Judge gives family until Nov. 5 to get out of foreclosure

The Associated Press
Wednesday October 23, 2002

SANTA ANA — A Superior Court judge gave a Yorba Linda family until Nov. 5 to get their $650,000 home out of foreclosure, a house they nearly lost when they came up $51.56 short on a monthly mortgage payment. 

Clara and Francisco Alonso have reached an agreement with Washington Mutual that will allow their family to stay in the home, their attorney said. 

Judge James P. Gray granted a tentative preliminary injunction Tuesday setting aside the sale of their foreclosed home. 

Under terms of the agreement, Washington Mutual bought the home back for an undisclosed sum from the real estate speculator who bought it for $200,000 under market value. 

“It’s bittersweet,” said a weeping Clara Alonso outside court. “We’re happy a judge has (administered) justice, but we’re unhappy this happened to us.” 

In a statement issued after the ruling, the bank said it was happy the situation was resolved. 

“(We) would not foreclose on a home simply over a $50 discrepancy. And we haven’t done so with the Alonsos. A foreclosure is a last resort and only happens after every other means of obtaining repayment has been tried,” Washington Mutual said. 

“Having said that, we realize how frustrating this has been and we are pleased that we have reached an agreement.” 

The bank foreclosed and sold the home after Clara Alonso wrote a check for $51.56 less than her $3,994.89 monthly mortgage payment. She said a bank teller gave her the wrong figure. 

Alonso and her husband bought the five-bedroom home with its back yard and swimming pool for $377,000 in 1993 and lived there with their 8- and 20-year-old daughters and their dog, Rocky. 

Earlier this year they ran into financial problems and fell behind in their monthly mortgage payments on the home, which is now worth $650,000.