Paul bought his home in Saint Paul on May 31st, 2006. He loved the neighborhood and was happy to spend 5% of his money as a down payment on the $176,900 home. Over the next six years he spent countless hours and funds making beautiful renovations to the home. “Doors, windows, trim, ceilings, I've redone everything. There isn't an inch of this house that I don't know like the back of my hand,” explains Paul.
On April 1, 2007, Paul and his wife lost their first child to stillbirth. The experience was devastating for both parents. Paul's wife fell into a deep depression, as many parents in her situation do. She went to therapy, was diagnosed with clinical depression, PTSD and was unable to work for an extended period. Her temporary loss of income, coupled with Paul's income loss at the hands of the general recession, landed them a month behind in mortgage payments in February 2011. Paul and his wife divorced shortly afterward. At the same time, Paul's law practice began to suffer. As the economic crisis continued, his clientele thinned and active clients were often unable to pay on time.
He immediately reached out to Bank of America for help. They told him that, as his servicer, there was nothing they could do to help because the loan could not be modified. After submitting numerous documents and spending hours on the telephone with their untrained agents, they suggested he call Wells Fargo, the bank that owned the loan. He called Wells Fargo and they had him contacting countless people and submitting form after form, to only tell him that there is a new owner of the loan. Paul then located the owner of the loan, US Bank. They made him repeat the process; make many phone calls to Bank of America (the bank that services the loan) and provide documents. Bank of America and US Bank said the loan cannot be modified by the terms of the contract, but they never put that in writing. The banks have made it as difficult as possible to get a straight answer. Paul became increasingly enraged at their evasive answers and deceptive practices especially considering they did not even own the loan. Paul says, "I'm an attorney, and if I can't make sense of this process how can anyone else?"
Today, Paul’s private law practice has returned to being profitable. He has offered to pay US Bank/Bank of America the full monthly mortgage amount. “That's the part that they're missing, I care about this house! I want to be here. I want to make payments,” exclaims Paul.
Paul has a daughter, born in 2008. She has her own room in the house and she loves the house. “This is the main reason I am fighting and uniting with OCCUPY HOMES. She is the future, and I plan to pay this house off and leave it to her someday or die trying.”
Today, Paul is more committed than ever to staying in his home. He has taken The Pledge and agreed to organize his friends and neighbors to demand a good faith negotiation from the banks involved. Paul wants to host homeowner and community meetings in his home. “I’ll do whatever it takes to show these banks that this is OUR country. They've done everything they can to break our spirit and now I'm ready to fight back.”