Man Fights Wrongful Foreclosure With Senator Tester's Help


by Kacey Drescher

What would you do if you were about to lose your house but had no idea why and who would you turn to? Those are just a few of the questions one East Helena man was forced to face in the wake of a personal tragedy.

“I’ll be forever grateful to him because I wouldn’t have the house today,” says Jim Ahern.

If it weren’t for U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D) Jim Ahern would be homeless. “People that pay their bills, people who are honest, people who worked their whole lifetime and built this country, shouldn’t be kicked out of their home because somebody doesn’t do their job in one of these banking firms,” says Senator Tester.

Because Senator Tester held the head-honchos at Bank of America accountable, Ahern still has a place to call home. “They couldn’t back out of it, we had ‘em” adds Tester.

Ahern was forced to fight the foreclosure of his home for over a year. “He received his foreclosure papers the week that his wife passed away,” says Ahern’s Realtor Donna Elford with Century 21. “I mean, it’s the worst of scenarios that you could ever imagine,” she adds.

According to Ahern, he says he had proof of a loan modification offered and approved by Bank of America Representatives. “They put a notice in the paper twice that they were foreclosing and going to sell my house on the courthouse steps, I believe it was on February 11th of this year. I didn’t know that was going to be in the paper and how humiliating that was, I mean and my kids,” says Ahern.

Ahern says he was never late with, and he never missed a mortgage payment. “They were foreclosing on him for no reason whatsoever,” says Tester.

Ahern adds that he was filled with stress and helplessness over a situation that didn’t have to happen. “It’s kind of hard to sleep at night, in the meantime it ruined my credit,” says Ahern.

With just weeks left to be in his home and nowhere else to turn, Ahern made a desperate plea with our U.S. Senator. “We made a lot of phone calls, and made sure they had all the information they needed to make the right decision, information they claim they didn’t have. Then we called them up in front of the committee so they were on the public record, so they had to tell the truth and that’s how it worked out,” says Tester.

In a press release from Tester’s office, the President of Bank of America Home Loans admitted that cases like Ahern’s represent serious mistakes, and in the end, Ahern got his apology and with the issue behind him he can now enjoy the home that means so much to him.

“Well this is our home, my wife and I bought it together, it’s very important to me, it’s important to my grandchildren, it’s still Grandma’s House,” adds Ahern.

Senator Tester, Ahern and his Realtor all suggest keeping a paper-trail of all documents to avoid “mistakes” like these.