CitiMortgage Forecloses in Error, Wants Attorney Fees Anyway

Homeowner Nancy Gosselin hasn’t missed a payment since she refinanced her house with Bremer Bank in 2005. Bremer agrees. But CitiMortgage, which wound up purchasing the loan, started assessing late fees more than two years ago, refused to accept Gosselin’s mortgage payments, and then started foreclosure proceedings last spring to collect those late fees and charges Gosselin apparently didn’t owe. In short, CitiMortgage tried to take Gosselin’s home over $700.

It took a “whistleblower” report in the local paper, the StarTribune, to get CitiMortgage to listen to the objections Gosselin had been making to those late fees all along. But even though it canceled the foreclosure, CitiMortgage insists it still has the right to collect over $2,000 in attorney fees and costs.

This foreclosure never should have happened, because CitiMortgage should have listened when Gosselin objected to the erroneous late charges. But, as consumer lawyer Nick Slade points out in the article, “It’s only when you bring in the level of firepower that happened in this case that they pull it out of the nightmare bin in the regular process and give it to somebody and really truly handle it in a way that makes sense.”

Since the foreclosure was wrongly-initiated, CitiMortgage needs to just admit it screwed up and swallow its own fees. I can’t think of any good reason—legal or otherwise—why Gosselin should have to pay for CitiMortgage’s error.

(Hat tip to Randall Ryder for spotting the article!)

(photo: StarTribune)