Teresita’s Story

Teresita’s husband’s dream was to get a house. After he died, a bank illegally foreclosed on it.

“I remember when my husband was in the hospital, he told me, “this will be your place.” And he was right. This house is how I remember my husband. It is our place. And I will do everything I can to keep it ours.”

When Teresita and her husband first bought their home in 1994, Teresita remembers a neighbor telling her “Welcome to Bayview!” and fell in love with this house and their neighborhood. They saved every penny to buy it. There is a yard that Teresita can have a garden in and Artess, their daughter, could play in. Her favorite place is the living room because she can sit and look out the window. Teresita likes to watch the bridge and watch the street and listen to the neighbors walking by.

Just a few months after the family moved into their new house, Teresita’s husband fell ill with lung cancer. It happened so fast. Teresita’s husband told her before he passed away to make sure that she kept the house. “It was the only thing he left us”. And it was the only house they could afford. For the family, it was so important for them to keep it.

When her husband passed away, Teresita fell into financial hardship.  She missed her first mortgage payment. Within months, her bank started foreclosure proceedings. During that time, Teresita never heard from any staff from the bank. She had no idea that her home was in jeopardy. No one from the bank ever spoke with her in person, and never even attempted to find out whether she had a working phone number.

Oh, the dream still continues! The gift my husband gave to me and my daughter was this house. After this time, I can’t believe what ODL helped me to get back our house.

When Adolfo, Teresita’s neighbor, found out that this was a foreclosure, he called a friend who was also a real estate agent. That day, the two found out the house was already sold. Teresita’s home was sold without her even knowing.

Teresita found out about Open Door Legal through a community senior center. She was referred to us and we took her case.

I had peace of mind because I knew I left Teresita in good hands

-Adolfo, Teresita’s neighbor 


We sued Teresita’s bank for wrongful foreclosure and elder financial abuse to reverse the foreclosure. We were able to successfully return the home to Teresita and we also got her loan forgiven and got her a damage settlement of almost $100,000. We made sure the house is placed in a trust so it will go to her daughter, and not to a bank in the future.