This year Marsha Kilgore, 62, lost her condo and her life.
According to the the Fresno Bee, Kilgore was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2005 and underwent a double mastectomy.
Even though she could not work any longer, Kilgore was still making the mortgage payments on her Fresno, Calif. condo on time via her Social Security payments and disability money.
However, that all changed when World Savings offered her a “pick-a-payment” loan, which would supposedly allow Kilgore to pay less on her mortgage if she chose to.
Kilgore thought she had signed a fixed-rate loan when she was ill, but in reality the “pick-a-payment” loan hooked her in with a "teaser rate." Her monthly loan payment started at $656 in 2006, but went up to $1,012 in 2012.
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Thanks to this “pick-a-payment” loan, Kilgore would owe $177,000 on the same condo that she borrowed $66,000 to buy in 1990.
Wells Fargo bank bought the Wachovia corporation, which included World Savings, in 2008, according to the Wells Fargo bank website.
Lilgire and other customers, who had been burned by World Savings' “pick-a-payment” loans, filed a class action lawsuit, which Wells Fargo settled in 2010.
According to BizJournals.com:
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Under the agreement, Wells Fargo will offer affordable loan modifications to about 14,900 borrowers in the state with pick-a-pay loans approved by Wachovia or World Savings. Many of the loan modifications will include principal forgiveness, according to Attorney General officials. The agreement is expected to reach more than $2 billion.
Wells Fargo will also pay $32 million in restitution to more than 12,000 borrowers who used pick-a-pay loans and lost their homes through foreclosure. Payments will average about $2,650.
While that "sounded" good, Wells Fargo told Kilgore that she had to miss three house payments and get evicted from her home before getting a loan modification.
“We did provide a modification, but unfortunately, we could not find an option after that to allow her to stay in her home,” Wells Fargo spokesperson Tom Goyda told the Fresno Bee.
By this time Kilgore was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Kilgore had to have a permanent address in order for Medicare to help pay for her oxygen machines and other medical equipment.
Kilgore was evicted in June and lost her Medicare benefits. She lived in hotels, in her car and with friends.
On Oct. 16, Kilgore died in a Fresno hospital where she had been admitted with "a bad case of asthma."
Now, her attorney has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Wells Fargo for $250,000.
“The bank made a conscious decision that their profit meant more than her life, and that’s despicable,” said Lenore Abert, who was Kilgore's lawyer. “They knew with 100 percent certainty that she would lose her home.”
Pastor Bill Knezovich, of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Fresno, says the same thing happened to other people in the area.
"Two families in my congregation say the same thing happened to them," Pastor Knezovich told the Fresno Bee. "Because they wanted to make payments and were told to skip three."