A feud between a homeowner and his mortgage company ends with an order to seize property – but it’s not in the order you might expect.
Patrick Rodgers is taking his frustration all the way to the bank – literally. When he was fed up with Wells Fargo’s lack of answers, he sued them. When they still paid him no heed, he foreclosed on the company’s local office.
(More on TIME.com: See Joel Stein uncovering foreclosures in Vegas)
Rodgers owns a svelte Victorian house in West Philadelphia, which he bought for a paltry $180,000, thanks to the downtrodden housing market. But his mortgage lender Wells Fargo demanded that he purchase a $1 million insurance policy, which they say is the full replacement value of the home. Notice a discrepancy in those numbers? So did Rodgers, who thought the extreme insurance policy was shaking him dry.
He wrote a few simple (yet formal) letters to Wells Fargo to ask about the insane insurance rates he was being forced to pay. When they didn’t take his questions, he took them to court, winning a $1,173 settlement against their failure to respond, under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, which mandates mortgage companies to respond to letters within 20 days.
(More on TIME.com: Trace the trail of a lost mortgage)
When Wells Fargo didn’t pay – and this might sound familiar – Rodgers started foreclosure proceedings against their local office. Using a sheriff’s levy, he was entitled to seize their property to collect his judgment.
In the end, Wells Fargo didn’t default on their payment – they paid Rodgers in full – but he claims he still hasn’t received an answer to his original letters. While the sheriff’s sale might not get past the initial stages, at least Rodgers is getting a little payback against the mortgage world.