Shocking Revelation About Mortgage Modifications: Your Bank Might Still Foreclose (VIDEO)

This Florida man paid his mortgage too early. Wells Fargo: Together we'll go to Hell in a handbasket.

Image featuring screen shot of Florida home owner Ettiene Syldor from a news report from

Etienne Syldor must have heaved a huge sigh of relief when Wells Fargo told him he qualified for a modification on his mortgage. The Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) supposedly requires Wells Fargo, Chase, and other big banks to provide mortgage modifications (lower payments) to qualifying home owners who bought during the housing bubble. This makes sense, since the “too big to fail” banks created the conditions that are causing these  home “moaners” to struggle in the first place, including: predatory lending practices; underwater home values (which are now worth less than the loan); and … um … basically destroying our economy.

So, imagine the Orlando, FL resident’s surprise when he received a foreclosure notice in the mail. Martie Salt from WFTV.Com’s Channel 9 Eyewitness News reported last week (the following is transcribed from the video footage):

“An Orlando father is worried he could lose his home, even though he has made all his mortgage payments on time, and sometimes has even over-paid.”

Her colleague, Jorge Estevez added:

“Wells Fargo offered him a mortgage modification, but decided to foreclose on him after he made the payments.”

He then indignantly asked Kenneth Craig, who was reporting from Wells Fargo in Orlando, FL:

“How can the bank get away with doing something like this?”

A bewildered Craig answered:

“I’ve been going back and forth with the folks here at Wells Fargo for days trying to get an answer to that. This homeowner says he has no idea what happened, and is afraid he’s going to be out on the streets because of it.”

Craig might have had better luck if he had visited Wells Fargo’s corporate office during daylight hours, rather than in the evening after everyone had gone home (as shown in the video). Perhaps the show’s producers thought it would be more visually appealing for their intrepid reporter to be standing in front of a building after dark, rather than standing around with his cell phone getting put on hold by secretaries whose bosses don’t want to talk to him.

Things get more interesting when Craig visits Syldor — an earnest Haitian immigrant with a lilting accent who works as a bus driver for the nearby Walt Disney World theme park — at his home for an interview.

Craig introduces Syldor, who emphatically declares, “I’m working, working, working very, very, very hard.”

When Wells Fargo offered Sydor a loan modification last year, they said that if he made all his payments on time during the four-month trial period, the lower payments would be made permanent. Court records show that Syldor made all the payments on time, and even made some extra payments earlier than required.

Veronica Clemons from Wells Fargo later sent Eyewitness News a statement claiming that by sending extra payments, Syldor had violated the modification agreement:

“For some loans, completing trial payments is a significant step toward a permanent modification; however, in this instance, the loan was part of a mortgage-backed security and in a protected pool, with specific payment guidelines. We are working with Mr. Syldor to explain the guidelines and explore options that may help.”

Apparently, no good deed goes unpunished.

Syldor’s attorney, Lamya Henry, reacted with shock when Syldor first visited her office:

“When he came in and showed me all the documents, it was just unbelievable. Who gets foreclosed on when they’ve made all their payments on time?”

Craig ended the report by telling his viewers that a Wells Fargo representative told him the following:

“They are now planning to reach out to this home owner to see if they can help him,” and ominously adds, “We, of course, will be following up with him and the bank to see if they actually do that.”

I hope the folks at Channel 9’s Eyewitness News are able to help Syldor so he and his children don’t wind up on the street. And I wish Syldor’s harrowing experience was an isolated incident, or some crazy mix-up. Unfortunately, my family’s personal — and eerily similar — experience with our own mortgage modification from Wells Fargo makes me wonder if this is how the big banks normally operate: By offering mortgage modifications so they appear to be working with mortgage holders, as required by HAMP; sucking a few more months of payments out of their victims (some of whom might have been better off walking away); and then abruptly completing their bait-and-switch after a few months, and foreclosing anyway.

Here’s the video:

If you’ve had any personal experience with a mortgage modification, I’d be grateful if you would share with me for a future article. You can either fill out the contact form on my website, or message me on Facebook. I promise not to mention your name unless you give me permission to do so.

Elisabeth Parker Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, “like” her on Facebook, “friend” her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, or check out her Pinterest boards. For more Addicting Info articles by Elisabeth, click here.