Court Orders Continuation of TRO and Sets Preliminary Injunction Hearing for Tuesday, October 22, 2002 in O.C. Superior Court


SANTA ANA, Calif.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 9, 2002–Washington Mutual Home Loans, Inc. and co-defendants, California Reconveyance Company and Greg Metcalf, were stopped today by Judge James P. Gray from taking further steps to foreclose on the sale of Clara C. and Francisco M. Alonso’s home in Yorba Linda, CA. Judge Gray ordered a continuation of the Temporary Restraining Order issued on September 30, 2002, and ordered the parties to return to court on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 at 1:30 PM for a preliminary injunction hearing in the matter, Clara C. Alonso and Francisco M. Alonso vs. Washington Mutual Home Loans, Inc., et. al., Case No. 02CC15162. In the interim, Judge Gray suggested that the parties meet to work out a fair and reasonable solution on all fronts.

“We are grateful to the Court,” said Clara C. Alonso, “and are truly relieved that we will be able to keep our home. My family has suffered greatly with the imminent fear that we would be homeless. Tonight, we will all be able to sleep easier.”

“It is a sad day when a simple mistake must be rectified by our judicial system,” said Francisco M. Alonso. “Had Washington Mutual owned up to their error, we would not be here today. I am truly appreciative of the Court’s wisdom in recognizing the responsibility of Washington Mutual in creating this problem.”

“In terms of equity and morality,” said Browne Greene, who represents the Plaintiffs along with Gregory B. Gershuni, “the Court did not allow the Goliath defendant, Washington Mutual, to take advantage of my clients. We are confident that at the next hearing, this entire matter will be resolved and that the Alonsos can get on with their lives without the stress or fear of losing their family home.”

Per the Judge’s order, the Alonsos will immediately pay Washington Mutual their mortgage payments in the amount of $3,994.89 each for August and September. Washington Mutual is temporarily stopped from doing anything further to dispossess the Alonsos from their home. The Court strongly suggested that Washington Mutual take steps to work out a resolution of Greg Metcalf’s competing claim for the Alonso’s home.

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. 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 unforseen difficulties and fell behind in their loan payments. They received a default notice, but in July 2002 entered into a repayment agreement with the bank by which they would make monthly payments 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. Their efforts to pay the remaining $51.56 fell through as they were never able to connect with the bank’s designated officer, even though repeated attempts were made. Washington Mutual informed Plaintiffs that if they did not enter into a modification of their repayment plan, they would foreclose on the house on September 24, 2002. To their complete shock, the Alonsos learned that their home sold at foreclosure on September 20, 2002.

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 (http://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–WAM/la* AMP/la


Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler, LLP

Kathy Pinckert, 310/562-0691