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Once in media glare, Wells Fargo changes mind on foreclosure

"Who gets foreclosed on when they've made all payments on time?"

Wells Fargo bank employees - especially persons placed in departments tasked with deflating negative publicity - can readily respond to that inquiry.

The answer: At least one hard-working Floridian whose shortcoming in the eyes of bank officials was that he fulfilled his mortgage payment obligations in a timely manner, even paying some of his bills early.

His reward for being responsible and fully satisfying all bank-stated prerequisites to qualify for a special mortgage modification program: summary foreclosure on his residence.

That's the way things sometimes work in the world of large and impersonal banks.

The above inquiry was posed by the man's attorney, who called the bank's action "just unbelievable." Wells Fargo notified the man - a bus driver at Disney World - that the bank was foreclosing on his home, even though documents he produced for a television station quickly revealed that he had fully performed all his payment duties.

As so often seems to happen, the bank changed its tune quickly and materially once the matter began receiving wide public attention. Although the bank initially stated that foreclosure was being instituted because the man's early payments didn't comply "with specific payment guidelines" of the program, bank officials quickly realized how silly that sounded and significantly modified their response.

Wells Fargo now says that it "has been able to find an option that will allow [the homeowner] to maintain home ownership."

Sadly, and as most readers know, such a story is far from uncommon in the realm of consumers' interactions with banks, credit card companies and other lenders. An experienced bankruptcy attorney is a logical first contact for any person who feels that he or she is being singled out, harassed or treated unfairly in any matter concerning payment duties and debts.

Source: WFTV Orlando, "Wells Fargo bank foreclosing on Orlando man who paid on time, early," Kenneth Craig, May 16, 2013

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