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13259se 245 st
kent wa 98042
kent, WA 98042
Ph. 253-639-8494
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Former Citigroup CEO and 18 Board Members Beneficiaries of Washington Homeowner Malaia Balinbin Quit Claim

For Immediate Release

KENT, Wash./EWORLDWIRE/May 29, 2013 --- Years have passed since homeowner Malaya Balinbin first began her fight with City Financial Mortgage, holder of her home mortgage, and even longer since the mortgage industry was being investigated for deceitful practices in refinancing. Now Balinbin has secured quit claims in the names of various contacts in her battle - people who, if they did a little research, would see they have now been foreclosed upon.

It was in August 2012 that Balinbin initiated the Quit Claims for a portion of the interest of her estate to Citigroup ex-CEO Vikram Pandit along with each member of the board of directors she had previously contacted for help. These include the secretary of the corporation, Michael Heifer, and Board members Judith Robin, James D. Wolfensohn, Timothy C. Collins, and Ann Mulcahy, as well as three of the attorneys on record in her case - Raymond Steel, James Garner, and Michelle Hayward.

"As a result," says Balinbin - who has been given the nickname of "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," "they have all foreclosed on themselves."

Balinbin alleges that "Citi couldn't have prevailed on its own merit." She affirms that the tactics employed by Citi's attorney Russ Garrett and her own attorney Melissa Huelsman, in conjunction with Judge Joan E. Dubuque's ruling on summary judgment, were conspiratorial in nature, and that the attorneys engaged in an informal relationship that involved an exchange of "professional favors," and that Huelsman "couldn't have done this much damage all by herself."

On May 18, 2012, Citi prevailed on a summary judgment motion under King County case #11-2-07921-0 SEA, allowing the bank to proceed with judicial foreclosure of Balibin's home. In Judge Dubuque's oral ruling on summary judgment, she said that Balinbin was judicially stopped from contesting the bank's assertion that her account was in arrears because Ms. Huelsman submitted a proposed plan that agreed with Citi's assertion of arrears and because Huelsman did not take action in the bankruptcy to object to the proof of claim.

During her ordeal, Balinbin's own attorney indicated that there had been a lapse in fiduciary obligations by trustee Matthew Cleverly of Quality Loan Service of Washington, with Citi advising Quality Loan to postpone any foreclosure action. "Garret's instructions didn't seem to stop Cleverly, though, who ignored his directive and attempted to foreclose anyway - a serious offense that breached the state's bankruptcy statutes, but no action was taken by Heulsman to restrain the trustee from acting.

"Balinbin initially hired Huelsman because she claimed to have experience in predatory lending."

"Nothing changes the fact that I was wrongfully forced into foreclosure - multiple times," states Balinbin. "I've endured truly devastating situations. My home was sold, even while under U.S. Bankruptcy Court protection.
President and CEO Kevin McCarthy of Quality Loan Service of Washington is one of the Quit Claim beneficiaries."

Suspecting egregious predatory lending practices, Balnibin complained to the upper echelons of Citi, when she ultimately became the victim of retaliatory chain reactions that have cost her, her home of 21 years.

More than just a place to live, her family home was a huge investment for her - one in which she had spent years and thousands upon thousands of dollars. "Compare that to Citi's over $100,000," adds Balinbin. "That [professional fees for the relentless retaliation] if Citi had not attempted to employ bait-and-switch tactics in my attempt to refinance my mortgage, it wouldn't have cost me a devastating financial break down."

"I have put all of my energies and savings into saving my home - if only they had listened," adds Balinbin. "It is clear that Citi had no right - legal or otherwise - to touch my home."

Balinbin believes that in 2006 Citi was motivated to commence the first wrongful foreclosure because of the equity in her home, which at that time was nearly $170,000. As it turned out, this experience would serve only as Balinbin's introduction to the murky world of mortgage financing.

In addition to having made all her mortgage payments, Balinbin - with Heulsman representing her - subsequently made all of the required payments to the bankruptcy trustee, none of which stopped Citi's own lawyers in their inexorable march toward taking Balinbin's home.

"Across America, we have heard stories about homeowners who have been subject to unethical behavior and professional incompetence by those involved in the banking industry and legal profession - these trusted advisors are educated individuals, who ordinary people like me place our trust in."

Balinbin cites an interview from National Affairs covering testimony to Elizabeth Warren (April 29, 2010): Citibank bluntly told Warren it planned to keep on lending to distressed consumers: "They provide most of our profits … We have no interest in cutting back on our lending to these people … They are the ones who provide most of our profits."

"There is now more discussion about predatory mortgage lending practice linked to wrongful foreclosures. Unless you have the courage to fight as I've been forced to, you don't stand a chance against these behemoth banks," added Balinbin. She is determined to continue her efforts to support legislation that would prohibit mandatory arbitration so that consumers' rights to sue in a court of law are preserved.

Driven with knowledge gained by learning from the "professionals," Balinbin seeks to make a difference and looks to the Washington State Bar and the Paul G. Allen family foundation to join forces to help families save their homes.

"It's been grueling, daunting and intimidating," she says, "but right is right. I'm not giving up. Instead, I keep on marching to the beat of my drums and into the arena of the court of public opinion, telling my story like no one else would - from the court room's travesty of justice - social aspects of public interests - to curb home mortgage predatory lending.

"I've gotten a million dollar education. Thank you, Citi," Balinbin adds. "The challenge ahead is all about making a contribution. I refuse to become an invisible victim of the 'well-educated mediocre minds' of Wall Street."

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Malaia Balin
PHONE. 253- 293-6139

KEYWORDS: mortgage foreclosure, foreclosures

SOURCE: Malaia Balinbin


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