Pamela Flores can't sleep at night. She could be evicted from her home in the Vine City section of northwest Atlanta in three weeks because, she believes, her bank baited her into foreclosure.
Flores said she made her mortgage payments on time since she bought her house in 2006. She hit financial hard times a couple of years later and asked her lender for a modification. Flores said Bank of America actually told her to stop paying to try to get into the Making Home Affordable Program to help reduce her payments. "I was advised by Bank of America on several occasions to stop making payments," Flores said. "I had to stop making regular payments to qualify."
The bank even put her on a trial plan, then denied her application, saying she missed a payment during the trial. Flores claims she made all those payments.
The bank's attorneys sent Flores a letter, saying her home was in foreclosure and would go up for auction on May 1.
"Sleepless nights. I'm worried all day, every day. Every single day, it's who's going to come to the door to evict me," Flores said.
Flores' house is near the homes where Councilman Michael Julian Bond and Martin Luther King III grew up. Flores hopes her high-profile neighbors can use their influence to keep her in her home.
Flores also called on Occupy Atlanta protestors.
Bond said he hopes to get Bank of America to the negotiating table. "We want to use our political leverage to help her stay in her home," Bond said.
Joshua Davis, Flores' attorney, said his client's experience is commonplace. Davis says the bank baited Flores into foreclosure, knowing there was no guarantee they'd modify her mortgage. "She's not the only one. This happens over and over and over again," Davis said. "If she doesn't get a modification, she'll automatically be up for foreclosure and there's nothing she can do."
Flores said her home value has dropped from the $171,000 she paid for it down to $38,000. She has already paid more than $50,000 on her mortgage. Flores said that is more than enough to pay off a mortgage on what her home is now worth.
"I want the deed to the house because I paid for it," she said.
A spokeswoman for Bank of America sent CBS Atlanta the following statement: "We have been working with Ms. Flores since 2009 to help her attain a modification. In July 2009, we sent her a modification offer asking her to begin making a modified trial payment on Aug. 23, 2009. We did not receive a payment until a month later and had to decline her from Treasury's Home Affordable Modification Program. Additional attempts were made to reach out to her since then, but we were unsuccessful in receiving the documents necessary to review her for other modification programs. With the pending foreclosure date, we will once again reach out to Ms. Flores to attempt to collect the necessary documentation so that we can review her for a modification."
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