Not sure what to do

jwa81

LoanSafe Member
Jun 23, 2014
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Hi everyone,

We have been living an absolute nightmare for the past few months. We were dual-tracked into foreclosure by Carrington Mortgage (who is a HIGHLY predatory and abusive company who took over our loan back in 2014) while we were actively engaged in HAMP negotiations with them for a loan modification. They jerked us around for an entire year and completely stonewalled us throughout the entire process and acted in very bad faith. They repeatedly claimed that they lost our documents, didn't receive our documents, or claimed that the documents were incorrect or stale and needed to be resubmitted. They put up obstacle after obstacle and made it literally impossible to get the modification that we were perfectly eligible to receive. We then found out at the end of September that they had foreclosed on our home in April and then retained it at auction in August, yet they had continued to request documents from us well AFTER the foreclosure had already occurred and never even so much as mentioned it to either us or the HUD counselor we had been working with. They had even lied and told us that all foreclosure activity was on hold while we were working with them towards a modification. The BIG problem is that this was a totally illegal/fraudulent foreclosure, not just because of the rampant dual-tracking that took place, but because they were NOT in possession of the promissory note. In looking through the foreclosure documents, there is mention of the note in the mortgage itself, but the actual note is nowhere to be found, so they technically NEVER should have been granted this foreclosure by the court. All that they had was the mortgage and a description of our property. That's it. NO note. The note ALWAYS comes first. It's what secures the mortgage and the mortgage is supposed to ALWAYS follows the note whenever a loan is transferred from servicer to servicer. So, without the note, they should have had absolutely no leg to stand on when it comes to foreclosure. Instead, they fabricated a phony quitclaim assignment, which is total fraud. Now we know why they wanted to foreclose so badly and did everything possible to avoid giving us a loan modification - our loan was a worthless asset to them without the note and they knew it, so they wanted to foreclose fraudulently, buy our home at auction for a nauseatingly low amount, and then sell it for profit. It's criminal behavior. Last week, we received a 48-hour writ of possession notice to vacate, but we are still here as we had already filed a federal lawsuit against them prior to receiving the notice and have requested immediate and permanent injunctive relief, and we have an ADR hearing (alternative dispute resolution) coming up at the end of March, where hopefully they will settle and reinstate our mortgage. We have also just filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against them so that they cannot boot us out of our home pending our ADR hearing in a few months. This whole thing has been an absolute nightmare and emotional roller coaster for my husband and I. Our stress levels are maxed out and we are drained. We just want our lives back and some peace. We are not exactly sure what we are going to do at this point. We have been in our home for almost 13 years. While we love our location, really like our neighbors, and we have MANY wonderful memories in this home, this house needs A LOT of work and, to be honest, it has been nothing but a big money pit for quite some time now. It needs more work than we have time or money to put into it and we are getting really tired of being slaves to this house.

We went and looked at a BEAUTIFUL 3-bedroom rental home in a very nice, quiet, and safe neighborhood last week that has been completely renovated from top to bottom. The kitchen has gorgeous new black granite counter tops with white cabinets, all new stainless appliances, washer and dryer, brand new flooring (new luxury vinyl plank in the kitchen, new tile in the bathroom, and new carpeting in the living room and 3 bedrooms), fresh paint throughout he entire house, a fenced in backyard with a huge storage shed, all new windows and exterior doors, new roof, new furnace, and a completely remodeled bathroom with a beautiful tile shower. Most importantly, the landlord is totally fine with our pets, which is good since we have 4 Golden Retrievers and 4 cats. We would just need to pay a $400 pet deposit. It's in a fantastic location that is super close to everything and it would be perfect for us, at least for now and potentially the next couple of years. The landlord is EXTREMELY nice and was very personable, upbeat, and casual. He told us that the house is ours if we want it and the rent is within our means. It even includes heat, water, sewer, and snow plowing in the winter. All that we would have to pay for is electric and cable. It's not a huge house (about 1000 square feet), but it's very cozy and seems like it will be comfortable for us. It's just the two of us and our pets. I work from home full-time and one of the bedrooms would be perfect for my office and then my husband could set up his office in the other spare bedroom. We could also easily fit a twin bed in one of them for guests. We told the landlord that we love the house and that we are VERY interested in it, so we agreed to touch base again on Monday (today) to work out all of the details. EVERYONE (especially my parents) is telling us that we need to jump on this house ASAP. Our best friend is very excited about the idea of us moving there since it's just 2 miles from where she lives. I think we are going to take it, but it's just such a tough decision. There have been a lot of tears over this. We definitely have a very emotional attachment to our current home, but we know that we need to be realistic and try to remove our emotions from the situation as best as we can (easier said than done). We have no idea how long this lawsuit against Carrington is going to last or what the end result will be, but our attorney has repeatedly told us that we have a VERY, VERY strong case and he HIGHLY doubts that they are actually going to act on that 48-hour notice and try to kick us out now that they know there is a fresh federal lawsuit against them and an ADR hearing in March. It would only make them look even worse if they kicked us out. Our thought is that we could always rent this house that we looked at for a couple of years (maybe even a bit longer) while we work on boosting our credit scores and then purchase a new home. But, what if the mortgage company agrees to reinstate our mortgage as a result of this lawsuit after we've already moved? Our attorney said that is definitely a likely possibility as they have done that in quite a few other lawsuits against them in these types of cases. What would we do then? Come back and fix it up to sell? Move back in? Rent it out? We just have so many questions!

