by William Hudson
While reading the Housing Wire today, something caught my eye. Black Knight Financial Services reported that in Mississippi 11% of all homeowners are behind on their mortgages. And then I remembered reading about a newly elected mayor in Jacksonville, Mississippi who claimed that Wells Fargo zeroed out his mortgage on the day he was elected. I’m not sure if there is any connection- but could it be that our elected officials are receiving financial “incentives” (like principal forgiveness) from the banks?
Wells Fargo allegedly paid off new Jackson, Mississippi mayor Tony Yarber’s outstanding mortgage balance that was in default. In fact, Yarber states he had not made a payment since November. On the same day he was elected to office he received a letter from Wells Fargo stating that Wells Fargo had authorized the release of the remaining lien on his home in the amount of $91,621.94, on April 22, 2014. “Essentially, they wrote it off,” Yarber said. “Wells Fargo said don’t worry about sending no more money,” he said to local reporter Anna Wolfe.
Yarber, a pastor, previously delivered a sermon declaring the lien extinguished, mentioning being part of the “very unfortunate real estate swindle of the early 2000s.” Apparently if you have a little political clout and pray, God (and Wells Fargo) will answer your prayers and erase your mortgage. The “Election is over. We trusted God. Y’all talked all that noise,” Yarber said in his sermon. “And while they was running their mouth, a letter came in the mail from Wells Fargo. The letter said, ‘Dear Mr. Yarber, concerning loan number whatever it was, at 1605 whatever street you stay on, we have no more interest in that property. Consider the $92,000 that you owe us washed away.’” It is likely that this is not an isolated event-whereas most politicians know to keep quiet, Wells Fargo simply had the misfortune of writing off the mortgage of a man who felt compelled to publicly thank God for this wondrous act.
The letter from Wells Fargo stated that “due to inactivity of the above mortgage account, we are releasing the lien on your first mortgage with us.”
“This means we will forgive the unpaid principal balance on your first mortgage loan and release you from any obligation to make payments on the loan now or in the future,” the letter states.
In 2007, Yarber took out a 40-year, $92,872.48 mortgage on his south Jackson home. On May 16, 2014, 22 days after taking office, the lien release was recorded in Chancery Court.
If Wells Fargo is writing down mortgages for Political Gain- I encourage Living Lies readers to go down to your local county records offices and examine the mortgage documents of your elected leaders and officials. Wells Fargo has failed to officially comment but said the release was not part of the national mortgage settlement (and likely consulted with their tall-tower attorneys once the story broke).
Filed under: foreclosure