A new document is questioning the legality of foreclosures that have taken place across the country. Many Tennessee residents understand that foreclosures were on the rise during the recent recession as people struggled financially and could no longer afford large house payments. However, new evidence suggests that Wells Fargo — the country’s largest mortgage lender with nine million home loans — may have been fabricating documents that were necessary to complete these foreclosures.

These allegations were filed as part of an ongoing lawsuit against the bank. In the allegations, Wells Fargo is accused of having a department dedicated to creating fake documents that were necessary for foreclosing on certain properties. As proof, the lawsuit offers information from a manual created for Wells Fargo employees. These documents included mortgage notes that proved that Wells Fargo actually owned the mortgage. These allegations are in line with what some experts have suspected for years.

Wells Fargo denies these allegations and says that the manual was for use by company attorneys only.

This case highlights the importance for homeowners to understand and protect their legal rights if they are in danger of losing their homes. Banks — both big and small — can be aggressive in collecting mortgage payments and foreclosing on properties. However, homeowners do have protections against foreclosure and may be able to stop the proceedings.

With the right help, those struggling to pay their mortgage can get debt relief. In some situations filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help consumers get their debt to a manageable level so they are able to keep their home. But in any case, homeowners should make sure they are protected against mortgage fraud and other aggressive practices.

Source: New York Post, “Wells Fargo made up on-demand foreclosure papers plan: court filing charges,” Catherine Curan, March 12, 2014