Ron Dziewit (pronounced as dewitt) was honorably discharged after 20 years in the Marine Corp serving his country. He says he would have served 30 or more if they'd have him, but his body couldn't take it and he received disability on his discharge. Entering the strange civilian world (as it is strange to anyone who has served any amount of time in the military), Ron got a job and eventually started looking for an affordable home for himself and his two dogs. All was well as he closed on his home in 2003. Wells Fargo had said that he qualified for a $250,000 mortgage, but being the reasonable person he found a home in a nice neighborhood for $142,000. It was a VA secured mortgage.
There was joy for a time as he took pride in his home, tended to his roses, enjoyed his "children", as he referred to Joey and Lexi and got to know his neighbors that he liked very much. As it always seems to happen when things are going too well the situation took a downturn and Ron lost his job. As he scrambled to find another one - he eventually did, but for a much reduced pay - he fell behind on his mortgage a few months. He quickly started saving his money to catch up. Offering to make the back payments to Wells Fargo, they refused to take any payment unless he had the full back amount due. He was about a thousand short.
Ron did the right thing and got a lawyer in order to make good on his payments and save the home he loved. Wells Fargo initiated foreclosure proceedings.
My partner in crime, Ruth Miller, has since then dug heavily into public records and tried to track down the trail of what happened next. In April 2007, Wells Fargo was granted its foreclosure. On June 27, 2007 records show that a Sheriff's Sale occurred and the home was transferred to the Secretary of Veteran's Affairs out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the amount of $1,534.75 on August 14, 2007. These records show that the county assessed value was $92,580, but the fair market value is listed as $173,124.60. Ron's house had appreciated $30,000 in the few short years since he had bought it. He had equity in his home, but even with that, no one could seem to help him. Since he had received his initial foreclosure notice, he had contacted lawyers and worked with several foreclosure "solutions" companies who simply seemed to be in it for all the money he forked out to them. Looking into some of them, such as Divine Resources Financial Group, you find that they have numerous complaints of simply taking people's money and not providing anything for it.
Now I am not one of those people who is a "bank hater". Banks are the engine of our system. They provide investment to businesses and loans to individuals so that they can purchase things like homes. I also believe that people should pay for the things they agree to in a contract, such as a mortgage. However after looking into this case I find it repulsive that the amount of effort that Ron Dziewit put forth in trying to rectify his missed payments is disgusting. Especially the groups and lawyers that took advantage of him and the complex pile of papers they dumped on him that any ordinary human could not understand.
What the above situation amounts to is the system taking Ron's property and all its equity simply for several missed payments. They made the system so complex that it was near impossible for anyone to "cure" the amount they owed. Not being an attorney, or even having one worth a grain of salt working for him, Ron had no idea what the situation was. He was as blind as one of the three mice suffering from lack of vision.
But this was just the beginning of Mr. Dziewit's troubles.
The Veteran's Administration was using a group called Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC for handling their loans. A simple search on the internet can tell you what the resultant outcome would be in working with Ocwen. There are numerous complaints from mortgage holders and a class action suit against Ocwen that allege they have intentionally held up house payments, gave misdirecting information over the phone and in general seemed to have a knack for making people late on their mortgage or not be able to catch up on payments so that they can foreclose on the property and assume ownership. Ocwen has apparently since been dumped by the VA as their loan servicer because of their practices and they now use Bank of America.
For years Ron tried to rectify the issues with Ocwen to "cure" the Foreclosure and remain in his home. He claims they gave him misinformation and generally made him chase strings that led nowhere. Frustrated, he contacted the VA directly with a list they had provided of how they could "help" people. They were unhelpful. Ron contacted his congressmember. Ron contacted his senators, Bob Casey and Arlen Specter. Both simply sent him form letters. He contacted a list of members of congress that he showed me yesterday that was as long as your arm. None of them came forward to help in any way and simply passed him off to Specter or Casey who were unhelpful. To put it simply, Ron tried.
All of the services and representatives people kept redirecting him to dodged and weaved. He has letters he's written to all these "helpful" people and their responses. It's thousands of pages of documents.
Random people would show up at his house claiming to be from the bank and take pictures. They walk up on his property and point cameras into his windows and take pictures in a complete violation of his privacy.
To sum it up, in 2009 the Secretary of the Veteran's Administration got a judgment of order to "eject" against Ron Dziewit. Ron contacted the VA. He looked into a voluntary service where he would provide the keys and leave and offered to have them sell his possessions and donate them to other vets. He even went as far as offering to forfeit his 20 year military pension to the Veteran's Administration if they would allow him to remain in his home.
Some of the law offices that have been involved in this case are now under investigation for "robosigning". Robosigning is when paralegals or others who are not lawyers sign documents for foreclosures when they have no authority or legal standing to do so. Information is now being found that in Ron's case it is looking likely that this was the case.
That brings us to the date of October 4, 2011, more than two years after the VA had received their "ejection" judgment. The West Norriton Township police showed up to throw Ron out of his home. They talked for a few minutes and in a horrifying show of injustice to a man who would have left on his own, law enforcement tazed Ron. He pulled the leads out of himself after the first shot and they shot him again. My general impression from Ron is that these guys were gung-ho and drunk on power. Which makes his next action completely understandable. He went into the house and locked the door.
The police dubbed him as "barricading" himself in his home because he locked the door and decided at this time to call in the SWAT team and officers from other jurisdictions. An over-reaction because Ron was a Marine? I believe so. Many in law enforcement have heard about or received notices from higher-ups that veterans could be dangerous, an outrageous claim that keeps surfacing every year in documents from law enforcement agencies. I'm sure many of the law enforcement personnel that showed up did so just to see the show. That is when Ruth and I first learned about the situation. Talking to some third parties with connections to law enforcement at the time, it was told to us that there was a crazed guy brandishing a gun who had barricaded himself in his home and was a threat. Nothing could be further from the truth from Ron's perspective. He claims he had no gun showing and went as far as opening all the blinds in his home so that they could see what he was doing as he talked to them over the phone.
In the end Ron came out and was taken first to the hospital and then to a mental institution for evaluation. He was later released and the most telling of the whole situation that will lead you to the truth is that he was charged with nothing. There was no case. There was no charge of "terrorist threats" as they call it here in Pennsylvania. There was no charge of assault against a law officer. There was not even a charge that he resisted arrest.
I believe, and I think that you'll agree after watching the interview Ruth had with Ron yesterday, October 16, 2011, that this is nothing more than a man who was pushed down false paths after falling on hard times. A man who was then sacrificed on the pyre of convoluted "systems" and politicians derelict in their duty even when a constituent was calling out for help. A man who served our country in our cause, our culture and our way of life who was burdened beyond what anyone should have to endure to simply correct some missed payments on a mortgage. A man who was then treated like a common criminal. A man who was innocent - and the greatest thing that speaks of that is that many of his neighbors, those who know him best, have come forward on his behalf. Many of them are outraged. Several even showed up at the interview yesterday simply to lend him support and let the truth be known about the man, the Marine, the veteran and the good neighbor named Ron Dziewit.
Interview with Ron Dziewit - Part 1 of 2
Interview with Ron Dziewit - Part 2 of 2
The full interview will be posted at a later time when it is processed. As Ruth puts together her definitive post, including all the relevant documents, I will link to it.