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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

S.F. Elderly Woman Fights Foreclosure, Predatory Lending

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 10:19 AM


Latanya Marie Session, a San Francisco woman, is locked in a bitter dispute over her foreclosed home, which she lost while she was in the hospital suffering from a brain injury.

Session's daughter and appointed guardian, Bess Kennedy, filed a complaint in 2010 after the bank foreclosed on her mother's San Francisco home, which she inherited from her own parents.

Kennedy says her mother, who was physically and mentally limited after a brain injury, was duped into signing a series of home-loan documents, including a $200,000 loan as advised by Ty Ebright, a representative with Monterey Bay Resources. Never mind her social security income was only $2,000 a month -- the monthly loan fee required was $1,833, according to court documents.

In 2005, Session, who is African American, suffered a massive brain injury, and was in the hospital for more than three years. Ebright visited her in the hospital, where he successfully encouraged her to take out a second $10,000 loan on her home, according to court documents.

Ebright gave Session an ultimatum: Take out another loan to pay down her existing loan, or face foreclosure.

But because Session was mentally and physically incapacitated, she appointed a lawyer, at the behest of Ebright. The attorney, Matthew Lopez, was appointed specifically to draw up another mortgage, according to court documents.

In May 2006, Lopez obtained a third loan on behalf of Session, whose cognitive impairment made it difficult for her to understand the terms of the loan. Later that year, she defaulted on the third loan without ever having made a payment. Ebright recorded a notice of default on the property in 2007, but continued charging fees and interest rates, exhausting the equity left in the home, before filing for foreclosure.

In the end, the loans and fees left Session over $400,000 in debt, court documents say.

Session, said she was never given proper notice of the foreclosure, and while she was in the hospital, the home was purchased for $101,000 by the only bidder present -- Ann Ebright.

Both parties signed an agreement for Ebright to return the title to Session in exchange for monthly payments to pay down a $300,000 debt on the home. Kennedy filed a complaint in 2010, claiming elderly abuse, predatory lending, and a violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. However, last week, United States District Court Judge Wiliam Alsup ruled that this case was not in violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act due to a two-year statute of limitation.

 Since the final loan was filed in 2006, it exceeded the two-year statue of limitation, he said.

Ms. Session got out of the hospital in 2008 and a notice of default had already been recorded by defendants. The home was sold at a non-judicial foreclosure sale in December 2008. Yet plaintiff did not file this action until November 2010.

The judge also dismissed claims that Session was targeted because of her race; however, he is giving her until April 10 to amend her complaint.

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Erika Maldonado


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