Three years ago I purchased $387,000 a home using Countywide Mortgage as my lender and using my own (at the time) excellent credit rating, and my own cash for a $6000 down payment to qualify for an 80/20 fixed rate 30 year prime (not subprime and not interest only up front) loan combining the first and second mortgage(line of credit) into one monthly payment of $3500 per month.
Since there were two houses on the property, I had arranged for a renter, who was a sales manager of the company I worked for, who convinced me to go in with him as a co-investor in the property, who promised to move into one of the houses on the property as a renter and make regular payments to me; in return for a share in the equity if and when I sold the property.
It turned out that although my renter was capable at his job, he was a personally a wino, drug user, compulsive gambler, and liar. He missed the very first payment on his rental, which forced me to borrow money to keep the mortgage payment current. Without the rental income I could not afford the property on my income alone.
I set up a repayment plan for the renter so he could catch up on the missing back rent. It took him three months to catch up, meanwhile I was paying late payments on my mortgage, and he was a consistent late payer on his share of the utility bills as they were billed to one meter on the property.
He then defaulted twice more on the rental payments. I was unable to keep the mortgage current so I wrote a letter asking him to move out, and he left, while promising to pay the last month of rent and utlitites, which he also defaulted on.
I got another renter into the main house at a reduced rate and asked Countrywide to reduce to loan payment amount by $1000 per month so I could keep the property, or to extend the term of the loan so it would be more affordable payment. They would not work with me in any way, and after several months of fruitless negotiation with Countrywide, they foreclosed rather than regotiate the loan terms so I could keep my home, even though I had sent them double monthly mortgage payments, and borrowed high interest money to pay them on time.
They never offered me any of the alternatives of modifying the loan, extending the term, lowering the interest, putting the arrears at the end of the loan, or short sale. By the time I discovered an alternative payment plan that they could have offered me I was told that I had to have initatiated paperwork on that solution months before, when they never even mentioned alternatives other than threatening foreclosure.
I then found out that the CEO of Countrywide, while claiming the company was solid and profitable, had pulled out and sold over $300M of stock he owned in the company for personal gain, at the expense of hundreds of thousands of homeowners like myself he had presided over the financial execution and destruction of by refusing by company policy to work with or assist financially strapped homeowner customers. I subsequently found out that when Countrywide was on the verge of bankruptcy from foreclosures from deliberately writing sub prime loans Mr. Mozilla had taken his profits, and arranged for sale of the company to Bank of America.
Now Countrywide is being sued by several states, but has also financially ruined hundreds of thousands of former customers, and Mr. Mozilla retains his profits from callously refusing to assist customers who put forth every effort to try to work things out fairly and equitably and remain in their homes they had paid loan and loan interest payments on for many years. Countrywidd and Mr. Mozilla should also now be subject to a class action lawsuit by current and former foreclosed-on Countrywide loan customers.
Those profits belong to the homeowner borrowers that Countrywide ripped off, and should be taken away from Mr.Mozilla and his cronies and applied to funding to keep current struggling homeowners current on their loan and paid as damages to those borrowers who could have legitimately maintained loans that were foreclosed on if Countrywide had been willing to renogiate the loan terms.
Due to a downturn in my income from my job due to recessionary pressures, I am currently in a pre-forclosure sitation with another home mortgage lender, and they are are double talking me between two divisions with different rules and requirements on collecting late payments or renegotiating the loan.
If this other lender sees that they may be financially responsible later on to lawsuits from foreclosed on homeowner customers who have jobs and are trying desperately in a bad economy with reduced incomes and fighting inflationary costs in every area to keep their homes and loans current, they may be more inclined to work with current homeowners in the prime and subprime sectors to keep them in their homes.
Since Congress has belatedly finally decided to take action to create funding that is not taxpayer based to help keep subprime borrowers in their homes,
it is time to put Countrywide's executives' feet to the fire for past crimes they have committed in refusing to renegotiate loans they could have kept current with relatively little loss of profits; and for the immense monetary damages their irresponsible short term profit oriented lending practices and refusal to renogitate loans when customers needed help has caused to the economy in general.
If they (Countrywide) are held retroactively responsible for damages by a large judgement in a class action lawsuit, it will wake up Bank Of America to the fact that foreclosing on outstanding Countrywide loans will not be a good long term financial strategy when they take over the operation of Countrywide and the existing customer base.
It will also wake up other lenders who are still using bullying tactics and refusing to let struggling homeowner borrowers even get access to the loss mitigation departments where loan workout agreements can be negotiated, (by using coercive automatic dialing from outsourced collections departments
to demand unreasonable and impossible repayment terms, and amassing impossible to overcome late fees and charges on top of the loans);
that they need to start seriously working with struggling homeowners to keep them in their homes and existing loans; or they too will be held liable for damages for unnecessary foreclosures and the resultant expenses of homelessness and joblessness, which are then costs that are put right back into the hands of federal and state agencies supported by taxpayer funds.
I'm interested in getting together with any and all former and existing Countrywide mortgage customers who are interested in putting together a class action lawsuit against Countrywide and Angelo Mozilla for restitution of damages due to lost properties and extreme stress and hardship that was caused by Countrywide's lack of cooperation and human compassion for the families and single clients that they ripped off and foreclosed on or are about to foreclose on. If you are interested in participating such a lawsuit, or have one already started, I would like to hear from you.
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