The AARP Files Reverse Mortgage Lawsuit
The AARP has filed a lawsuit against Fannie Mae and Wells Fargo for allegedly allowing illegal eviction and foreclosure to a reverse mortgage heir.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has filed a lawsuit against the Fannie Mae and the Wells Fargo Bank in the U.S. District court in San Francisco, California for the mortgage borrowers and surviving spouses who have been evicted from their homes and those facing foreclosure.
The recent lawsuit is already AARP’s second lawsuit filed in 2011 regarding reverse mortgage issues for borrowers and their surviving spouses or heirs. The court dismissed the first lawsuit in July, 2011. The current suit is alleging Wells Fargo to have illegally allowed foreclosure on reverse mortgage borrowers. The borrowers were reported to not have been notified and that during the time when the loan was due and payable, they were not provided any opportunity to purchase the property to at least 95% of the property’s appraised value.
Robert Chandler from Elk Grove, California, the main plaintiff of the current lawsuit, admits to have inherited the home entitled to his mother, who was a reverse mortgage borrower before she died in 2010. The lawsuit states that Chandler was not even notified of his right to actually buy the property for it appraised value.
The allegation of the lawsuit and AARP reports that Wells Fargo only told the heir that he needs to pay off the remaining mortgage balance, however, Fannie Mae, the mortgage lender, proceeded to foreclosing the home. Fannie Mae already started efforts in evicting Chandler from his property after finding no one who was willing to purchase the property for its appraised value.
In the initial lawsuit that was filed in March, 2011, the HUD or Department of Housing and Urban Development had withdrawn its non-recourse guidance. It issued a clarifying servicer FAQs on the 21st of July stating that an HECM loan that is already payable due to a death of the borrower and is conveyed to an heir can be paid off by the heir in paying the remaining balance of the mortgage or purchasing the home to at least 95% of the property’s appraised value.
The second lawsuit is stating that even with HUD’s clarifying servicer FAQs, the defendants still failed to provide any notification to the survivors of the borrowers regarding the rights in purchasing the property for at least 95 % of the property’s value. The defendants allowed foreclosure and eviction of the heir who actually was trying to pay off the market price of a home considered to be an underwater home. AARP revealed that there are actually over a thousand potential defendants who may face complaints of similar nature.
When HUD reversed its rule on the rights survivors and heirs in July 2011, more complainants contacted the AARP about facing the same concern. Senior attorney of the AARP Foundation Litigation, Attorney Jean Constantine-Davis, admitted that it is difficult to comprehend how reverse mortgage lenders are continuing to deny survivors and heirs of their legal rights on properties conveyed to them.