Bank of America Forecloses On Homeowner With Disabled Daughter After Offering Her A Modification

Travis Waldron
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Friday 13 April 2012
“Thanks to the process known as dual-tracking, banks have thrown thousands of homeowners into foreclosure even while offering those same homeowners loan modifications.”
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A California woman is facing foreclosure from Bank of America after taking out a loan to make her home more accessible for her disabled daughter, shining light on yet another improper foreclosure practice perpetuated by America’s largest banks.

Dirma Rodriguez fell behind on her original loan after spending thousands of dollars installing tile floors and a wheelchair ramp to make it easier for Ingrid Ortiz, her daughter who has cerebral palsy, to move around the house. When Rodriguez fell behind on her original loan, Bank of America offered her a trial modification. Even though Rodriguez kept up with those payments for more than a year, the bank sold her home at auction, and the new owner is pursuing eviction, the Los Angeles Times reports:

Rodriguez took out a loan to retrofit her house for her special-needs daughter. After she fell behind on her payments, the Bank of America lowered her monthly obligation, but then sold the house at a foreclosure auction last September. The new owner, a house flipper from El Segundo called West Ridge Rentals, moved to evict the family. [...]

Bank of America inherited Rodriguez’s loan from Countrywide. After her payment jumped, and she fell behind, the bank placed her in a trial loan modification. She made her payments faithfully for 13 months and was awaiting a permanent modification package when the bank sold her home out from under her, she says.

Rodriguez’s story, unfortunately, is not unique. Thanks to the process known as dual-tracking, banks have thrown thousands of homeowners into foreclosure even while offering those same homeowners loan modifications. As a result, homeowners who were willing to make new, lower payments to stay in their homes are often evicted anyway. Dual tracking, along discriminatory, fraudulent, and deceptive practices, led Bank of America and other Wall Street banks to settle a $25 billion suit with the federal government last month.

Trial modifications like the one given to Rodriguez, whose loan is backed by Freddie Mac, are supposed to last three months before the terms of the modification are made permanent if all payments are made. Rodriguez says she made 13 consecutive payments, but Bank of America told the Times that it still wants to be sure she can afford the payments before it makes the modification permanent. “I don’t want a free house,” Rodriguez told the Times. “I just want to make my payments.”

Luckily for Rodriguez, local activists have taken up her cause. Occupy Fights Foreclosure helped her stave off a scheduled eviction on March 26, and the company that bought her home at auction is willing to return it if Bank of America pays it back. The bank, which set the whole process in motion, is now considering giving her a modification that would allow her to keep the home.



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ABOUT Travis Waldron

Travis Waldron is a reporter/blogger for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Travis grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and holds a BA in journalism and political science from the University of Kentucky. Before coming to ThinkProgress, he worked as a press aide at the Health Information Center and as a staffer on Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s 2010 Senate campaign. He also interned at National Journal’s Hotline and was a sports writer and political columnist at the Kentucky Kernel, the University of Kentucky’s daily student newspaper.

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8 comments on "Bank of America Forecloses On Homeowner With Disabled Daughter After Offering Her A Modification"

srfotog

May 13, 2012 3:59pm

Bankers are monsters. I was offered modification and when made third payment, Flagstar Bank sent it back and said I was in foreclosure. I'm disabled as well, and my lifetime retirement investment went down the tubes in 2008.

PayingAttention

April 14, 2012 2:33pm

Bank of America lied to screw over a friend of mine too. After she'd been put on a trial period for a modification and had been told all documentation was received and her case had been forwarded to the underwriter for review, a week later they sent a letter saying she was denied because she hadn't met the documentation requirements by the deadline--for a piece of documentation they had never even requested!!! They flat out lied and despite 3 B of A people to whom she'd complained saying they'd investigate it, no one has ever followed up!

amilah07

April 14, 2012 1:57pm

Great article Travis! People need to hear these stories. And often! Keep on brother!

Brian Glennie

April 14, 2012 7:31am

Good ole cutthroat capitalism. Good ole free enterprise ( with a little help from the lawyers, police, and politicians )

Carole

April 13, 2012 3:33pm

I was not someone who took out a bad loan. We have lived in this house for over 16 years, and made all our payments.After my divorce and subsequent reduction of income,I was looking for some financial relief when offered the modification by B.O.A. My HAMP loan was approved and notarized, after making all of my trial payments, which I later learned ,I was never credited for.They told me that I was never approved, and that they were going to foreclose.. I kept calling and was given all manner of excuses, including the "We have misplaced your paperwork " scam which I have heard has been routinely used.I hired a lawyer who was able to temporarily halt the foreclosure on the grounds that it was illegal, but I am in limbo. After I heard that they had reached a settlement I expected them to offer me something , but now they are just telling me that they intend to take my home anyway. I looks as if H.A.M.P. is just a way for the bank(s) to identify the financially vulnerable and drive them into foreclosure.
Incidentally, I also have a child with a disability, and this is to say the least,a very stressful ordeal.

chuckyboy333

April 13, 2012 2:28pm

But banks are run by corporations and corporations are people too! What about their hardships and feelings?Mitt Romney told me that Corporations are People!

chuckyboy333

April 13, 2012 2:26pm

But banks are run by corporations and corporations are people too! What about their hardships and feelings? Mitt Romney told me that Corporations are People!

Ronni85

April 13, 2012 2:10pm

BASTARD BANKS! BASTARD BANKERS!