Found via Naked Capitalism.
In March 2000, Norman and Oriane Rousseau put 30 percent down to buy a house at 580 Wilshire Place, Newbury Park, CA. In the following years they were solicited to refinance their loan. In October 2007 they met with the loan officer and “stated that they were only interested in obtaining a conventional 30-year, fixed-rate loan, and explained their desire to have consistent payments over the life of the loan.”
They were “assured … that they could significantly reduce their monthly payments, by more than $600 per month, with a lower interest refinance loan.” The bank assured them that the Payment Option ARM was “the new industry standard” that had “historically low rates that were continuing to decrease” and in “the worst case scenario [they were] assured that historical data for the index indicated that changes in interest rate were slight, and if an increase should occur it would have a negligible effect on their monthly payments of no more than a few dollars.”
In May 2009 the bank claimed the couple had missed their April payment. They proved they had made a payment in person at the bank, using a cashier’s check and that the check had been cashed by the bank. The bank then claimed they had ordered a stop payment on the check, even though a cashier’s check payment cannot be stopped.
The runaround began. The bank began harassing them for payment, sometimes as many as six-eight calls per day, sometimes even late at night. On August 3, 2009 the bank claimed the Rousseaus hadn’t paid June or July’s payments either, demanding $3,406.50. But then on August 8 the bank assured them they were current on payments. Then the bank again claimed it had not been paid and that the bank had been trying to contact them without success, and that they now owed $3,478,25.
The Rousseaus hired a lawyer. From the lawyer the Rousseaus learned that the loan they received was not the loan they were promised, including, “the 7.2% interest rate for the … loan was actually higher than the 2006 loan and greater than the 6.8% quoted,” had enormous fees, and the bank had increased the income the Rousseau had stated, from $76,000 to $136,800.