Mary Ann Jones is a recently-retired, single mother who raised four children on her own, who put herself through school to become a Certified Medical Associate, who has worked all her life to provide her family a comfortable modest home, who always paid her own way (meaning she did not resort to welfare type of public assistance), and who planned that this home would be her secure, retirement home.
Mary Ann worked at a VA Clinic until her disabled daughter, Tracy, was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. During Tracy’s hospitalization, Mary Ann needed to take time off from work. Because of the drop in her income coupled with increased medical bills, Mary Ann fell behind on her mortgage payments.
Early on, Mary Ann was successful in re-negotiating her mortgage payments with Wells Fargo Bank. The monthly payments were set at $750 per month which Mary Ann could manage and thus did not miss a payment.
Then, about a year later, her checks started to bounce. She had no idea why. When she inquired, she was told that her mortgage had ballooned, and consequently her monthly payments had increased to $1500 per month.
Mary Ann is positive that the bank never told her about the one-year balloon clause in the modified mortgage. Ever so conscientiously, Mary Ann then withdrew funds from her retirement account and paid the bank a huge lump sum payment of over $30,000 to get caught up. Wells Fargo still considered her in default.
Mary Ann worked with Lutheran Social Services (LSS), an agency that assists homeowners with foreclosure problems. Wells Fargo informed Mary Ann that they will not work with this agency.
Mary Ann feels that Wells Fargo has given her the round around after run around when she has tried to contact them. Mary Ann submitted information over and over to the bank, only to have bank officials say they didn’t receive it, or have no record of it.
When Mary Ann tried calling, over and over again, she often got only a recorded message. Sometimes the person she was instructed to call no longer even worked for the bank.
Wells Fargo recently informed Mary Ann that a company called “Independent Foreclosure Administration” (IFA) out of Faribault, Minnesota would be conducting an “Independent Foreclosure Review.” IFA told Mary Ann she had until April 30th to submit the questionnaire they sent her.
Mary Ann dutifully filled out the questionnaire and an LSS staff person personally hand-delivered the completed questionnaire to the Wells Fargo branch bank in Duluth on February 24th.
Then, to Mary Ann’s amazement, and exasperation, a neighbor informed her that she had seen in the local March 1st newspaper that a “Notice of a Sheriff’s Sale” was to be conducted on Mary Ann’s house on April 24th — six days before the deadline for the “Independent Foreclosure Review!” A review which may take several months to complete, according to the agency!
Clearly, there is horrible confusion, miscommunication and seeming disregard for the personal situations of at least some of the bank’s clients within their mortgage department.
Meanwhile, Mary Ann’s very home is in jeopardy, a home that she has modified for her disabled daughter who also has limited vision. Among the modifications is an access ramp to the front door of the house.
This family does not deserve to be treated this way. This family deserves to keep this house because they have done everything in their power to meet the mortgage payments that are commensurate to their income, payments that the bank at one time agreed upon.