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Loophole Gets Couple a House for Just One Payment
Facing foreclosure, they discover a 123-year-old law
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2011 12:11 PM CDT
Updated Mar 20, 2011 4:30 PM CDT
No, this is not the Danielsons' home.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file)

(Newser) – Thanks to a loophole in Iowa law, Matt and Jamie Danielson now own their $278,000 home outright—for the cost of just one mortgage payment. The Danielsons fought foreclosure—and won—by citing a 123-year-old law that requires mortgages be signed by both spouses. A home-loan approval Matt Danielson describes as “rushed” involved paperwork being signed at a mall food court, where the mortgage broker said Danielson’s wife didn’t need to sign anything.

The loan was approved, but the once well-off Danielsons were in bad financial straits and made only one payment to Citimortgage, the Des Moines Register reports. They were preparing to move out when their lawyer alerted them to the loophole. The mortgage is now void and the home is theirs, but Danielson insists, “It's not like we're rolling on easy street. We still struggle just like everybody else does in this economy.” Legislation is in the works to prevent a similar situation.

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Mar 20, 2011 10:07 PM CDT
Hey--they should pay you to live in Iowa. I drive everywhere--flying phobia and there are about ten states where we should just put end-to-end solar panels and wind farms. The last time I drove through Wyoming I wanted to pick people up and say--God, you do not have to live here. Oklahoma--a vast nothingness alleviated by the occasional tornado. Kansas--why did Dorothy want to go back? Idaho--where boring goes to die. The only good thing about being a military brat is that I can move in a day. Two days if I have to patch all the picture holes and paint. Life is short. A free house in Iowa is a bummer on any day.
Mar 18, 2011 8:57 PM CDT
so misinformed , , i will say the media doesnt tell you everything and , not all of them report the facts , jamie never worked at a bank period , another family member had a similar situation but doesnt go into detail , imagine that , i know the whole story and they went up against the 3rd largest bank in the us who has unlimited funds , and matt and jamie had one lawyer and the bank lost , matt told the loan agent his wife needed to sign , he said it wasnt necessary , thats on them , a banks greed and un professionalism bit them in the ass ,, two questions for everyone agree or disagree answer them , #1 are you held liable for your mistakes or actions ? name a time a bank was understanding , so why shouldnt they be held to the same standads , they would forclose on you take you to court and put your family on the street without hesitation , matt and jamie didnt set out to robb anyone but they took full advantage of the situation when the mistake was found , which brings me to my next question #2 would you give up the chance to have your house paid for if it was you in there shoes? if you are a working person in this economy then if you answer no , you need a mental health evaluation ,, matt and jamie are my friends , our kids grow up together , so when you bash them just ask yourself this , would you do anydifferent if you were them ? im happy they got the house , you and i could only dream of this happening , but for one person it did , and a bank the 3rd largest bank in the us was held accountable for there screw up just like they do to us everyday so , to matt and jamie your friends know the whole story what the media has left out and we dont care . good for you . and to all you banks ha ha ha ha forclose on you ha ha ha
Mar 18, 2011 1:46 PM CDT
What ever happened to "HONESTY", "INTEGRITY", or just doing the "RIGHT THING"???? Just because you can legally take someone else's money doesn't make it right. If you make a debt you should be responsible enough to pay it off. These people legally stole someone else's money, they are no better than the banks!!!