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Man Committs Suicide After Harrassment, Eviction By Wells Fargo

Man Committs Suicide After Harrassment, Eviction By Wells Fargo

I recently complained about my inability to refinance my home loan, despite being reassured that I was approved, despite paying non-refundable fees to get the process underway, despite having perfect credit, verifiable income, no debt and no history of non-payment.

But now I’ve learned it could have been so much worse.

Dave Johnson writes at Alternet about the struggles of homeowners Norman and Oriane Rousseau, solicited to refinance their house, only to have the deal go bad when the mortgager, Wells Fargo, faked their signatures, their income, and even the interest rate and loan type they believed they were applying for.  After issues of “lost payments” that the Rousseaus could confirm and the bank denied, hidden fees, late fees and notices of foreclosures that went on and off for months, a series of harassing phone calls and a notice of eviction eventually lead Norman to shoot himself four days ago.

“In May 2009 the bank claimed the couple had missed their April payment. They proved they had made a payment in person at the bank, using a cashier’s check and that the check had been cashed by the bank. The bank then claimed they had ordered a stop payment on the check, even though a cashier’s check payment cannot be stopped,” writes Johnson. “The runaround began. The bank began harassing them for payment, sometimes as many as six-eight calls per day, sometimes even late at night. On August 3, 2009 the bank claimed the Rousseaus hadn’t paid June or July’s payments either, demanding $3,406.50. But then on August 8 the bank assured them they were current on payments. Then the bank again claimed it had not been paid and that the bank had been trying to contact them without success, and that they now owed $3,478,25.”

The Rousseaus soon learned that the loan they believed they were paying was entirely different from what they received — a loan loaded with prepayment penalties, unnecessary fees, and one that had them paying less than the amount of interest on the loan, making it reset and actually add to the cost of their debt.  The longer they continued to make minimum payments, the further they fell behind, and with the “lost” check they fell into a cycle they were unable to ever get out of.

The story is a reminder of the worst of predatory lending.  But what is most shocking is that it is still occurring without any oversight, despite knowledge that this has been going on for years, and that banks are continuing to refuse to admit error or change practices, no matter the circumstances.

Norman Rousseau killed himself prior to being evicted, giving up all hope.

His wife is still being evicted, anyway.

 

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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119 comments

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2:00AM PST on Feb 4, 2013

sad story.

12:30PM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

There are suicides every 80 seconds from retuning Vets from the two illegal wars in Iraq and Adfghanistan due to the homicides committed against innocent civilians children, and fam ilies in their own countey of origin. The suicide rate for the poor homeless, unemployed, distressed families and hungry children in the US must be much higher. Why does not our television media pick up on this issue ?

9:52PM PDT on May 22, 2012

What has happened to our once-great and nice country? Why are the banks doing this to innocent people?

1:11AM PDT on May 20, 2012

I hope someone SUES YHE B*STARDS.

7:41PM PDT on May 19, 2012

Wells Fargo did the same thing to a woman in California. She had CP and her husband lost his job. They would not renegotiate the mortgage when he got back to work and put all kinds of financial penalties on them. When friends protested in front of the Wells Fargo office they had them arrested. Nice company!

8:49AM PDT on May 19, 2012

Is there a lawyer out there who cares enough to take this on? People who have accounts at Wells Fargo should run!!!!

8:41AM PDT on May 19, 2012

How about an involuntary manslaughter charge? The bank errors and scamming led to his death. Especially if he left a suicide note, which he probably didn't, that would give great credence for harrassment charges leading to his suicide. Someone must be held responsible and that should be the CEO of the bank. After all, he is supposed to be in charge of his employees. Bankers, lawyers, politicians, CEO's all pretty much suck. Where is the karma? I wish I was religious so I could believe they'll burn in hell!

4:25PM PDT on May 18, 2012

One of the founders of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin recently gave up his U.S. Citizenship to take up residence in Singapore so as to evade U.S. taxes. By the way, his tax bill would have been 400 million $$$. My advise, don't YOU try that with the IRS.

Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and all the rest of them have committed crimes against the people of Amerika and yet how many have ever seen the inside of a court room, let alone a jail cell.

Let us all face the truth...there is no more America, just a college of Corporations.

10:32AM PDT on May 18, 2012

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around (the banks) will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. ""Thomas Jefferson"

10:17AM PDT on May 18, 2012

Sooooo... predatory lending is continuing, there is no oversight and there is no hope. What is the moral of this story, suicide is the answer?

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