What would you do in our situation? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! This has been an incredibly difficult, stressful, and highly emotional few months for us, and it's 100 times worse that it's happening during the holidays. However, this rental home could be exactly what we need to get a fresh start. Maybe it's just meant to be.

Sorry for rambling so much. My mind has been racing the past several days and I guess I just needed a place to kind of vent and get all of this off my chest.
 

sixlets82

LoanSafe Member
Aug 13, 2019
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Sorry to hear about this mess you're going through, my house came close to foreclosure it was very stressful I can't imagine the amount of stress you're dealing with :( If you really like the house and you can afford it then you could always just ask if a 6 month lease might be an option for the new house, if you can at least get into a new place and step back from the situation you're dealing with for a few months to just wait it out and see what happens with your mortgage it might help reduce your stress levels a bit and give you some time to think since you won't have to worry about having a place to live. (Maybe look at it like dealing with the symptoms from this mess one at time and right now the most important thing is to have a stable place to live for the foreseeable future) If they do come back and reinstate your mortgage then you could just decide what you want to do from there, since you're renting you won't be locked into anything and will still have some flexibility to deal with the other house as far as selling, renting or moving back in. You may just find that you actually love the rental house so much that you want to stay there, less maintenance and property taxes to deal with :) No matter what you decide I hope this all works out for you.
 
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jwa81

LoanSafe Member
Jun 23, 2014
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Sorry to hear about this mess you're going through, my house came close to foreclosure it was very stressful I can't imagine the amount of stress you're dealing with :( If you really like the house and you can afford it then you could always just ask if a 6 month lease might be an option for the new house, if you can at least get into a new place and step back from the situation you're dealing with for a few months to just wait it out and see what happens with your mortgage it might help reduce your stress levels a bit and give you some time to think since you won't have to worry about having a place to live. (Maybe look at it like dealing with the symptoms from this mess one at time and right now the most important thing is to have a stable place to live for the foreseeable future) If they do come back and reinstate your mortgage then you could just decide what you want to do from there, since you're renting you won't be locked into anything and will still have some flexibility to deal with the other house as far as selling, renting or moving back in. You may just find that you actually love the rental house so much that you want to stay there, less maintenance and property taxes to deal with :) No matter what you decide I hope this all works out for you.
That's exactly what I was thinking. We NEED to be able to take a step back from this current situation and deal with this lawsuit with a CLEAR, sound mind and minimal stress, which we do not have being here!!!!! We really, really like this rental home and we are supposed to be meeting with the landlord either tonight or tomorrow to cement all of the details. We want to gradually move in over the next couple of weeks. We'll need to hire movers to move all of our furniture out of here and get all of our almost brand new appliances out of here (we are NOT leaving those behind!). We will have to put our appliances in storage since this house has all brand new ones. Like I said, our current home has A LOT of major issues that will be very costly to repair. Finding this beautiful rental house in the perfect neighborhood just feels like it was meant to be. Divine intervention maybe? It's just a very emotional and exhausting process!
 
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sixlets82

LoanSafe Member
Aug 13, 2019
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It's done. The house is ours. We meet with the landlord this evening to make it official and get the keys, so we will gradually start moving our belongings over there. Very excited!
Congratulations on the new house :) Hopefully this will be a great new start for your family. Enjoy the new house and take a breather for a bit now
 

jwa81

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Jun 23, 2014
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HOLY CRAP!!!! I just got an email from Carrington's attorney and just had a very good phone conversation with her! She is just getting up to speed on her case since our lawsuit was just brought to her attention, and she is going to either be calling me back this evening or tomorrow! We MIGHT be able to save our home!
 
