I feel violated. I am angry, confused, and hurt. I'm learning the hard way that banks are above the law.
Now I wonder what to do. I want to fight but am facing the grim financial reality.
Initially, my attorney told me that he'd sued Anderson Brothers Bank (ABB) more than once. He countered their foreclosure claim against me with eight counter claims. He scored several concessions against them during deposition. He's told me on numerous occasions that the bank has gotten itself into big trouble. Now, after pocketing almost $30,000.00 of my money he's advising (pushing) me to offer the bank money to settle the case. It does not appear that he's ever sued ABB.
Nevertheless, I find it difficult paying the bank when their own records prove that they should be paying my parent's estate and me approximately $85,000.00, not including punitive damages.
When my elderly parents went to the bank for $40,500.00 to consolidate their loans and make it easier to afford their medications, the bank required them to put up three houses and an empty lot as collateral for a five year, 10% balloon loan.
They further required that my parents keep each house insured for no less than $40,500.00 on each dwelling. They agreed that if my parents, for any reason, could not or failed to keep the insurance on the dwellings that they would apply forced place insurance and bill my parents account for the cost of doing this.
The insurance payments, the mortgage payment, monthly bills and the cost of medications were more than my parent's could handle. The bank sent a letter stating that they would keep insurance on the properties until my parents presented proof that they had their own insurance.
One of the houses burned down in May 2003, about three weeks after the death of my father. The bank, however, gave no credit to my parent's account from the insurance. My parents and I requested information that would explain why not. But the bank refused to provide this information even after I contacted the FDIC. Only weeks before the fire, the bank had also refused to give an accounting of the loan balance when I attempted to pay off my parent's loan.
We, nonetheless, continued making payments on the loan (what else could we do?). Most of our payments were early. The loan was scheduled to be renewed in October 2005.
My mother died in March of '06. As the only heir I was asked by the bank to assume the loan balance. Because I had reason to suspect that the mortgage balance was incorrect I agreed to continue the early payments but refused to sign anything until I received a full accounting of my parent's loan.
The bank accepted the payments but provided no accounting. Instead, they instructed their attorney Robert Corley to send me a letter dated, June 2006, stating, [the bank] has instructed me to begin foreclosing on the mortgages unless you cooperate with [the bank] and begin the probate process. Note: this was not my debt.
There were some delays in getting the death certificates but I never thought that such a thing would rise to the level of kicking someone out of their home.
Notwithstanding, I completed probate in August 2006. Despite this, the bank initiated foreclosure proceedings on November 14, 2006. They continued to take payments from me, however, until January 2007.
As for their reason to foreclose?, the complaint states, because of late payments:. Not only were my payments on time, they were as much as one month in advance. (according to the bank's own records)
When my attorney contacted theirs, Robert Corley, he took himself off the case. We later learned that he was involved in the fraudulent and deceitful transfer of two of my parents' properties to my cousin, a friend of the bank. Mr. Corley refused to comply and cooperate with a subpoena.
The bank's next attorney Patricia Speth provided my attorney copies of notices to foreclose that were supposedly mailed to my parents. Though, the dates of the notices were after my parents were both known by the bank to be deceased. The notices were dated, August 2006. The bank had already begun corresponding with me in, June 2006.
The bank later hired attorney Ed Whittington to join Ms. Speth.
My attorney requested a full accounting first from Ms. Speth and twice from Mr. Whittington. It took the bank almost a year and half to provide a partial accounting. They said the delay was due to the privacy act. Yet they know that my parents completed an ABB form naming me as their representative. Also I have a power of attorney signed by my mother and duly witnessed and filed in court, dated April 2004. During the deposition another bank employee stated that she was never asked to pull the records until just before the deposition.
The accounting shows that my parents were not only being billed for fire insurance but that the bank was charging them interest. The bank failed to produce all of the insurance policies for which they billed my parents. The bank records showed conflicting payoff amounts. Also in the complaint the bank stated that I was paying 10% in interest; yet, the records showed that I was being charged a 13% default rate (despite making early payments).
During my deposition Mr. Whittington presented me real estate documents for my parents' properties in an attempt to explain why my cousin had the properties in his name. Neither Mr. Whittington nor Ms. Speth ever provided the signature pages of the documents.
There's so much more but I respect your time and thank you exceedingly for using it to read my case. Furthermore, I have a very short time line to tell my attorney whether to go ahead with the trial or throw in the towel.
So let me wrap up by telling you where I stand right now:
The bank originally asked for approximately $47,000. Now they're willing to accept $20,000. I will also be given control of the two pieces of property that ended up in my cousin's name.
I feel they owe my parents' estate $40,500 for fire insurance. Since the fire I've paid about $20.000 in mortgage payments that I should not have had to pay. I offered the bank $20,000 in Dec 2006 to avoid legal fees. They refused to accept. Since then I've spent over $20,000 in legal fees. There is about $5,000 in other erroneous charges. So even after the debt is paid off they owe me at least $40,000. Then tack on the fact that I wrongfully endured almost three years of the thought of loosing my home and unnecessary expenses and attempts to save it.
What should I do?
Carrboro, North Carolina