Anti-foreclosure activists defend Woodland family

12:11 AM, May 22, 2012   |    comments
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WOODLAND, CA - A Woodland family facing eviction early Tuesday morning is being "defended" by anti-foreclosure activists, who said they'll try to keep deputies from evicting the family.

The Ponce Family bought their home on Paradise Valley Drive in 2008, but began struggling to hang on to it after Heriberto Ponce lost his job in construction.

The family said they began working with Wells Fargo Bank to restructure the mortgage through the HAMP program.

But when Heriberto Ponce's signature was missing on a key document, they said the bank told them they needed to re-submit loan documents.

In the middle of that process, his wife Alma Ponce said Wells Fargo sold the deed to Specialized Loan Services.

Activists said that happened because Wells Fargo had begun the foreclosure process at the same time the family applied for the modification - a process activists said is known as "dual tracking."

"And when the bank starts modifying the home loan, they, at the same time start foreclosure on the house, unbeknownst to the homeowners," said Occupy Sacramento activist Cathy Grahnert. 

The Ponces said they are just one of many Hispanic or mostly Spanish-speaking families in the Woodland area that have fallen victim to problems with their mortgages through miscommunication or misunderstanding with banks.

"I may be the first one here in Woodland, but they did it to many people. I was the only tperson standing up for our rights, and I'm just doing everything for my kids," Alma Ponce said tearfully on her front porch.

Late Monday afternoon, Wells Fargo Bank said they're looking into what happened in the case, adding they may not have a clear picture until sometime Tuesday.

Attempts to contact the current mortgage holder, Residential Investments, LLC, were unsuccessful.

The family said if they'd realized Wells Fargo was going to sell the mortgage, they would have tried to arrange a short-sale instead.

The Ponces said they have nowhere to go if they are evicted.

"That means for us that we are going to spend the night in the car," Alma Ponce said.


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