BROWNE GREENE JOINS AS CO-COUNSEL IN SUIT AGAINST WASHINGTON MUTUAL TO PREVENT...

BROWNE GREENE JOINS AS CO-COUNSEL IN SUIT AGAINST WASHINGTON MUTUAL TO PREVENT EVICTION OF FAMILY FROM YORBA LINDA HOME OVER $51.56 ERROR THE BANK MADE AND FAILED TO RECTIFY

Press Conference Set for Tuesday, October 8, 2002 at 1:00 p.m. in Front of the Orange County Superior Court House


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SANTA ANA, Calif.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 8, 2002–Browne Greene with the law firm of Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler, LLP has joined as co-counsel with Gregory B. Gershuni to represent Clara C. Alonso and Francisco M. Alonso in their suit against Washington Mutual Home Loans, Inc. to bar recordation of a trustee’s deed of sale and to order cancellation of the foreclosure sale proceedings of their Yorba Linda, CA home. The Alonsos and their attorneys will hold a press conference prior to a preliminary injunction hearing in the case on Tuesday, October 8, 2002 at 1:00 PM in front of the Orange County Superior Court, 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA. The Hon. James P. Gray will preside over the matter, Clara C. Alonso and Francisco M. Alonso vs. Washington Mutual Home Loans, Inc., et. al., Case No. 02CC15162. Washington Mutual, California Reconveyance Company and Greg Metcalf are also named as defendants.

Clara and Francisco Alonso filed a complaint on September 30, 2002, to set aside the foreclosure sale and cancel the trustee’s deed upon sale filed against them by Washington Mutual Home Loans, Inc. (Washington Mutual). In 1993, they purchased their Yorba Linda home for $377,500 by paying a $62,000 down payment and securing a loan for the rest from Washington Mutual. In late 2002, the Alonsos experienced a number of unforeseen personal and financial setbacks and fell behind in their loan payments. They received a default notice, but in July 2002 entered into a repayment agreement with the bank, which required that they make a monthly payment, due the 30th day of each month, in the amount of $3,994.89, beginning in August 2002.

On August 30, 2002, Mrs. Alonso went in person to Washington Mutual to make the first payment, but did not have a copy of the repayment agreement with her. She asked a teller to look up her home loan account and was told that the amount due was $3,943.33. Relying on that information, she wrote a check for that amount. On September 10th, the Alonsos received a letter from Washington Mutual, returning their check and informing them that, as partial payments were not acceptable, the loan was immediately in foreclosure.

“We did everything humanly possible to rectify Washington Mutual’s mistake,” said Clara Alonso, “and to simply pay the remaining $51.56. I contacted the bank’s designated officer repeatedly, but was never able to connect with him. My sense of urgency was growing, especially as they had told us that if we didn’t enter into a modification of our repayment plan, they would foreclose on our house on September 24, 2002. To our complete shock, we learned that our home was sold at foreclosure on September 20, 2002.”

“Washington Mutual made no real effort at all to deal fairly with us or in good faith to resolve their error caused by their own employee,” said Francisco Alonso. “To add insult to injury, they sold our home to a bidder for $190,000 below its current fair market value of $650,000. Our only recourse is to prevail upon the Court to compel the bank to reinstate our loan. This entire situation has been devastating to me, my wife and my two daughters.”

“Washington Mutual acted in utter disregard of its own policies and public persona in failing to give our clients an opportunity to cure the bank’s own mistake,” said Browne Greene. “The Alonsos are decent, hard-working people who have poured their hearts and souls into creating a safe nest for their family. To have their sense of security ripped away from them is clearly wrong, and we are confident that the Court will do what is necessary to right this injustice.”

Francisco Alonso, age 39, has worked full-time for the past 12 years as a carpenter with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Clara Alonso, age 35, has worked full-time for the past 4 1/2 as a vice president in the human resources department of Gourmet Award Foods in the City of Commerce.

Plaintiffs’ Counsel: Browne Greene is with the Santa Monica, CA firm of Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler, LLP (www.gbpwlaw.com); tel: 310 576.1200. Gregory B. Gershuni is with the Los Angeles, CA firm of Gershuni & Imrich, LLP; tel: 310 474 6300.

Defense Counsel: Amy L. Morse, General Counsel for Washington Mutual; tel: 818 775 7850; and Eric D. Houser with the Irvine, CA firm of Houser & Allison; tel: 949 679.1111. Stuart W. Knight with his own Tustin, CA firm; tel: 714 730.4808 represents Greg Metcalf.

–30–MRA/la* HB/la

CONTACT:

Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler, LLP

Kathy Pinckert, 310/562-0691 (Media)

BROWNE GREENE JOINS AS CO-COUNSEL IN SUIT AGAINST WASHINGTON MUTUAL TO PREVENT EVICTION OF FAMILY FROM YORBA LINDA HOME OVER $51.56 ERROR THE BANK MADE AND FAILED TO RECTIFY