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Can I sue my mortgage lender?

1 Answers. Asked on Nov 25th, 2011 on Real Estate - California
More details to this question:
In 2007 I purchased my home for 290K -- it is now worth 130K. I did everything right; 20% down 30 year fixed. I ever purchased something my lender called a 3-2-1 Buy Down - an additional $8,000.00. My financial picture has changed due to illness and job loss; I am a teacher who had 2 jobs when I purchased, now I have 1 job and my income has fallen by 25K annually. I feel my lender knew the market was falling and took advantage of my good credit, money in the bank and employment situation to sell me a house they knew wouldn''t be worth what I had to pay for it. Do I have any recourse at all?
Answers Showing 1 out of 1
Licenced in CA
Answered on Dec 02nd, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Dear Anonymous,

I am sorry to hear of your difficulties; however, from the facts you provided, I think your pointing your finger at the wrong party. First, the Mortgage Lender did not sell you the home. Unless it was bank-owned (and in 2007, relatively few homes were bank owned), AND that same bank gave you a mortgage (which they generally don't do), then you bought the home from someone else, and the bank provided you with financing. The are not in any way, shape or form guarantors of the value of their home. To a degree, they share the risk of your home losing value - they are going to lose money if you do ANYTHING but keep paying the mortgage as written. In 2007, the bank - in fact virtually nobody saw this coming. If banks and others had seen it coming, they would not have loaned you money to buy an asset that you claim they knew was going to lose value. At the time, you qualified for a loan, the bank gave you a loan, and though I have not reviewed any papers related to your loan, I am sure you signed a pile of disclosures about the risks involved with the particular loan you obtained. I would suggest that if you are upset about your home losing value, you are in line with about 2.5 million people in the US whose homes are also now under-water. Banks may have fueled that fire by lending money too easily, but in your case, I see no grounds to believe that they caused your home to lose its value.

You may have other grounds to sue your lender, but reaching that opinion is a long process. Someone has to go over every document you received and signed, and determine if any laws were broken when you obtained this loan. Next, they have to determine if there is a "private right of action" associated with those violations. Some violations which commonly occurred in 2002-2007 have no legal basis for the borrower to sue the lender.

David L. Gibbs, Esq.
The Gibbs Law Firm, APC

San Clemente, California

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Real Estate
Real estate attorneys can help individuals, families and small business with all property-related legal issues. Buyers and sellers of residential and commercial real estate should work with an attorney to negotiate the terms of agreement; draft and review the contract; review related paperwork (such as loan agreements); clear existing liens on a property; and attend the closing. Lawyers can also assist property owners with addressing zoning/rezoning issues and appealing property tax assessment. Landlords and tenants should work with real estate law firms to draft and review lease agreement, handle eviction proceedings and resolve landlord-tenant disputes.
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