Starkville woman sues Wells Fargo for wrongful foreclosure

By: 
RYAN PHILLIPS
SDN Editor

Banking giant Wells Fargo is facing a lender liability lawsuit in federal court after a complaint was filed last month by an Oktibbeha County woman claiming the bank unlawfully foreclosed her father’s home in 2017.

The complaint was filed in the federal district court in Aberdeen and lists the plaintiff as Patricia Parrish, who is mentioned as next of friend and power-of-attorney for her father, Norman J. Frossard.

Court documents say Parrish brings the civil action on behalf of her father, who suffers from dementia, following what she called the company’s engagement in “dual-tracking” with her and her father, which resulted in the foreclosure of his home last fall in the 100 block of Mimosa Drive in the Greenbriar subdivision.

Legal experts refer to dual tracking as a practice on the part of a mortgage provider or lender who continues to foreclose on a borrower’s home, while still considering their application for any kind of loan modification or foreclosure avoidance option.

The complaint cites federal law, claiming the necessary paperwork for any foreclosure avoidance with the lender must be filed at least 37 days before the scheduled foreclosure sale.

Parrish initially filed a petition in Oktibbeha County Chancery Court late last June, which was subsequently dismissed.

The two defendants mentioned in the complaint are Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and the bank’s foreclosure law firm, Ridgeland-based Dean Morris, LLC. The registered agent on the complaint is listed as Elizabeth Crowell.

Dean Morris is the firm accused by Parrish of carrying out the unlawful foreclosure.

The complaint, filed on Dec. 11, 2018, claims Well Fargo on Nov. 1, 2017 held a foreclosure auction of Frossard’s home, but continued to engaged in loss mitigation negations with both Frossard and his daughter, which is corroborated by a a post-foreclosure letter to Frossard dated Dec. 19, 2017.

Parrish also claims her father’s credit was “ruined” as a result of Wells Fargo’s credit reporting activities stemming from the foreclosure.

The complaint goes on to alleges that Parrish’s boyfriend contacted Dean Morris as a prospective bidder, but the firm made no efforts to secure his, or any other third party, bid. What’s more, Parrish claims the firm told her boyfriend that several prospective bidders were lined up, which she says is a lie refuted by video evidence of the auction.

Further claims allege Dean Morris did not conduct a legitimate auction, instead “in a barely audible voice, and at rapid-speed, read the contents of the foreclosure notice that was published prior … and then went home.”

According to the dismissed petition filed in chancery court, the initial home loan obtained from Edward Jones Mortgage by Frossard in June of 2011 was also backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — with the federal agency also named as a respondent in the chancery filing.

The lawsuit then requests not only a jury trial, but the waiver of any bond requirements for Frossard, a temporary restraining order canceling and terminating Wells Fargo’s prior foreclosure activities, in addition to injunctive relief at the end of the restraining order and damages that came as the result of the foreclosure.

Some of the money awarded for any potential damages would also cover medical expenses incurred by Frossard during the foreclosure process, with the complaint saying he suffered a heart attack due to the incident.

The filing in chancery court claims Parrish, who lives with her father as his caregiver, was first made aware of the foreclosure proceedings in October 2017 and was unaware that the mortgage payment had not been made, thinking it was automatically drafted out a bank account.

She said in the complain she contacted Wells Fargo via letter on Oct. 17, 2017, who then requested that she complete an application for loan modification and/or reinstatement.

In the initial filing, the auction itself was brought into question, with an affidavit of publication for notice of sale by Jerry Glenn Roberts, who was present at the county courthouse when the auction was scheduled to take place and who claims no auction was held.

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