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By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun reporter | May 4, 2008
Changes to Maryland's foreclosure laws have come too late for Kwaku Atta Poku. The Ghanaian immigrant had built a new life in Maryland, only to lose his Howard County home, despite making every mortgage payment, and face financial ruin. And though Atta Poku has sought redress through a variety of avenues, all have failed, and he says he is running out of options. His situation has deteriorated to the point where he is considering sending his four American-born children to live with extended family back in Africa.
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NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2011
A Howard County man who lost his townhouse in a refinancing foul-up six years ago has settled the matter before trial, giving him enough money for a down payment on a new house, a lawyer in the case said. Kwaku Atta Poku, 59, a Ghanaian immigrant who runs a taxi business, settled with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and a third party in the spring, a few months before his lawsuit seeking $34 million in damages and compensation was scheduled to go to trial in U.S. District Court.
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NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun reporter | June 22, 2007
Lawyers for Kwaku Atta Poku, a Columbia taxi owner who lost his townhouse to foreclosure and eviction through no fault of his own, are back in court seeking help for him. They asked the Maryland Court of Appeals to rule whether it was right for the Court of Special Appeals to dismiss Atta Poku's case on a technical issue rather than for substance. In addition, they want the Howard County Circuit Court to award Atta Poku the proceeds from the sale of his home as well as punitive damages.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | February 1, 2011
For more than four years since he lost his Columbia home to foreclosure — despite never missing a mortgage payment — Kwaku Atta Poku has fought a legal battle for financial stability and personal vindication. After several legal setbacks, a federal judge's ruling has given new hope to Atta Poku, who built a small taxi business along with a new life in America — only to watch as it was ruined by a mortgage nightmare that all agree he was not responsible for. "Thank God. Finally, somebody …" Atta Poku said Tuesday when he learned of the judge's ruling.
NEWS
June 8, 2007
Kwaku Atta Poku, father of three, owner of a small taxi company and Columbia homeowner, was living the American dream - until, through a bizarre but legal injustice, his house ended up in foreclosure and was auctioned off. Bizarre? Mr. Atta Poku was current in his mortgage payments. Legal? A court ruled the foreclosure was proper. Injustice? Mr. Atta Poku lost the house in 2005 not because of anything he did wrong. He lost his house because the mortgage company couldn't find the documents that would prove his initial loan had been paid, a bank didn't have its paperwork in order and the title company that handled Mr. Atta Poku's refinancing is now out of business.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun reporter | August 25, 2007
Kwaku Atta Poku, the Columbia taxi owner who lost his family's townhouse to foreclosure despite making every mortgage payment, is moving to a new rental home, thanks to help from a community group using a new state program to help them recover. "With us moving to this place now, I feel a little bit better," Atta Poku, 55, said of the three-bedroom townhouse in East Columbia that Congregations Concerned for the Homeless has arranged for him to rent. "At least someone came to our aid and I can have a place for them," he said of his wife, Beatrice, 39, and his children Kofi, 4, Afua, 3, and Amma, 1. In addition, a fund begun by a customer of his taxi business has received $4,360 in donations to help Atta Poku with debts and living expenses while his lawyers try to reverse his fortunes in the courts.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun reporter | December 3, 2007
Kwaku Atta Poku, the Columbia cab owner who lost his family's townhouse to foreclosure after a refinancing, despite having made every mortgage payment, is to get another chance to present his case today in Maryland's highest court. In arguments that could change how lower courts handle foreclosure cases, attorneys for the immigrant from Ghana are fighting to overturn rulings in favor of Washington Mutual Inc., the national mortgage company that took and resold his Howard County house in 2005.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun reporter | June 7, 2007
Kwaku Atta Poku had seemed to find his own American dream. After emigrating from Ghana in 1992, he built a taxi business from scratch. He bought a townhouse in the quintessentially American suburb of Columbia, dutifully making each monthly mortgage payment - and even paid a bit more in some months. But he has lost the house to foreclosure and most of his business and is facing thousands of dollars of debt through no fault of his own. And his attorneys say other Maryland homeowners who refinanced in the frenzy of real estate activity during the first half of the decade could face similar legal nightmares.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN REPORTER | December 4, 2007
A lawyer for Kwaku Atta Poku, the Columbia cab owner from Ghana who lost his house to foreclosure although he had made every mortgage payment, tried yesterday to convince skeptical Maryland Court of Appeals judges that they can grant him a legal way to recoup his financial losses without undermining the state's real estate system. Attorney Scott C. Borison said his task was to show the judges on the state's highest court that Atta Poku had been placed in a "Kafkaesque" situation through no fault of his own, and that they could open a way for him to pursue a negligence claim.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun reporter | August 29, 2007
The Maryland Court of Appeals has agreed to hear arguments in the foreclosure case of Kwaku Atta Poku, the Columbia cab owner who lost his home after refinancing, despite making every mortgage payment. The decision by the state's highest court to review the case pleased Atta Poku and his lawyers, and the outcome also could affect how Maryland courts handle similar cases as foreclosures become more common in the slumping Maryland housing market. Gerald M. Richman of Ellicott City, one of Atta Poku's lawyers, said the court will "determine whether or not you have a right to appeal a foreclosure action."
