On Wednesday, a show cause hearing was scheduled to be heard in a foreclosure action by Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac against Rochester resident Leonard Spears before Monroe County Supreme Court Judge Elma A. Bellini.
However, in the absence of a Wells Fargo attorney representative, the show cause hearing was postponed until Aug. 1.
“This is becoming an issue,” Judge Bellini said before rescheduling the matter. “People are trying to save their houses and the banks aren’t showing up.”
Spears’ attorney David Stern said a late response from Wells Fargo’s attorney Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates PC claimed although the firm did receive Judge Bellini’s signed order to show cause, they did not receive all the supporting documents regarding the hearing.
Spears eviction notice and the bank’s entire case against him is stayed until the show cause hearing is held.
Spears tried repeatedly to get a loan modification from Wells Fargo and pay some of the money he owed before foreclosure proceedings began on his home at 26 Ries St. in Rochester in November 2011. Now, Spears said his best hope for keeping his home is with his attorneys and in court.
“It’s time for the judge to make a decision,” he said.
Spears said he was hurt in the course of his employment and was waiting for disability payments when he fell behind on his mortgage payments.
The summons and complaint in the foreclosure action did not accurately describe Spears, and Spears said he was never served with a summons and complaint. An affidavit of service was filed in court by Class Action LLC, which also had an inaccurate description. In addition, Wells Fargo sold the mortgage note to Freddie Mac after foreclosure proceedings began.
The law firm of Steven J. Baum PC in Amherst originally represented Wells Fargo before the firm was dismissed by the bank and Freddie Mac.
“This is symptomatic of the problem,” said Agostino Coccia, who is working on Spears case with Stern. “They aren’t able to keep up with the case. They could have contacted us a month ago to say they didn’t receive the documents. When lenders used to be in town, their attorneys showed up in court to make sure things worked smoothly. Obviously, they’re overworked.”
Coccia said Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates raised “some general defenses” in their response, which he said weren’t very specific.
“They absolutely acknowledged they had received the time and date of the hearing but claimed they didn’t know what we were asking for,” Coccia said.
A spokesman for Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates did not respond in time for this article. The firm has taken over some of the Baum firm’s foreclosure cases. The firm’s main office is in Plainview but has a regional branch office in Batavia.
“This is an example of how banks aren’t working with people,” said Ryan Acuff, a spokesman for Take Back the Land, a community group concerned with foreclosure process abuse. “He’s got the support of the community and I think he has a good chance to keep his home.