Like many people who refinanced their homes using subprime loans in recent years, Greg and Diane Horoski, of East Patchogue, Long Island, fell behind on their mortgage payments, after Greg suffered health problems and the rate of their mortgage shot up from 10 to 12 percent. When they tried to renegotiate, their lender, OneWest and its IndyMac mortgage division, wouldn't budge. It was "like dealing with organized crime," Horoski said. Eventually, after the bank began the foreclosure process, the Haroskis took them to court. They drew an awesome judge.
According to the Post, Judge Jeffrey Spinner, of Suffolk County, Long Island, not only erased the $525,000 that the couple supposedly owed to OneWest, he delivered a heroic smackdown to the TARP-supported institution, condemning them in his decision for behavior he called "harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive." Actually, wait, that's not enough. OneWest's conduct was also:
"inequitable, unconscionable, vexatious and opprobrious," Spinner wrote. He canceled the debt because the bank "must be appropriately sanctioned so as to deter it from imposing further mortifying abuse against [the couple]."
OneWest is, naturally, appealing. But the decision may still make lenders think twice about how they treat homeowners, lest they come up against Spinner and his thesaurus.