Gaslighting Pays: SAFECO/PROTECH SCAM

The independent inspector submitted a report to Safeco that was over 23 pages long. They came back with their position that I was only owed $6500 and that I could probably get that money from Protech if I signed a release.

No mention of the missing warranties. No mention of the fact that there are code violations that Protech is responsible for creating. No noting of the fact that I reported incomplete and faulty workmanship; Safeco’s Kent Stiles paid Protech in a hurry from an estimate that was later swapped for another equally inaccurate version that was given to the independent inspector.

In all this time (2 years), shouldn’t there be a final bill, final invoice? Nothing final, prices changing. No warranties, no permits, no instruction manuals especially for the fire sprinklers. The house is torquing. Every day there is another glitch showing.

Neither Safeco nor Protech are trustworthy companies.

BEWARE!

Why Safeco and Protech are Fired: Insurance/Contractor Scam

Moment2In conversation with the State Contractors License Board, I learned that the relationship between a contractor and insurance adjuster is private, that no one is privy to what goes on during the claims process between them. This characteristic of the claims process works against the consumer, as I am a living example.

Protech did everything to make the outside of the building look good, but it is deteriorating before my eyes. They provided no invoices, receipts, warranties, or any other documentation to go with the objects installed in this house. There are fire sprinklers in here about which  I have no clue.

The floors are allegedly oak hardwood. I was told to choose laminate because hardwood was too expensive and I had to be mindful of my budget. I never could get a number figure as to how much was in my budget, but found out later that there was $80K remaining in the account. This was paid out to Protech in a mad rush, in the midst of dispute, with the work undone. They didn’t have time to vent the house, the electrical needs rewiring. There are two vent-free, infrared heaters in here somewhere, but I see only a gas heater.

My kitchen is set up in such a way as to prevent my safe use of the stove. Gas lines installed where they are unneeded. I have not had full access to my kitchen for 5 months. Kitchen cabinets were only installed last week, yet they were listed as items bought and paid for on the estimate presented to Safeco for payment. Everything completely unverified, yet paid for, in full. Astonishing.

Frames were not removed, but left to rot underground. The water filter, connected only to the hot water even though it was billed as a whole house filter, had no filter in the canister. The contractor locked the tool in between pipes and told me he couldn’t remove it without turning off the gas. He stuck with this lie for weeks, then came and freed the tool without turning off the gas. Next, he tried to stop us from looking at the filter by saying there was no need to open the canister. Nevertheless, my son opened the canister and this is when we saw there was no filter in it.

The fencing is poorly done and every metal thing on the place, including the security door and the fencing is of poor quality, no comparison to what existed here before. I had hardwood floors, recessed lighting, the most beautiful and pollinator-inviting yard you ever saw. Protech destroyed it and left this cheap junk in place of my handbuilt, 1923 Rambler.

I suspect none of the appliances installed are new. Everything with a date on it comes from 2015. There are no invoices or receipts to prove differently. This house was built as a flip house. This is business?

The Longest Year

The longest year has actually lasted 18 months and then some. It all started on Earth Day, 2016, when my mom (of blessed memory) laid a tree limb on top of my home. I was sitting in the house, in the bedroom, near Mom’s sewing corner. I heard the limb crack and waited for the whoosh that follows the falling limb when it falls from a height. This time, there was no whoosh, only a thud as the mighty limb laid itself down on my roof and across the two adjacent on the east side of my home.

I dashed outta there like a house afire and immediately called my insurance company, Safeco. It took them more than a week to respond.  The first adjuster was corrupted by MGC Mortgage, the mortgage servicing company that has claimed to hold a mortgage on my property since 2003. Actually, Beal Bank made that claim. I never heard of Beal Bank until probate closed and they started sending me threats to sell my property without notice because they held a Trust Deed.

How do you fight a bank that claims to hold a Trust Deed on your property that was never mentioned in probate? In fact, no claims were made against my mother’s estate, and the only concern of the Court was whether or not I had paid the property taxes. MGC Mortgage paid the property taxes once they were raised too high for me to pay. They opened up an escrow account to gain access to my property when they had no right to do so because they really did not possess a Trust Deed. But the threats were real enough, so I went to a bankruptcy attorney because bankruptcy is the only way to stop a foreclosure, or so I was told.

About six months into this bk, I received payment for the repair of my home. I told my attorney, took him the first check and told him another would follow soon. He copied the check and told me to mail it to MGC, as their name was on the check because they claimed to be a lienholder. Then, the attorney allowed MGC Mortgage and Beal Bank to take the money without putting it into a draw account so that the repairs to my home could commence. Several months later I discovered my attorney never submitted the payment information to the Court, who sent me notice of dismissal for failure to make payments. I wrote the Court directly to tell them I had paid, dearly, and did not understand why the Court was unaware of the payments. MGC Mortgage/Beal Bank corrupted my attorney. He kept the bankruptcy open to collect his fees. I objected, told the Court my story, and his fees were denied, the bankruptcy dismissed.

