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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 117375
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Good day; In 2008, I lost my job. All the financial advisors

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Good day;

In 2008, I lost my job. All the financial advisors on television were telling those of us who own homes, to inform our lenders immediately upon the change in income.

I did just that. I first called Wells Fargo (lender) and informed them I lost my job. I still have a disability retirement income from State of California, but was not enough for living expenses and mortgage payments. When I called Wells Fargo, I was instructed to write a hardship letter. I did, no response. A few months later, I called again. Again, I was instructed to write a hardship letter. Which I did. I also wrote that I had enough funds in savings that would allow me to make mortgage payments up to a certain month in the near future, providing I don't get a job by then. I offered different suggestions allowing me to stay in the home with temporary adjustments until I get a job. For instance, lowering the monthly mortgage payment.

I called the bank again. I was told to call HUD and was given a phone number to call. I started calling HUD immediately. At first I called numerous times a day, and never did a human answer the phone, but there was an answering machine asking for your information for a return call from HUD. They never called. Therefore, my calls became fewer. I called Wells Fargo again, and was told that the only other option is a "quick sale". I didn't know what a quick sale was. I thought after the sale, I would be responsible for the balance difference between the balance owed and the amount of the sale of the house. I am not saying Wells had the responsibility to inform me of what a quick sale is, I feel that if the bank cared; more effort would have been given to assist me in making informed decisions. I had been a Wells Fargo employee for over 9 years. By the time I was advised of the quick sale, I didn't know what to do, and was spinning in circles. I lived in this home for 27 years. Had invested every extra cent into improvements, kept a high stress job (paid better) 4 1/2 hour a day commute, bringing my own lunches and never taking a vacation or any other expensive entertainment.

In April, 2009, I called Wells, and let them know I could no longer afford the mortgage after April's payment. In May I moved to the East Coast, having my parents to house me. It's very embarrassing being 52 years old and my parents supporting me.

Recently I learned had I stayed in the home, I may have qualified for assistance, including forgiveness of not having to immediately "catch up" on past payments due. I received post cards in the mail advising me to call or go online for information on HUD, and what it could do for me. I did. I provided the information they needed. My situation was different from the program requirements for assistance to stay in your home. Therefore, each call, and e-mail to HUD, was responded with other phone#'s to call. I stopped after 6. No one had any idea as to how to help me because this situation is different from the program offered.

The purpose of this correspondence, is not to bore the crap out of you, but is to ask for suggestions/opinion/advise that you can provide regarding this situation. Because I defaulted on the loan, my credit is very bad, and recently filed bankruptcy, I don't consider applying for credit, much less a home loan. There are many "arm chair attorneys" who tell me what I should do. I hope that within the next few years, I will be able to have a down payment on a house together, and want to buy another home. No house will ever replace the one I had. But it sure beats living with the folk's. Are you aware of any REAL assistance for people in my situation? Do you have any suggestions or any additional information that would lead me to the right direction. Any type of input or information is greatly appreciated.

I would love to return to California, but now won't be able to afford any real estate. Now I am stuck in the "arm pit" of the country. Yuck.

Thank you
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

I am sorry to hear of your situation. Sadly it is one we hear many times a day. Had you remained in your house and not left and done any quick sales or foreclosure, you likely could have fought with Wells Fargo to work out some modification, but without meeting the proper income levels modifications are actually rare, despite what the government tries to tell you on the news, because there are no laws mandating the bank modify your loan.

Once you have taken the actions you have taken and filed your bankruptcy, I am afraid that the bankruptcy remains on your credit for 7 years and there are no real programs for curing that right now. Fortunately, roughly 4-5 years after a bankruptcy, your credit begins the rebuilding process, so you are approaching that point where your credit will be starting to rebuild.

Sadly, mortgages for those with bad credit right now are scarce because the banks are simply refusing to issue many mortgages even to those with decent credit. Because of your disability, you may qualify under one of the other HUD programs for special mortgages depending on the area of the country you decide to move, as these programs are based on states and even cities as to where they offer such assistance. See: HUD Disability Assistance.

As far as the conduct of Wells Fargo in all of this, I am afraid they are not legally liable to you for suggesting the quick sale or not telling you that CA was a non-recourse state, meaning they could not sue you for the balance on the loan after foreclosure/quick sale. Also, as far as modifications, they are not bound by any law to give them and they are notorious for dragging people along, lying about not receiving documents and keeping them strung along until WF ultimately forecloses (you would be surprised at how many customers we hear the same exact story from as to how WF claims never to have received documents or keeps passing the customer from person to person without giving any answers). Also, once you did the quick sale I am afraid that really ended any potential right you had to sue them to seek to stop them from foreclosing by arguing their mortgage was improper or predatory or the several other consumer protection claims that might be made in these cases.

However, sadly, if you cannot qualify under one of the other HUD programs, I am afraid that right now there are no other assistance programs out there for the situation you are describing.

Thank you so much for using I truly aim to please you as a customer, but please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered. PLEASE use REPLY to EXPERT if you would like more information or if you feel something was not included in your answer.

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There can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be taking a break.

You can always request me through my profile at or beginning your question with “For PaulMJD…”

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. I wanted to make sure I did all I could do, and not continue to beat myself up thinking I should have done something different.


The website you provided for HUD is greatly appreciated. I feel a sense of relief in a way, that there may be help for me out there and this is a good new step. I haven't tried it yet, it is on my list to do soon.


BTW, nice photo. Ever notice most attorney's photos on this site, have sour faces. Some even look downright mean, and if you saw them walking down the street, you may want to cross the street taking your chances not to get hit by a car, than have them look at you, because you will turn into a turnip. (being silly)



Thank you for your response and your kind words.

I hope this situation works out for you in the best way possible. It eventually will work out as the time from the bankruptcy also progresses and around 4-5 years from the bankruptcy you need to begin working on rebuilding your credit with some simple small credit purchases just to rebuild your record.

Please do not forget to click on excellent service feedback as that is the only way the experts receive any credit for spending time with customers.
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