismissing their new Complaint, was apologetic. They noted that dismissing the case was not an endorsement of Wells Fargo’s policies and practices. Furthermore, the court admitted that such complaints of unfair and deceptive mortgage loan practices were common. They even noted that the banks can get away with such practices due to jurisdictional and procedural mistakes by homeowners.
The Manalapan foreclosure defense lawyers at Garland & Mason L.L.C. are dedicated to helping homeowners throughout New Jersey with loan modification, foreclosure defense and bankruptcy. Reach out to us as early as possible if you are falling behind on a mortgage and/or are facing foreclosure.