September 4, 2009

Homeowner confronts bank exec in court

A courtroom drama in Phoenix gave an ordinary, struggling homeowner a chance to confront a top Wells Fargo executive on the issue of loan modification.

Banks have pledged to explore mortgage modification throughout the financial crisis. The Obama administration also pushed for more action on renegotiating loans and results.

The end result, however, has often been frustration, The New York Times reported Thursday.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Randolph Haines allowed Bobbi Giguere, a restaurant manager who has lost her job, a chance to question Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Servicing Vice President Joseph Ohayon under oath.

Under Giguere's questioning, Ohayon admitted the bank had not requested a financial worksheet although it had used the lack of one as a reason for not offering a chance to extend a loan modification.

Ohayon also admitted it took Wells Fargo from March to September to inform Giguere her request for a loan modification had been turned down.

Customer communication is something we're taking a serious look at, your honor, Ohayon told the court.

The case may end up as winning the battle, but losing the war. It is unlikely Giguere can keep her home on her current $240 weekly unemployment checks, the Times said.