Adding new uncertainty in the state’s ongoing mortgage crisis, a Texas company is aggressively pursuing hundreds of Californians to collect second-mortgage debt – on homes they’ve already lost through foreclosure.
Many of these former homeowners believed their mortgage debt had been erased after their houses were taken by banks and lending companies. But the Texas company, Heritage Pacific Financial, has aggressively pursued collections and filed lawsuits claiming those debts still linger.
For Ahmed Abdelfattah of San Jose, debt collectors started calling in 2009, saying he owed Heritage Pacific $135,000. He said he’d never heard of the company before.
“It’s been a nightmare,” Abdelfattah said. “It’s cost me money and time, and they ruined my credit until now.”
Oscar Trejo said his first encounter came a few days before he expected to exit bankruptcy and get a fresh financial start. That was in November 2010, he said. Heritage Pacific sent Trejo, who also lives in San Jose, a letter saying it had asked a bankruptcy judge not to discharge, or erase, its $88,800 claim against him.
Trejo invested in properties in Merced and later lost them all in foreclosures. But he hadn’t done business with Heritage Pacific. “I had never seen the company’s name,” he said.