Wells Fargo to modify ARMs in Illinois, 7 other states

By Mary Ellen Podmolik
Posted Oct. 6, 2010 at 1:20 p.m.

At least 531 Illinois homeowners will be offered mortgage loan modifications by Wells Fargo Bank after an investigation into allegedly deceptive marketing of payment option adjustable rate mortgages.

Illinois and seven other states investigated Wachovia and Golden West’s marketing of pay-option ARMs, potentially risky loan products because they allow borrowers to pay only a minimum payment, with the rest of the funds due added to the balance of the loan, which eventually resets at much higher required payments. Wells Fargo owns Wachovia and Golden West.
Under the settlement, Illinois borrowers will be offered $39.5 million in mortgage relief in the form of loan modifications, including almost $17 million in principal forgiveness. Wells Fargo will also pay $2.2 million to the state to compensate affected borrowers who have lost their homes to foreclosure, to cover the cost of the investigation and to provide assistance to struggling Illinois mortgage borrowers.

The state attorney general’s office said it will contact former Wachovia and Golden West customers who lost their homes to foreclosure from 2005 to the present and who may be eligible for the cash assistance.

Between Dec. 18  and June 30, 2013, Wells Fargo will offer loan modifications, through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program or its own program, to eligible borrowers who are 60 days past due or facing imminent default. Wells will contact those customers. Borrowers who stay current with their loan modifications will be able to receive additional principal forgiveness, the state said, and may be able to convert their mortgages into fixed-rate loans.

The other states included in the settlement are Arizona, Florida, Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, Texas and Nevada.

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  1. tinkerbelle Oct. 6, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Help with the rate, yes. Lowering the principal, no. Pay what you owe.

  2. SmartGuy Oct. 6, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Tinkerbelle, you are a moron. If the borrowers hadn’t been defrauded, more of the payments they already made would have gone toward, and thus reduced, their principal. If the government didn’t have the goods, Wells Fargo wouldn’t have agreed to pay. Still, in my opinion, the true extent of the fraud committed by Wells Fargo and other mortgage lenders will never truly be known, so in reality they all got away with some amount of theft.

  3. Sam Oct. 7, 2010 at 7:47 a.m.

    Tinkerbelle: You are obviously one of those unfeeling, cold people who say, “Hey, I got mine,” and everyone else can go to h*ll. Maybe someday you’ll be the one stuck in a hospital bed getting chemo and in debt up to your ears – with the hospital putting a lien on YOUR house and some smartass will say “Pay those hospital bills – pay what you owe. After all, you’re the one with cancer.”

  4. Martin Oct. 7, 2010 at 9:35 a.m.

    Based on the exchange here, I’m afraid I’m going to tick everyone off. On lending, if you borrow you should pay or quit. Since the internet, shopping for a variety of mortgages is at the finger tips of consumers. They can compare loan programs, rates and fees without even talking to a loan agent, but they must do their homework. It’s truly an American opportunity–they make the decision. All these homeowners with pay option arms, now suing Wells for deceptive advertising, is BS. As consumers they had the freedom of choice. Had they done their homework they may have decided a 30 year fixed rate was safer, especially if the country goes into a recession and they lose their job. Ironically, the pay option arm’s have been outperforming (in rate, and payment) any fixed rate loan that would have been extended during the same time period. I understand it’s hard times right now, but as a nation, let’s stop blaming others for our bad decisions and misfortunes. BTW, on the cancer, no doubt regrettable, and a dilemma i’m sure. Expecting someone else to pay the bill because you can’t isn’t the answer either. If your insurance can’t cover the entire bill, then yes you should be confronted with paying for it with your house. Where else is the money going to come from?

  5. Marty Didier Oct. 7, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Wells Fargo was caught red handed with laundering drug money with the mencian drug cartels. You can read it here:
    Partners in Crime: The U.S. Secret State and Mexico’s “War on Drugs”
    You can also read who is linked with them here:
    Mexico drug plane used for US ‘rendition’ flights: report Sep 4, 2008

    Clyde O’Connor is family. His brother-in-law is Bruce Adreani both are Illinois residents. Bruce lives in Northbrook and Clyde is from Wilmett. The Adreani family and the Louis Chinon, McHenry, IL family are both Drug Lords who have control over a massive drug system that covers the entire Midwest. There’s a valid reason why Wells Fargo and other big banks are as large as they are and it’s because they have been leaders in a huge drug system. If you know how big financial groups manager their criminal activity you’ll understand what else is going on and this is one of the reason why you never hear about this on the news.

    Marty Didier
    Northbrook, IL

  6. Lorie Oct. 8, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Martin thats not entirely true. I am in the legal field and have come across numerous loans where the individual agreed to terms, signed a hud1 and then their actual mortgage documents were NOT what they had originally agreed to and signed. Also, the home appraisers in some cases were working with realtors to grossly over inflate home values for higher commissions and kickbacks. Plain and simple that is fraud. You cannot expect everyone to be able to troll the internet for days or even weeks trying to educate themselves on every loan option available. Most of us are just hard working honest people who want to be able to trust the people we do business with. The person who ALMOST (I read and actually understood how I was about to be screwed but only after 15 years in the legal field) screwed me into a bad loan was someone I considered a friend. There are too many elements here for a simple cut and dry answer.

  7. Elliott Tennant Oct. 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    My country till of thee, sweet land of liberty. what has happen to the real Americans.we are lost to a Spirit of Greed,I lost my job in feb. shortly I awaken to find myself in a city,struck with pain,fear,a lot of unanswer Question.you Really want understand the cry of most Americans until it hit your door step,I am 52 years old never had to ask our Govement for anything.Where are programs for people like me who want continue to be productive,work many years paying into our social security system.My prayer is to those people who are still finding hard to make it, my advise take small the less, It,s better than ZERO…. MAY GOD COTINUE TO BLESS AMERICA LAND OF THE FREE. AMEN>>>>