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This family has been in the USA for THIRTY YEARS! And claims they couldn't speak enough english to understand the mortgages and settlement! And thought they could buy a house way beyond what they could afford. And that other family was too damned stupid to understand that you can't buy a $745,000 house on an annual income of $48,000! And that they sure as hell wouldn't be able to afford to pay more loans that they took out to keep up with the payments they couldn't afford.

Yes the broker was a crook, but the stupidity and negligence of the buyers is in the same class as that of the victims of those Nigerian emails. After so many years in the USA the excuse "No Speaka Da Inglis" wont cut it.

I find it real hard to feel sorry for them.


September 25, 2007
The Loan That Keeps On Taking
By VIKAS BAJAJ and MIGUEL HELFT
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Torralba family’s taste of the American dream began to sour in May 2006, two months after they bought a modest home at the southern end of Silicon Valley, when they received notice from a man who claimed that they owed him money.

Without realizing it, the Torralbas had taken a $74,000 “down payment assistance” loan from the man, Pablo Curiel, who now wanted them to pay $679 a month.

“With so much sacrifice, we tried to get ahead, all for the possibility of this man to come and take the house that we are paying with such effort,” said Prospero Torralba, a 36-year-old construction worker. “It was no fair.”

The Torralbas are one of nine families suing Mr. Curiel and the brokers and real estate agents who arranged mortgages for them. The suit, filed in federal district court here, claims that Mr. Curiel and his associates did not properly disclose and translate the terms of the loans for the families, most of whom spoke limited English, in violation of federal and state laws. They also claim that the defendants sought out Hispanics, violating a federal housing law.

Mr. Curiel, who did not have any dealings with the borrowers when the loans were made, has sued the agent and broker involved.

Lawyers for the Torralbas assert that the family was never told about a third loan from Mr. Curiel, in addition to two from Washington Mutual, a mortgage for $446,000 and a revolving line of credit for $89,000. (The bank is not named as a defendant.) All the documents signed by the family were in English. Mr. Torralba acknowledges speaking the language but says he is not fully conversant. His lawyers say the negotiations of his home purchase and mortgage were primarily in Spanish.

The nine families bringing the suit are all natives of Mexico; many have been living in California for decades. Most work in construction or as cashiers, janitors, painters and gardeners. Many had good credit scores and some had been homeowners before.

They borrowed $600,000 to $950,000. The amount was divided into three loans, and the loan documents provided to two of the lenders made no mention of the third debt to Mr. Curiel, according the lawyers representing the families. In many cases, the other lenders were Countrywide Home Loans and Washington Mutual. Both companies declined to comment.

The first and biggest loan was a pay-option adjustable rate mortgage. The loan allows borrowers to pay less than the interest due, adding the difference onto the balance so more is owed with each passing month. The interest rate on the loans from Mr. Curiel was 10 percent, with a 15 percent upfront fee added to the principal balance. That loan called for borrowers to make interest-only payments and pay off the full amount in two years.

According to the lawsuit, borrowers were provided disclosures on the terms of the first two loans in English, as is required by federal law but in apparent violation of state law. No such disclosure was provided, in English or Spanish, on the third loan, the suit claims.

To assure that borrowers would qualify, the lawsuit claims that the broker, Ms. Tran and her associates exaggerated their incomes and assets using no-documentation loans.

Tomas and Martha Hernandez said Ms. Valdovinos had convinced them that they could afford a $745,000 home in San Jose, even though Mr. Hernandez earned about $4,000 a month and told them he could pay no more than $2,500 a month.

The couple balked after learning that their monthly payments would be $4,660. But Ms. Tran assured them that they would be able to refinance in a few months and reduce the payments to less than $2,900 a month, according to the lawsuit and Mr. Hernandez. They moved into the home two days before Christmas in 2005.

In April 2006, the family sought to refinance after exhausting their modest savings. They now have the following loans: a $596,000 pay-option loan with a prepayment penalty from Countrywide; a second loan for $74,450 from National City with a balloon payment of $57,000 due after 15 years.

The third loan for $108,125 from Mr. Curiel was revealed on the day they signed the loan documents, according to the lawsuit and Mr. Hernandez. The loans included more than $40,000 in fees.

The lawsuit is seeking to have the Curiel loans to the families rescinded, a process in which all payments the homeowners have made thus far, including fees, would be applied toward the principal. Any damages awarded by the court could be applied toward the loan balance.
 

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Silver Bullet member
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I'm not sure who was trying to scam whom here. I agree - the "no comprende" argument don't fly.
 

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Diamond Bullet Member/Moderator
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This is in my neck of the woods. No sympathy here for anyone involved, borrowers or lenders.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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As usual it is the fault of everyone except themselves.
 

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As usual it is the fault of everyone except themselves.
Yep. Eeeeeevil old rich white man takes advantage of poor, disadvantaged minority folk.


How is the broker a "crook"? Assuming he provided all the necessary docs, and the buyers signed them, he did all he was expected to do.

When I went to settlement on my home purchase, and at the refi, I read every document before I signed it. Both the settlement Atty and my wife were getting irritated, but I wasn't about to sign something I hadn't read.

On the refi, there were a couple of things that didn't match the agreements I'd made with the broker. I walked away, they fixed the docs and came to me at my convenience for round 2. In addition, they refunded my appraisal and a couple of other minor fees for wasting my time.

I am fully aware of the fact that there are a significant number of people who grew up in this country who cannot comprehend a dick-and-jane book, much less 90+ pages of mortgage docs, but I feel no sympathy for them. It was their choice to fail to take advantage of the free education, and spend their time since watching MTV or BET instead of reading a book or a newspaper.

Not only will the Dims end up bailing out these idiots, but I have no doubt they'll also pass laws making it the broker's responsibility to stop stupid people from signing docs they don't understand or getting in over their head$.

Gotta keep those evil white men from taking advantage of them poor, opressed minorities...

DD
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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Well, look what the white man did to the indians.
 

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Silver Bullet member
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Discussion Starter #8
Yep. Eeeeeevil old rich white man takes advantage of poor, disadvantaged minority folk.

How is the broker a "crook"? Assuming he provided all the necessary docs, and the buyers signed them, he did all he was expected to do.
In order for the buyers to qualify for the mortgages, and give her a commission, she apparently falsified their incomes.
But the buyers should have known they couldn't afford these houses. I'd guess they were either very, very stupid or hoped they could flip them for a quick profit.
 

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No sympathy for the family. If they didn't speak enough English, there are plenty of real estate attornies that could do the translation for them. Whatever happened to buying what you can afford? I'm going to buy again in a couple of months. I've told my realtor that this will be a cash and carry deal. I arrive with themoney and get the house (sans mortgage) in turn.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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if you want to have some fun --- take "cash" to the closing.
 
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