At the beginning of 2012, Luis Valenzuela was working two jobs trying to make a living. As with millions of Americans, in February 2012, Luis was confronted with his Home Depot employment hours being slashed, and then he was let go entirely. He lost half his income. That left Luis with just one job for the City of Duarte, where he also lived in the family home his parents had purchased in 1969.
Luis’ parents were Antonio Valenzuela and Lena (Cardona) Valenzuela. Antonio worked for 40 years as a caretaker of the former Woolwine Estates, an avocado ranch that was located in what is now Bradbury. Although their seven children kept Lena very busy, she always found time to volunteer in her community, donating her time to the Duarte Community Service Council, the Duarte Student Attendance Review Board, the Duarte chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the United Way, and Neighborhood Watch. During the holidays, Antonio and Lena would load the back of their truck with baskets and deliver them to needy families in the community. After her death, the Lena Valenzuela Park was dedicated in her memory to honor her years of selfless service to the underprivileged of Duarte. Mayor Phillip Reyes said of Lena Valenzuela that “[s]he was a peaceful warrior who left a long legacy of serving children, the poor and underserved. Her dedication and commitment to community is a model for us to replicate.”
After his parents’ death, Louis took over the family home. He was trying to pay off a $50,000 loan his parents had taken out when they were still alive in 1991, but it became increasingly difficult with only one job remaining. He immediately contacted his lender, Everhome Mortgage Company, regarding his employment predicament and to explore solutions. His family had been paying interest at a minimum rate of 9.5% for 11 years, but instead of cooperation from Everhome, Luis received lies and misinformation and ultimately, his home was sold out from under him with seemingly blatant, unabashed disregard for California law. According to the California Secretary of State, Everhome Mortgage Company, a Florida corporation, has surrendered its California status and is unauthorized to conduct business in the State of California.
In recent years, California legislators have passed laws to protect the state’s homeowners in light of the foreclosure crisis created by the greed and the dishonest practices of mortgage companies. These laws require lenders to comply with procedural requirements and to deal fairly with homeowners in order to avoid foreclosures. Unfortunately, many lenders fail to comply with California’s laws and wrongfully take homes without following proper procedure, as in Luis’ case.
Luis made multiple attempts to reinstate the loan, but Everhome refused to accept payment from him. Luis continued to try to work with Everhome and diligently completed their applications and complied with all their document requests. He was repeatedly told that his home would not be sold. Everhome told him not to get an attorney with continued reassurances that his application was under review. Luis did everything humanly possible to stop the sale of his home but Everhome was not going to stop until they took his home and sold it on November 7, 2012. Luis then desperately turned to the Pasadena law firm of Hindoyan, Philips & Ulloa, APC, to try to seek some justice and save his home.
At the time of sale, Luis owed approximately $37,000.00, while the home was valued at around $441,000.00. Luis’ attorneys have filed a lawsuit alleging that Everhome fraudulently sold the home to an investment company, TBB Valley Investments, for only $309,000.00. Since the sale, TBB’s representatives have continually harassed Luis and his tenants, who have two small children, without legal basis. Just days before Thanksgiving, TBB would like to see Luis and his tenants on the street. It is no surprise that Luis has lost significant weight and can’t eat or sleep from the severe emotional distress caused be yet another shocking example of corporate greed.
For more information about this case, please contact Adela Ulloa at (626) 737-1458 or firstname.lastname@example.org.