When faced with foreclosure, it is normal for any homeowner to panic. No one wants to lose their home and the hopes and dreams often attached to the home. However, instead of being paralyzed with worry, homeowners are encouraged to seek out options as soon they are facing the possibility of foreclosure.
One 35-year-old St. Paul man recently shared his story. While certainly frustrating to hear all the man went through in order to keep his home, it does highlight how important having an attorney can be.
In his case, he received a subprime loan in 2004 to buy his St. Paul home. However, six years later, he and his wife could not keep up with the payments. Fearing foreclosure, he sought a loan modification from his lender, Bank of America.
Initially, according to the homeowner, In February 2010 Bank of America agreed to lower his payments down to $767. He signed a contract and paid $767 as his next payment. However, the following bill came in for roughly $200. Confused, he called his lender and was told the lower amounts were "trial payments." He continued to pay $200 a month.
The homeowner ended up getting a letter that he was in default. However, each month he called the bank to see how much he should pay and no one was telling him what was wrong.
A spokesperson for the Bank of America claims it was an accounting error that led to the lower amount, but that this was fixed in March 2011 and the homeowner kept paying the lower amount. However, his attorney said during this time the owner was not receiving any statements and was being told by Bank of America representatives to pay the lower amount.
It was not until August of this year the homeowner was direct to reapply for a modification. At first he was denied, but the bank ended up making him an offer: If he pays $743 a month for three months, he will automatically get a permanent modification to his loan.
Of course this is welcoming news now, but for this homeowner it comes after his wife, children and sister already moved out. Now, he is just hopeful he will be able to get a better job and fix his damaged finances.
Sadly, this St. Paul man is also not the only one to run into financial difficulties and question the practices of his lender. However, just as this man did, those in Minnesota facing the possibility of foreclosure can reach out and talk with an attorney who has experience handling foreclosures.
Source: StarTribune, "Minnesota homeowner in limbo after bank error," Alejandra Matos, Oct. 14, 2013