Individuals who are faced with foreclosure or adverse lender action can be overwhelmed. Not only might some Texas homeowners already be in financial duress, but facing large mortgage lenders who can afford to litigate cases can be frightening. One couple in another state fought back against a foreclosure on their home and won both the case and a bid for attorney fees.
The homeowners received a mortgage in 1998. According to reports, one company originated the loan, but it was serviced by Washington Mutual. According to allegations from the couple, Washington Mutual wrongfully foreclosed on their property. The foreclosure allegedly occurred in 2008.
In the same year, Washington Mutual was purchased by Chase. The couple sued Washington Mutual in 2009 over the wrongful foreclosure, and in 2010 a motion was granted to Chase, allowing it to intervene in the suit because it held interests in the loan.
According to reports, the case was ultimately decided against Chase. The court ruled that the couple owned the property in question. It also ruled that Chase had created false documents regarding ownership of the mortgage. The court ruling voided the Chase documents and the foreclosure.
The couple, who had spent around a quarter million dollars on legal fees for the battle, then filed a motion to have Chase reimburse the attorney fees. The court allowed the motion and required Chase to reimburse the couple $255,135. Chase originally appealed the ruling, stating in part that the couple was excessively billed due to too many attorneys being involved. The couple’s law firm pointed out that Chase itself had four attorneys involved.
The appeals court sided with the couple again, forcing Chase to reimburse them for legal fees. In the end, it was a very positive outcome. Not all foreclosure proceedings have such outcomes, but homeowners who understand their rights and are willing to stand up for them have a better chance at a positive outcome than those who do not.
Source: HousingWire, “Chase’s fraudulent foreclosure: Court finds for plaintiffs“, July 2, 2014