WSJ – The 25-Year ‘Foreclosure From Hell’

The 25-Year ‘Foreclosure From Hell’


OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, Fla.—Patsy Campbell could tell you a thing or two about fighting foreclosure. She’s been fighting hers for 25 years.

The 71-year-old retired insurance saleswoman has been living in her house, a two-story on a half acre in a tidy middle-class neighborhood here in central Florida, since 1978. The last time she made a mortgage payment was October 1985.

And yet Ms. Campbell has been able to keep her house, protected by a 105-pound pit bull named Dodger and a locked, rusty gate advising visitors to beware of the dog.

“They’re not going to take this house,” says Ms. Campbell. “I intend to stay in this house and maintain it as my residence until I die.”

Ms. Campbell’s foreclosure case has outlasted two marriages, three recessions and four presidents. She has seen seven great-grandchildren born, plum real-estate markets come and go and the ownership of her mortgage change six times. Many Florida real-estate lawyers say it is the longest-lasting foreclosure case they have ever heard of.

The story of how Ms. Campbell has managed to avoid both paying her mortgage and losing her home, which is currently assessed at more than $203,000, is a cautionary tale for lenders that cut corners and followed sloppy practices when originating, processing and servicing mortgages. Lenders are especially vulnerable in the 23 states, including Florida, that require foreclosures to be approved by a judge.

Ms. Campbell has challenged her foreclosure on the grounds that her mortgage was improperly transferred between banks and federal agencies, that lawyers for the bank had waited too long to prosecute the case, that a Florida law shields her from all her creditors, and for dozens of other reasons. Once, she questioned whether there really was a debt at all, saying the lender improperly separated the note from the mortgage contract.

She has managed to stave off the banks partly because several courts have recognized that some of her legal arguments have some merit—however minor. Two foreclosure actions against her, for example, were thrown out because her lender sat on its hands too long after filing a case and lost its window to foreclose.

Ms. Campbell, who is handling her case these days without a lawyer, has learned how to work the ropes of the legal system so well that she has met every attempt by a lender to repossess her home with multiple appeals and counteractions, burying the plaintiffs facing her under piles of paperwork.

She offers no apologies for not paying her mortgage for 25 years, saying that when a foreclosure is in dispute, borrowers are entitled to stop making payments until the courts resolve the matter.

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24 Responses to “WSJ – The 25-Year ‘Foreclosure From Hell’”
  1. Mortgage Fraud Investigator says:

    Public records of the Okeechobee County Property Appraiser:

    Patsy Campbell
    2224 SW 19th LN
    OKEECHOBEE FL 34974-5620

  2. max says:

    Thats what wrong today, some people say good job lady, she is a deadbeat, I work and pay my bills, I make my house payment. If you borrow something and promise to payback you payback. This is sad no character. How can you people support someone who has no intentions to pay bills, sure the bank would be bad if they did not give her the funds when she wnated the house.

  3. Tim Gytnurd says:

    The banks (especially the central banks) are the deadbeat scumbags. The citizenry are the heroes. Anyone who suggests otherwise likely works for the banks.

    • jim says:

      I guess all those who purchased their homes couldn’t read ??????? LOL, Hilarious . Lets reward the the uneducated foolish ones that purchase their homes on emotion or hoping to make a quik buck . Give me a break ! They are just as stupid as the bankers were for lending them the money in the first place !!!! No sympathy here !

      • RAMONA says:

        lol we see the criminal banksters are concerned and reading

      • jim says:

        Hate to break it to you BABE , but i’m not a bankster !!!! Just someone that thinks before they act and takes full responsibility for his own actions ! If you purchase a car and then find yourself unable to make the payment does that entitle you to keep it ???????? If one cannot afford something then they shouldn’t purchase it !!!!! You must have voted for OBAMA !

  4. Jeff Goodbarge says:

    We should be getting pitchforks and torches ready to evict Chase Bank , Capital One, BOA, JP Morgan, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, etc managment – Like the hack above said, “everybody has to pay rent”. These goons haven’t paid anything! In fact they’ve stolen, ergo EVICTIONS!

  5. jim says:

    God bless her ????? LOL you must be kidding ! She’s a dead beat ! I agree , kick her ass out !!!

  6. mike says:

    Squatting did you know that America was started by squatting in order to have ownership of a property, many Americans died for the right to have legal tile to a property. Land Baron’s in the early days ran people off of their land with brunt force. Thanks God today we have rule and order, but it must be truthful and open for all to see.

  7. Jeff Arnold says:

    What a pathetic dead beat squatter. Kick her ass out to the curb and let her pay rent like everyone else in this country does – or at least used to do.

  8. Rene says:

    Imagine if everyone did this… then mortgage lenders and banks would have to keep their paperwork straight!

  9. mike says:

    I saw a comment that said deadbeat, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    The Tax payers gave the banks your money to commit fraud on tax payers. but the Federal Government did not tell the American Citizens the whole story. They are still giving them money. The banks have no real money.

    Solve the problem rewrite all of the loans to 80% of the true market value now and lets put the American people first not the banks. We all need to make a run on the banks and take out all of the money and put it in the credit unions that the banks hate.
    Do you happen to notice all of the new TV ads for the big banks on TV, whose money paid for this the tax payers did, all Americans would love to own a business that the government pays your expenses.

    Pull your money out now.

    • max says:

      Mike you are a sorry person do you pay rent or skip out like this lady did. What happen to being responsible, do you think its o’k to not pay what you owe. would love to rent a house from you I would just not pay that would be o’k

  10. Pro Se Pitbull says:

    Imagine if everyone took this tactic, we could end homelessness in America today. Lady needs housing, just like everyone else, Bravo!

  11. Richard Wicks says:

    This woman is a scumbag, not a hero. It’s amazing how many scumbags there are today in the US.

  12. Ron Dimas says:


  13. housemanrob says:

    I wouldn’t want to get in the ring with Patsy Campbell, a prize fighters name methinks!

  14. StuckinSoPa says:

    I really can’t say whether she is right or wrong, but I love watching the little guy (or girl, ….oops!, I mean lady) sticking it to the banksters for their shoddy, incompetent, (or GASP illegal) paperwork. I wish that there were two of her for every homeowner who was foreclosed on by three different banks for the same house, or foreclosed on for a house they sold 20 years ago, or foreclosed on for a home where they paid cash and NEVER had a mortgage, or foreclosed on for a property THEY NEVER OWNED AT ALL!

    Hey banksters, SUCK IT AND SUCK IT GOOD!

    You go girl!!

  15. George Frederick& Cecilia Engle says:

    I did not see Mike’s message, but WOW he is “RIGHT ON”!!! My question where is the so called Law, FBI all these agencies that we all paid for?

  16. George Frederick& Cecilia Engle says:

    God Bless her!

  17. mike says:

    This would be a great case for an attorney to become a hero and go down in history. Help this woman now.

    Then make this case a national story and lets get her on the news (now)

    How about filing criminal charges againest the fraud in her case. File charges againest the banks involved go after SEC violations

    She needs support and then show others how to do it too.

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