WaMu, Countrywide Legacy Lives on for Homeowners

Want to be considered for a loan modification? Stop making your mortgage payments. That's the advice that Washington Mutual gave some homeowners who called looking for help with their mortgage payments. Their reward for complying with that advice? Foreclosure.

Some homeowners are now suing JPMorgan Chase, which swallowed up WaMu in a government-brokered deal in September, 2008. The case comes in the wake of Senate hearings on WaMu's unscrupulous practices and bolsters the view that some banks have run roughshod over consumers. Similar scenarios also unfolded at other banks, including Countrywide Financial, now owned by Bank of America, which are also the targets of lawsuits.

"The majority of the banks are requiring people to fall behind before they can get a loan mod," attorney Piotr Reysner of Reysner Law Office in Sacramento, told HousingWatch. "It puts people in a very difficult position."