For homeowners who fall upon difficult financial times, the fear of losing their home increases anxiety. The nightmares can begin when a bank tries to put a home in foreclosure even when the payments have been made.
Last Friday, we reported on the $45 Million dollar fine imposed for improper foreclosure practices by Bank of America. Unfortunately, they are not alone. A Princeton, N.J., couple recently endured a fiscal nightmare with TD Bank.
According to NJ.com, Bob and Bernice Lagana, who had filed for bankruptcy in 2013, came to an agreement with TD Bank in order to keep their home.
Even though the couple had made all of the payments, the bank last year tried to put the home in foreclosure for nonpayment.
“I’m sorry I ever did business with this bank,” Bob Lagana, 64, told the website. “I can’t fathom this big a mistake. It’s mind-boggling.”
According to the website, Lagana was forced to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy after his business failed. He had initially gave the home up to the bank, releasing him from a first and second mortgage.
The bank didn’t want possession of the home and TD Bank offered the couple a modified mortgage. A deal was reached and the Laganas took a loan modification that included additional payments to repay some back taxes, records show.
Lagana eventually noticed that property taxes and back taxes were inflated by thousands of dollars, according to NJ.com. This began a dispute that went back and forth for a year. TD Bank sent him a spreadsheet showing all of his payments.
That is when Lagana noticed something even worse: Those payments were wrong, with the bank only marking down some of the payments Lagana was making each month.
Fortunately, Lagana had the canceled checks to prove the payments were made. The bank agreed to review the records and see what had happened.
Then the worst thing possible happened: Nothing. The bank never called, nor did it correct the account. In February of 2016. Lagana called the bank and he talked to an official who went over the numbers again.
He said something wasn’t right on the bank’s end,” Lagana told the website, adding that the man told him he would discuss the account with bank officials and get back to him.
When Lagana tried to call the bank representative the very next day, that number had been disconnected.
Despite all of these issues, Lagana continued to make his mortgage payments and he contacted an attorney to help him sort out the financial web that was slowly growing around him.
The lawyer ran into the same hurdles, and wrote to the bank with copies of the cancelled checks, records show.
The bank still didn’t reconcile the couple’s account.
By June of last year, the Laganas received a foreclosure notice that indicated they hadn’t made payments for three months.
The cancelled checks told a different story.
The couple’s lawyer continued to battle, turning up the heat and pointing to potential litigation for violations of the Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts and Practices, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
After the couple had contacted NJ.com, the bank slowly started to step forward, but it wasn’t the positive outcome the Laganas needed to hear. Surprisingly, TD Bank offered to redo the note.
The bank offered to reduce $119,000 from the mortgage, but that amount actually was a second mortgage that was wiped away in the bankruptcy settlement.
“They’re not doing me a favor.” Lagana told the website. I’m not legally obligated to pay that.”
As a result of this latest issue, Lagana has reached out to another lawyer and plans to file a lawsuit.