For those of you who are not familiar with the story of my mortgage, here is the tl;dr version:
I had a house that lost two thirds of its value in the real estate crash. With no other way to stop the bleeding, I declared bankruptcy and was going to turn the house over to the bank. The bank testified to the bankruptcy court that they were the owner of the note and the mortgage, but were lying. They had sold the note and mortgage to Fannie Mae two years earlier.
I sued them for fraud and we settled out of court for almost $10,000. The mortgage holder that wasn’t then sold the note and mortgage again, this time to Nationstar mortgage. They recorded the sale in the county clerk’s office. At this point, there were at least four different entities that had claims to this mortgage: MERS, Nationstar, Fannie Mae, and the originating bank.
Then the originating bank tried to foreclose. The foreclosure was dismissed, and Nationstar claimed to not have any record of owning the mortgage.
The feds stepped in and sued the banks. I got another $4,000 in THAT lawsuit.
The originating bank continued to send me demands for payment, even though prohibited from doing so by the bankruptcy court, and the fact that they no longer own the note and mortgage. So after a few years of this, I got tired of it and sued several more times over the next few years. I wound up getting another $25,000 in damages from those suits.
Then, with only a month left until the statute of limitations was to kick in, the original bank filed papers transferring the mortgage from NationStar and Fannie Mae back to themselves. The only problem was that I had letters from both of them saying that they had no knowledge of these transfers.
The original bank then filed for foreclosure, claiming that they had lost the original note and mortgage, but (trust us, they said) we are entitled to foreclose.
I was all set to fight them in court. I had proof that they were lying, and I was going to keep the house. If I won, the statute of limitations would have passed, and the house would have been mine to keep.
They got a federal judge to rule that the bank’s lying was immaterial, because I had declared bankruptcy. A person who has declared bankruptcy, he wrote, cannot fight lawsuits from creditors, even ones who were only creditors because of their own fraudulent activity and statements, without undoing the bankruptcy. I was told by the judge’s staff that he wasn’t about to give away free houses. This would have exposed me to my old debts, along with 5 years of interest and penalties. I had to give in, and they got the house.
At least they have finally left me alone, paid me a total of about $50,0000, and I got to live in that house for five years, rent free. Still, they committed fraud and got away with it.
Don’t feel sorry for the banks. They made hundreds of billions of dollars.