Commissioned U.S. Army Reserve Officer Diana Elizabeth Zschaschel and her family are facing a cold winter eviction set for today in Los Angeles, after they say the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., or Freddie Mac, wrongfully evicted them -- while she was on duty in San Diego.
On May 14, 2011, Zschaschel, an active-duty officer, was part of "Operation Ready Warrior," in San Diego, which helped military personnel with dental needs, a field in which she specializes. While deployed out of town, her husband was trying work out a repayment plan with Bank of America because they were behind on their mortgage in Los Angeles. Instead, she and the family's attorney allege, B of A illegally foreclosed:
Specifically, she claims Bank of America ignored Zschaschel's clear-cut eligibility for the Service Members Civil Relief Act, created to postpone or suspend certain civil obligations so that members of the military could focus on their jobs.
But after checking with the military's official database, Bank of America officials claimed she wasn't covered by the Service Members Civil Relief Act's foreclosure protection. B of A says they even double-checked.
But clearly, someone dropped the ball somewhere.
On May 20, 2011, during Zschaschels' deployment to San Diego, B of A sold their home to Freddie Mac, according to Mosesi & Kalantarian, Zschaschels' law firm. The family continued to live in their home, but officials at Freddie Mac obtained an eviction judgment.
In a harrowing turn of events, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department was scheduled to lock out the family today, January 15.
"The family has temporarily relocated to Altadena," says their attorney, Henrik Mosesi, "It's been extremely stressful and emotional for her as mom. Our soldiers deserve better."
This isn't the first time B of A has been accused of such practices -- the huge banking concern has a record of violating the Service Members Civil Relief Act, faces a class action lawsuit and has been investigated by the Department of Justice.
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B of A officials have yet to comment to L.A. Weekly.
Kit Wallace, president of Blue Eyed Entertainment, is trying to publicize this case to help other soldiers who are taken advantage of by banks whose officials are ignoring or misapplying the Service Members Civil Relief Act.
In a statement, Wallace said:
"When the Garcia's contacted me I was compelled to take the case as their publicist not only to help them but to aware the public of the Soldier & Sailors Act and how it's being used against soldiers and sailors. This was a law that was started to protect the homes of our military personnel and it's now being manipulated to throw them out of their homes. ... Our goal is to get this in the hands of our congress and to save lives."