After Helping Woman, Baptist Ministers Named in Reverse Mortgage Lawsuit

hourlogo.jpgTwo Baptist Ministers are engaged in a financial dispute with Wells Fargo after they took out a reverse mortgage to help a 86-year-old Sallie Woods live comfortably in her final days says the Hour.

“I don’t have a personal stake in this,” said Reverend Dr. Jeffrey Ingraham. “My intent was to get Ms. Woods into her home. Through goodwill, I ended up in the mix.”

Rev. Nellie Mann, who was Wood’s longtime neighbor, fought to get the elderly woman out of the Health Center and home to live out her final days. Mann influenced Ingraham to help in the legal battle to help Woods. “A lot of people went through a lot of trouble to get Sallie Woods home for her final days,” said Ingraham’s Norwalk-based attorney Larry Church.

According to the the article, Mann and Ingraham became conservators of the estate in the fall of 2007 in order to take the necessary legal steps to get Woods in her home. They succeeded, and Woods was allowed to return home in January 2008 but not before her conservators jumped through a few legal hurdles. “Conservators have the legal authority to act as if they were Sallie Woods so long as they do what’s in her best interest,” Church said.

A probate court judge ruled that Woods’ home needed repair work costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and obtaining a reverse mortgage allowed them to make the repairs.

Both ministers and Woods’ granddaughter Dana Wilson signed for the reverse mortgage. Ingraham and Mann claim they signed the financial document with the understanding that their financial liability would end once their conservatorship ended. Church said the legal obligation of a conservator dies once the conserved person dies.

After Woods died, the $525,000 had to be paid in full as per the agreement between the bank and the persons taking out the loan, but the bank hasn’t received a single payment, the lawsuit claims.

Mann and Ingraham are among six defendants named in the lawsuit. Wilson and Thelma Haywood, the person who is currently responsible for Woods’ estate, along with Marathon Healthcare Center of Norwalk and the U.S. Secretary Housing and Urban Development are also named in the complex lawsuit.

Church said the executrix, Thelma Haywood, is financially responsible for the estate after Woods’ death, but the bank found various ways to incorporate multiple defendants in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that the bank loaned the money with the understanding that Mann and Ingraham had probate court approval to obtain the loan. Wells Fargo believes that Mann and Ingraham had the court’s permission to apply for the loan but went beyond their legal authority as conservators when they actually obtained the loan.

According to the article, the people who are responsible for the estate have yet to leave the house and it sounds like they’re responsible for the lawsuit.

Lawsuit puts two reverends on the hook for mortgage

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