Shortly after Tony Yarber was elected mayor of Jackson, Miss. in 2014, the balance of his $92,000 mortgage suddenly vanished, reports Anna Wolfe of The Clarion-Ledger.
Now that Yarber is running for re-election, his detractors are questioning how that came to be. Yarber refinanced his home in 2007 and took out a 40-year, $92,872.48 mortgage. He was in financial straits at the time of his election, having not paid his house note in several months.
Bank records show that Wells Fargo authorized the release of the remaining lien, $91,621.94, on April 22, 2014, the day of his election. Essentially, they wrote it off, Yarber said.
Wells Fargo, in a statement, says Yarber’s lien was released “in the normal course of business. It was not connected with any request or settlement.”
In 2012, Wells Fargo announced an agreement “regarding mortgage servicing, foreclosure and origination issues,” with 49 attorneys general, according to a news release. The company agreed to pay $5.9 billion in refinance programs, consumer relief programs and foreclosure assistance payment to customers.
“As part of the agreement, the participating attorneys general and federal agencies have agreed to release Wells Fargo from claims and allegations pertaining to servicing, modification and foreclosure practices, and also for certain claims related to the origination of mortgage loans.”
As recently as February, Wells Fargo admitted to falsely certifying that home loans qualified for Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance, tricking the federal government into insuring thousands of risky mortgages. It comes with a $1.2 billion fine for the bank.