Those of us working in Oak Park mortgage foreclosure know that mortgage servicers have gone to extraordinary lengths in the past to take advantage of struggling homeowners so that they can meet their own bottom lines. A recent article in the Post-Tribune reports another example of a mortgage company’s irresponsible and deceptive behavior. A couple in Porter County, Indiana claims their home is being foreclosed upon, even though they apparently have never missed a mortgage payment.
The two homeowners are suing their mortgage company, PHH Mortgage Services, to try to sort out the mess and hold the company accountable for the mistake. Christopher and Holly Kozlowski originally filed their complaint in the United States District Court in Northern Illinois last year, but recently transferred the suit to the United States District Court in Hammond, located in Indiana. The mortgage company is listed as a residential mortgage licensee in Illinois as well as in several other states.
According to the federal lawsuit, the couple signed an agreement at the end of 2009 with their mortgage company, PHH Mortgage Services, to lower their monthly payments. As our Oak Park and River Forest foreclosure defense lawyers know, loan modifications such as the one the Kozlowskis entered into with their mortgage company are common and frequently benefit both lenders and homeowners. Loan modifications typically make it easier for homeowners to stay current on their mortgages.
After reaching an agreement with PHH in 2009, the couple made the agreed-upon modified payments until they received a notice from PHH nearly a year later claiming that the homeowners were delinquent on their mortgage. The company claimed it never received the couple’s signed documents regarding the modification, and planned to foreclose on the couple’s home. The couple then sent the mortgage company a copy of a UPS receipt they say was for the package containing the signed documents and for which a PHH employee had signed. Allegedly, PHH then told the couple at the end of 2010 that the foreclosure was a mistake. Yet, only a month later, the couple was again told they would, in fact, be foreclosed upon. According to the lawsuit, the company now claims the couple owes more than $42,000 on their mortgage. The couple says they want the mortgage company to honor the contract regarding the modified loan payments (just as they were upholding their end of the bargain by making every modified payment) and to stop the foreclosure on their home.
Believe it or not, this is not the first time our Chicago foreclosure attorneys have heard about such blatantly unscrupulous behavior from mortgage companies. Mortgage companies frequently claim they have not received or cannot find paperwork that they actually have received. In other instances, the problem may stem from a company’s lack of organization or accountability oversight in making sure that important paperwork is processed in a timely and efficient manner. On the other hand, fraudulent lenders sometimes employ deceptive tactics to frustrate or wear down struggling homeowners.
If you are an Oak Park or River Forest resident who is concerned about losing your home, please consider contacting a qualified professional at the Emerson Law Firm to learn more about Illinois foreclosure protection laws.
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