The Housing Justice Foundation
Published: December 12, 2015, www.thjf.org
Mobile, Ala. – Following a week-long trial, a Mobile, Alabama jury awarded $400,000 to a husband and wife whose home was wrongfully foreclosed on by Deutsche Bank National Trust Company and its loan servicer, Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC.
In late 2006, Wilmer and Sonya Caldwell refinanced their home with Challenge Financial, a retail mortgage lender. Four years later, their home was foreclosed on by Deutsche Bank. Prior to the foreclosure, the Caldwells had never heard of Deutsche Bank. However, Deutsche Bank claimed that it bought the Caldwells’ mortgage loan through a complicated series of transfers involving the securitization of thousands and thousands of mortgage loans throughout the United States.
During the case, the evidence demonstrated that Deutsche Bank never bought or owned the Caldwells’ mortgage loan. Instead, Deutsche Bank and Ocwen had created a series of documents, both before and after the foreclosure, in order to make it look like Deutsche Bank owned the Caldwells’ mortgage loan.
“Deutsche Bank and Ocwen knew what they were doing was wrong. However, rather than acknowledging that, they chose to simply manufacture documents in order to legitimize a foreclosure that was illegitimate from the very beginning,” said Billy Bonner, a partner with the law firm of Cunningham Bounds, LLC, who represented the Caldwells.
“This was not an isolated occurrence. There are millions of homeowners throughout the country facing foreclosure – and unfortunately, many of them are being forced to give up their homes to banks that do not actually own their mortgage loans,” added Bonner.
The jury’s award consisted of $25,000 in compensatory damages and $375,000 in punitive damages. The Caldwells were also represented by David G. Wirtes, Jr., a partner at Cunningham Bounds, and Noel Nelson, an attorney in Mobile, Alabama.