Real Estate & Property Law

Judge Facing Foreclosure; He Says He Only Stopped Payments After Getting Advice from Bank

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Untold numbers of homeowners nationwide have run into major snafus when trying to get mortgage loan modifications. Sometimes the only way out of the horror story is to tell it to a judge.

Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Juvenile Court Judge Peter Sikora doesn’t deal with such matters on the bench, of course, but the judge will be telling his own story to a mediator next month. Sikora faces foreclosure on his lakefront home because he’s behind on mortgage payments and taxes, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Sikora says he wasn’t facing foreclosure or in financial distress when he sought a loan modification. He simply wanted to refinance and take advantage of lower interest rates. The judge says officials at JPMorgan Chase & Co. told him they could consider doing one only if he were behind in his payments.

So he stopped paying his mortgage. And the bank is foreclosing, seeking $999,000 plus $6,400 in unpaid property taxes.

“It’s unfortunate that it’s gotten to this situation,” Sikora told The Plain Dealer. “I’ve been talking with them for more than a year, but the bank hasn’t been responsive.”

The attorney for JPMorgan Chase didn’t respond to the Plain Dealer’s request for comment.

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