Report from Thordsen Law Offices:
- Wells Fargo fails to give Consumers proper notices costs them over $81 million.
- Here is what can happen when someone cannot manage their own affairs.
- A new type of transfer deed has come to California called Transfer on Death (TOD)
- Talcum Powder gave this person cancer and she was awarded $13 million.
- $200,000 penalty for not paying employee proper wages. Remember California law on straight time, overtime and sick leave time. Especially minimum wage related to commissioned employees.
- Soft tissue damages in the neck with attendant pain entitles people to monetary damages.
- Two Southern California women plead guilty to real estate investment fraud and are looking at a potential six years in prison.
- Connecticut man pleads guilty to loan modification fraud. Yes it is still being prosecuted for loan modifications that occurred over six years ago.
- Can you believe that one person would do these things to another?
WELLS FARGO BANK N.A. TO PAY $81.6 MILLION IN RESTITUTION TO CONSUMERS FOR FAILURE TO PROVIDE LEGALLY REQUIRED NOTICES
On November 5, 2015 the U.S. Trustee Program Reached an $81.6 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH WELLS FARGO BANK THAT AFFECTS NEARLY 68,000 HOMEOWNER ACCOUNT IN BANKRUPTCY.
The Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program has entered into a national settlement agreement with Wells Fargo Bank N.A. (Wells Fargo) REQUIRING WELLS FARGO TO PAY $81.6 MILLION IN REMEDIATION FOR ITS REPEATED FAILURE TO PROVIDE HOMEOWNERS WITH LEGALLY REQUIRED NOTICES, denying homeowners the right to challenge the accuracy of mortgage payment increases. These failures violated federal bankruptcy rules that took effect in December 2011 and imposed more detailed disclosure requirements to ensure proper accounting of fees and charges on homeowners in bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Rule 3002.1 requires mortgage creditors to file and serve a notice 21 days before adjusting a Chapter 13 debtor’s monthly mortgage payment. Wells Fargo acknowledges it failed to timely file more than 100,000 payment change notices (PCNs) and failed to timely perform more than 18,000 escrow analyses in cases involving nearly 68,000 accounts of homeowners in bankruptcy between Dec. 1, 2011, and March 31, 2015. The proposed settlement has been filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, where it is subject to court approval.
Wells Fargo agrees to pay a total of $81.6 million to homeowners who were in bankruptcy between Dec. 1, 2011, and March 31, 2015, and who were affected by Wells Fargo’s failure to timely file PCNs and escrow statements, including:
$53.6 million will be paid to more than 42,000 homeowners whose payments increased as to which Wells Fargo failed to timely file a PCN with the court. The payment will be in the form of a credit to the homeowner’s mortgage account in a lump sum amount, which averages $1,254 per homeowner and varies depending on the homeowner’s mortgage balance. More than 70 percent of the total payments will go to homeowners who have mortgage balances under $300,000. These payments will be made regardless of whether homeowners actually paid the increased amount.
An estimated $10 million will be paid by crediting homeowners’ accounts at the end of their bankruptcy cases if, upon a detailed review of the accounts, it is determined the homeowners were not fully compensated through the initial crediting process described above. Wells Fargo estimates that 15 to 20 percent of homeowners who receive the initial payments will be due additional amounts at case closing.
$1.5 million will be refunded in cash to about 3,000 homeowners where notices of decreases in monthly payments were not timely provided and the homeowners paid more than the actual amount due.
$1 million will be refunded in cash to about 2,400 homeowners who satisfied escrow shortages by making a lump sum payment, but whose monthly payments did not decrease to account for the lump sum payment.
$4.5 million will be paid by crediting the mortgage escrow accounts of about 6,000 homeowners who did not receive timely escrow statements. Wells Fargo will credit the amount of any increase in escrow shortage that was incurred between the time Wells Fargo should have performed the analysis and the time it actually did perform the analysis. As a result, homeowners will not be responsible for any increase in the escrow shortage stemming from Wells Fargo’s failure to timely perform the escrow analysis.
