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Huntington Beach Councilman Sues Wells Fargo for Foreclosing Before Loan Mod

March 8, 2011

Our Riverside County foreclosure defense lawyers are used to politicians being involved the foreclosure crisis through debates, not direct participation. So we were interested to see a short notice in the March 3 Huntington Beach Independent saying that Keith Bohr, a city councilman for that city, has sued Wells Fargo's mortgage arm for allegedly continuing with a foreclosure before giving him and his wife a chance to modify their loan. That filing comes on the heels of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed last year for the company Bohr co-owns, which owns a restaurant. That bankruptcy was finalized last year, Bohr said.

The Independent's article doesn't give many details about the mortgage-related lawsuit. On Feb. 3, Bohr and his wife, Elizabeth Propp, filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Fidelity National Title Insurance Company. Bohr and Propp had apparently been trying to modify their mortgage, but accused the lenders of starting foreclosure proceedings before allowing the loan modification. It wasn't clear whether any modification was ultimately granted. However, both the federal Home Affordable Modification Program and the policies of many lenders, including Wells Fargo, forbid foreclosing before a decision is made on a loan modification. The lawsuit allowed the couple to ask the court for a temporary restraining order stopping any foreclosure from proceeding before the case is decided.

This lawsuit looks very familiar to our Diamond Bar foreclosure defense attorneys because it's exactly like the kinds of suits we file every day. Most of our loan modification clients aren't politicians or other high-profile people, but all of them called us because they felt their applications for a loan workout were not given fair consideration. They frequently tell us about paperwork that was lost repeatedly; denials for permanent loan modification even though the trial modification had no problems; and seemingly arbitrary excuses or blatant mismanagement by lenders. Very often, lenders start foreclosure proceedings before making a loan modification decision, which can lead to mistaken foreclosures that are nearly impossible to correct.

At Howard Law PC, we prefer to address these problems out of court whenever possible, through aggressive negotiations with the lender. Sometimes, just hiring an attorney will help the lender understand that you know your rights and are serious about enforcing them. But if negotiations fail, or a foreclosure is happening very soon, our Seal Beach foreclosure defense lawyers will take your case to court in order to protect your property and your right. More and more, our lawsuits allege that the lender failed to give reasonable consideration to a loan modification request, by delaying the process beyond reason, denying a modification incorrectly or pulling other tricks. Suing gives the lender accountability to a court, and thus to the public, forcing it to grant the loan modification or provide good reasons why it did not.

If your request for a loan modification appears to have fallen into a bureaucratic black hole and you're tired of struggling, call Howard Law for help. For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, send us a message online or call us today at 1-800-872-5925 today.