FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (KMOV) -- A Metro-East man is battling one of America’s biggest banks - Wells Fargo home mortgage – after the home he hoped to retire in is no longer his.
Arza Mumma bought his home in 2006. When the recession hit, he lost his life’s savings and feared he might lose his home.
“That’s when I contacted Wells Fargo, in October of ‘08 and said, ‘hey, my finances have turned upside down. I need help,’” Mumma recalls.
His relationship with Wells Fargo started out well.
Mumma even got letters of “congratulation,” telling him he was “pre-qualified” for a modification. That happened twice.
But first, Wells Fargo wanted a lot of information.
“They wanted proof of income, social security, hardship letters…,” Mumma said.
The problem is, they kept asking for the same information over and over again.
“Well, I sent it at least 12, 13 times, and they would say, ‘well, we didn’t get it,’ or, ‘you sent it in too late,’ these types of things,” Mumma said.
As his attorney explained it - it was like Mumma was trapped in a popular Christmas movie.
“Seemed like a version of Ground Hog Day,” said Jim Davis, “in the sense Arza was being asked to repeat the same actions over and over again.”
In 2010, Mumma had surgery. That trauma was followed by the shock of his life.
“And when I got home I found out they had the place up for auction. And I thought, ‘boy, I really don’t need this,’” Mumma said.
It looked like Wells Fargo was working both sides of the fence:
“Wells Fargo now owns the house. Mr. Mumma is leasing the house from Wells Fargo,” said Davis.
Wells Fargo - who wouldn’t take a reduced mortgage payment, is now charging Mumma rent of $700 a month in his former home. That’s half of what he was paying on his mortgage.
Chris Krehmeyer, president of Beyond Housing, counsels homeowners in trouble, has seen the problem before.
“There’s stories like that that happen just too frequently, I mean, how the hell can that happen?” asked Krehmeyer. “It makes no sense, it’s beyond common sense, I mean wait a minute, one hand’s not talking to the other.”
Mumma is suing Wells Fargo.
Davis says he has strong evidence to support his case, since he documented the entire process.
If he wins the lawsuit, Mumma will get his home, and his retirement, back.
A corporate spokesman for Wells Fargo said after three years of working with Arza, Wells Gargo wasn’t able to get all the information needed to complete a review, hence leading to the foreclosure.
Since it’s an active case, Wells Fargo couldn’t further discuss it.