There’s a couple in Minneapolis, the Vinjes, that wants to negotiate with their bank and save their home. Unfortunately, their bank is USBank, so a little outside persuasion is going to be needed:
John Vinje and Lucinda Adams-Vinje bought their home in 2008 for 148,000. Their payment was roughly $1,300 per month on a 30 yr fixed term. It was the 1st home that either of them had ever purchased. John had been an Air Force pilot during the Vietnam war before working for many years as a security officer. Lucinda had a well established 10 year career as a TSA agent at the Minneapolis airport. Lucinda chose the home because she had grown up in the South Metro area and her work is nearby. She also happens to love the house. John says “I’m not sure why, she just loves it.”
In July 2010 John and Lucinda entered into a trial separation. Lucinda wanted to stay in the home and John agreed. But by September she realized that she would not be able to float the payments on her own. She asked John if he would be willing to add his name to the mortgage and help her stay. John agreed for his income to be used in order for her to qualify. He claims that because of poor communication from the US Bank rep that was not informed that he would actually be the legal guarantor of the mortgage, until he was sitting at the Closing table. At that point he felt he had no choice and signed the papers, even though he was lied to and felt violated. The new refinance cut $200 off the original payment but raised the principal balance. In the meantime the value of the home had fallen by more than $50,000. This new “deal” had put them even more underwater.
By July 2011 John and Lucinda had repaired their relationship and John had moved back into the home. Their combined income of $3,000 per month was more than enough to make the $1,100 monthly payment obligation. What John did not know at the time is that Lucinda had fallen 2 months behind on the refinanced loan payments and US Bank was now demanding full payment. John called the Bank to explain their relationship status, that they could make the agreed payments, and that even though they couldn’t pay the full 2 months of arrears they would be more than willing to make partial payments on the $2,200 balance until it was paid in full. US Bank refused and began foreclosure proceedings.
If they do nothing they will lose their home in April of 2012. This Air Force veteran and his wife have worked their entire adult life and now stand to lose the only home that either has ever owned.
What US Bank doesn’t realize is that John and his wife are fighters. They, along with a growing number of Minnesota homeowners, have taken a pledge to stand with their community and fight for their home.
John had this to add: “Their refusal to work with us is an outrage. Do you know how much the C.E.O. of US Bank made last year? 18 million dollars! And yet they want my house that’s only worth $80,000. Well you know what? I’m not gonna let them have it!”
Sign the petition here.