A Jefferson County woman has filed suit against her mortgage company, alleging they reneged on their promise to help her with her home equity payments after her husband died. 

Dorothy Smith claims she and her husband, James Smith, paid for their home on East Lucas Drive in Beaumont in full in 2005.

In March 2005, the Smiths elected to take out a home equity loan through H&R Block. The loan was eventually transferred to Wells Fargo, according to the complaint filed Feb. 27 in Jefferson County District Court.

For more than six years, the Smiths timely made their mortgage payments until James Smith suddenly fell ill. The couple attempted to modify their loan agreement with defendant Wells Fargo, saying they were struggling to make mortgage payments because of James Smith’s increasing medical needs, the suit states.

Wells Fargo agreed to modify the loan agreement, but have made the process difficult for Dorothy Smith, the complaint says.

“At every turn, defendant is requesting that plaintiffs fill out or submit a new form (even though the forms have already been filled out and submitted to defendant),” the suit states. “Plaintiffs have completed several applications for the modification only to be instructed that they will need to submit additional documentation or that the documentation was not completed correctly.”

After being bounced from one Wells Fargo representative to another, Dorothy Smith claims she discovered that the company never intended to modify their note. Wells Fargo foreclosed on her home in 2012, accusing Dorothy Smith of discontinuing payments while the bank processed the necessary paperwork, according to the complaint.

“Based on defendants misrepresentations that ‘they wanted to work with them to keep them in their house’ and that a modification ‘could be performed’ to achieve that result, plaintiffs attempted in good faith to negotiate with defendant,” the suit states. “Evidently, this course was not the path that defendant intended to proceed down, as only a short time later, plaintiffs’ house is being foreclosed on."

In her complaint, Dorothy Smith alleges breach of contract and misrepresentation against the defendants.

She is asking the court to vacate the order to foreclose on her home and to order Wells Fargo to continue with the modification proceedings. She is also seeking attorney’s fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

John Pat Parsons of Lindsay, Lindsay and Parsons in Beaumont will be representing her.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Case No. A194-012

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