Wall Streetwalkers: The Sleazy Lehman Brothers Subsidiary

Lehman Brothers maintained its squeaky-clean image by relying on its seamier subsidiary. Just call her Aurora.

On September 15, the company finally acknowledged that they were reviewing his request. Three days later, however, a lawyer for Aurora sent a letter that said the company was foreclosing and had set a sale for October 9.

Walker called to discuss this latest development and was told that Aurora would not help him because he was behind on the payments.

Months earlier, the company had said it wouldn't consider a modification because Walker wasn't behind on the payments. Now, they were saying the exact opposite. Walker was furious.

John Lang
Philip Grant found that he was one of many with Aurora horror stories.
Willie Davis/Veras
Philip Grant found that he was one of many with Aurora horror stories.

"They did it without working with us on it at all," he says. "When this started, we had the income and the money, and we could have worked something out."

Walker's wife filed for bankruptcy, which delayed the foreclosure until January, he says. Now, the family is hoping that Congress will come up with some way to bail out beleaguered homeowners like himself.

"We're hoping that Congress will do something," he says. "But it seems like the only way you get help here is if you're on Wall Street."

After this story went to press for our print edition, Aurora Loan Service sent the following response after repeated requests for information from the Voice. Their response, in its entirety:

It is Aurora's goal to work with our customers so they can prevent foreclosure and protect homeownership. Our Customer Service team is trained to address customer's questions and provide recommendations specific to the individual's situation. We make customers aware of options such as repayment plan, forbearance, loan modification, short-sale and deed-in-lieu. In cases where the customer can benefit from talking with a HUD approved counselor, we provide them with the toll free number to contact a HUD approved counseling agent as the customer may benefit from financial counseling or additional assistance.

In January 2008, Aurora became a member of Hope Now, an organization of servicers dedicated to maximizing the preservation of homeownership and minimizing foreclosures.

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