Caroline Farrell did not meet David Gaudin while in Mississippi earlier this month with the Maryland Law Katrina Project. But when a foreclosure attorney from the Mississippi Center for Justice shared with her Gaudin’s story, Farrell knew she needed to help a stranger.
Gaudin has terminal cancer; doctors give him less than six months to live. His illness forced him to stop working, and he subsequently fell behind on his mortgage. Wells Fargo, Gaudin’s bank, threatened to foreclose on his home. Gaudin and his foreclosure lawyer rejected the bank’s proposed loan modification late last year – three months’ forbearance followed by a large, balloon payment.
The bank now wants to move forward with foreclosure proceedings against Gaudin after rejecting his request for a loan modification because of an outstanding balance of $650 on his account.
“This is so heartbreaking,” Farrell said. “It seems so egregious that the bank can’t be flexible.”
That the sticking point was a couple hundred dollars also bothered Farrell, a 3L and president of the Katrina Project.
“I said, ‘We could raise this in an hour,’” she said.
She’ll have three hours to do it Friday night beginning at 9 p.m. at Quigley’s Half-Irish Pub near the law school. All proceeds from the $10 admission fee will go toward erasing Gaudin’s outstanding account balance. Farrell and her classmates have been spreading the word through listservs and Facebook, and Farrell is confident the event will raise more than enough money for Gaudin.
(Farrell said donations can also be made online by writing “The campaign to save David’s house” in the comments section.)
As for the beneficiary, Farrell said Gaudin cried upon learning what the Maryland students were doing for him. He’s now in regular contact with Farrell, a stranger no more.