$4 million will be paid to about 12,000 homeowners by crediting mortgage accounts in the amount of $333, where Wells Fargo failed to timely perform an escrow analysis that would have resulted in a PCN being filed and the homeowner is not already receiving remediation for a missed or untimely PCN.
$4 million will be refunded in cash to about 6,000 homeowners who did not receive timely escrow statements and whose escrow accounts contained surpluses that Wells Fargo had not refunded or credited toward the next year’s escrow payment.
$3 million in remediation to about 8,000 homeowners has already been completed by Wells Fargo for certain violations.
The settlement resolves any actions that could be brought by the U.S. Trustee Program for the covered conduct, but does not limit the rights of any homeowner or other third party to take action against Wells Fargo.
Homeowners with questions about the settlement may contact Wells Fargo at 1-800-274-7025.
Homeowners download the settlement agreement and see if you are entitled to any money. Call the 800 number to check. If you do not want to be bothered you may contact us to see if we are able to assist.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE CANNOT MANAGE THEIR OWN AFFAIRS?
Generally a Conservatorship is over the person, the person’s estate or both. In California this is done through the California Conservatorship Jurisdiction Act. The persons that cannot take care of themselves are referred to as Conservatees, while the person(s) appointed to handle the affairs (personal, financial or both) is referred to as the Conservator. This Act provides standards and procedures to appoint the Conservator and conditions to transfer to another state should the person be moved out of state for one reason or another.
The Act allows for requesting a Court of another state to take certain actions an authorizes California Courts to do the same for another state making requests. There are SURETY BONDS posted to protect the assets of the Conservatee and when in doubt the Court can be requested to approve of the action before taken even though the Conservator may have the authority pursuant to the appointment. It is very protective of the Conservatee so if anyone (siblings, children, spouses, etc.) requests a conservatorship there are very strict laws and regulations regarding accounting of the assets. With that in mind it is always a best move to have a CPA and an Attorney as advisors to reduce the probability of being held personally liable for any losses in whatever form.
Remember, if the surety bond that is posted pays out any sums due to errors of the Conservator, the Surety Company can sue the Conservator personally to recover the payout.
(Cal.Prob.C. Sections 1980, et seq.)
If in doubt, ask the court. If anyone feels a conservatorship may be necessary or feels they require legal counsel they may contact us for a free consultation. Especially if it involves the purchase, sale or rental of real property. Remember to check before you leap because if you are wrong you may have personal liability to the bonding company if it pays out on the bond.
A NEW TYPE OF TRANSFER DEED HAS COME TO CALIFORNIA
AB 139(Stats 2015, CH 293) effective January 1, 2016 creates a new method of transferring real property on death AND outside of probate. This gives individuals the ability to transfer certain real property on death outside of probate. This can be done commencing on or after January 1, 2016 using a €œrevocable transfer on death deed.€ This new law is good for five years unless extended by the legislature. The transferor (owner on title) must be competent to contract in order to make OR revoke the €œTransfer on Death (TOD)€ deed and requires the deed be in a statutory form provided for this purpose.
This has two very distinct advantages. 1-Without the need of probate an attorney can be retained to see it is in proper form and then update as needed. 2-It avoids probate which can take up to a year to complete in the simple sense since no €œNotice to Creditors€ has to be published and therefore no waiting period. Otherwise, the probate generally must wait up to four months to allow unknown creditors to make claims pursuant to the publication in the newspaper. As a practical matter a probate that is easy even when it only has one home and not other asset can take on average on 9 months to one year. With the Transfer on Death, it is complete on death by filing and recording
DID YOU KNOW THAT TALCUM POWDER COULD GIVE YOU CANCER?
Plaintiff alleged defendant’s Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder was responsible for causing her to contract mesothelioma (Winkel v. Calaveras Asbestos Ltd., Los Angeles County Superior Court. Jury verdict $13,000,000.!) Good news for the plaintiff.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body. Mesothelioma is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. The most common anatomical site for mesothelioma is the pleura (the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it can also arise in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the pericardium (the sac that surrounds the heart), or the tunica vaginalis (a sac that surrounds the testis).
Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked in careers such as mining, where they inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers, or were exposed to airborne asbestos dust and fibers in other ways. Washing the clothing of a family member who worked with asbestos also creates a risk for developing mesothelioma.
Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall), chest wall pain and constitutional signs such as unexplained weight loss. The diagnosis may be suspected based on chest X-ray and CT scan findings, but must be confirmed either by examining serous effusioncytology or with a biopsy (removing a sample of the suspicious tissue). Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or sometimes surgery, mesothelioma carries a poor prognosis. Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing.
If in doubt, see your doctor.
WHEN THE EMPLOYER DOES NOT PAY ALL THE WAGES DUE IT WILL BE HIT WITH A PENALTY. IN THIS CASE OVER $200,000!
Restaurant workers brought a Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 wage and hour claims on behalf of 70 employees; court ruled that defendants’ records were not trustworthy (Atempa v. Pama Inc., San Diego County Superior Court, Decision: $297,723)
And that may not even include the attorney fees which are allowed by law.
SOFT TISSUE DAMAGE TO THE NECK WHEN A VEHICLE IS HIT FROM THE REAR-ARE YOU ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION?
Neck injuries (soft tissue damage to the neck) commonly referred to as whiplash injuries are scary and painful. Neck muscle and ligament damage from sudden head and neck movements can take time to appear and be felt and even longer to heal.
Soft Tissue Damage (Whiplash) is probably the most common car collision injury. Notice I did not say accident. When two cars collide, generally one is at fault if not both. You will note that Police Reports are all entitled €œTRAFFIC COLLISION REPORT€ because there is inevitably a cause by one or more of the drivers or it would not have occurred. If you suffer from soft tissue damage (whiplash) it may be possible to obtain compensation.
Whiplash is most often associated with high speed, rear end car collisions but it can occur during low speed accidents. The lay term €œwhiplash€ refers to a cervical sprain, cervical strain, or hyperextension injury that occurs when the head is whipped forward and back causing damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck.
Whiplash is a serious injury that may not be immediately apparent right after an accident. And, once diagnosed, it can in some cases take months to overcome which causes a substantial disruption to a person’s life and livelihood.
As in most car collisions you can be compensated for your injury. BUT
First, you must be able to prove your injury which is done by seeing a medical specialist to diagnose the extent of your injury and keeping copies of all your medical records relating to the accident. Second, you must be able to prove the collision caused your injury. Your medical records will be very important to demonstrating that you were healthy before the accident and injured afterward. Third, you must be able to prove who caused the collision.. This can be complicated especially if more than two cars are involved in accident.
Take the other driver’s license and insurance information. If you have a camera take pictures of the vehicle damage before they are moved if possible. If there are any witnesses willing to talk to you or your passengers if any see if they will give you their names and phone numbers. If you have questions you may call us at no cost to you to discuss the case. These cases are worked on contingency meaning the attorney only gets paid if the case is one AND the attorney can collect. For any questions you may have if involved in a collision in California call us for a free consultation by dialing 888-667-8529 and request to speak to Herman Thordsen.
TWO WOMEN FROM WESTMINSTER AND CHATSWORTH, CALIFORNIA PLEAD GUILTY TO REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT FRAUD. LOOKING AT UP TO SIX YEARS IN STATE PRISON
On October 30, 2015 LOAN THITUONG NGUYEN, 46, OF WESTMINSTER AND LYNN EICHENBERGER, 45, OF CHATSWORTH pleaded guilty of using a real estate investment fraud scheme to cheat 21 victims out of almost $3 million. LOAN THITUONG NGUYEN, 46, OF WESTMINSTER AND LYNN EICHENBERGER, 45, OF CHATSWORTH, accepted a plea deal from Orange County Superior Court Judge Kazuharu Makino, who PROMISED NOT TO EXCEED A SENTENCE OF SIX YEARS IN PRISON.
