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Sunday, Jun. 26, 2011 at 6:06 PM
This story will take you into the world of pre and post Foreclosure crisis. The pain, suffering and never ending struggles of one American Family caught in the web of Financial greed by the biggest Financial Institutions in the world.
Mary Gonsalves Pre and Post Foreclosure Experiences
I am a small business owner for the past 23 years but due to multiple hospitalizations and a decline in business due to the global recession, I applied for a loan modification proactively in March of 2009 with my mortgage processor of the time, IndyMac.
After months of making calls and being “strung along” with claims that this form or document was missing (despite multiple submissions of the alleged missing documents) and being repeatedly told that I should NOT default on the loan, I finally got a rejection letter for the loan modification because I did not qualify due to the fact that my loan was NOT in default!
That process actually resulted in me accumulating vast quantities of credit card debt since I did all I could to prevent a mortgage default since I was told to avoid that act, however, that very avoidance actually led to my loan modification denial. I then filed a lawsuit in pro per against IndyMac, which by that point had become OneWest bank.
On the date of my court hearing, judge Manuel Real dismissed my lawsuit within 20 minutes in favor of the defending banks without letting a representative that was present speak on my behalf. He also dismissed 3 other mortgage related cases within the same 20 minutes all in favor of the banks including Wells Fargo and Fidelity.
In September of 2009, I finally stopped paying the mortgage. The bank then started foreclosure proceedings. I was terrified of being thrown out of my house especially since I have my 85 year old mother and widowed sister living with me. My mother is a survivor of 3 open heart bypass surgeries.
The trustee sale for the house was fast approaching and so I spoke with an attorney who was a business client of mine named Denise Fitzpatrick. I wanted her to be my representative to negotiate with the bank to work out a proposal to pay the mortgage at the then assessed property value but this negotiation did not take place. Instead she convinced me to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy (something that I never wanted as my credit at that point was excellent and I was not in default with any creditor except for the mortgage company – which only happened after months of trying to work out a modification or refinance). I met with the trustee for the bankruptcy and then the judge. They told me that I could change my bankruptcy to a Chapter 7, a Chapter 13, or request a dismissal. I asked for a dismissal and the judge ordered Ms. Fitzpatrick to return all my fees (a disgorgement) by August 30th of 2010. Almost a year later I am still awaiting a return of my fees. I have received all of the negative impact from that bankruptcy filing without receiving any of the benefits which has made my life in more difficult.
Last August I sought the legal assistance of yet another attorney to fight what I believe is an illegal foreclosure. After months of paying this new attorney, Michael Pines, I found out that he was disbarred during my most recent surgery and hospitalization allowing the bank to speed up the process of the unlawful detainer that I was served. I have contacted Congressman Waxman, Representative Mike Feuer, Attorney General Kamala Harris, The California Bar Association, and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (who themselves have a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank, the trustee for IndyMac/OneWest Bank regarding my mortgage and property, for being slum lords).
I asked myself “Why is a German Bank permitted to take away our American Dreams? – the home that I had worked so hard to acquire. We are victims of the faulty banking system. Who is listening? Who is trying to help us? Why were the banks bailed out so quickly and we the people, the citizens of this great country, still suffering and our homes being taken away daily? Since I am self-employed it was not easy for me to qualify for my mortgage. I had to jump through hoops and provide lots of paperwork include bank statements, tax returns, profit and loss statements and I had been an owner of my business for over 17 years at the time I applied for my mortgage. I am not happy that consumers are being blamed for getting homes that we could not afford when it was the reckless and unscrupulous actions of the banks which led to the global recession that devastated the economy and resulted in me now not being able to afford my home.
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