Posted: Feb 4, 2012 11:24 AM by Melissa Anderson (Helena)
Updated: Feb 4, 2012 1:03 PM
When Donna Peterson bought her dream home in Helena in 2007, she didn't know her purchase would turn into a nightmare.
After being diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer in 2009, she lost both of her home-based businesses while undergoing treatment.
It was then that she asked Bank of America for help.
Donna recalled, "They said 'Oh, no problem. Given your circumstances we can get you right into a 2% loan. All you have to do is to go into default, you are not eligible unless your payments are late.'"
That was more than two years ago.
Donna filled out scores of documents to restructure the loan, but Bank of America claims they never received them, and eventually they started foreclosure proceedings.
Now, the only hope she has of remaining in her home is relying upon the attorneys she has hired to file suit.
She said, "I feel like I've spent the last two years screaming at the top of my lungs about what Bank of America has done wrong. And nobody was listening. And now I feel like there's somebody in my corner helping my voice be heard."
Attorney Jonathan Motl said, "When they finally got around to telling her they weren't going to give her the 2%, she was in a position where she couldn't do anything. And so she has filed a lawsuit to hold them to the contract they have promised her."
The law firm has already filed 10 cases against Bank of America for not honoring contracts, and they continue to receive about five phone calls a week.
Typically, the two types of complaints are promises to restructure that aren't kept, and illegal foreclosure procedures.
Attorney Kim Wilson said, "People have put their lives and investments and their emotional investments in these homes and suddenly they are being told they don't have any options."
While Donna says she was lied to and misled, the only comfort she has is that she's not alone.
She is now cancer-free, and like her fight against cancer, she says she'll hold her ground to keep her home.
Donna said, "They don't tell you that you do in fact have other options. You can fight back."
The law firm is asking for an injunction against the foreclosure of Donna's house, which is scheduled March 1st.