16 Nov Countrywide Sanctioned over $55,000.00 for Bankruptcy Abuses
Doan Law Firm just obtained an award against Countrywide Financial for $55,220.00 with additional sanctions of $500.00 per month for each month they fail to comply with a Bankruptcy Court Order, arising from improper conduct related to a mortgage discharged in a Bankruptcy Case. Judge Meyers, of the Southern District of California signed the Court Order on October 30, 2008.
In this case, the debtors filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Relief in July, 2006, and received a discharge in November, 2006. Among their creditors was Countrywide Financial that held a lien on their residence. The debtors never reaffirmed the debt with Countrywide, and since they surrendered the home back to Countrywide, Countrywide could no longer contact them. Nevertheless, they did, ignoring the Bankruptcy Court, debtors, and debtors’ counsel.
Countrywide harassed the debtors relentlessly in an attempt to collect on the discharged debt. It abused them with phone calls, billing statements, and purposely reporting the balance as still owed on their credit report. The Debtors suffered emotional distress, experienced credit problems with higher interest rates, experienced adoption problems, and suffered a lower credit score.
There was nothing the Debtors or Doan Law Firm could do short of litigation to stop Coutrywide from abusing the Debtors. In fact, Michael G. Doan even contacted Countrywide’s attorneys to see if they could get their client to cease the conduct and resolve the abuse short of litigation. Countrywide’s counsel simply told Michael G. Doan to “take it to court.”
In all, Doan Law Firm provided Countrywide about 16 notices of Bankruptcy and requests to cease the unlawful conduct. Countrywide adamantly refused. Even after receiving the Debtors’ motion to reopen their Bankruptcy Case to sue Countrywide for Contempt, Countrywide still contacted the debtors and continued to report false information. The false reporting to the credit bureaus took place, even despite numerous dispute letters to the credit bureaus by Doan Law Firm that the debtors disputed the balance owed since it was discharged in bankruptcy.
As if it felt it was above the law, Countrywide also failed to attend all Bankruptcy Court Proceedings in the contempt action brought by the Debtors. Finally, the Bankruptcy Court issued a ruling when Shawn Doan appeared at the last hearing, Ordering Damages of $55,200.00, and in light of the continued ignorance of the law and Bankruptcy Court, imposed a further fine of $500,00 per month until they comply with the Court. To date, Countrywide still refuses to respond.
The Bankruptcy Laws are very powerful. If you are experiencing continued harassment by creditors after your bankruptcy discharge, you should immediately contact a competent attorney to enforce your rights. Creditors are not above the law, and the more consumers that stick up for their rights, the better the fight on Capitol Hill between Creditor v Consumer. The credit industry has lots of money. They continue to receive bailouts. But if enough consumers of America simply stand up for their rights, the abuses of Wall Street will slowly erode and the playing field will equalize.
Written by Michael G. Doan
Bankruptcy Law Network (BLN)
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