By this time, my insurance company had moved me to longterm temporary housing. I was only supposed to be there about six months. Turns out I was there 18 months. Nothing recommends living at the beach if you seek quiet. I was housed next door to a senior assisted living facility. The sirens blare two, three times a day and night. Very disturbing and disheartening for me, the living. The apartment itself was 1970s stock, poorly insulated, dusty, dirty in that deep-down dirty that comes of years of use without serious upgrade. Way too much money was paid to house me in that space, but as I am not the moving kind, I sucked it up and stayed. I remained inside for the majority of time I was there. I could go onto the balcony to look at the sea, but there was not much to inspire a need to go out and walk amongst the smokers, the homeless, the stuck-up rich folks, or the neverending dogs. These people are so dog happy they bring the beasts into markets, put them in shopping carts and on check-out counters, and nary a word is said to them. What happened to the law? None of these pocket pooches were service dogs, but employees of the stores are forbidden to even ask if a dog is a service animal. No concern for people allergic to dogs, no protection in the places we have to purchase our food. You are welcome to the beach and the inconsiderate, snotty wankers who live there. (To be fair, I did get to know a few of the people in the complex in which I was housed. They were kind, kept to themselves, and were remotely friendly.)

What I am doing here is writing out my rage. About three months ago, I asked my current insurance claim adjuster about the funds in my account. Nearly $50K was stolen. She told me she would give me the info once she was back in the office, and then proceeded to say nothing for two months. Instead of answering my question, she gave me a final extension on my housing and told me my home was ready for me to move into. When I arrived at my address, I found a mound of dirt in the front yard, a mound of dirt and an open trench in the back yard, a palette for a porch and plywood steps leading into my “brand new house.” My 31 year-old, full of fruit, lemon tree was cut down to accommodate a driveway. A garage had been crammed into a space for which it was never meant to be as my lot is angled in the back, a fact the drafter of the plans failed to take into account. The garage is too close to the house and the driveway is also too close to the house. Had the angle of my lot been accounted for, the garage could have been placed in the front, and my lemon tree, all of my flora could have been saved. My yard has been denuded because of an error that occurred at the beginning of this process. To add insult to this massive injury, the County of Los Angeles wants to add foreign trees to my front yard because they are on the plans. The plans also feature a back door, but I am not allowed to have that. My house resembles a coffin and I quite hate it.

I sent video of the condition of the site to Safeco. My adjuster’s supervisor was out; she knew he would be. Finally, after calling for help all morning, on Shabbos, I was connected with her supervisor’s supervisor. She arranged for an extension of housing, but that would require me to go back to the beach. That had become untenable. So, now I am back in short-term housing at the Residence Inn. And I still have gotten no information about the funds remaining to complete the project. I feel like I am being managed, and that I am being forced to return to the coffin before all work is completed.

I want my adjuster fired, like the first one was. I wonder if Safeco has any agents I can trust. I am absolutely furious about the gaslighting and abuse I have experienced over this, the longest year of my life. Hope I survive.

 

 

 

BEAL BANK RESEARCHES MY CLAIM

I have now received two acknowledgement letters from Beal Bank. All sorts of acknowledgement, but none of my cash.

Gaslighted for more than ten years, made to pay a mortgage I did not owe nor own. Wrongfully foreclosed against my property. Forced me into bankruptcy. I believe they bribed/threatened/paid off my bk attorney because he let Beal Bank’s claims go unchallenged, up to and including when they stole my homeowner’s insurance claim funds, cloaked the theft under the cover of a nonexistent Estate, and provided no accounting and no prommissory note plus original Trust Deed.

The Last Word

Brad Weil had me bring the check in to copy it as I told him when I received the check that it was made out to me and MGC Mortgage. I told him they were likely to take all of the money when they were supposed to put it into a draw account. I also told him at that meeting that another check was coming, all of this prior to the confirmation hearing. I told him that I had to sign the check and send it to Beal Bank. He provided the address that I used to send the funds. He did not tell me that he was going to allow them to take the funds to pay off the Trust Deed they claimed to possess. I did not choose to use the proceeds to pay off the mortgage. I could not do that. That is illegal. Insurance funds must be used for repairs.

