As local station WFTV reported, “Last year, Wells Fargo offered him mortgage modification, and he was told if he made four monthly payments during a trial period, the modification would be permanent.” Court records show that he went beyond making the payments on time to pay early and more than was required. At times he says he has worked multiple jobs to make sure he can make mortgage payments.
But Wells Fargo recently stopped taking his payments and sent him a letter telling him that it was starting foreclosure proceedings.
Banks have been accused of similar shenanigans in the past, as many have lost track of paperwork, illegally foreclosed on military members, and refused to work with borrowers who scrounge up money on modifications. Major banks have been widely reported to use a process known as “dual tracking” in which they work with a borrower on a modification while also pursuing foreclosure. Some instructed borrowers to stop making payments to help enter the modification process only to foreclose on them anyway.
But banks were ordered to end dual tracking and other abusive practices as part of the $25 billion fraud settlement. They dragged their feet on ending this practice as homeowners continued to face foreclosure. Banks were also ordered to modify mortgages as part of the settlement but some have been slow to dole out the relief.
Frustration about the weak agreement, coupled with the slow trickle of settlement money, sparked a protest at the Department of Justice on Monday, where activists and foreclosed homeowners marched and some were arrested.