Maria Landi, a 75-year-old retired insurance specialist, and her husband John, had been making payments on their East Brunswick, New Jersey home for 40 years when Wells Fargo foreclosed on it in 2010.
At the time, John Landi was forced into early retirement by the financial crisis from his job as a producer at ABC and 20/20. The couple could no longer afford to make the monthly payments on the home where they raised five children, and were forced out in 2013 after three years of trying and failing to apply for loan modifications from Wells Fargo.
“We had countless holidays, baptisms, communions, confirmations and birthdays in that home,” Maria Landi told MarketWatch. “We had graduations, engagements, weddings and, of course, end of life moments. Our blood, sweat and tears went into this structure. Renovations, additions and many accommodating improvements were put into this, what some may call just a building.”
The home was initially purchased for $49,000 and was later valued at $750,000 after the Landis renovated it and made additions to the home. But after the Landis got the foreclosure notice from Wells Fargo, it was appraised at just $450,000, far below what the Landis owed on their mortgage.