Kia Franklin

News Show Puts Human Face to Predatory Mortgage Lending

Perhaps this is Spokesperson Day or something. If the Chamber has found a Granny for arbitration, maybe the Civil Gideon and economic justice folks have a candidate for a poster-Granny, too. Predatory lending has disparately affected the elderly. A news show put a human face to this situation by interviewing Margaret Meyers, an elderly woman facing loss of her home who told reporters, "All I want to do is be able to stay here for the remainder of my lifetime."

From the news show:

Here's a case where a woman's lawyer called KUSI's Michael Turko when her client was too embarrassed to ask for help herself. Turko says it's an ugly case of predatory lending by a mortgage broker, and the victim is about to lose her home. Turko?

Several cases winding their way through the courts on this very issue, whether the mortgage lender is resposnible for the actions of the mortgage broker who may have stepped out of line. Well my investigation shows this woman was taken advantage of by a fast talking mortgage broker who played fast and loose with the facts. In fact, she says some of those facts were simply made up out of whole cloth. Well, now she's trying to get some relief from her lender who accepted the whole deal without question. But they're trying to foreclose, and she says her pleas are falling on deaf ears.

Margaret Meyers has lived in Logan Heights most of her life. She raised 11 kids and 6 grandkids in this modest home. She says she was getting by until she got a telemarketing call from an Orange County mortgage broker.

Margaret Meyers: "He told me that he could refinance my loan, and that he could get me a good rating and he asked me my score for my credit, and I told him it was five-something, that I'm sure it wasn't that great. And he said, 'Well, that's no probelm because after 3 months we can redo your score and get it up.'"

Turko: "Now she hasn't worked for years, but the broker told her 'no problem,' and listed her income as over four grand a month."

MM: "I faxed these people how much I get a month, I'm only on social security and disability--that's all I get."

T: "How much do you get a month?"

MM: "Eighteen a month..."

T: "1800 dollars?"

MM: "Yes."

T: "But this says you make over four thousand bucks a month from a fabric business..."

MM: "I know! But they didn't show me that..."

T: "The home is all she has, but she said she never understood all the paperwork. Now her new payment is $2700 a month...That was two years ago, she says she never heard from the broker again..."

Meyers got a lawyer from the Elder Law Center, but her lawyer told the reporter that the lenders are over-loaded with requests to restructure loans. The lawyer says she's been trying since last August to speak with someone in customer service to help her client restructure.

Who should be responsible for the actions of the-- as the reporter calls it-- "fast talking mortgage broker" that dupes clients into burdensome predatory loans? Should it be the lenders that accept these loan applications without asking any questions and have the most sophisticated understanding of what these loans mean? Or should it be the individual borrower himself/herself? Well, in instances in which the client has been defrauded, someone should certainly bear the cost.

Here's the video of the interview with Meyers.

Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 4:27 PM, May 13, 2008 in Housing
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I like the way the lawyer bashed lenders for redlining, and threatened to destroy them. When they loosen standards, the lawyer wants to sue them for defrauding the clients. This lawyer game is a scam, and should be prosecuted accordingly. The lawyer has given itself immunity for such misconduct.

Thank a lawyer if you are enjoying this sub-prime crisis.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 14, 2008 9:20 AM

"Predatory lending" how about "greedy borrowing"? This is what we are seeing in our community. Here we have people taking interest only loans to buy huge houses or to re-finance and get new cars, trucks and toys only to then walk away from the mortage with their cell phones for all the kids, XBOX 360, Wii and the the ATVs.

We also have the speculators who are flipping houses who are now stuck. After all, they are not risking their own money.

Instead of calling it "predatory lending", lets call it for what it is, "greedy borrowing and greedy lending".

Posted by: throckmorton | May 20, 2008 9:40 AM

This is why we should be extra concerned with the details of loan. If we are not knowledgeable enough, the lender might fool us with fine prints and loopholes. Financial counseling is one way to avoid becoming a victim of predatory lenders. I read some very informative articles here about predatory lenders.

Posted by: No Fax Payday Loan-David | August 25, 2008 1:06 AM

Foreclosures. But why aren't their articles on the Texas Constitution and homestead laws. What creates a homestead in the State of Texas? Are homestead claimants protected under the law as a matter of law or do the Courts, District and Federal ignore homestead rights as a matter of law to side with large law firms, lending Institutions and Bank Holding Companies that contribute through their employees to their Campaigns? Senators were found to get sweetheart deals on mortgages with Countrywide. What loans do our State Judges and Federal Judges have with local lending Institutions that may be a conflict and a detriment to Texas Families/Homestead Claimants in decisions that are made in these courts? I'm not an expert but my family and I are Texas homestead claimant and we can read the Texas Constitution and research and have to the best of our knowledge found out the following :