Shortly after meeting with Brad Weil in his office, after the funds had been taken, I received a remainder check from MGC Mortgage addressed to the Estate of Bessie Turner. Brad Weil told me to sign the check as the executor of my mother’s estate and cash it. I refused to do so because the Estate had been closed for over a year as I informed Brad Weil. The property was awarded to me in Probate. MGC Mortgage/Beal Bank was the only creditor involved in the Probate, and they made no claim against the Estate, but submitted documents to Bankruptcy Court made to look as if they were filed against the Estate. I called Beal Bank, told them Brad Weil did not represent me, and could I be sent a check for the remainder in my name as I am the owner of the property. A check was then sent to me in my name.

Brad Weil was most perturbed that I wrote a letter to the Bankruptcy Court stating that he did not represent me and that if my case was to be dismissed, it should be dismissed because the Bank had been paid off before the confirmation hearing and not because of missed payments. If I had remained silent, none of this would have come to light and Brad Weil would be satisfied with the payment he received and the case dismissed. Brad Weil told me I didn’t have to write to the court because they were going to dismiss my case anyway.

So, I will follow up with the Bar. When I came to Brad Weil the secon time it was because I was duped by Westfield Law Group, scam artists. He promptly gave me a complaint form to the Bar. I wonder why he would want to do less in this case. Brad Weil and the Law Offices of Les Zieve, counsel for Beal Bank seem to have been working together. I certainly see no evidence that I was his priority as a client. And I will again write the Bankruptcy Court to provide more detail about Brad Weil’s failed representation of my interests and to pray for dismissal on the grounds of possible malfeasance.

I do not have an answer for why I received no itemized statement of how the funds were used, likely because explanation of the use of insurance funds to pay a mortgage would be difficult.

I do not have an answer for the change of reason for foreclosure from Trust Deed to Mortgage after the funds were misappropriated.

I do now understand why Ms Aceves seemed genuinely confused about a payment I made. She repeatedly asked me what the payment was for. I told her Brad Weil told me to pay him the amount. For what? I don’t know. Fees?

One last thing. About a month after the tree fell on my home, I received notification from my insurance company that my policy was in danger of being cancelled because of nonpayment of premium. This was peculiar as I had my payments automatically deducted directly from my bank account. Beal Bank through MGC Mortgage changed my insurance, stating they had an escrow account and would be responsible for the bill. Then, they failed to pay the bill. I was displaced from my home, unable to live in it as it was red-tagged. Had I picked up my mail any later, I would have been without any insurance coverage and would have lost my home to scheming tricks. I told Brad Weil of this incident. He did nothing. I have to know that his inaction, failure to do due diligence, was correct.

I was guilty of providing Brad Weil with information of which he seemed unaware. I told him I could not get a HELOC as long as I was in bankruptcy, that if Beal Bank was going to take all of my funds, they would be paid off before the confirmation and then I would have to wait 30 days for the dismissal to show on my credit report. Then, I could reapply for the HELOC. When I left his office that day, I thought he was going to apply for dismissal, but he confirmed the bankruptcy after the sole reason for me being in bankruptcy was removed, then waited six months for the soft dismissal for missed payments to come about. For the record, I have not returned to my bank to request a HELOC as Brad Weil suggested in his first response. That would make no sense as I was still in bankruptcy. Brad Weil never mentioned having the Court help me get a HELOC, no mention of all this refinancing. Brad Weil, at that point, had no idea what I was going to do to get my home repaired, but I should continue making plan payments.

I provided him with an article about Beal Bank’s predatory ways regarding 15 people who also suffered wrongful foreclosures. Beal Bank preys on particular demographics: single women, elderly, disabled, low-income, in particular zip codes. He would not read it. I showed him Probate documents that stated no claims were filed against the Estate. He disregarded them. No matter how many times I told him of my abuse at the hands of Beal Bank, he did nothing, except tell me to continue making plan payments until he told me I could stop paying anytime once Beal Bank took my insurance funds.

 

Sincerely,

Subject: FINAL RESPONSE from Law Offices of Brad Weil- BCA Complaint 98810870

“The company states they never saw the money and advised her to sign the insurance check as the executor of her mother’s estate to Beal Bank as payment to apply towards the mortgage loan. She used the proceeds to pay off her home due to the foreclosure. All the company did was advise her with what to do. She can refinance the property while in bankruptcy if she would talk to the company and let them help her, but she will not talk to them. Brad Weil is trying to do everything he can to assist her. He would prefer that the customer contact him and not file a claim with BAR.  The BAR will dismiss the case if the customer does not make the payments. If the customer would like to obtain refinancing, the company can file a motion to approve the refinancing by the Bankruptcy Court. The company is unsure if the customer wants the bankruptcy dismissed  altogether. If she dismisses it, she will owe the fees in a lump sum instead of paying for it monthly. She is scheduled to be in the bankruptcy until December 2018.  If the customer would like assistance with the refinancing please contact the company for a referral and other assistance.”

