Recent news of Bank of America halting foreclosures on the heels of Ally Financial’s GMAC Mortgage unit and JPMorgan Chase announcing similarly that due to a high volume of errors, they too have halted foreclosures.
But not all banks are following their lead, many are still moving forward and in some cases like Wells Fargo, they have taken to “foreclosure acceleration” and other aggressive tactics. Homeowners across America are confused right now and while some roll over and simply lose their homes, the majority that are having difficulties are struggling through the negotiation process (I know this due to the high volume of emails we receive from homeowners wanting to tell their story).
An Austin man, Jaime Furtado has taken a different approach- he’s camped out on the Texas capitol steps to protest treatment he’s received from Wells Fargo and protesting the “foreclosure acceleration” his family is being subjected to after beginning talks with Wells Fargo in March of this year.
Furtado’s story is not unique, but his approach to find resolve is. Furtado tells his story in comments of the Washington Post, “Making error after error Wells Fargo is about to steal the equity we have in our home. We had excellent credit till I started a loan amendment after I was told that it would not affect our credit. When we bought the house we put down $110K. I refinanced from 30 years to 15, about three years ago and, after 6 months of unemployment and years of underemployment I just wanted to refinance, but the numbers don’t work and, even after the help they got with our tax dollars they just see us has a number and put us all in the same situation.”
Furtado says that the help they were offered to resolve their case was to get help from a Government agency who told him they were not in a bad enough situation and would not help. That agency directed them to make arrangements with credit cards but Furtado simply wants to set up a payment plan. Instead, as of yesterday, Furtado says that Wells Fargo began the foreclosure acceleration process to “steal our years of hard work that were wrongly invested in our house.”
The protest message:
Furtado’s protest message to Wells Fargo? “WE ARE NOT JUST A NUMBER.” Furtado told me that he “will be in front of congress here in Austin until somebody from Wells Fargo comes and tries to negotiate our situation.”
UPDATE: Furtado has now stated to us that he is on a hunger strike and that his cause is “now at an executive level at Wells Fargo.”
Will Furtado’s defense of his home, family and not being a number yield the results he’s seeking? Perhaps. But the sad part of all of this is that Furtado isn’t alone, he’s just one of the few willing to stand up publicly and protest. Bank of America, Chase and Ally have halted foreclosures while Wells Fargo gets aggressive, will we see them in halt mode soon as well? Maybe. Being among the first, will Furtado be the last to physically protest? Probably not.
The Texas Attorney General’s office has imposed a halt on foreclosures and sales of foreclosed properties, pending their office reviewing the processes of over 30 loan servicers in the state. Several have said they will not comply with the AG’s demand letter. For more on this: visit Brand Candid.