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just_me

LoanSafe Member
Sep 14, 2015
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HOLY CRAP!!!! I just got an email from Carrington's attorney and just had a very good phone conversation with her! She is just getting up to speed on her case since our lawsuit was just brought to her attention, and she is going to either be calling me back this evening or tomorrow! We MIGHT be able to save our home!
You do what's best for your family! If moving out to take advantage of a good opportunity works, then that is right. You can not trust ANYTHING the mortgage company tells you. (You know they lie.)

At this point, all you can do is build savings possibly towards a reinstatement with the money saved. (if you want to keep your house) It really isn't a good idea to share financials but they will ask. Repeatedly and without resolution. Another option is to sue for wrongful foreclosure and maybe use the March meeting for potential settlement. Disclosing you have moved out may hurt negotiations, so think twice about that. (You have more rights if you occupy your property.) Maybe change your official mortgage contact address to a PO Box for now and check it regularly in case there is legal notices. Check on the property and make sure it is winterized. Also, mortgage company may come around and snoop in windows to verify occupancy. Lights on timer. Couple items in living room. They wont give you notice but may also check for vehicles on drive bys so if you can, park a vehicle in the drive and move it occassionally. Possibly one of your neighbors could help, just let them know that you don't want any issues and that you feel this may provide some security.
 
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jwa81

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Jun 23, 2014
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Well, we have an ADR (alternative dispute resolution) phone conference with a mediator on Thursday and the court is really pushing them to modify and reinstate the mortgage, at least from what I can tell from the judge's ADR order. Carrington's attorneys CANNOT STAND that the court is clearly on my side in this case. They also can't stand the thought of being defeated by a pro se litigant. They actually FORGED my signature on the promissory note and still have not provided any endorsements or allonges that go with the note, despite us demanding to see them numerous times over the past month, so they CLEARLY do not have them, thus had no standing to foreclose. They are so irritated that they filed a motion to change venues late last week when they found out that the court is leapfrogging the injunction hearing and going straight to ADR (which is totally in our favor), but we filed a strong opposition stating that we know why they are requesting this, that they are forum shopping to try to get the case transferred to a court that they think will act in their favor. We have already sent them our financials because the court told us to for modification purposes for the ADR conference. This is what is on our ADR agenda from the judge:

Plaintiff and defendant’s counsel shall be prepared to discuss the following subjects:
1. Identification and description of claims and alleged defects in loan documents.
2. Prospects for loan modification.
3. Prospects for settlement.

The parties need not submit written materials to the ADR Unit for the telephone
conference.

In preparation for the telephone conference, plaintiff shall do the following:
1. Review relevant loan documents and investigate the claims to determine whether they have merit.
2. If plaintiff is seeking a loan modification to resolve all or some of the claims, plaintiff shall prepare a current, accurate financial statement and gather all of the information and documents customarily needed to support a loan modification request. Further, plaintiff shall immediately notify defendants' counsel of the request for a loan modification.
3. Provide counsel for defendants with information necessary to evaluate the prospects for loan modification, in the form of a financial statement, worksheet or application customarily used by financial institutions.

In preparation for the telephone conference, counsel for defendants shall do the following.
1. If defendants are unable or unwilling to do a loan modification after receiving
notice of plaintiff's request, counsel for defendants shall promptly notify plaintiff to
that effect.
2. Arrange for a representative of each defendant with full settlement authority to
participate in the telephone conference.


So, it has been over a week since we notified their attorneys that we desire a loan modification and have submitted all of our documents to them and have gotten absolutely no response. According to the judge's order, they were required to inform us PROMPTLY if they are not willing or able to do a modification, which they have NOT done, and they have had well over a week to do so. We have ADR this Thursday. They are running out of time. I think they know that they don't have a leg to stand on and will have no choice but to modify our loan and reinstate the mortgage. I even offered to sign a new note since they clearly do not have it, which will make everything "legal." Here's hoping for a positive result so that this nightmare we have been living for the past several months can finally come to a much needed end and we can get on our with our lives!!!
 
