Housing News

Banks Don’t Want Toxic Properties, Right?

A bank employee defies industry laws.

It all began with a Los Angeles Times investigative report accusing one bank employee of occupying a Malibu property owned by a couple scammed by the infamous Bernard Madoff. The $12 million beach house was occupied by Cheronda Guyton, a Wells Fargo senior vice president of foreclosures without any legal claim to the property. She was also violating the bank’s ethical codes. Worse, Guyton and her family didn’t hide their trespassing, and instead hosted lavish parties for friends. That made her neighbors even more suspicious and they decided to raise their concern.

Worse, the real estate broker who was receiving numerous inquiries for a property visit by potential buyers couldn’t understand why the bank was not letting her show the house. The report states, “… Dazzan-Palmer, the real estate agent, said she quickly found a person who was prepared to make ‘a very big offer in cash’ to buy the property, but she wasn’t able to show the house to any potential buyers. The bank said it was considering offers from other agents, she said, ‘and then someone moved in’.”

In the middle of September, Wells Fargo finally fired Guyton and claimed in a statement, “… We deeply regret the activities that have taken place as they do not reflect the conduct we expect of our team members.”

Here are some things worth pointing out:

Even an MBA from USC won’t teach an employee how to adhere to company ethical standards.

Sooner or later, you’d realize that when there’s smoke, there’s fire – or in Guyton’s case, there were booze and late-night guests.

Better be worried when you’re planning a Guyton-esque property takeover or you’ll find out you’ve got your own Desperate Housewives calling in the press.

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