Designation and Clarification of a Texas Homestead.
The State of Texas does not require a formal designation of a person or families property as homestead; instead, the protection for homestead for the Homestead Claimants arises when there is evidence of intent to use and occupy the land as the persons or families homestead. Simank v. Alford, 441 S.WE.2d 234, 237 (Tex. Civ. App.—Austin 1969, writ ref'd n.r.e.). PROP. CODE § 41.005. What does evidence or intent to create a homestead mean? One evidence of intent would be materials being supplied and labor being performed on the construction of the homestead claimants primary residence. Under Texas Law no materials can be supplied or labor preformed prior to any liens being filed in a method in accordance with the Texas Constitution and private property laws as they relate to homesteads. On a Texas Homestead the aggregate total of the outstanding principal balance of all other indebtedness secured by valid encumbrances against the homestead can not exceed 80 percent of the fair market value of the homestead on the date the extension of credit is made. This is why Bank holding Companies witch in most cases are FDIC Insured lending Institutions are mandated to use a licensed or certified appraiser for all Federally Related Transactions involving real estate. This is to insure that the FDIC funds are secured by assets that are 80% LTV. This is also why Bank holding Companies that loan money have mandated internal and external checks and balances in the loan process to show mandated due diligence in federally related real estate transaction by law. This Insures the Protection of the Public and Stockholders. There is extensive loan document review, of plans and specifications on intended use of the improvements in a federally related transaction. There are mandated on site inspections by the banks to make sure that no materials have been supplied or labor performed to protect the validity of the liens that are filed in a manner approved by the Texas Constitution and private property laws to protect the homestead Claimant and the FDIC Insured funds that are used in these transactions. The Texas Department of Banking has strict auditing procedures for Loans and Leases, Real Estate Lending, Home Equity Lending, and Nontraditional and Sub-prime Mortgage Lending. Provided that no false or misleading information about the intended use and value is on the loan documents that would throw off auditors. This could constitute mortgage fraud on behalf of the lender/ Bank Holding Company. With all these checks and balances how could any lender or Bank Holding Company say they don not know about intended use of a federally related transaction or its Appraised value.

A family in the State of Texas is defined as a relationship by blood or marriage in which two very clear factors are present. First and foremost, the head of the family has a legal and moral obligation to support other members of their family. Second, the other members of the family are dependent on the head of the household for support. NCNB Texas Nat'l Bank v. Carpenter, 849 S.W.2d 875 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 1993, no writ. Does a Contract for Deed give a person Homestead rights? An executory Contract for Deed is not only protected in the State of Texas but it grants Homestead Claimants equitable title which is sufficient as a matter of law in the State of Texas to support a homestead. Hughes v. Groshart, 150 S.W. 2d 827 (Tex.Civ.-App.-Amarillo, 1941); Laubhan v. Alliance Llive Ins. Co., 134 S.W. 2d 788 (Tex. Civ. App. – Amarillo, 1939). In the State of Texas a claim of homestead is not dependent on an unqualified fee ownership of the land involved; a property may be claimed as homestead although fee title is in a third party. Inwood North Homeowner’s Association v. Harris, 736 S.W. 2d 632, 636 (Tex. 1987); Matter of Perry. 345 F.3d 303, 314 (5th Cir. 2003); Resolution Trust Corporation v. Olivarez, 29 F.3d 201, 205 (5th Cir. 1994). Even if a Homestead Claimants land still lacked a house, the act of making the improvements to the land (materials being supplied and labor being performed ) coupled with the intent to occupy it in the future creates a homestead. Garrard v. Henderson, 209 S.W.2d 255 (Tex. Civ. App.-Dallas 1948), Lifemark Corporation v. Merritt, 655 S.W. 2d 310 (Tex. Civ. App.-Houston 1983, writ ref’d n.r.e.).
Proving Abandonment of a Homestead in the State of Texas
A homestead interest by a Texas Family in the State of Texas is presumed to continue indefinitely absent proof of clear discontinued use of the Texas Families homestead and the intent to permanently abandon the homestead interest of the Homestead Claimants. Homestead protection could only been lost if a Texas Family / Homestead Claimants "abandons" the homestead by ceasing to use the property as a primary residence. Rancho Oil Co. v. Powell, S.W.2d 960, 963 (Tex. 1943). If the Texas Family / Homestead Claimant temporarily renting out the homestead it would not change homestead character, unless the Homestead Claimant acquires another homestead property. PROP. CODE § 41.003.In our wonderfully traditional State of Texas to prove that the Texas Family/ Homestead Claimants abandonment their homestead, one must show that the Texas Family / claimant discontinued use and intended to permanently abandon theTexas Family homestead. In the State of Texas when homestead rights have been established, these rights are presumed to continue unless a challenger satisfies the burden of proving abandonment through competent evidence. LEOPOLD at § 25.12. In the State of Texas in 1997, the Texas Constitution was amended making proof of abandonment by a Texas Family more difficult to show by requiring the written consent of both the owner and owner's spouse. See TEX. CONST. art. XVI, § 50(b); see also PROP. CODE § 41.004.
Who can Transfer or Convey a portion of a Homestead
Under Texas Law joinder of both spouses (Husband and Wife) is required to sell, convey, or encumber the homestead. This applies regardless of whether the homestead is community property or the separate property of one spouse. TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 5.001 (Vernon 1998). This is not that hard to understand.


