ST. JOHNS, Fla. -- Facing foreclosure and fighting back. A First Coast family took on one of the nation's largest banks and won.
The Westbrook family was facing foreclosure. They decided to challenge their bank, Wells Fargo.
In October 2009, the Westbrook's had a home ownership dream but as time went on, that dream starting coming apart.
"Very difficult," is how Jason Westbrook described what it was like living with the threat of foreclosure. "Day in, day out. Just getting up and knowing that in the back of your mind, you may be looking for a home soon. You may not have a place to call your own."
His wife, Jennifer, went to Wells Fargo asking for help. She paid a 3-month trial loan modification from February to April 2010. By June, her loan modification was denied. She said the bank told her she had to pay roughly $7,000 to stay current. She paid it.
"I did what they asked," she said.
She said Wells Fargo told her she had to be 90 days in default for the loan. But, buy September 2010, the bank filed foreclosure.
"I don't know why," she explained. "I wish I knew why."
The Westbrooks took the bank to court.
In October 2012, a St. John's County judge sided with the Westbrooks, saying the bank failed to prove the loan was in default.
They can stay in their home. "...That we can finally say is ours again," Westbrook said.
The key to being able to keep your home, Jennifer offered a word of advice.
"I would say don't give up." she said. "Fight for what you believe in."
First For You, if you want to stay in your home, the Westbrooks' attorney, Thomas Pycraft, said
"The best thing you can do is talk to an attorney that is experienced in these types of cases."
FCN did reach out to Wells Fargo. We were told someone would get back with us.
First For You, how do you know if you qualify for a home loan modification or re-financing?
Pycraft said for a modification, is for people who don't qualify for re-financing. People generally don't have to have good credit and there is no minimum credit limit.
To qualify for re-financing, Pycraft said a credit score of 620 or better is needed. If you want a government insured loan, a credit score of 640 or better is needed.