Thursday, May 24, 2012
Widow sues Wells Fargo over wrongful foreclosure that took devastating toll
Oriane Rousseau says husband Norman’s suicide was a result of the bank kicking off a process from which they couldn’t escape
For Oriane and Norman Rousseau, their hopes of keeping the modest California house that had been their dream home ended with a loud noise while Oriane was in the kitchen.
She rushed to the bedroom, unsure of what had happened. But when the part-time nurse smelled sulphur, she understood. Opening the door Oriane saw her husband on the bed with his head wrapped in a blanket. “I saw blood on the wall. I lifted up the comforter a little and then I lost it,” Oriane told the Guardian in an interview.
Norman’s suicide on May 13 was the worst possible end for the Rousseau’s nightmarish experience of America’s foreclosure crisis. But it was a long, surreal and twisted journey to get there. It began in May 2009, when Wachovia, now part of Wells Fargo, told the Rousseaus they had missed a mortgage payment on their home in Newbury Park, an hour outside Los Angeles.
Even though the Rousseaus had made the payment – and had the receipt to prove it – that kicked off a foreclosure process they were never able to escape, battling against the seemingly careless bureaucracy of a major American bank that eventually took their home.