Sentencing is February 19, 2016 giving probation officials enough time to prepare a report on the defendants’ suitability for probation and for the women to make an effort at paying restitution to the victims, which could help spare them time behind bars.
Nguyen has paid $150,000 in restitution and her insurance company has paid about $300,000. Eichenberger has not made any restitution payments.
NGUYEN COULD HAVE FACED 22 YEARS AND EIGHT MONTHS IN PRISON IF CONVICTED AT TRIAL. EICHENBERGER FACED A MAXIMUM OF 23 YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS BEHIND BARS.
NGUYEN, A LICENSED REAL ESTATE BROKER, MANAGED SUNCOAST MORTGAGE CORP. AND SUNCOAST INVESTMENT REALTY, and Eichenberger recruited clients to give them money to invest in foreclosed properties to which they had no claims, prosecutors said. Victims were told their money was going toward paying half of the balance owed on a property’s mortgage said.
When clients confronted the defendants because there was no return on their investments, the two would say the deal fell through. The scheme was operated between August and December 2009. (cnsmnla103015)
Looks like one gets 6 years because of restitution but as to Ms, Eichenberger, since she did not make restitution who knows. Only February 19 will tell.
MATTHEW GOLDREICH, 46, OF EAST LYME, CONNECTICUT SENTENCED FOR LOAN MODIFICATION FRAUD
On November 6, 2015, MATTHEW GOLDREICH, 46, OF EAST LYME, CONNECTICUT AND OWNER OF CT MEDIA AGENCY WHO FALSELY ADVERTISED MORTGAGE MODIFICATION SERVICES was sentence in New Haven, Connecticut to two years probation including three months of home confinement for producing and disseminating false advertisements for mortgage modification services. In additions he had to pay $100,000 fine and $75,794 in restitiution.
In March 2009, the U.S. Department of the Treasury created the Home Affordable Modification Program (€œHAMP€), which consisted of a number of incentives to encourage struggling homeowners and financial institutions to modify existing loans on owner-occupied primary residences in order to help keep these properties out of foreclosure.
Between approximately May 2009 and February 2013, GOLDREICH used his New London-based media agency, NATIONAL MEDIA CONNECTION, LLC, to produce and air television, radio, and Internet advertisements for the NATIONAL MORTGAGE HELP CENTER, LLC (€œNMHC€), a shell company incorporated by GOLDREICH. The advertisements falsely claimed that NMHC could help struggling homeowners obtain home mortgage loan modifications. Many of the advertisements also falsely depicted NMHC as affiliated with the federal government, including through references to government stimulus programs and the use of President Barack Obama’s image.
One advertisement that aired in 2010 stated: €œAttention homeowners. We know it’s tough out there. And while America’s homeowners are facing more challenges than ever before, the National Mortgage Help Center is ready to help.€ The same advertisement also stated: €œWe may be able to lower your rate to as low as 1% and cut your mortgage payment in half. Our trained specialists know all the new regulations to get you quick relief. We help thousands of homeowners every day.€
The advertisements included toll-free telephone numbers for mortgage borrowers to call for help modifying their mortgages. In truth, NMHC DID NOT PROVIDE MORTGAGE MODIFICATION SERVICES FOR ANY HOMEOWNERS, AND OPERATED ONLY AS A FRONT. Homeowners who called the toll-free telephone numbers advertised by NMHC were routed to National Media Connection’s clients. The clients, in turn, paid National Media Connection for these €œleads.€ Under the pretense of helping homeowners modify their mortgages, certain National Media Connection clients then charged the homeowners fees and provided no services whatsoever in return.
As a result of the advertisements, several struggling homeowners across the United States were defrauded by unscrupulous clients of GOLDREICH’s media company, and some are in danger of losing their homes.
