Veteran's foreclosure nightmare continues
By Rene De La Cruz | Daily Press, Victorville, Calif. | Published: June 24, 2013
APPLE VALLEY, Calif. — Retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Cynthia Harty celebrated her granddaughter, Ella’s, birthday at Disneyland last week — a perfect way to forget about the financial roller-coaster she’s been riding.
“Every day, I wake up to the nightmare that I could be evicted from my home,” said Harty, who has battled several financial institutions since she received her foreclosure notice in March.
Harty said she had a glimmer of hope after she recently visited U.S. Rep. Paul Cook’s Apple Valley office with her mountain of loan paperwork.
After sharing her foreclosure story to one of Cook’s aids, Harty said she was told enthusiastically that Cook’s office would be glad to help.
But Harty said was shocked and perplexed when she was later told that the Congressman was not willing or prepared to get involved.
“Excuse me? Doesn’t want to get involved with a veteran who needs help?” Harty said. “That is something I can’t seem to understand.”
After the Daily Press contacted Cook’s field office in Apple Valley, Communications Director Michael Fresquez e-mailed a response.
“Congressman Cook is always happy to help on matters that involve the federal government, and he welcomes his constituents to contact him for assistance,” Fresquez wrote. “He’s ready and willing to assist Ms. Harty. However, we cannot comment publicly on an individual case.”
After hearing Frequez’s message, a skeptical Harty said the “press release” was well written, but would love to see action from Cook’s office.
Harty said consumer advocate Michael “Bogey” Boguslawski and Christina Ward with state Sen. Steve Knight’s office have worked hard in their attempts to resolve the matter.
When asked what advice Ward gave to Harty, Ward directed all comments to Knight’s Communication Director Alicia French.
“With this constituent, as with all constituents, our basic rule is to point them in the right direction, and to identify agencies that may be most useful to them,” French said.
Harty’s nightmare began when was laid off and she decided to go back to school to get her teaching credential.
During her attempts to qualify for a loan modification, Harty began getting notices from Bank of America and she assumed it was part of the bank’s purchase of failed lender Countrywide.
Harty said she did not find out that Ginnie Mae had purchased her loan until she applied for a modification in 2011. Bank of America remained the servicer on the loan, but communicated to her that it no longer owned the loan and preferred not to take part in loan modifications.
As Harty worked to free herself from the convoluted maze of paperwork and the game of “phone-tag” with Bank of America, things became worse as the bank sold the loan service to Nationstar Mortgage LLC, which turned all negotiations to Sage Point Lending Services LLC.
“I have a spreadsheet of all the activity that I’ve conducted,” Harty said. “You should see the stack of documentation I’ve kept. Not a day goes by that I don’t get something in the mail.”
Harty said if she defaults, the VA will take a hit and her VA benefits and credit will be damaged.
Harty said Disneyland was also a bittersweet day, as it marked the 19th anniversary that her husband, David Joseph Harty, a Purple Heart recipient with the U.S. Marine Corps, lost his battle with cancer.
“This is my house and my dream,” Harty said. “The moment my loan was sold, they took my rights away.”