This is something of a pop quiz, because I intend to assert I do have a contract in front of a real judge in a real courtroom tomorrow. But IANAL, IDdon’tHaveAL, and I know You’reNotMyL, but I’m curious to hear your opinions.
I have posted some other threads about a long term of unemployment and inability to pay bills, resulting in (among other things) a lawsuit filed against me for foreclosure by the Ultra Mega Uber CitiCorp.
The most relevant background facts:
- I don’t dispute the facts they allege in the suit about my delinquency.
- In the first court hearing, Citi’s attorney stated before the judge that they would prefer to make a repayment agreement with me than to take my property.
- Citi representatives refuse to discuss my mortgage with me over the phone, referring me to their local lawyer.
- Citi’s local lawyer, who has had multiple communications with me, tells me he has no power to negotiate a repayment scheme with me. He refers me to the Citi “Loan Modification” department, who are the very people who won’t talk to me and refer me back to him.
Yet, on Feb 19, I received a letter from someone (or possibly some computer) at CitiMortgage. The letter did not have the name of any specific individual Citi representative, nor did it have anyone’s signature. But it did spell out the general terms of a mortgage modification, and specified what I had to do to accept the agreement.
I had to either call a number specified in the letter, or write to an address specified in the letter, to accept the terms of the agreement. I also had to send them a check for a first “trial payment” by a certain date. The letter also said I could call the same number or write to the same address with questions about the terms of the agreement.
The letter had the following specific language:
I decided to call the number with some specific questions, and hopefully to accept the terms of the agreement if the answers were satisfactory. I called the same day I received the letter – February 19. But I learned that the people at the number specified in the letter ALSO refused to talk to me, even to record my acceptance of the agreement as the letter stated I could. And of course they also wouldn’t answer any questions about the terms of the agreement.
Since the agreement specified a payment due date of March 1, I had no confidence that I could write to them and have a meaningful exchange regarding my questions about the agreement. So I decided to write them a letter accepting the terms of the agreement, and including a check for the amount of the first trial payment. I know from a post office return receipt that they received the letter and the check on February 24. The check cleared my bank sometime last night, so they have cashed the check. On the photocopy of the check, someone correctly noted receiving it on 2/24.
Tomorrow I go into a court for the second hearing in the foreclosure process, so the judge can assess the “progress” made toward settling the case without a court judgment.
I am going to argue that we have in fact already reached a settlement, as defined by the terms in their letter. It contains a promise in very plain language to stop the foreclosure should I meet their terms.
I have complied with all the terms as laid out in the offer letter, But, the letter was unsigned – does it even meet a legal standard to be an offer? Is a corporation a person to the extent that it, and not a human being representing it, can make me such an offer? They have not acknowledged their own agreement to my acceptance by any means except cashing my check.
A further piece of info, Citi’s orders to its staff not to talk to me remain in force even as late as this afternoon. If we have a deal, they won’t tell me.
What do you folks think? Will the judge agree with me?