On August 13, 2015, GOLDREICH pleaded guilty to one count of false advertising. (usatty11515ct)
Occurred six years ago and still prosecuting. If you have questions about acts that might be questionable you may contact us toll free at 888-667-8529l
CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT ONE HUMAN BEING WOULD DO THIS TO ANOTHER? I THOUGHT THE NAZI REGIME WENT OUT 70-YEARS AGO
Linda Weston, 55, of Philadelphia, was sentenced today to life plus 80 years in prison. Weston pleaded guilty on Sept. 15, 2015, to all charges in a racketeering and hate crimes case that involved holding disabled adults captive in locked closets, basements and attics in Philadelphia’s Tacony section and in other states.
Weston pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, kidnapping resulting in the death of the victim, forced human labor, involuntary servitude, multiple counts of murder in aid of racketeering, hate crime, violent crime in aid of racketeering, sex trafficking, kidnapping, theft of government funds, wire fraud, mail fraud, use of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime and false statements. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ordered restitution of $273,463 to the Social Security Administration and a $19,600 special assessment.
From approximately 2001 through October 2011, Weston and her co-conspirators lured mentally handicapped individuals into locations rented by Weston, Jean McIntosh, Eddie Wright and others in Philadelphia; Killeen, Texas; Norfolk, Virginia; and West Palm Beach, Florida. The group targeted mentally challenged individuals who were estranged from their families. Once Weston convinced them to move in, she became their representative payee with social security and began to receive their disability benefits and in some instances, their state benefits. On one occasion, Weston and one of her co-defendants took the social security and identification documents from a victim by force and then used the funds for her own and family purposes.
Weston, Jean McIntosh, Eddie Wright and others confined their victims to locked rooms, basements, closets, attics and apartments. While confined, the captives were often isolated in the dark and sedated with drugs that Weston and other defendants placed in their food and drink. WHEN THE INDIVIDUALS TRIED TO ESCAPE, STOLE FOOD OR OTHERWISE PROTESTED THEIR TREATMENT, WESTON AND OTHERS PUNISHED THEM BY SLAPPING, PUNCHING, KICKING, STABBING, BURNING AND HITTING THEM WITH CLOSED HANDS, BELTS, STICKS, BATS AND HAMMERS OR OTHER OBJECTS, INCLUDING THE BUTT OF A PISTOL. Some victims endured the abuse for years, until Oct. 15, 2011, when Philadelphia Police Department officers rescued them from the sub-basement of an apartment building in the Tacony section.
The enterprise VICTIMIZED SIX DISABLED ADULTS AND FOUR CHILDREN.
In April 2005, Weston and a co-defendant targeted victim D.S. They brought D.S. to a home at 2211 Glenview Avenue in Philadelphia. D.S. was kept in the basement with the other victims, fed a substandard diet and not allowed to use the bathroom. On June 26, 2005, D.S. was found dead in the basement. Weston ordered other members of the household to move D.S.’s body to a different location before calling law enforcement.
In 2008, victim M.L. was living with the family. M.L. WAS BEATEN WHEN SHE TRIED TO ESCAPE OR WHEN SHE BEGGED FOR FOOD AND NEVER RECEIVED MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR ANY OF HER INJURIES. AFTER WESTON MOVED THE ENTERPRISE TO VIRGINIA IN 2008, WESTON CONFINED M.L. INSIDE A KITCHEN CABINET AND AN ATTIC FOR SEVERAL MONTHS. M.L. SUBSEQUENTLY DIED OF BACTERIAL MENINGITIS AND STARVATION IN NOVEMBER 2008. Weston ordered other members of the household to move M.L.’s body to a bedroom and stage the scene before calling law enforcement. The next day the family left for Philadelphia.
Weston’s daughter, Jean McIntosh, and co-defendant Eddie Wright have already pleaded guilty. Co-defendants Gregory Thomas Sr. and Nicklaus Woodard are awaiting trial.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, the Philadelphia Police Department and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ West Palm Beach Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard P. Barrett and Faithe Moore Taylor of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The prosecution and judge should give them solitary confinement in the prison for the rest of their unnatural lives. While a little more luxurious than the treatment above, silence does have its uses mentally. I am so appalled by this that it is the first time in all my years of publishing that I find it so morally repugnant that I have to republish this U.S. Atty press release.
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