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just_me

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Sep 14, 2015
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You might want to run the numbers on re-instatement and repairs needed to sell. Wrongful foreclosure is still an option. I wouldn't want reinstatement into a crappy deal. You might consider alternatives given opposing counsel is holding their cards until the last minute.
 

jwa81

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Jun 23, 2014
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Well, we had our second early ADR assessment phone conference today and it did not go so well. We had our first call a week ago and Carrington's attorney informed us that they would see if their client would consider reviewing us for a loan modification in exchange for us dropping the lawsuit. We also asked for a small cash settlement if they would do the loan modification. We said that if they do NOT agree to the modification, we are going demand that they produce the ACTUAL note (not the forged one), the allonges, and endorsements that show they had legal standing to foreclose, which we have been demanding they produce for the past almost 2 months now and they have failed to do so (because we know they don't have them and this was an illegal foreclosure). So, the mediator scheduled us for another call today, which we had this afternoon. Now, they say that Carrington is NOT willing to entertain the prospect of a loan modification, even though we were entirely eligible to receive one and should have received one almost 2 years ago. They never even so much as denied our application before. They just endlessly stonewalled us and played the "missing documents" game while they were busy dual-tracking us into foreclosure behind our backs. They have offered us $5000 and 60 days to move. We firmly put our foot down and said NO. What they are doing is ILLEGAL. Just even being in possession of a forged financial instrument with intent to defraud is a first-degree felony! Their attorney actually had the balls to say that our filings were a "burden" to Carrington as it is causing them to incur more legal fees and would make them less inclined to settle. I nearly blew a gasket when she said this. I said, "Excuse me??? It's a burden for CARRINGTON??? What about US??? THIS IS OUR HOME!!! These are OUR lives that you people have completely disturbed and turned upside down, so don't you DARE tell me that a few court filings are a burden to YOU!" My blood is still boiling.

Meanwhile, the house directly across the street from my parents is going to be available for rent next month. My parents are friends with the owners, who are very nice people, and they have told us that it is ours and we could live there for as long as we want. To be honest, it's quite an upgrade from our current house and is only about $200 more per month than our mortgage was. It's a beautiful split-level ranch that is about 600 square feet bigger than our current home, has an extra bathroom, 3 bedrooms, central air conditioning, gas fireplace, a garage, and almost everything inside and out is brand new, including the heating system and roof. It even has a beautiful Florida room overlooking a private backyard. They also are fine with our dogs and cats. Now, I am VERY torn on what to do. My parents are getting older and are requiring more and more help these days and being directly across the street from them would be a huge help and convenience for all of us. It is also in a perfect neighborhood (the one I grew up in), right next to a beautiful golf course, and my husband and I have even dreamed about buying a home in that neighborhood for years. However, on the flip side, this has been our home for nearly 13 years and we have so much time and money invested into it and also have so many memories here. On top of that, I don't want to just let Carrington win and get away with their downright criminal behavior by saying "okay, you win" and walking away. I did tell them, however, that if we WERE to do this, they would need to pay us $10,000 as $5000 is a blatant insult and will be mostly gone by the time we move. Their attorney did say that they would tell them that is our firm counteroffer if we were to take the cash offer from them to move in 60 days. We have a week to let them know what we want to do.

Ugh. This is such a tough situation. While I would love to live in the house across from my parents and I almost think that we would be stupid not to take it at this point, especially considering it's in the exact neighborhood we would want to be in and the house is perfect, the thought of leaving our home of almost 13 years deeply, deeply saddens me. :(
 

just_me

LoanSafe Member
Sep 14, 2015
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I would have countered with 20k to move given the increase in costs to rent and all. 10k is reasonable, plus get your legal fees paid for on top of that (or take 15). Idk. Something to think about. It sounds like your attorney has made a counter already? If not I would ask for a little more. Not sure what your case is but you can always ask for settle on wrongful foreclosure separately in exchange for dropping suit. This is different that cash for keys.
 

just_me

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Sep 14, 2015
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Do you still even want a modification? If you do, you would have to deal with the ACTUAL owner of the loan and note. Maybe Carrington doesn't offer because they don't have the authority? Can you actually reverse the foreclosure with legal arguments? Would you be able to pay your attorney for this? These are things to think about too. They can increase your costs by evading discovery and make things difficult for you simply as a means to avoid an outcome. But, also, this may be a cut and dry case so an attorney that doesn't take bull will be prepared for that.
 

