America's Greediest Lender vs America's Neediest Family
Pasadena, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/07/2013 -- “I woke up at 5:00AM last night because I haven’t been able to sleep,” says attorney Art Hoomiratana at RealEstateLawCenter.org. “I am preparing for my case tomorrow – another motion in the lawsuit that I filed against the bank on behalf of my client, a homeowner who is facing abuse by her mortgage lender during this foreclosure crisis. My firm investigates the bad acts and abuses by banks and servicers and we sue banks for violating the laws which were created to protect borrowers. My job is to try to litigate these cases to settlement for the benefit of our clients and their families.”
One such case is that of Maria and John Garcia who, at time of writing, are sweltering in the triple digit heat of Indio, California, waiting and praying to see if they have a roof over their heads in two weeks.
Like many families in these troubled times, Maria and John fell behind on their mortgage. Their lender, GMAC, scheduled a foreclosure sale on their home and Maria filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy to save it. That’s when their luck really took a downturn.
Maria found herself the victim of identity theft in her bankruptcy as someone she had never met claimed that she owned a property she had never seen. The Judge insisted she agree to make payments on this property in her bankruptcy or be kicked out of the bankruptcy. Her bankruptcy was dismissed. Next time she tried, her bankruptcy trustee returned her payments because she forgot to write her bankruptcy case number on her check …. and then dismissed her case for lack of payment! But she was dogged. Once again, Maria and John sought the protection of bankruptcy. But despite making every single one of her mortgage payments and bankruptcy plan payments, her bankruptcy was dismissed again and the Judge barred her from filing bankruptcy for six months. That six months is up on June 13, 2013. She’ll never make it into another bankruptcy because she is due to be locked-out of her home on May 15, 2013.
This is where GMAC comes in. They had been quietly watching this whole process and taking, and cashing her mortgage checks for over a year. When she found herself without the protection of bankruptcy, GMAC seized the opportunity to sell her home in foreclosure. They sold it between Christmas and New Year’s – a time when almost all lenders had placed an informal and compassionate moratorium on foreclosures. But not GMAC. They saw a window of opportunity and they ran with it.
To add insult to injury, GMAC sent her a letter AFTER the foreclosure offering to help her and telling her they were willing to talk.
It is worth noting at this point that GMAC is the only major bank which required extra Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money. After they took $12.5 billion dollars from the U.S. Government, they went with their hand out to beg for another $2.8 – 5.6 billion dollars. After which they filed bankruptcy! That money was intended to help homeowners just like the Garcias.
GMAC now insists that nobody can sue them because they are in bankruptcy.
But Maria and John couldn’t take this lying down. With the full support of their community and their Church, they hit back against GMAC and filed suit for wrongful foreclosure. Their law firm, The Law Offices of Art Hoomiratana/RealEstateLawCenter.org, determined that GMAC was mis-asserting their claim of bankruptcy protection and filed a Motion in the GMAC bankruptcy case to prove it. The Law Offices of Art Hoomiratana/RealEstateLawCenter.org have filed hundreds of cases of fraud and wrongful foreclosure against major banks and are well experienced in the tricks and scams that lenders employ. Nevertheless, attorney Bryan Smith of this firm has torn his hair out trying to get some degree of consideration or cooperation from either GMAC or the Judicial System.
“It is the worst case we have ever encountered of lender abuse,” lamented attorney Bryan Smith of Law Offices of Art Hoomiratana/RealEstateLawCenter.org.
“I believe we have a good case against GMAC but we are running out of road and they refuse to let the litigation run its course and let a Judge decide. They are determined to lock the Garcias out of their home so that if we win in Civil Court it will be a hollow victory for this family.”
What makes this situation all the more heartbreaking is that the Garcias are just the kind of people you would want to keep in your community or having living next door to you.
At an age when most people would be planning for retirement, Maria and John adopted two “crack babies”. Nathan and Damien are brothers. Nathan was badly abused by his father and his little brother witnessed this and much more in the home. They are both deeply troubled little guys with lifetime psychological problems, violent acting-out and serious trust issues. Nathan has been in and out of institutions and Maria was afraid at one point that she would never be able to have him live in the home.
She managed to get him back and insists that despite the exhausting daily grind with the boys’ behavioral problems that she gets much more back from the boys than she and John are able to give them.
Despite the numerous letters which have been written by the boys psychiatrist and counselors to attest to their conditions and cautioning strongly against any change in their living circumstances which could make them lose their fragile sense of stability, GMAC is determined to move the family out into the street.
Maria reports that Nathan sits rocking back and forth, weeping, and saying over and over again, “I don’t want to lose my room, I don’t want to lose my bathroom.” His brother, although younger, is protective of him and fearful of what may happen if they have to move.
Two days ago, just as the current heat wave hit the Southland, Maria and John’s air conditioner went out. They faced the agonizing choice of buying a new air conditioner with the money they had saved to move or suffering through 106 degree heat and saving a security deposit for a new apartment.
Their attorneys at the Law Offices of Art Hoomiratana/RealEstateLawCenter.org called the attorney for GMAC, the bank who allegedly own the house now. They said they would send someone to the house to fix the air conditioner. That hasn’t happened
Maria and John have a good income and can pay their mortgage. They did pay their mortgage all throughout their bankruptcies and they are desperate to stay in their home. They are not deadbeat parents. They are like a lot of people in this economy. They fell on hard times but they are on the way back up and they just need a break.
Within the scheme of things, the house is worth nothing to the bank. It’s not much to look at. It’s taken a lot of wear and tear from the boys. It has no equity and it’s in an area which is far from desirable.
It has tremendous value only to Nathan and Damien and their parents.
GMAC can easily rescind the sale and start accepting mortgage payments from John and Maria and let the kids keep their home. But they won’t. Instead they are racking up thousands of dollars in legal bills so that the house can sit empty.
Is this Justice? Is this a good use of GMAC’s record-breaking TARP handout? You be the Judge.
RealEstateLawCenter.org is a law firm which specializes in commercial, residential real property law, litigation, and bankruptcy. We believe strongly that banks, banking industry lobbyists and predatory lenders have far too much influence in Washington and exist to serve their investors at the expense of their borrowers. Because this current administration cannot, or will not, institute a responsible system of checks and balances for the banking industry, it falls to the legal profession to advocate for the homeowners and small businesses of America. To this end, we pride ourselves not only on the excellent results we obtain for our clients, but also on our compassionate service and support to our clients in what is, for many, the most stressful period of their lives.