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Family tries to stop foreclosure after bank surprise

With a wave of foreclosures flooding the state of New Jersey, people get used to hearing the same types of stories. Situations such as surprise medical bills, lost jobs and the end of unemployment benefits can all lead to hardworking families losing their homes. What one does not expect, however, is a story about a family that made every single payment on their mortgage and still has to scramble to stop foreclosure.

The couple bought their home in Houston in 2008. Unfortunately, soon after they made the purchase, the title company filed for bankruptcy. In the ensuing set of legal complications, the legal title to the house was never transferred to the couple. Instead, the previous owner, Wells Fargo Bank, still held title.

The couple made every payment and never received any notice that the property had not been transferred properly. When they heard about the problem, they worked for a year and a half to try to resolve it directly with the bank, but to no avail. Subsequently, a foreclosure notice from Wells Fargo arrived.

According to the couple, the bank is claiming that fees and late charges have increased the cost to purchase their home to $170,000, more than $40,000 higher than the couple paid for the home three years ago. The couple cannot afford that price and they wonder why they should have to pay anything more. While a bank spokesperson said the company was working to resolve the situation, it remains to be seen what will happen.

If the bank insists on the additional amount, the couple will need to do whatever they can to stop foreclosure. It is a problem confronting New Jersey residents on a daily basis, particularly because indications are foreclosure actions have recently picked up steam. One important option available is to consult with an attorney devoted to helping individuals and families solve their credit problems. A bankruptcy proceeding through Chapter 13 or other debt relief actions may lead to a successful resolution, allowing a family to keep its home.

Source: My Fox Houston, "Family Hit by Surprise Foreclosure," Emily Akin, Sept. 26, 2011

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