Elderly Widows Left Unnamed On Now-Deceased Hubbies' Home Loans That Subsequently Become Delinquent Face The Boot As Banksters Refuse To Negotiate Payment Modifications
In Bradenton, Florida, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reports:
- Sandra Vance had her Cypress Bend home built with her physical limitations in mind. [...] Now 72, she expected to spend life's final chapter in the single-story home with tile floors and electric appliances — installed because gas fumes make her too dizzy to stand.
But the nation's largest loan servicer now contends Vance must leave that all behind after a three-year foreclosure saga — one that her husband did not live through — revealed problems with the promissory note.
Vance is not alone. Legal experts say similar paperwork mistakes are poised to evict hundreds, if not thousands, of elderly windows throughout Florida from their dream retirement homes.
"It's just horrible," said Kathy Vance, Sandra's daughter. "I know my mother may lose this house. But we will not go without a fight."
Like many recession-battered borrowers, Wells Fargo filed suit against Vance's late husband after the couple fell behind on their payments.
When her husband, Merle, died, Vance lost the authority to assume the mortgage — even though she is listed as an owner on the property's deed.
That is because her name was never on the promissory note tied to the home's loan — a strategy sometimes employed to obtain better financing rates by listing only her husband's income and credit history.
But now, Vance cannot legally defend against the default. The bank says it will work with Vance to modify the debt, but only after $14,000 in delinquent payments are made current.
The complication is common throughout Florida — the fallout from a high demographic of elderly homeowners, the state's boom-bust real estate cycle and a lingering recession that still grips retirement incomes.
The result has left thousands of Sunshine State widows who are now behind on payments — and lacking a sufficient mortgage note — with no entitlement to their home.
"I wish I could say these are the only people this has happened to, but I can point to 10 more in my office," said Susannah Savitsky, a Bradenton attorney who represents Vance.