Alicia Lang won’t lose her West End home at a foreclosure sale Tuesday after all.
Ocwen Financial Services Inc. and Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, represented by a Dickinson, N.D., law firm, had scheduled a sale Tuesday at the Yellowstone County Courthouse to foreclose on Lang’s three-bedroom, two-bath home.
Following a Billings Gazette report Thursday about Lang’s pending foreclosure, Ocwen sent an e-mail Friday to Lang’s attorney John Heenan of Billings canceling Tuesday’s sale.
Lang had good credit until she got caught up in a tangle of lost records and payments after her mortgage with Yellowstone Bank was resold on the national market.
Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., the Florida company that bought her mortgage, declared bankruptcy and was shut down by the federal government in August 2009 after officials were accused of stealing Troubled Assets Relief Program funds.
That is how Lang got pulled into the national mortgage lending mess. After that, Lang said she had trouble finding out which company owned her mortgage or where to send her payments. Eventually, she was declared in default on her home loan.
Last week, Heenan filed a wrongful foreclosure lawsuit against Ocwen in Yellowstone District Court. The sale cancellation means his client at least gets another four months, he said.
“If their intent was to foreclose, they would have to start the process over and serve her again and give her 120 days notice,” Heenan said.
But Lang said she’s not waiting and hopes to refinance again with a local bank.
“I’m not going to have to deal with Ocwen again. I’ll start afresh,” she said.
Lang said she was unable to contact a real person at Ocwen by e-mail or phone.
Jay Jensen, president of the Yellowstone Bank Homestead Branch, offered to help.
“Jay Jensen called me yesterday (Thursday) twice offering to meet with us and do anything they could, which was a very nice thing,” she said.
Local banks routinely resell the majority of their home mortgages in the national market. But banks have no more control over which company buys the note than someone selling a car on eBay can choose the buyer.
Yellowstone District Judge Ingrid Gustafson had scheduled a Monday hearing on Heenan’s request to stop the sale, but that hearing isn’t needed now.
Heenan said he is pursuing the lawsuit against Ocwen to “find out who this company really is.”
In his complaint, Heenan said Ocwen used an unreadable signature on an affidavit it filed in Yellowstone County. According to the complaint, Ocwen claims that it owned Lang’s mortgage even though the legal documents have been lost and were never recorded to prove the transfer from Yellowstone Bank to Taylor Bean and the second transfer to Ocwen.
“All I know is I’m not getting out of the house on Tuesday, and I’m happy,” Lang said.
Contact Jan Falstad at firstname.lastname@example.org or 657-1306.