Grand Prairie, TX- The widow of a Texas minister has filed a lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase alleging that they caused her husband’s death when they foreclosed on their home.
In the lawsuit, Wanda Jo Engel’s alleges that the bank’s wrongful foreclosure and eviction created so much stress on her husband, Henry Engel, a retired minister, that he had a heart attack, and evicted her days after his death. Her family is suing the bank for wrongful death, wrongful foreclosure, trespass, gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The Engels paid their mortgage for 22 years, but when the bank sent them an offer to refinance their home for a lower monthly payment they jumped at the chance since they lived in a fixed income.
When the family went to a Chase branch, an employee told them to “miss a payment.” They followed the bank employee’s instructions, but received a letter stating their application for a loan modification was denied, and the bank was foreclosing their home. The Engel’s were then notified that they were being evicted.
Before a homeowner decides to default on a loan, they should meet with a foreclosure attorney to see if they are eligible for a mortgage modification.
After being notified of eviction Mr. Engel just collapsed in a chair one day where he died of a heart attack. Mrs. Engel says that the stress of the foreclosure changed his outlook and he became despondent.
The economic impact of a foreclosure is apparent, but people often fail to recognize the emotional toll this takes. When at all possible, homeowners should try to stop foreclosure. There are alternatives such, but determining the right course of action takes the legal expertise of a foreclosure lawyer.
If a homeowner chooses to fight for their home, their foreclosure attorney will be by their side during the entire process.