As Barbara Campell fought to survive one medical disaster after another — cancer, heart surgery, loss of kidney function and 3 strokes — Flagstar Bank tried to evict her from her Detroit home. Despite many promises that it wouldn’t do so, the bank moved to evict Ms. Campbell, who’s a former director of the Girl Scouts. It took Flagstar four years — from 2013 to 2017 — before they agreed to settle at an reasonable price.
As a wheelchair-bound woman facing eviction, Ms. Campbell clearly qualified for the mortgage modification on the basis of a medical hardship when she applied for in 2013. The bank servicer told her that she could stop paying during the modification review — then suddenly foreclosed on her for nonpayment. Flagstar had also promised Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence it wouldn’t do so.
This is the same type of action that brought Flagstar before the federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau in 2014 for “illegally blocking borrowers’ attempts to save their homes.” Flagstar paid $37 million in penalties, and promised to stop denying loan modifications to qualified homeowners. Flagstar claims to be a Michigan-based “community” bank, but is actually owned by a New York company that Forbes Magazine described as a “Vulture Investor,” known for “picking the bones of crumbling companies.”
It is only because of demonstrations at the local Flagstar banks in the metro Detroit area, leafleting at Flagstar’s headquarters, and publicizing her case at cultural and sports events Flagstar co-sponsored that they decided to settle. Many thanks to everyone who helped to keep Barbara Campbell in her home!