Wanda Carter said that it seemed as if Washington Mutual Bank “was paying her $20,000” to take a $142,000 loan that covered the sale price and loan fees of a South Side home she bought in November 2004. But it was only after the deal closed that Carter learned the house required structural work that contractors estimated the costs of bringing the property up to code to be $50,000, according to a Chicago News Cooperative story published on October 1, 2011. About a year after moving, Carter married and in late 2005, her husband was diagnosed with late-stage cancer and the couple soon fell behind on the mortgage.
Carter told the Cooperative that she attempted to get a mortgage modification and asked Washington Mutual to lower her payments so she could catch up on payments and stay in the home. The bank instead ended up raising her payments and Carter later learned that Washington Mutual had sold her mortgage to a lender that employed Greentree Mortgage to service the loan. According to the Cooperative, Carter’s property was appraised at only $95,000 in late 2007 and two investors offered her $80,000, but today she is still responsible for $141,836 in loans, court costs and legal fees. “I’m sure the house is worth even less now,” Carter told the Cooperative. “It was a shell to begin with, and now it’s even more of a shell.”
Sales like the one Ms. Carter experienced are an unfortunate common practice among today’s predatory lenders, but our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can help you get a fresh start on your finances by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you have been struggling through hard times and want to get deserved relief today, you should know that completing a bankruptcy means test today could help end debt collector harassment and get you an affordable bankruptcy now. Have you had an experience similar to Ms. Carter’s? Have you tried numerous times to get some sort of foreclosure help only to come up empty? Our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys want to hear from you. Tell us about your experience.