CHARLESTON -- A woman is suing Wells Fargo for predatory lending practices after she claims they made her false promises on loan modifications.

In 2003, Ann L. Koontz decided to purchase a home and responded to an online solicitation from the defendant, according to a complaint filed May 28 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Wells Fargo advised Koontz that her total monthly payment would be $614, and that although the mortgage contained an adjustable interest rate, it would likely go down over time.

Koontz claims the interest rate instead, only increased over time.

Koontz claims the closing was rushed and hurried without a sufficient explanation of the loan documents and loan terms and that she learned at the closing that her monthly payments would be $700, but that it was too late to back out.

In 2008, the monthly loan payments increase to approximately $980 and in 2009, Koontz was divorced and became concerned that she could no longer afford to pay the monthly mortgage payments, according to the suit.

Koontz claims she attempted to make partial payments on the loan, but Wells Fargo refused to process the payments and advised her to apply for a modification.

The defendant informed Koontz that she qualified for a three-month trial period for a monthly payment of $550 and that if she paid the trial monthly payments for three months, her loan payment would be permanently modified to $550 per month, according to the suit.

Koontz claims she paid the payments on time for three months, but was then informed that the loan modification was denied. She claims she assigned to a new representative to work with on loan modifications who advised her to refrain from making payments on her loan while the modification was being processed.

On April 20, Koontz received a letter that her home was in foreclosure, according to the suit.

Koontz is seeking appropriate equitable relief and actual damages. She is being represented by Daniel F. Hedges.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-967

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