As San Bernardino County loan modification attorneys, we deal regularly with mortgage lenders and servicers guilty of anti-consumer and even illegal behavior. Nonetheless, we were still surprised to see a series of reports in the Los Angeles Times about a Wells Fargo executive who allegedly moved her family into a bank-owned home in the exclusive beachfront Malibu Colony neighborhood and used it to throw a party, while potential buyers were denied a chance to make their bids. According to this Sept. 15 article from the Times, Cheronda Guyton was fired from her position as senior vice president for foreclosed commercial properties after the allegations emerged.
The home in dispute was once owned by Linda and Lawrence Elins, victims of disgraced investment advisor Bernard Madoff. According to a real estate agent, the couple signed over the Malibu Colony home to satisfy a debt they couldn't pay because of their losses in Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Neighbors and real estate agents expected the house to go on the market right away, but it was never listed for sale and offers brought by real estate agents were rebuffed by Wells Fargo. However, neighbors said, Guyton and her family moved in shortly after the bank took ownership. Employees of the community association said Guyton was issued a neighborhood parking pass, and a check on the license plate of a car parked at the home found that it was registered to Guyton. Furthermore, neighbors said she threw a lavish party at the home in late August, with guests who arrived by yacht.
A statement issued Monday by the bank said Guyton was fired for violating rules about using bank property for personal use. We believe this was a necessary and appropriate move, given Guyton's alleged misconduct. However, as Long Beach loan modification lawyers, we can't help connecting this scandal to bad behavior by Wells Fargo in another area -- loan modifications. We have written here before that Wells had modified just 6% of eligible loans under the Making Home Affordable program as of August. That may not be considered a scandal, but it represents shattered dreams and financial despair for far more homeowners. Wells is a big organization, but if it can support or ignore Guyton's ethically challenged behavior, it's hard not to wonder if the same culture may be responsible for misleading and dismissing homeowners desperate to avoid foreclosure.
At Howard Law LLP, we represent homeowners who are sick of having their paperwork lost, their phone calls endlessly transferred and their requests incorrectly denied when they apply for a loan modification. Over and over, clients come to us frustrated by no progress after months of trying to get a loan modification from lenders who don't seem to be organized or motivated enough to help. Our San Clemente loan modification attorneys have had better luck working with lenders, successes we attribute to the fact that we are lawyers who are willing to sue whenever necessary to protect clients' rights. In fact, we can use any evidence we find of predatory lending as leverage to get clients the best possible loan modification -- one that lowers their mortgage payments to a reachable, realistic number.
If you're sick of struggling just to get your lender's attention for your loan modification request, Howard Law can help. To talk to us more about your situation and your options, you can call us toll-free at 1-800-872-5925 or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation.