Philly homeowner forecloses on Wells Fargo

Patrick Rodgers, an independent music promoter in Philadelphia, has won a judgment against his mortgage lender, Wells Fargo, which Wells hasn't paid, and so he's foreclosed on them and arranged for a sheriff's sale of the contents of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, 1341 N. Delaware Ave to pay the legal bill.

Rodgers made all his mortgage payments on time, but Wells decided out of the blue that he had to carry insurance for the full replacement value of his home -- $1 million -- and started to charge him an extra $500 a month in premiums. When Rodgers sent a formal letter to the lender questioning this, they did not answer in good time, so a court awarded him $1,000 in damages, which Wells wouldn't pay. So the court is allowing him to sell the contents of the lender's office to make good on the bill.


"It's a completely unreasonable demand," says Irv Ackelsberg, a mortgage expert at the Philadelphia law firm Langer, Grogan & Diver. "Their interest is in protecting their mortgage, not ensuring that the house is rebuilt."

Rodgers' next step put him at some risk, he concedes now. He refused to renew the higher-cost policy. Instead, Wells Fargo bought him so-called forced-placement insurance - a policy that typically costs much more than ordinary coverage and only protects the mortgage-holder's interests.

But he fought back with his suit under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Last month, Wells Fargo sent him more than $1,000, and Menke says it intended to fully satisfy the judgment. "We had considered this matter closed," he says.

What about Rodgers' four-page letter demanding answers about how much Wells is trying to charge him - charges that have added $500 a month to his statement?

Menke says Wells Fargo sent a written response "within the last month." As of Monday, Rodgers hadn't seen it.

Phila. homeowner wins judgment against Wells Fargo over mortgage fees



  1. Corey sez:

    …so a court awarded him $1,000 in damages, which Wells wouldn’t pay.

    But the article says:

    Last month, Wells Fargo sent him more than $1,000, and Menke says it intended to fully satisfy the judgment.

    It looks like Wells Fargo paid him the court ordered settlement for not responding to his message but still didn’t RESPOND TO HIS MESSAGE as ordered by the court. I’ve never heard about this Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)… That is a pretty interesting legal gambit this guy is pulling. It pays to know the law, eh? Or at least have a good lawyer who does. I suppose that Wells Fargo can simply satisfy the court order by just walking a written statement answering his questions and he’s back at square one.

    Could he go to the auction and purchase the office from the court? That would be awesome :-P

  2. Whoa… this is the guy who owns Dancing Ferret, one of the most prominent goth/industrial labels. He’s already a badass.

  3. Once upon a time, someone put a lean on their stage coach in the lobby of the headquarters in San Francisco, they paid up.


  4. I wish more people in America were like this guy. Americans get pushed around and they don’t do jack shit to help themselves.

    I think it’s funny that when people buy something from a store like Target and they waste time and money taking the product home and if it’s faulty, you spend your time and money bringing it back they only thing these corporations will do is graciously replace the item for you.

    No compensation for time and money on gas wasted, you are just supposed to eat your mush and like it, pee-ons. No gift certificate, nothing… just be happy they even let you return their own faulty item for them.

    Americans are such pushovers when it comes to corporations. Once again, it’s nice to see someone who still has some self-respect and says what’s good for the goose is good the corporatist gander.

    1. Yes, we are pushovers when it comes to corporations… we rely on them to give us jobs, loans, heating oil, cheap food… you’re right, we are afraid of them in more ways than one. We are like infants and they are like parents who abuse us. Our American system has made us completely reliant on corporations and we simply don’t know how to get out of it.

      1. You may find that laughable. But it’s true and it’s killing us, literally. If you have something to say specifically about the point I made, then have at it. Otherwise, you can continue to act like an insipid troll. It’s up to you. But on my part I’ll just ignore you.

        1. I may be wrong, but I read Lucifer’s post as sincere. You and the devil (if serious) are both right. Corporations have far more control over us than, say, our government. It’s horrifying, and makes me want to find a desert island to live on.

          In regards to the original article, I only have one statement.
          F@#* Wells Fargo.

          That is all.

  5. HOLEY SHEET That’s what Patrick’s been talking about!

    Patrick run’s Nocturne and Dracula’s Ball in DC. He used to run the label Dancing Ferret Discs.

  6. I don’t understand anything about the legalities of this case, but it’s always good to see the tables turned.

  7. I’ve actually gotten a similar demand from WF. It seemed strange that they insisted on insurance for the ammount of the total value, rather than merely the cost of the structure. After all, if the house burns down, the LAND is still there.

  8. Wasn’t there a gentleman in the UK who did this a while ago? He had constables escort him into a bank and started seizing computers and equipment with a court order over something similar?

  9. I am glad he stuck it to them. Everything is slanted in favor of corporations. It is ridiculous! I recently had a fight with my insurance company, that I could literally not win. All the rules are stacked in their favor. In the end I decided I would rather pay another insurance company more money than stay with those sleazeballs (and the unethical or incompetent insurance broker).

    The situation reminded me of the Robot Chicken skit where they are making fun of Star Wars and the Darth Vader line “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.”

    I don’t know what it is, but any time an INDIVIDUAL signs a contract they are held accountable to it, but anytime a CORPORATION has a contract they can alter it anyway at anytime they feel like it, and the consumer has to suck it up/bend over.

  10. As a Philly resident, this story is made so much more interesting by knowing that Patrick promotes local goth events and is seen wearing fangs at all times.

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