In 2008, Cindi Davis and her husband of 19 years, Kirk, received devastating news. Cindi was diagnosed with breast cancer. Both vowed to fight the cancer together. Kirk referred to his wife’s fight as ‘their fight’.
Following the diagnosis, Cindi, 50, had to resign from her job as a schoolteacher and go on long-term disability. Kirk, 51, resigned his job as a project manager due to the extensive traveling requirements. He took a 55% pay cut to work as a machine operator. The new job allows him to stay close to home and help Cindi through grueling medical and chemotherapy treatments.
Valiantly fighting the cancer, Cindi is now in Stage 4 of the disease which has spread to her lymph nodes, lungs and liver. She’s struggled through dozens of chemotherapy treatments. Just her basic medications cost $1,100 a month. Her disability insurance is $1,200 a month.
The Davis’ filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2010, but with mounting medical bills, they’ve fallen behind in the monthly house payments to Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo recently started foreclosure proceedings against them. Last month, with local publicity shedding a negative light on Wells Fargo, the bank said in a statement to local television crews, they were halting the foreclosure. But two weeks later, Wells Fargo reneged on their statement and filed the foreclosure papers.
Wells Fargo delivered papers last week notifying the Davis’ they are foreclosing and the date of December 19, 2012 was set to auction off their home. Six days before Christmas. Yesterday, Wells Fargo changed the date to January 3. A hearing has been set for November 21st.
The Davis’ bought their modest, one-story home in Mount Holly, North Carolina in 2004 and had always paid their mortgage on time. They tried working with Wells Fargo for lower payments and loan modifications once she became ill. Cindi’s doctor even wrote a letter explaining her condition and that any extra stress would speed up her health problems.
Cindi and Kirk went through mortgage specialists, applied and reapplied for loan modifications, made endless phone calls and wrote letters but nothing helped. Cindi could never reach the same person each time she called, the bank was missing paperwork, she had to resend paperwork and on and on. She even thought of divorcing Kirk to increase her benefits.
The Davis’ original monthly mortgage payment was $840 on the original $112,000 loan. Wells Fargo’s extra fees continually mount – the loan is now $140,000. Once, when they reapplied for a loan modification, their monthly payment went up to $873. Cindi doesn’t understand and said the bank adds to it every time. The bank told her they were sorry, that’s what her plan was.
The community has pitched in and held fundraisers. Cindi and Kirk sold everything they have, including their prized kayaks to raise money. A yard sale last week brought in $1,614. Donations have been coming in to help them come up with the $25,000 Wells Fargo wants immediately to save the home.
Cindi said she’s not trying to get a free house or any special deal. She’s just trying to get the bank to work with her during this time. Considering her diagnosis as terminal and has spread throughout her organs, surely the bank could work something out “during this time”.
Wells Fargo stated the bank’s thoughts are with the Davis’ during her courageous battle with cancer. They also said they “often work with local housing counselors and other non-profits that can help determine if any other assistance may be available.” Often? Does that mean Wells Fargo is working with local charities to help Cindi? Probably not.
Cindi’s good friend, Marsha Phipps said “Wells Fargo has never tried working with the Davis’ and Wells Fargo wouldn’t know what working with someone meant if it jumped up and bit them”.
All right, we understand banks have guidelines, they have investors, but couldn’t they have assigned one person to the Davis’ and come up with a solution other than throwing them out of their home?
On my blog, dated September 20th, 2012 I wrote that according to the U.S. auditor’s report, less than 10% of the $46 billion to help distressed homeowners has been used in the last three years. Why isn’t the other 90% or $41.4 billion being used for distressed homeowners?
The $46 billion “Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds reached the big banks. Wells Fargo IS one of those big banks – why aren’t these funds reaching the homeowners? Why aren’t the banks trying harder to work with distressed homeowners?
If in the painful process of dying isn’t considered “distressful” – what do the banks think is?
Keith A. Gantenbein, Jr. is a Colorado foreclosure defense attorney located in Denver and servicing all of Colorado. He also handles bankruptcies, mortgage negotiations, lender liability, real estate, civil litigation, contracts and landlord/ tenant. If you think you will be facing foreclosure, or are in the foreclosure process, or have had a wrongful foreclosure, contact Keith Gantenbein at (303) 618-2122 for a one-hour consultation where he will discuss your situation and go over all your options with you.