Wells Fargo’s Servicer-Driven Foreclosure: Is Stumpf’s Company Vicious and Incompetent or Vicious and Greedy?
Well DOERs, John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo, is a schmuck.
CEO Stumpf knew (because DOERs told him) that the only reason grandma Patricia Martin faced foreclosure was because a Wells Fargo employee–Stumpf’s employee–lied to her daughter about late fees, and then rejected her for the loan modification it told her to apply for. Why did Wells reject Grandma Martin’s modification application? Well, given the facts, I see two possibilities. Stumpf’s company is incredibly incompetent or deadly sin-level greedy. Either way Stumpf’s Wells Fargo is vicious.
Vicious, Yes. Also Incompetent and/or Greedy.
Vicious because Wells Fargo is kicking Grandma and her family to the curb when the Martin family has acted properly and in good faith. As an added bonus, Stumpf’s employees were abusive and cruel. (See Mandelman’s original DOER alert and the update for the background.)
So besides vicious, is Wells incompetent or deadly-sin level greedy? The answer rests on whether Wells’s math errors were inadvertent (incompetent) or deliberate (greedy.) See, the key reason the mod failed is that Wells crunched the numbers using an inflated value for the house: $370k, instead of the $300k it was actually worth. Wells acknowledged it used the wrong number, and re-ran the numbers. But instead of using $300k the second time, they again used $370k. The inflated value meant taking Grandma Martin’s home would be worth more than modifying her loan. Garbage in, garbage out. But for doing the math wrong, the Martin mod would have been approved and the foreclosure averted.