Wells Fargo Bank and Patricia Martin Part 2 – A Bank that Cannot Be Trusted
By Martin Andelman
Okay, so here’s a quick recap, in case you’re coming in late, followed by an update that demonstrates very clearly why I say that Wells Fargo Bank and the law firm, Anglin, Flewelling, Rasmussen, Campbell & Trytten LLP… cannot be trusted.
First the Short Recap…
Patricia Martin, age 65, having lived in her home for 44 years, had major back surgery, so she had to send her daughter into the bank to make two payments. There were late fees of about $80 a month, but the person at Wells Fargo said they could be paid later, and accepted the check for the two payments.
The following month, October, Patricia’s home heating system required major repairs, so the next time she was able to make her mortgage payment was the following month, November. But, when she tried to make the payment, the bank said that she hadn’t made the September payment, and in fact, she was in default, and had to come up with $4829.96 by November 30th, or the bank would foreclose.
What the bank had done was deduct her late fees instead of crediting her payment in September, just like they said they were NOT going to do. They told her she would have to get a copy of the check and send it in to Wells to have it credited properly. She did that, but it didn’t matter, because…
Wells Fargo did have an idea though… they told her she should apply for a loan modification and that would take care of the back payments. Oh, joy! What a great solution, right?
Well, not so much. And for the rest of the year Wells Fargo refused to accept her continuous offers to make her payments and bring the loan current. Wells Fargo turned her down for a loan modification because they said she failed the NPV… but that was wrong… the bank was using a valuation of $370,000 and the home’s only worth $300,000. (Wells said they’d re-run the NPV test with the correct valuation, but when they re-ran the test, they used the $370,000 again.)
And, to make a long incredibly awful story short, Wells Fargo ended buying her home at a trustee sale for $298,000… like it should have been worth in the NPV test, you might recall.
The bottom-line is, as anyone should be able to clearly see… Patricia Martin should NOT have lost her home and Wells Fargo SHOULD help her get it back with a modified payment so she can continue to live in the home she should NEVER have lost in the first place.
So… I wrote all about Patricia’s situation the day before yesterday and my DOERS started emailing and calling immediately. Certainly, many hundreds of people got involved, and yet Patricia’s lawyer heard nothing from Wells or their law firm.
The Update… Why Wells Fargo Cannot be Trusted
Patricia’s attorney, Mark Zanides, got in his car and drove the five or so hours up to Pismo Beach to appear at the Unlawful Detainer action, at which Wells Fargo and their lawyers planned to have Patricia evicted from her home.
It didn’t work. Although the judge in the case started out accusing Mark of trying to delay and seemed very unlikely to allow that to happen, Mark turned things around and ultimately the judge signed a Temporary Restraining Order, so for the moment he has stopped the eviction from proceeding.
But, that only means a delay… and that I’m going to take this fight up a great BIG notch or two, and here’s why… what Wells Fargo Bank did today demonstrated to me that they DO NOT CARE and CANNOT BE TRUSTED.
First of all, Wells Fargo’s chosen law firm didn’t even show up in court… they literally phoned it in… I mean they participated by calling into the court on the phone. And I absolutely HATE that.
A human being is potentially losing their home… being evicted. You should have to come in because people communicate better in person and perhaps the person being evicted would like some extra time or some other concession… and whether you agree or don’t… the right thing to do is to get off your ass, out of your office… and into your Mercedes so you can be in court to look them in the eye, and if necessary hear their tears… you worthless, chicken-shit, foreclosure mill pieces of legal trash.
Oh, and by the way… Anglin, Flewelling, Rasmussen, Campbell & Trytten LLP… allow me to introduce myself since I don’t believe we’ve met. You can call me Mandelman, and I’ll be the highly ranked and widely read blogger that will be soiling page one of your Google search page from here on out. (Can you imagine what it will look like a year from now… think “David Stern West,” and it’ll come to you.)
And, Lynette Gridiron Winston… since you’re the lawyer going after Patricia, you might as well Google me as well. Fun!
Wells Fargo through their lawyer, Lynn Gridiron Winston heard Patricia’s attorney explain what had occurred. Their defense to the allegations? You won’t believe it…
Basically, Gridiron said that Wells Fargo may very well have told Patricia’s daughter that the $82 and change late fee could be paid later, last September when she made the two payments, but it wasn’t in writing so it doesn’t matter.
In lawyer-speak, Gridiron cited the “statute of frauds,” saying… “Any alleged oral representations are not enforceable.”
The other way she defended this indefensible position, was to say that it wasn’t clear that Patricia’s check for the two payments was negotiated by the bank, because they said… they couldn’t read the Wells Fargo endorsement stamp on the back of the photocopy of the CANCELLED CHECK.
“Plaintiff is not entitled to injunctive relief… “ blah, blah, blah.
Memo to lawyers everywhere… this is NOT how you handle this type of situation in our society. The rest of us find it so objectionable and odious that were we to read in the paper of a lawyer being run over by the fast moving car of a homeowner, as a result of such behavior, we’d be like, “Wow, no kidding. Are you done with the Sports section? Thanks.”
Let me tell you why…
- Because it has nothing to do with the statute of frauds. If a Wells Fargo employee tells someone they can pay the late fee later, then they can. And if that’s no longer true, then fine… Wells Fargo Cannot Be Trusted, and the entire country needs to be informed that this is the way things are, because it didn’t used to be so.
- I’ll be happy to lead the charge on the P.R. campaign… and there’s no need to thank me as I’m quite sure that I’ll have lots of help. I couldn’t do it alone, don’t you know.
- (In fact, by the way, my partner, Abigail Field is writing about this situation this very evening. So, just imagine where this thing is going from here… what’s the word they use for these sorts of effects… it’s a math term… oh yeah… exponential.)
- Now onto the check issue… You know damn well that Wells Fargo negotiated Patricia’s check because Wells Fargo knows it because Wells Fargo GOT THE MONEY. And if that’s no longer the case, then the public needs to know that Wells Fargo can no longer be depended on to keep track of money or checks that are cashed… and I’ll go ahead and throw that into the aforementioned P.R. campaign as well… no extra charge.
Okay, Wells Fargo… so, let me see if I can guess what happened here…
I wrote about this two days ago and about a thousand of our DOERS called and wrote in to say that you should not do this… but it was President’s Day and you checked with the lawyers and they told you everything was fine and that you’d be evicting Patricia no problem… so you got up on your hind legs and took a shot.
“Screw him, “ one of your inappropriately overconfident executives said about me to himself.
Am I close? I’m thinking I am. You see… I’m not just some kid or some activist wearing sandals… can you read between the lines here? I don’t want to do any of this, which is to say that I don’t want to have to write this sort of thing once… and you’re now making me write it twice.
Well, I’ve got some GOOD NEWS and some BAD NEWS, which do you want first? How about the good news? Okay…
The GOOD NEWS is that it looks like you’ve given me a new part-time job, so thanks for that! And not only that, but as of tomorrow, I’ll be your newest shareholder, so I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone at the annual meeting.
The bad news is that I’m just getting started here.
Please send an email to John Stumpf and others at Wells Fargo and tell them how you feel and that they need to stop the eviction by canceling tomorrow’s UD proceedings and give this woman her home back.
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Chairman of the Board, President, CEO: John.G.Stumpf@wellsfargo.com
John Stumpf (415) 396-7018