Make us your home page

One journey through the mortgage maze





One homeowner's journey through the securitized mortgage maze

One journey through the mortgage maze

April Charney, an attorney with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, and other lawyers are fighting home fore­closures on the grounds that it can be impossible to tell who has the right to foreclose and collect the debt on loans that have been sold, bundled into securities and sold to investors. Many loans have changed hands so often that struggling homeowners like Ed Taylor, a retired Hillsborough County insurance adjuster, are unable to find anyone to deal with as they try to renegotiate their mortgages. But the confusion also means that Taylor and others are able to stay in their homes for months or even years without making a payment. Susan Taylor Martin, Times Senior Correspondent

Oct. 4, 2005: Taylor gets a $116,000 loan from Argent Mortgage, a subprime lender based in California.

2005 or 2006: Taylor's loan is bundled with hundreds of other subprime loans into an "Argent Securities Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificate,'' which is sold to investors. Taylor continues to make his $880 monthly payments to Argent.

Aug. 31, 2007: Citigroup buys Argent and the right to collect on $45 billion in Argent home loans, including Taylor's. He starts making payments to a Citigroup subsidiary, Citi Residential Lending.

Fall 2007: When Taylor misses a payment because of a serious illness, he contacts Citi to make the first of several attempts to modify his mortgage. He says he repeatedly writes to Citi and offers to pay what he can on his loan, but never hears anything back.

April 3, 2008: Deutsche Bank, as trustee for Pass-Through Certificate Series 2006-W25, files a notice of lis pendens — the first step in foreclosure — against Taylor in Hillsborough Circuit Court. However, there is nothing in the county's official records to show that Argent or Citi Residential ever assigned Taylor's note to Deutsche Bank, which would give Deutsche the legal right to foreclose and collect the debt.

April 16, 2008: Nearly two weeks after Deutsche Bank starts foreclosing, Citi Residential assigns the mortgage and note to Deutsche. But the document filed by Citi shows Taylor's loan as part of Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2005-W5, not 2006-W25. (A letter Taylor got from Deutsche's law firm has yet a third serial number. "There are a lot of mistakes,'' a Deutsche attorney told the St. Petersburg Times.)

July 29, 2008: Deutsche Bank files a motion for final judgment of foreclosure.

February, 2009: American Home Mortgage Servicing, a Texas company, buys the rights from Citi Residential to collect payments on 185,000 loans, including Taylor's.

March 10, 2009: Deutsche Bank cancels a hearing on its motion for final judgment of foreclosure, but gives no reason. The case remains open.

Taylor has now remained in the house for almost two years without making a payment.

One journey through the mortgage maze 04/03/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 4, 2009 10:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Walmart expands grocery delivery service to Tampa


    TAMPA — Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service to Tampa, the company announced Monday. Five locations will offer delivery for online grocery orders.

    Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery to Tampa, the company announced Monday. | [Times file photo]
  2. Marina at Hudson Beach poised to become 24-unit condominium-hotel


    HUDSON — One of the mainstay businesses at Hudson Beach is poised for redevelopment into a 24-unit condominium-hotel.

    The owners of Skeleton Key Marina in Hudson have filed preliminary plans with Pasco County to redevelop the site into a 24-unit condominium-hotel.
  3. Have your say Tampa Bay on the region's future transit options

    Mass Transit

    TAMPA — It's time, yet again, for Tampa Bay residents to tell officials what kind of transit options they want for their region.

    The Cross-Bay Ferry docks at the Tampa Convention Center on its maiden voyage on Nov. 1, 2016. A regional premium transit study will determine whether a ferry, or other options such as express buses or light rail, would be a good addition to Tampa Bay. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  4. SOCom seeks civilian drone pilots to develop new technology through ThunderDrone


    TAMPA — For the last three years, Nicole Abbett has been using drones as part of her photography business, with clients like the city of Tampa and construction companies.

    Josh Newby, 31, Palm Harbor, of Tampa Drones fly's a drone in England Brothers park, Pinellas Park, 8/25/16. As drone popularity increases as a hobby and business, local governments are navigating a legal grey area- where, when, and how should drone flights be allowed?
  5. New apartment complex delivers unique floor plans


    RIVERVIEW — A new luxury apartment community has opened in the Progress Village area touting itself as a distinct living option just 10 miles from downtown Tampa.

    Alta at Magnolia Park dubs its new apartment community, that opened earlier this year in Riverview, a modern and distinct option for living just 10 miles from downtown Tampa.