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun reporter | May 4, 2008
Changes to Maryland's foreclosure laws have come too late for Kwaku Atta Poku. The Ghanaian immigrant had built a new life in Maryland, only to lose his Howard County home, despite making every mortgage payment, and face financial ruin. And though Atta Poku has sought redress through a variety of avenues, all have failed, and he says he is running out of options. His situation has deteriorated to the point where he is considering sending his four American-born children to live with extended family back in Africa.
NEWS
By Phillip Robinson | December 14, 2007
When a foreclosure appears not to be the fault of the homeowner but solely the fault of the lender and its agents, something is seriously wrong - and our legal system needs to offer a solution to the problem. This month, the Maryland Court of Appeals heard the appeal of Howard County resident Kwaku Atta Poku, whose home was foreclosed on despite his being current on his mortgage. Mr. Atta Poku's only mistake - if you can call it that - was to trust a licensed professional and agent of his mortgage lender, who apparently never paid off his refinanced mortgage.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN REPORTER | December 4, 2007
A lawyer for Kwaku Atta Poku, the Columbia cab owner from Ghana who lost his house to foreclosure although he had made every mortgage payment, tried yesterday to convince skeptical Maryland Court of Appeals judges that they can grant him a legal way to recoup his financial losses without undermining the state's real estate system. Attorney Scott C. Borison said his task was to show the judges on the state's highest court that Atta Poku had been placed in a "Kafkaesque" situation through no fault of his own, and that they could open a way for him to pursue a negligence claim.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun reporter | December 3, 2007
Kwaku Atta Poku, the Columbia cab owner who lost his family's townhouse to foreclosure after a refinancing, despite having made every mortgage payment, is to get another chance to present his case today in Maryland's highest court. In arguments that could change how lower courts handle foreclosure cases, attorneys for the immigrant from Ghana are fighting to overturn rulings in favor of Washington Mutual Inc., the national mortgage company that took and resold his Howard County house in 2005.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun reporter | August 29, 2007
The Maryland Court of Appeals has agreed to hear arguments in the foreclosure case of Kwaku Atta Poku, the Columbia cab owner who lost his home after refinancing, despite making every mortgage payment. The decision by the state's highest court to review the case pleased Atta Poku and his lawyers, and the outcome also could affect how Maryland courts handle similar cases as foreclosures become more common in the slumping Maryland housing market. Gerald M. Richman of Ellicott City, one of Atta Poku's lawyers, said the court will "determine whether or not you have a right to appeal a foreclosure action."
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun reporter | August 25, 2007
Kwaku Atta Poku, the Columbia taxi owner who lost his family's townhouse to foreclosure despite making every mortgage payment, is moving to a new rental home, thanks to help from a community group using a new state program to help them recover. "With us moving to this place now, I feel a little bit better," Atta Poku, 55, said of the three-bedroom townhouse in East Columbia that Congregations Concerned for the Homeless has arranged for him to rent. "At least someone came to our aid and I can have a place for them," he said of his wife, Beatrice, 39, and his children Kofi, 4, Afua, 3, and Amma, 1. In addition, a fund begun by a customer of his taxi business has received $4,360 in donations to help Atta Poku with debts and living expenses while his lawyers try to reverse his fortunes in the courts.
NEWS
By Paul Moore and Paul Moore,Public Editor | June 17, 2007
Several recent Sun articles demonstrate the positive power of newspapers. Just one day after a shocking Page One story of financial abuse that left a Columbia man bankrupt and his family homeless, government officials promised in another front-page article to close loopholes in Maryland's foreclosure process that allowed this outrage to occur . The first article, "Out of townhouse, but not by choice," written by Larry Carson, described how an immigrant from...
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,sun reporter | July 15, 2007
Efforts are under way in Howard County to help Kwaku Atta Poku, the Columbia cab owner who lost his home to foreclosure through no fault of his own, but for now he and his family continue to struggle financially. Niel Carey, 75, a retired Ellicott City teacher who has used Atta Poku's sedan service, said he was moved to create a fund to help Atta Poku through Howard County's Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. County officials are also investigating whether they can help Atta Poku, 55, his wife and three small children, who are searching for a new place to live while he works to rebuild his AAAA Star taxi business.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,sun reporter | July 15, 2007
Efforts are under way in Howard County to help Kwaku Atta Poku, the Columbia cab owner who lost his home to foreclosure through no fault of his own, but for now he and his family continue to struggle financially. Niel Carey, 75, a retired Ellicott City teacher who has used Atta Poku's sedan service, said he was moved to create a fund to help Atta Poku through Howard County's Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. County officials are also investigating whether they can help Atta Poku, 55, his wife and three small children, who are searching for a new place to live while he works to rebuild his AAAA Star taxi business.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun reporter | June 22, 2007
Lawyers for Kwaku Atta Poku, a Columbia taxi owner who lost his townhouse to foreclosure and eviction through no fault of his own, are back in court seeking help for him. They asked the Maryland Court of Appeals to rule whether it was right for the Court of Special Appeals to dismiss Atta Poku's case on a technical issue rather than for substance. In addition, they want the Howard County Circuit Court to award Atta Poku the proceeds from the sale of his home as well as punitive damages.
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