HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The holidays have become a time of uncertainty and worry for a family on the verge of losing their home. They're caught in foreclosure fight after trying to get their loan modified and now they're taking their battle to court, saying the bank turned its back on them.The Ulloa home is decorated for a happy holiday season, but Javier Ulloa and his wife, Nora, aren't sure how long they'll get to stay.
"We've been working very hard to do the payments on this house," Ulloa said.
For seven years, they made the payments but one month in 2009, Ulloa called the bank to tell them he'd be late. The bank, he says, gave him an alternative.
"They offer me a loan modification and they explain all of the process," he said.
Ulloa says the bank told him to wait two months for the new loan, which would lower his payments, but that didn't happen.
"I started getting worried because it was starting to take so long," Ulloa said.
Every month, he says he called and re-faxed information and was told to not make his payment.
"I was frustrated because I do all they said to do, and they never respond," he said.
Then, after a year, he got a letter telling him the bank was foreclosing.
"This is not an isolated incident," said Ulloa's attorney, Steven Smith.
Smith says he's seen this a lot and he's filed suit, claiming the bank wrongfully foreclosed on the Ulloa family.
"I don't think the borrowers in this case did anything wrong," Smith said."I think the system is just so broken."
For its part, Freddie Mac, the new owner of the Ulloas' home, said, "As a matter of company policy, we don't comment on litigation."
As for Wells Fargo, the Ulloas' mortgage holder, a company spokesperson told us, "We worked with the homeowners for over a year to try and find an alternative to foreclosure. Unfortunately, we were unable to do so. The home is now owned by Freddie Mac and we no longer service the loan."
The Ulloas just want their house back, even though it's worth less than what they're willing to pay.
According to estimates from Reality Track, there will be 1.2 million homes in the US foreclosed on by the end of the year. That's 300,000 more than last year.
The president's loan modification program was initially meant to help stop up to 4 million foreclosures but because of all the red tape, some estimate the program will only stop about 800,000 foreclosures.
(Copyright ©2011 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
local, tom abrahams
Maybe another reader can help me understand this story. So far it looks like: Guy finds house, guy makes deal on house & signs agreement to buy, guy agrees to terms of purchase & bank loan, which he also signs. Guy takes possession of home he can't afford. Guy can't make timely payments. Bank starts foreclosure process. Nevermind the mitigating factors, this is obviously the bank's fault. Did I miss something? Mark As Violation
What I don't understand I mean when would a bank or any finance company whether it be a car or house say stop making payments until we re-negotiate the terms of your loan? I have never heard that happening. What I have heard of is people continue making their regular payments until the loan's terms are changed and agreed upon! People when you sign loan documents there are 2 clauses 1st clause Final Agreement these are the terms this is what you will pay etc if you sign you agree to the terms and thats it! 2nd clause ... Mark As Violation
Also its funny how its always somebody elses fault lol I mean these poor people they didnt do anything wrong they just stopped making payments and thought the bank would modify there loan because it's them? Its the mean ole banks fault that they couldnt afford there mortgage anymore right? Everything is the banks fault and the owners (previous owners) are just being robbed? Ridiculous... Mark As Violation
I inquired about home loan modification and was told by my mortgate company (Chase) that they would not be able to accept mortgage payments until the modification process was completed. Needless to say, I did not apply for the modification. The whole modification system is shady, along with the banks. And for all you posters who criticize about people buying homes they can't afford... lighten up! Situations change, people lose their jobs, divorce, death, etc... Mark As Violation
Ditto number 2, since we had a high interest rate but were not late we got the biggest run a round from Chase and never got refinanced, modified, actually what we got was "ZERO." Our income went down and we stuggle to make the payments but why should they help us, they are getting their money. Mark As Violation