Cordially,


Subject: Re: Response from Law Offices of Brad Weil- BCA Complaint 98810870

The longer I think about this matter, the more I think it should be reported to the California Bar Association. I should not have to seek outside financing of the repairs to my home. The insurance proceeds were wrongfully appropriated, just as my property was subject to wrongful foreclosure and Brad Weil aided and abetted counsel for Beal Bank in that endeavor.

Sincere regardss,

24 February 2017

 

Our office received the following response from the Law Offices of Brad Weil. Please let us know if you would like to provide a rebuttal.

RESPONSE:

“Vanesa Hamilton hired my office to represent her in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure sale of her home.  That case had bankruptcy case number 2:15-bk-25997-NB and was filed the day before the foreclosure sale of her home located at 2057 E. Lucien St., Compton CA 90222.  Ms. Hamilton did not appear at her required 341 meeting of creditors and that case was dismissed.  At that point she was not longer a client.  She contacted our office again (due to the pending foreclosure) and complained that the plan payment we put her in was too high and that is why she did not show up at the hearing because she could not make the payment required of her.  I informed her that if she had contacted us sooner we could have worked something our and amended her plan to lower the payment.  My paralegal (Vanessa Aceves) did not want to take her back as a client because we had not been paid on her previous case.  Ms. Hamilton and I came to an agreement that she would make payments on the first case (some of which she did but not all) and I would file a second case. 

 

The Second case was assigned case number 2:15-bk-29035-SK.  This case Ms Hamilton wanted us to file an objection to the mortgage company’s proof of claim and oppose the mortgage company’s Motion for relief from the automatic stay (which require extra fees to be charged to her plan).  We did that work and filed a fee application which was approved.  The plan was confirmed.  During that process Ms. Hamilton suffered a tree falling on her house during a wind storm.  The insurance company paid the mortgage in full then issued a refund check to Ms. Hamilton, however due to the fact that she inherited the home they issued it to the executor of her mother’s estate (which she had a problem with).  At some point shortly after the confirmation Ms. Hamilton stopped making her plan payments.  My office filed a motion to modify her plan which was granted.  Ms. Hamilton is supposed to resume her bankruptcy plan payments in March.  It seems she has stopped  communicating with my office and has chosen instead to file a complaint with your organization.  From what I gather she wants to refinance but is having a hard time doing that while in bankruptcy.  There is a way to refinance while in bankruptcy and if she would communicate her wishes to my office I could help her accomplish that.  At this point I have no communication from Ms. Hamilton except the complaint she submitted to your organization.”

Beal Bank (Real/Real)

In 2014, Beal Bank (6000 Legacy Drive, Plano TX, 75024 469.467.5000) foreclosed against my home via a Trust Deed.

They have been paid off through their affiliate, MGC Mortgage/Dovenmuehle Bank (Dovenmuehe Mortgage Inc, 1 Corporate Dr., Lake Zurich IL, 60047 No working phone number).

After paying off a Trust Deed, children, the original instrument should be returned to the legal owner of the property.

Beal Bank has not returned my Trust Deed. The Bank seems unaware that it foreclosed on my property. Zieve Law (30 Corporate Park, #450, Irvine CA, 92606 714.848.7920) placed a lien on my property, but there was no Trust Deed, else probate judge would have informed me of its presence.

Language has been changed in documents submitted to BK court to no longer reflect payoff of a Trust Deed, but payoff of a mortgage. However, foreclosure documents state there is a Trust Deed.

Where, oh where can my Trust Deed be? I do not want my son to have to live through this nightmare.

 

What Have I Learned? (Real/REAl)

It really does matter when you file probate, as opposed to the disingenuous response given me by Beal Bank that no matter when probate is filed, it makes no difference.

Well, bugger that. Had I filed probate immediately after my mother’s death, I would not have incurred the huge tax bill that I did when I filed change of ownership paperwork, on the advice of MGC Mortgage, Inc. aka Beal Bank, before I filed probate. When I could not pay the greatly inflated taxes, MGC was able to open an escrow account and get one tentacle around my home.

Now that probate has closed and the tax assessor knows who is the owner of the property, the reappraisal that was triggered will be eliminated and I am due a significant refund. This I will report to the FDIC, not that I expect the information to be of any use to me, but perhaps others who have dealings with Beal Bank have had this experience. I continue to believe Beal Bank is due for a serious audit, but I know it will not happen in our current corporate-supportive context.

I think the advice to file change of ownership docs constitutes giving legal advice, just as advising me about probate would be considered giving legal advice. There seems to be no way to beat a bank, no matter how crooked and corrupt it may be.

The law needs to serve the people. The law needs to be accessible to the people.

When are we going wake up to our diminishing rights and representation by those who have sworn to serve us?