Family blames bank for foreclosure mess
HOUSTON The Ulloa home is decorated for a happy holiday season, but Javier Ulloa and his wife, Nora, aren't sure how long they'll get to stay. "We've been working very hard to do the payments on this house," Ulloa said. For seven years, they made the payments but one month in 2009, Ulloa called the bank to tell them he'd be late. The bank, he says, gave him an alternative. "They offer me a loan modification and they explain all of the process," he said. Ulloa says the bank told him to wait two months for the new loan, which would lower his payments, but that didn't happen. "I started getting worried because it was starting to take so long," Ulloa said. Every month, he says he called and re-faxed information and was told to not make his payment. "I was frustrated because I do all they said to do, and they never respond," he said. Then, after a year, he got a letter telling him the bank was foreclosing. "This is not an isolated incident," said Ulloa's attorney, Steven Smith. Smith says he's seen this a lot and he's filed suit, claiming the bank wrongfully foreclosed on the Ulloa family. "I don't think the borrowers in this case did anything wrong," Smith said."I think the system is just so broken." For its part, Freddie Mac, the new owner of the Ulloas' home, said, "As a matter of company policy, we don't comment on litigation." As for Wells Fargo, the Ulloas' mortgage holder, a company spokesperson told us, "We worked with the homeowners for over a year to try and find an alternative to foreclosure. Unfortunately, we were unable to do so. The home is now owned by Freddie Mac and we no longer service the loan." The Ulloas just want their house back, even though it's worth less than what they're willing to pay. According to estimates from Reality Track, there will be 1.2 million homes in the US foreclosed on by the end of the year. That's 300,000 more than last year. The president's loan modification program was initially meant to help stop up to 4 million foreclosures but because of all the red tape, some estimate the program will only stop about 800,000 foreclosures.