As a general rule ,the state in which land is located has exclusive jurisdiction of suits regarding it=s title. Overby v,Gordon,177 U.S. 214(1900). If state law on a subject can be found ,and real estate is very traditionally an area of state responsibility, this would mean that the Federal court must apply the applicable state law in resolving a dispute. Even in Federal Court, a Federal Judge and Jury must apply the applicable state law from state court rather than try to decide the state law issue on his or her own-deferral to the state law interpretation of its substantive laws is the rule. Erie Railroad v. Tompkins,304 U.S. 64(1938). In Texas Jurisdiction over disputes to title to land is vested in Texas District Court. Section 8 and 16 of Article 5 of the Texas Constitution make it plain that suits to try title are exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Texas District Courts. Blaylock v. Riser.354 S.W.2d 136 (Tex. 1962). Any determination in Federal Bankruptcy Court or Federal Court about Homestead static as a matter of law without taking into consideration all the applicable State law from state courts and facts as they relate to these laws would be an improper intrusion on the State of Texas private property rights that are granted homestead claimants and potentially a violation of Homestead Claimants Rights under the Texas Constitution and private property laws. Under the Texas Constitution, a resident=s homestead is exempt, and there are no monetary restrictions on how much can be shielded from creditors. There is no limit on how much money can be put into the homestead property that is protected by Texas law. That is how former Texas Gov. John Connally, for example, was allowed to keep his Hill Country ranch after he filed for personal bankruptcy in 1987. Even if the homestead is sold the proceeds are protected for six months wail the funds are reinvested in another Homestead.


With the Real Estate Market under attach by Predatory lending , Mortgage Fraud as it relates to false appraisals and valuations performed by realtors instead of Licensed or Certified Appraisers, Bank Holding Companies knowingly and willingly entering false and misleading information entered in loan documents and lack of due diligence (USING BLINDERS. "I DON'T SEE THAT DOCUMENT") in the execution of federally related transactions can Homestead Claimants get a fare shake in Hidalgo County Courts? Can a Texas Family get the protection as a matter of law that District Judges have an obligation to grant Texas Homestead Claimants? Do Federal Courts and Juries Use the proper Laws from State Court in determining Homestead issues? This is a Question that should be Investigate by the FBI and others in reference to how our District Courts in Hidalgo County and Federal Courts are handling cases that have been filed to see what determinations have been made and how they were made. There is a District Judge in Hidalgo County that has refused to answer a Partial Summary Judgments on Homestead Issues to the detriment of a Family my family. A Partial Summary Judgment that has been in his Court setting on his desk for over a year past date of submission the first time. Is it because our Judges don't understand homestead laws as a matter of law or is it because it is a stalling tactic to let a Texas Family/Homestead claimant be open to attach by the same law firms and Bank Holding Companies who’s employees may be assisting many of our Judges financially with donations in the Election process? Recently I reviewed a document called the Texas Lawyers Creed. I don't think many lawyers or lawyers that have become Judges have read this document lately. In fact they make a mockery of it in Hidalgo County. There is a similar creed for State and Federal Judges but once in office some forget what it means and what they promised to we the people and our families. With all that has happened in America By Predatory Lending and the destroying of the American dream there is one thing that our forefathers in Texas made sure that no one can forget or take away from our families. That is our Homestead rights as a matter of law. Even if State and Federal Courts and juries try to ignore our rights as a matter of law. In most cases the Bank Holding Company has deep pockets and has hired most of the Attorneys in the lenders area so a Texas Family can't find an attorney that isn't conflicted out. Laws must be changed so a independent part of the Judiciary can address Homestead issues quickly and out of the area where it has been presented so there is no conflict. If a Federal or State Judge has worked for a large law firm that is before him or her the Judge should send the case to another Judge. Funds that are contributed to Judges should be monitored to see if the individuals that are donating to a judge work for a large law firm or lending institution that comes before the Judge on a regular basic. If a Judge has personal loans or accounts with a lending institution that comes before the Judge he or she should send it to another judge. You know the old sayings (1) Justice is Blind and embarrassed in Hidalgo County (2) Justice is for those who can afford it.(3) Bank holding Companies have unlimited funds to wear down families in any Court if the Judges allow it.. If you have a Homestead issue in Federal Court or in Texas District Court in Hidalgo County on a predatory lender and Homestead issue list it on this blog. "GOOD LUCK YOU WILL NEED IT" Don't give up there are still good attorneys, Federal and State Judges that are doing what’s right for Texas Families/homestead claimants as a matter of law.


956 373-0395

Posted by: Jeff Riviera | October 24, 2008 11:41 PM

Nice article. Thanks.

Posted by: petersolvoff | April 9, 2009 8:20 PM

I have the same opinion as yours on this. What you said is true.

Posted by: Detective phone cell | June 2, 2009 3:55 PM

Nice info.But so complicated.And it is night time here.I must go to sleep.But i will continue reading tomorrow.Anyway thanks a lot for the article.

Posted by: Club Penguin Cheats | January 20, 2010 12:22 AM

Yesterday I saw the county property appraisers just walked into my neighbors place, made their dogs out of the fence.

Posted by: Christian | January 5, 2011 6:44 PM