Jefferson County 58th district court Judge Bob Wortham sanctioned Bank of America to pay 47-year-old Fannett resident Trudie Crutchfield $300,000 after a lawsuit has gone unsettled for 5 years.
Crutchfield says the "nightmare" of three court cases against big banks started after Hurricane Ike in 2005. Her then mortgage company, Countrywide Home Loans sent her a letter saying she didn't have to pay her mortgage for three months so she could get back on her feet after the hurricane damaged her home, meaning no late fees, no penalties, and no reports to credit bureaus.
After the three months Countrywide sent her a letter saying there was late fees, she owed the 3 months mortgage up front, and the three months of missed payments affected her credit. That's when Crutchfield found Beaumont attorney Wayne Snider to represent her.
After court case number one against Countrywide, there was a settlement. Crutchfield continued to pay Countrywide her mortgage on time but Countrywide said she no longer had a loan with them.
Then Bank of America bought Countrywide and started harassing Crutchfield for payment. She filed a lawsuit after she received a foreclosure notice near the holidays in 2008 and won but since she never received settlement.
In the third go around today, Snider says Wortham said Bank of America had taken advantage of the justice system.
"You go through the happy because it's finally finished...but it's at the point you say I want to see something now," said Crutchfield.