jwa81

LoanSafe Member
Jun 23, 2014
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We are pro se. I did try for $20k, but they outright refused. They originally offered only $5k (total insult), so that's when I said, "No way. It needs to be AT LEAST $10k. We have to pay to get into the new house, plus hire a moving company, take some time off from work to move, etc, etc." Granted, we would be moving less than 10 minutes away, it's still a bit costly. They are IMPOSSIBLE to work with. They are criminals. Their attorneys are just as bad as they are. I think we have pretty much decided that we are going to take the new house. It is just too perfect to pass up, and the fact that it is literally right across the street from my parents makes it think it's fate. After fighting this for the past almost 5 months, I am right at my wits end and it is taking a huge toll on my mental and physical health and sanity.
 

jwa81

LoanSafe Member
Jun 23, 2014
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We KNOW that Carrington isn't the holder of the note and that probably IS why they can't do the modification! We don't know what to do. We DID receive a modification from Bank of America back in 2012 and, according to MERS, BOA is STILL our servicer! Carrington isn't even mentioned on MERS! The originator of our loan was Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, who was shut down back in 2009 for fraud. That is why our mortgage is so royally screwed up. They illegally sold loans many times over to various investors, so we may NEVER know who holds our actual note. This is just a giant mess and a massive headache. In order to get the money to move, we would have to drop the suit, but that leaves me with a very bad feeling knowing that they will have gotten away with these horrible, serious crimes. :(
 

just_me

LoanSafe Member
Sep 14, 2015
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We KNOW that Carrington isn't the holder of the note...In order to get the money to move, we would have to drop the suit, but that leaves me with a very bad feeling knowing that they will have gotten away with these horrible, serious crimes. :(
Then this needs to be simultaneous negotiation. You need to present an agreement (get them to sign a 'cash for keys' agreement) so you can have check in hand once you withdraw/dismiss your lawsuit. I think though, that these items should probably be separate. Ask them to make their best offer, if it is a good one, then write it up. Otherwise, or in addition, organize your evidence so you can present it in court as part of your case. (What's background and what is current crime proof) You will need to introduce this with an affidavit explaining what it is at a later date. So keep this case prep in mind. Create your wrongful foreclosure case and file the complaint. Don't ask for peanuts or you are limited. (can't change this later if you pre-define a certain amount) Something in the order of the amount of the original principal times three, in my opinion, would make the suit worth it. I've also heard 1% of company's value. Or simply state, seeks economic and punitive damages. Find references in other cases to help with phrasing and legalese. In your case, it appears that not providing proof of standing is pretty major and enough to overturn foreclosure and/or win a wrongful foreclosure. (and get damages) This is a matter of quoting a simple precedent for your State. Boy will this force them to negotiate a better cash for keys. (Also note, I am pro se NOT an attorney)
 

just_me

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Sep 14, 2015
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Also, if you are moving save all receipts and document the costs of any maintenance (electric/ winterization/ taxes/ house-sitting/ lawn care, etc) on the home during a transition. These are part of your damages.
 

jwa81

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Jun 23, 2014
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That's exactly what they are doing. I have been fighting with these people for months and it's just not worth my sacrificing my mental and physical health over. They just keep presenting the same "proof" over and over again, which are the foreclosure documents with NO proof of standing. There is no note, no alonge, no endorsements....not even so much as a warranty deed, just that totally worthless quitclaim. Whenever I ask them to produce any of these documents, they either totally ignore me or just say "they were filed in the state action." I said, "Okay, then exactly where are they??? Because I went to the courthouse myself and pulled the file and NONE of those documents that would prove standing are there!" Even the forged note that they emailed to me back on Christmas Eve isn't there! I am totally ignored whenever I ask where these documents are and ask to see them so I can examine them. I've already called them out of the forged note multiple times! They keep saying they are going to file a motion to dismiss and keep whining about how costly this litigation is for Carrington. We've already presented examples of previous cases against them. I know that we have a really good judge, but there is just no telling how she is going to rule and we cannot afford to take any risks. We already have a perfect house in a perfect location lined up that we love and it's right across the street from my parents' house. I am REALLY tempted to go back and demand $20k for us to drop the suit!
 

just_me

LoanSafe Member
Sep 14, 2015
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Carrington may also be trying to run out the Statute of Limitations without your knowing it. You likely have a year from the date of the FC ruling. (Last April?) I think they want you spinning your wheels and aggravated so you give up. Don't just present and share good examples, write your case using those examples as a template. Then surprise! You can always give them "a preview" the day before you file or amend your case and ask them "one more time" to settle appropriately. Then give them a deadline. They WANT you in the hot seat but I think you can turn it around. It's as if they are forcing you to sue to get any where.