Due to financial problems we defaulted on our home loan. In December of 2002 we were contacted by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage stating that our loan with them had been sold to EMC Mortgage Corporation and we would need to start making payments to EMC beginning in April 1, 2003, which we did.
In June of 2003, we were able to secure a re-payment plan through EMC Mortgage, supposedly to cure the default and remain current on our regular payments. This agreement was as follows:
First payment of $2500.00 was due immediately and was electronically deducted from our savings account by EMC Mortgage Corporation. There were 11 more payments of $1750.00 each for the months of July-2003 - July, 2004 with the final payment of $2040.00 due by August 15, 2004.
In January of 2004, we were notified by a lawyer that EMC was now putting our house into foreclosure status even though the entire repayment plan had not yet ended and that our house had been sold back to EMC at a Sheriff's Sale in Red Wing, Minnesota on January 21, 2004, but that we still had the six months to redeem the property after that. We continued to make the payments that EMC requested under the re-payment plan and they continued to cash those checks.
In February of 2004 we were contacted by another lawyer for EMC offering us a "Cash for Keys" deal in which EMC would pay us to turn our house over to them immediately. We rejected this initial offer and continued to make our payments.
In late June of 2004 we started to ask some additional questions, since Ms. Reiter told me that us we had 6 months to "redeem" my property. We the second lawyer and were informed me that we would need to speak to the first lawyer to find out what needed to get done, since her law firm handled the foreclosure.
We spoke with the first lawyer and she told us that the redemption had to be done through the Goodhue County Sheriff, since they were the one who handled the sale, since she did not have power of attorney for EMC Mortgage, but actually worked for Wells Fargo. She would talk to EMC about how much money still had to be paid. At this point questions started to arise about how Wells Fargo's Attorneys were doing a foreclosure for EMC Mortgage.
The answer came back from the Sheriff on July 20th, 2004 - we had to pay $146,000 more to EMC - again, even though all the payments to date had been made and accepted by the mortgage company. On July 28, 2004 - exactly 7 days after the redemption period ended, we received an e-mail from another lawyer stating that EMC had now agreed to deed the property back to us even though we had not paid the $146,000 redemption fee (we were still on the re-payment agreement plan, which I communicated to this lawyer). In return for the new deed, however, we now needed to pay EMC $152,000, and clear a lien against the property.
On August 4, 2004 we received another e-mail tis lawyer stating that she had not yet received our bank information or confirmation that we had $150-152,000 in the bank to pay to EMC and that if she did not receive this information by August 16, 2004 (the last day of the re-payment plan), then the agreement would become null and void.
On August 7, 2004 we mailed the final payment of $2040.00 to EMC on the re-payment schedule and that check was cashed by EMC on August 18, 2004.
On August 24, 2004 we received an eviction summons to appear in Court in Goodhue County on August 31, 2004, stating that we failed to properly complete our re-payment plan and thus we had an improper redemption which would mean that EMC owned the property. This proceeding was instigated by Wilford and Geske who were once again representing EMC Mortgage Corp. At that hearing, a third law firm was present. There was an agreement put on the court record that EMC would continue working on the buy-back and that since they had accepted all payments related to the re-payment agreement and cashed the final check. However, since the redemption period had expired, a writ of restitution would be issued, but stayed for a lengthy period of time to allow for both parties to get new paperwork issued to put the house back into our name, clear the lien against the property, etc.
On November 4, 2004, the write of restitution was served by the sheriff's office forcing us to vacate the house, stating that we still owed the mortgage company another $300.00 - for what we are not sure. We were told that we could pay the amount due and then be restored to the property, but the dollar amount owed suddenly went from $300.00 to over $2000.00.
Every time we called EMC to find out what needed to be done, they kept telling us to call back in a couple of weeks. Finally, in the beginning of December, EMC told us that we would need to wait until the house came on the market and buy it back from them for a list price of $146,900.00, even after all the payments we made to bring the mortgage up to date on the re-payment plan. The house was put on the market with a real estate company the last week of December.
We tried to set up an appointment with realty company to view the house and to attempt to re-take possession, but was told that we would have to pay down earnest money and would need to pay the asking price for the house, plus another $1125.00 for storage fees for our property and then $1,000.00 in closing costs.
In the mean time it was made known to us that when the moving company hired by EMC moved our property in to storage, they put EMC's name on the storage facility contract so that we were not able to pay for storage of my property until we gave EMC the $1125.00 they felt we owed. We also discovered, that the actual fees for storage totaled $210.00 per month, but we were being charged additional amounts by EMC for the storage in the amount of $325.00 per month. EMC was paid the storage fees in February of 2005.
At the end of February we discovered through conversations with the real estate company, that when EMC had our belongings moved from the house, they left some of the property in the house and are now asking for more money to get that stuff back. They claim we will have to pay a storage fee for those items as well since they had been in the house for longer than two months, so EMC now claims ownership of whatever was left in the house and on the property by their own moving company.
We finally filed a consumer complaint with the Minnesota State Attorney General's office and their consumer division is looking into all allegations of wrong doing and possible equity stripping by EMC. The investigation is still on-going and no determination has yet been made regarding this matter.
Due to the fact that a Costumer Complaint Analyst with the MN State Attorney General's Office believes that MC asked us to pay more than may be legal in MN for our Buy-Back Agreement, and that he believes EMC may have practices what is known as "equity stripping" (which may also be illegal), and becasue it appears several of the others here who have made complaints here may have also been victims of one or the other of these highly questionable actions by EMC; we are looking are the possibility of a Class Action Lawsuit.