The mortgage lenders who have turned their avoidance of the Obama administration's modification initiatives into a game of catch-me-if-you-can are starting to feel the heat. Deciding the courts do not have enough lawsuits in the pipeline, some bankruptcy judges are giving scorned borrowers their very own Jerry Springer moment.
An Arizona woman, Bobbi Giguere, who submitted the paperwork Wells Fargo requested to process her modification application three times and received virtually nothing but radio silence in return was given the opportunity to question a senior vice president at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Servicing, Joseph Ohayon, in court. And, much like Springer, people in this case have a hard time telling the truth until they are face-to-face with the other party.
Under preliminary questioning by one of the bank's lawyers, Mr. Ohayon stated that Mrs. Giguere had repeatedly failed to provide a financial worksheet, a critical document in processing a loan modification.
Under cross-examination by Mrs. Giguere (who had a little assistance from Judge Haines), the bank's defense withered. From her files, Mrs. Giguere produced a letter from Wells Fargo describing the paperwork that she needed to file for a loan modification. In the witness chair, Mr. Ohayon read the letter.
"Mrs. Giguere is right," Mr. Ohayon concluded. "The letter did not ask for a financial worksheet."
Sadly for Mrs. Giguere, the hearing ended much the same way as a Springer episode- with her exposing Wells Fargo for blatantly lying, Wells Fargo looking a bit foolish but walking away scot-free, and the judge reminding everybody 'till next time, take care of yourself and each other'.
Judges' Frustration Grows With Mortgage Servicers [NYT]