Skip to comments.American soldier losing his home while serving his country
Posted on 03/01/2005 5:46:25 PM PST by Bob Hyneman
Video here http://www.thekansascitychannel.com/news/4240775/detail.html#
TheKansasCityChannel.com Kansas Soldier Fights To Keep Home While At War Wells Fargo Threatens To Foreclose On Sergeant's House
POSTED: 9:06 pm CST February 28, 2005 UPDATED: 7:52 am CST March 1, 2005
OSAWATOMIE, Kan. -- A Kansas soldier who is on active duty in Iraq is also fighting for his home.
Sgt. Steve Welter
KMBC's Micheal Mahoney reported that a bank is trying to foreclose on Sgt. Steve Welter's house in Osawatomie, which is illegal.
It is a violation of a 64-year-old federal law to foreclose on a soldier's property while he or she is at war.
Welter has been fighting in Iraq since September. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is threatening to foreclose on the house where his wife and three children live.
"And he's fighting in a war. And yet an American company is trying to take our home," said Keira Welter, Steve's wife.
The Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act reads in part: "No sale, foreclosure or seizure of property ... shall be valid if made during the period of military service."
On Aug. 12, 2004, Welter got his active duty orders for Iraq and he sent it to the mortgage company.
But Keira Welter said the letters and demands kept coming.
"The (Veterans Affairs) Housing unit of Kansas sent (Wells Fargo) the papers three weeks ago on a Thursday. The next Tuesday, they filed the foreclosure proceedings on us," Keira Welter said.
She's worried the family may lose more than the house.
"They want to sell everything ...They want to sell my house and all my possessions in it," Keira Welter said.
She said the worst aspect are the phone calls. Once, Keira Welter's daughter, 10-year-old Krysha, answered the phone.
"And I said, 'My daddy's in Iraq.' And they hung up," said Krysha Welter. "I was scared because I thought they'd come for us because they knew our daddy's gone."
"And then I looked at the caller ID. It said Wells Fargo," Keira Welter said.
Before Steve Welter left for war, he was a Lawrence firefighter. In 2003, he won a Firefighter of the Year award. The department is holding his job for him when his tour of duty is over.
Keira Welter said the family's financial problems started during Steve's Army training. She said the military paychecks are smaller than his firefighter salary.
Steve Welter once wrote Wells Fargo a desperate letter, Keira said. The letter read: "Please consider that I am fighting for this country and everyone's way of life."
Prior to this incident, the Welter credit history appeared to be good, Mahoney reported.
"I paid extra money each month, to reduce the principal, so we could pay it off in 17 years instead of 30," Keira Welter said.
Wells Fargo issued a written statement to KMBC about the Welter case: "We are working directly with the customer to resolve any issues that have affected their situation. Based on information we have received in the last two weeks, we believe the immediate concerns have been resolved."
Keira Welter said she is skeptical about any assurance from Wells Fargo. She said Veterans Affairs has also received such assurances, and so has U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts' office.
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+++++++++++++++ It is true the foreclosure is against the law and will probably not happen. Still, they are in heap big financial trouble and i am not gonna sit here and do nothing.
I am not going to be the one to post it here. I will give you a tip though. There is a website called Switchboard dot com. If you go there and search a person's name, city and state, If they are listed (and he is) up comes the adress and phone number. Needless to say a check is on the way from here.
George, it's a miracle! It's a miracle!
She runs toward front door and flings it open. Ad lib SOUNDS of an excited crowd can be heard. Uncle Billy, face flushed, covered with snow, and carrying a clothes basket filled with money, bursts in. He is followed by Ernie, and about twenty more townspeople.
Come in, Uncle Billy! Everybody! In here!
Uncle Billy Mary and the crowd come into the living room. A table stands in front of George. George picks up Zuzu to protect her from the mob. Uncle Billy dumps the basketful of money out onto the table the money overflows and falls all over.
Isn't it wonderful?
The rest of the crowd all greet George with greetings and smiles.Each one comes forward with money. In their pockets, in shoe boxes, in coffee pots.
Money pours onto the table pennies, dimes, quarters, dollar bills small money, but lots of it. Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. Hatch push toward George. More people come in. The place becomes a bedlam. Shouts of "Gangway gangway" as a new bunch comes in and pours out its money. Mary stands next to George, watching him. George stands there overcome and speechless as he holds Zuzu. As he sees the familiar faces, he gives them sick grins. Tears course down his face. His lips frame their names as he greets them.
UNCLE BILLY (emotionally at the breaking point)
Mary did it, George! Mary did it! She told a few people you were in trouble and they scattered all over town collecting money. They didn't ask any questions just said "If George is in trouble count on me." You never saw anything like it.
Thanks for posting this. I will also send something to help. I hope other Freepers can pitch in, as we have done before when a soldier or his/her family is in need.
Wells Fargo, well, I can't type what I really think should happen else I'll violate FR's rules. That said, Wells Fargo *MUST* be held accountable for flaunting and ignoring the rule of law.
If you have an account with them, as I once did, I'd urge you to investigate their competitors.
A couple of factual problems with this.
1 Even the much despised Washington Mutual includes as boilerplate in their pre-foreclosure collection letters and their acceleration letters an invitation to let them know if you are on active duty. I cannot believe there is a bank or mortgage lender in the country that isn't aware of this, or that doesn't include as a routine matter the disclosure. I wonder how effective his notice to them was.
2 The home and any fixtures attached to the property were taken as security for the mortgage - but not the furnishings. No lender would make a claim to the contents - the movable personal property inside the house.
Will check it out.
Is this a case (typical) of an automatic bank system/procedure kicking in? Usually when such things occur it is VERY difficult to find someone willing or able to intervene as employees HATE sticking their necks out
"It is a violation of a 64-year-old federal law to foreclose on a soldier's property while he or she is at war."
FReep Wells Fargo. It's not like anyone needs a good reason to dislike a banker in the first place, although they are better than lawyers.