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California WWII veteran caught off guard by foreclosure

Readers are probably aware that many California residents are experiencing the financial stress of foreclosure. But every American who is faced with financial difficulties deserves a chance to stop the foreclosure process in order to restructure and potentially discharge all debt. Unfortunately, however, one hard-working American -- a World War II veteran who defended against the attacks on Pearl Harbor -- has been unable to stop foreclosure even as he thought he had the helpful cooperation of a bank.

The 91-year-old veteran is one of the 18 remaining survivors who were aboard the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. In fact, on the recent 70th anniversary of the attack, the man made his annual pilgrimage to the infamous site of the bombings.

Little did the man know that, when he returned home to California, he would be faced with another kind of battle. Eight days after the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the man stood on the steps of the Nevada County Courthouse while Bank of America completed a foreclosure sale on his home.

In the eight months prior to that sale, the man was under the impression that Bank of America was working with him to stop foreclosure on the home. He thought that he "was one step away from getting it all straight." The veteran thought he had the cooperation of the bank in an effort to establish a payment plan that would work for both sides.

One of the main issues pertained to a $150,000 home improvement loan that he took out when he purchased the property in 2001. The loan was added to the title, resulting in a limitation of his options. The man said that he spoke with numerous bank representatives, but none of them seemed to understand California real estate law. The veteran was unaware that a foreclosure had occurred until he received the foreclosure sale notice.

To avoid a similar situation, California residents would do well to look into all of their legal options. The activity of discharging debt does not have to be a mysterious or financially crippling process. Contacting a California attorney who is experienced in bankruptcy law can clarify exactly what options are available for a financial re-start.

Source:, "WWII hero loses home to foreclosure," Matthew Renda, Dec. 20, 2011

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