Phoenix Woman Fights For What Was Taken From Her — Her and Her Son’s Honor (And Nearly Everything She Owned)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — March 27, 2012
Contact: Aaron Lundstrom
602-561-4811 or email@example.com
Phoenix Woman Fights for What Was Taken From Her – Her and Her Son’s Honor (And Nearly Everything She Owned)
When Phoenix, Ariz. resident L. Washington returned home in October 2010 from visiting her son at a hospital in Germany, she didn’t expect to find her house for sale and her home empty.
Ms. Washington admits that she was struggling to pay her mortgage after losing her job, and that early in August 2010 she began working with her lender, Bank of America, to modify her home loan so that she could better afford the payments.
But on August 12, 2010, Ms. Washington received a call from U.S. Army officials. They told her that her son, a U.S. soldier who was stationed in Afghanistan, was seriously hurt and in a coma. So she quickly left to be with her son in Germany.
Before leaving the country, though, she says that on August 13 she explained the situation to Bank of America employees who were helping her with her loan modification, and faxed to them a copy of her plane ticket. At least one of these employees, she says, said that she could continue the loan modification process once she returned.
But seven days later, on August 20, Bank of America sold her home to Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae then tasked Phoenix-based realty company Realty Central, LLC, owned and operated by realtors Andrea and James “J.R.” Roren, with changing all the house’s locks and putting her home on the market – in spite of the fact that no eviction order appears to have been issued at the time. Fannie Mae hired another company, still unidentified, to remove all her belongings from the home.
Strangely, though, a letter from Bank of America to Ms. Washington dated August 31, 2010, invited her to contact them to discuss her options for avoiding foreclosure. The letter reads, in part, “We want to work with you and are here to help, so please read below the various options available through BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP to help you avoid foreclosure.”
The letter closes with the statement, “We want to help you. Please call us.”
Ms. Washington’s friend Andrei Gondec, a missionary at a local Romanian Pentecostal church, was the one who received the letter, since Ms. Washington gave him the key to her mailbox and later had her mail forwarded to his address during her absence. Ms. Washington had asked Mr. Gondec and his wife to watch her place while she was away and to occasionally enter the home and open a few windows to keep the indoor air fresh.
But once all the locks were changed, the Gondecs could no longer enter the home. Mr. Gondec, noticing a business card for Realty Central attached to the front door, called the company and spoke with Andrea Roren, who told Mr. Gondec that the property no longer belonged to Ms. Washington.
When Ms. Washington arrived home on October 12, 2010, she was stunned. She explains, “I saw the ‘For Sale’ sign in front of my house [that read] ‘Andrea Roren – Realty Central AZ.’ All the locks on the house were changed and the house was empty. All my personal documents, diplomas, certificates, and all other things from the house – gifts, furniture… were gone.”
She then called Bank of America, but, according to Ms. Washington, they told her that they didn’t know anything about a sale to Fannie Mae. Then she called Ms. Roren, who evidently told Ms. Washington that Fannie Mae now owned her house.
Ms. Washington, who speaks broken English colored by a thick Romanian accent, is involved in at least two court cases – without a lawyer. In a case in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, she represents herself as the plaintiff against defendant Bank of America, represented by the law firm Bryan Cave, LLP.
In a case in the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County, she represents herself as the defendant; Fannie Mae is the plaintiff, represented by Pite Duncan, LLP.
James Conradson, a sales manager and realtor for Realty Central, said that “procedures were followed” when asked about what was done with Ms. Washington’s personal belongings from inside her home.
He would not confirm nor deny whether Mr. or Ms. Roren ordered that Ms. Washington’s possessions, which included, according to Ms. Washington, her son’s Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals and a Rolex watch valued at approximately $12,000, be taken to the city dump, which is to where Ms. Washington claims her belongings were taken.
But Mr. Roren, in an official statement dated March 26, 2012, said: ” We have completed hundreds of these types of transactions and never in any case have we ever been instructed or authorized to touch personal property of the occupant. Our client, [Fannie Mae], always hires a company that specializes in the clean-out of the property, as they did in this case. How they sort it out and what they do with personal property, I do not know. We install a sign, secure a property if it is not secure, and once it is empty, we sell it.”
For more information, please contact Aaron Lundstrom at 602-561-4811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.