MORGANTOWN — A wounded veteran and his wife are seeking damages from Wells Fargo over what they claim was an aggressive pursuit of foreclosure by the bank.
Donald R. Manning and Kimberly D. Manning filed a lawsuit on Jan. 8 in Monongalia Circuit Court against Wells Fargo Bank NA, doing business as Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, claiming the bank breached their contract, failed to provide pertinent details of the plaintiffs’ account, refused and returned payments made by plaintiffs, and unfairly tried to collect on payments.
The plaintiffs allege that they entered into a loan agreement on or about June 23, 2005, with an initial principal balance of $94,400 for the property and land at 341 Blacks Run Road in the unincorporated West Virginia community of Core. The note and deed of trust for the subject loan allegedly contains a contractual guaranty by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affair which requires that defendant Well Fargo comply with regulations and laws governing VA-guaranteed loans.
In October 2011, the plaintiffs claim, they entered into a settlement with the defendant due to Wells Fargo's alleged mistreatment of the plaintiffs in servicing their mortgage loan, which reduced the principal balance to $70,331.76 with an interest rate of 4% for a new 30-year term, with a maturity date of Oct. 1, 2041.
In or about early 2015, plaintiff Kimberly Manning allegedly lost her job and lost her income. The Mannings allegedly tried to maintain regular mortgage payments but were unable to do so on Donald Manning's modest disability income. The Mannings allegedly attempted to contact Wells Fargo multiple times to explore loss mitigation option but were unsuccessful.
Despite this setback, the plaintiffs allegedly continued to make irregular payments, but they claim that Wells Fargo refused to apply the funds into their account and returned the payments. Wells Fargo also allegedly refused to provide the plaintiffs with periodic statements of their account, depriving the plaintiffs of crucial account information.
The plaintiffs allegedly sent a letter requesting information about their account to Well Fargo, and they claim the bank refused to respond to it. The plaintiffs claim that defendant referred their home for foreclosure in May 2015. The plaintiffs allegedly declared bankruptcy on Oct. 2, 2015, and tried to contact Wells Fargo once more for assistance regarding loan payments. They claim the bank ignored their request and, on Jan. 8, Wells Fargo allegedly set their home for foreclosure sale.
The plaintiffs are suing for actual and compensatory damages, temporary injunction of the foreclosure of their home, civil penalties for violation of the VA rules and regulations, appropriate equitable relief, attorney costs and fees, and any other relief deemed just by the court. They are demanding a jury trial and are represented by Sara Bird of Mountain State Justice Inc in Clarksburg.
Monongalia Circuit Court Case number 16-C-14