Foreclosures down, yet struggles for loan modifications continue

Foreclosures Down

John Chun only wanted to live the American dream. He escaped from North Korea to South Korea in 1957. He then come to the United States where he learned English and put himself through College. John Chun chose to be an engineer and designed the Shelby Cobra for the Ford Motor Company. He created the most known iconic hotrod street cars in the 1960s.

One day, Chun’s dream had turned into a complete nightmare. At the age of 84, he received a foreclosure notice on he home he had owned since the 1970s. Even with plenty of equity, his dream home was being foreclosed on. With the foreclosures declining and the housing market increasing, the Chuns are fighting in court. Like the other thousands of homeowners around the world, fighting for your home can be a real nightmare. In the state of Minnesota alone, there were 9,565 foreclosures within the first six months of 2012. That was 15 percent lower than the previous year.

For more than thirty years, the Chun family lived peacefully. Even raising two children in that same dream home. With their wealthy living styles, it all came to a halt in 2006 when they refinanced through IndyMac, which is now a branch of One West Bank. The couple was unaware that they had just signed for an adjustable rate. With that being said, their mortgage payments went from $1,750 to $3,000 to $4,000 over the next several months. Before they knew it, they were paying over $5,000 for a monthly mortgage. This was well above their budget. In 2010, they were so far behind in payments. That is when they received their foreclosure notice from IndyMac.

They were offered a loan modification that year through the federal Home Affordable Modification program. They were so excited. They applied immediately. This program was designed to help families who are struggling to avoid foreclosures. However, much to their surprise, they were denied. The bank rejected their application for incomplete documents. So they reapplied. Again, they were rejected with the same reason.

“We do not want to lose our dream home. I am a fighter. I know that no matter what, I will always hang in there.” John Chun stated.

He was later informed by the representative at his bank that every document was completed. Since being denied so many times, he decided to put his dream home on the market. He had hired a local real estate agent. His home was listed for $1.4 million dollars. That was then he was informed that he would recoup at least $265,000 from the equity he had in their home when it sold on the market.

That was when IndyMac gave them another chance to reapply for the modification. Having high hopes, he took his home off the market and applied again. However, during the process, his home was sold at auction. The bank had bought the home back for a little over $685,000. He was heartbroken.

The Chuns are now suing One West in a federal court. The documents stated that the company misrepresented their home loan. John Chun was given false promises that his home could be saved from foreclosure. Thankfully a judge issued a restraining order that would block their eviction process until their lawsuit is completed. Of course in court, the bank denied many of Chuns allegations, including the incomplete documents. The lawyers that represented the bank petitioned for the judge to dismiss the entire case.

That is when Chuns attorney, Todd Murray, stepped in. He stated it was more than what the papers showed. “The issues with this case is that they deserve to be treated with honesty. They were never told the entire truth. Only were given false hopes.” They lost all of their money and the money that was supposed to be recouped from the selling of their home. Banks should be held accountable for their actions. Banks should not be able to give false hopes to homeowners regarding the modification process.

The problem that happened to the Chuns happen to people everyday. It is called a dual-track foreclosure. This is when banks process the foreclosure and the modification application at the same time. This resulting in the foreclosure to process faster. In the end, your home will be foreclosed quicker than the company actually allowing you to pay on your defaulted loan. However, there are new laws surfacing. With the Obama administration, there are now new rules for all mortgage companies to follow by.

As John Chun currently battles stomach cancer to this day, he is awaiting trial. If the judge decides to take his case to federal court, he may have a chance to save his long time dream home. However, if he is denied, he will be forced out of his all American dream home. He will only leave with the memories he created.

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