Diane trusted Victor to refinance her home. After all, Victor was her brother. Victor had refinanced her home and their mother’s home on multiple occasions. Diane had no reason to mistrust her brother. So, on February 12, 2009, when Victor told Diane that his company called “Equity Savers” would “save” her home by a loan modification, she trusted him.
Victor told his sister that he, and Francisco, through their company, Equity Savers, would purchase Diane’s home and then enter into a one-year lease with her. Diane paid her brother $3,605.00, which he said was payment for the first and last month’s rent. Victor promised that after a year he would sell the home back to Diane for $230,000.00. Victor also represented that $10,000.00 would be credited to be used as a down payment. Victor advised his sister to stop making payments to the mortgage company so that the purchase would be easier.
On November 20, 2009, Victor’s partner, Orozco visited Diane at her home and changed the terms of the agreement to repurchase the property for the sum of $350,000.00 and that they would finance the loan at Eight (8%) percent. Diane signed the agreement without knowing that on September 30, 2009, the bank had already taken back the home through foreclosure. Her brother knew or should have known that Diane no longer owned her home at the time of the agreement because she shared all the letters and notices that came from the bank. On each occasion Victor told Diane not to worry because this was part of the purchase process of his company.
Diane and her husband, Eduardo, did not know that their home was owned by her bank until she met her attorney, Andrew H. Griffin, III of the Law Office of Andrew H. Griffin, III. On June 22, 2010, Griffin filed a lawsuit action against Victor and others in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego. The case took almost two years to complete. On January 27, 2012, Superior Court Judge, Timothy Taylor, granted a judgment against Victor and in favor of Diane and her husband in the amount of $150,000.00 and in the amount of $950.00 for the total judgment in the sum of $150,950.00.
Victor filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 on March 17, 2011, but did not list the debt to Diane in his Bankruptcy Petition. Victor received a discharge on or about September 26, 2011. The Case was closed on October 14, 2011. On July 5, 2012, Griffin, received a letter informing him of the bankruptcy petition asserting that Victor no longer had the obligation to pay Diane. As a result, Griffin filed an Adversary Complaint against Victor to determine whether the judgment based in fraud would still have to be paid. On September 30, 2013, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Wayne Johnson, signed a judgment stating that the State Court judgment of $150,950.00 was a debt based upon fraud and was not excluded from the debts discharged in Victor’s Bankruptcy.
Victor is still obligated to pay his sister $150,950.00, but the relationship between bother and sister and the entire family will forever be changed.