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OC 'Real Housewife' Sues Lender for Allegedly Reneging on Loan Modification Deal

May 17, 2011

Our Chino foreclosure defense attorneys know that several "Real Housewives of Orange County" have struggled with foreclosure and bankruptcy issues, just like a lot of less famous people in southern California. Among those, apparently, is a new cast member, Irvine resident Peggy Tanous. According to a May 6 post from the OC Register's Lansner on Real Estate blog, Tanous and her husband, who have two young daughters, are suing four mortgage lending companies to stop a scheduled foreclosure, claiming the companies did not honor a repayment agreement the couple had made. The situation is complicated by falling income for the couple and back property taxes they owe.

The UK's Daily Mail says Tanous's husband, Micah, is an "Internet entrepreneur," while she's a stay-at-home mom. They bought their home for $1.379 million in 2006, taking out two mortgages. They now owe $1.31 million and have had trouble making their payments on time. The Daily Mail said the lawsuit by Tanous claims she negotiated a 10-year interest-only repayment plan, but the foreclosing lender is now violating that deal. The lawsuit also names the holder of the second mortgage, PNC Bank, as PNC Mortgage. The bank filed papers in court correcting the same and saying the lawsuit is inappropriate, because the second loan it holds is not the loan in foreclosure. The foreclosure is rescheduled for this month but likely to be rescheduled again.

As Laguna Beach foreclosure defense lawyers, we think these sound strikingly similar to the problems faced by our own clients -- although with higher dollar amounts involved. Borrowers trying to reach loan modifications frequently believe they've worked out a deal with their loan servicers -- only to have another part of the bank turn around and continue pursuing foreclosure. These "dual-track foreclosures" are popular with banks because they minimize the wait before a foreclosure, but they put homeowners at risk of being foreclosed after they've paid significant money toward keeping the home and thought they could relax. It's also not uncommon for a second mortgage to complicate loan modifications or make them harder to get.

Even if they're not on television, borrowers deserve a fair shot at modifying their loans and fair treatment from their loan servicers. At Howard Law PC, we fight for clients who have tried for months to get a loan modification, but have been treated unfairly or subjected to incompetent behavior by their lenders. Many clients come to us after months or more than a year of submitting paperwork to their lenders, only to have it rejected for reasons that seem more like excuses. Others have been dual-tracked and foreclosed while they thought they were negotiating a loan workout that would solve their problems. Our Pomona foreclosure defense attorneys fight back with litigation to get the case in court, based on HAMP rules, California law or federal borrowers' rights laws.

If you're in default or foreclosure and you're running out of patience with your lender, don't hesitate to call Howard Law for help. We offer free, confidential case evaluations, so you risk nothing by telling us about your case. For a meeting, call 1-800-872-5925 or send us an email.