Life on this planet can be absolutely wonderful. And right across the street it can seem to be unbearably hard. I’m always amazed when I meet someone living a life that I could never imagine being able to endure. It’s like that story about being upset over having no shoes until meeting a man that had no feet.
Julianna Pearce is such a person. She lives a life that makes me realize that mine, no matter how difficult it seems at times, is easy living.
Julianna is a single mom with four children, although one is now away at college. She’s fully disabled and on Social Security, and her 13 year-old son is severely autistic. She takes him to therapy six days a week. He is capable of wandering off, and could run out in front of cars were he to get off the property, which is why Julianna has made the property and the home autism–proof, she says.
Her son has something called “Project Lifesaver,” which is a GPS tracking system she says is only offered in Madera County. If her son were to be missing, she could have him found in minutes.
As a parent, I imagine that it must be terrifying to live in that sort of situation day in and day out. And I can imagine that it’s hard on the other two siblings as well.
Nothing about Julianna’s life sounds easy to me. She told me that she never has any time for herself… and I believe she quite literally meant … never. I don’t think I could live the life she lives.
She has lived in her home since 2000, but she was able to buy it in 2005 with $12,000 down, and a mortgage from Chase Bank in the amount of roughly $138,000. Her loan was 30-year fixed at 6.375 percent.
Her 70-something year-old mother, who is currently recovering from a recent heart attack, was also on the mortgage with her, and mom also lives on the property in some sort of trailer. It’s quite rural… her property is 10 acres.
I’m quite sure that Julianna planned to stay there for the rest of her life.
But, Julianna’s income went down by about $850 a month when her son left the nest to attend college, and on top of that her disability check has been cut by about ten percent a year over these last three years. Today, her monthly gross is about $2800, which isn’t much, but isn’t nothing.
So, you know how the story goes from here… she fell behind on her mortgage payments by about $8,000, and in January of 2011, she received the Notice of Default.
She sent Chase a check for $3,000, along with a letter promising to pay $2,000 a month for three months to get caught up. Chase returned the $3,000, saying they couldn’t accept it. She called the bank to ask how she could work things out, and they told her she should apply for a loan modification.
So, she did… she applied in February of 2011. At that point, she could have brought the loan current using her tax refund check, but now she was on the loan mod path.
It was a bad path to be on, as things turned out, but she didn’t know that for about 18 months. Right up until the day Chase sold her home without any real notice, Chase kept saying that they wanted her to keep her house, which made her feel secure. Good, she’d tell them, she wanted to keep it as well.
Julianna says she sent in her paperwork six times to Chase… she’d fax it to Chase from a local Chase branch, and yet they still never seemed to receive it. She’d show the people at her Chase branch that she had everything she was supposed to have before she faxed it over to nowhere.
Chase would routinely send mail to an address that doesn’t receive mail, and they kept calling a number that’s been disconnected for four years. But, somehow they managed to figure out where to send the Notice of Default, so that was handy.
Julianna says her package never even made it into underwriting, or at least that’s what she was told. She says she kept asking Chase, “Do I need an attorney?” And they kept saying, “No, they’ll just do the same things we’re doing now.”
Well, that wasn’t exactly true. Her attorney, if she’d had one, probably wouldn’t have sold her home on March 2nd of this year. And her attorney would have almost certainly have told her about the sale earlier than on March 1st, when she called in to check on the loan modification that she’d been working on for the past 18 months.
The eviction notice says she will be evicted this Saturday… tomorrow.
And she’s terrified because she says the eviction could very well be life threatening to her 13 year-old autistic son. She doesn’t know where she’ll go or what she’ll do. She doesn’t know where here mother will recover from her heart attack.
And most of all, she doesn’t know what happened to her home.
Mr. Dimon… why? Why would you or anyone else allow this to happen this way? There was no other way, is that what I’m to believe. Was Julianna “gaming” the system? She’s not even capable of “gaming” anything. The only thing she was capable of doing was trusting JPMorgan Chase.
And that was a terrible idea, wouldn’t you say?
DOERS? I’m at a loss here. Can you DO anything about this?
Jamie Dimon, CEO
Chase Loan #: 19830769