Troubleshooter: Saving a home

ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team Troubleshooter Diane Wilson

April 29, 2010 3:23:21 PM PDT
For more than a year, a Wake Forest couple has been battling their mortgage company. It all started when their mortgage went from Countrywide Financial to Bank of America.

Steven and Linda Williams was approved and signed off on a loan modification while under Countrywide, but when the mortgage went to Bank of America, somehow that modification didn't transfer over, and a year later they were not only faced with more than $18,000 worth of late payment fees, but foreclosure on their half a million dollar home.

"You're six months behind, so we are going to go into foreclosure with your house," Steve Williams said. "And they started the process of foreclosure."

Foreclosure was something the Williams couldn't understand.

"I'm sitting here thinking this is a joke, this cannot be happening," Linda Williams said.

Back in March of 2009, the Williams signed off on a loan modification through Countrywide. The modification lowered their interest rate by one whole percent, reducing their mortgage payments each month by $500.

"We got a notification in the mail stating Bank of America now will be processing your loan and so on and so forth, but everything will stay consistent or the same," Steve Williams said.

The Williams say they continued to make their monthly mortgage payments to Bank of America. But when they went to buy a car, they learned something was wrong with the credit score.

"We realized that the credit bureau wasn't reporting that we were actually paying our mortgage," Steve Williams said. "So we contacted Bank of America and Bank of America told us everything would be okay."

But it wasn't okay, instead it got worse.

"A week before Thanksgiving we receive a notice of intent to foreclose," Linda Williams said.

"We called the rep at Bank of America and they said that it wasn't a mistake," Steven Williams added. "Even though you may have something in writing, we are not going to honor it at that point."

The Williams continued to fight it and contacted the attorney general's office.

"The Attorney General sent a letter back in two months saying that we really can't help you," Steven Williams said. "They didn't respond back to us. We request that you get an attorney and take them to small claims court."

The Williams say they spent thousands on an attorney, but that got them nowhere.

"So at that point, my father contacted us saying maybe you should do something different," Steven Williams said. "So he talked to my wife in reference to getting you to help us out."

"I was like at my wits end and I think he saw that and he was like, you need to contact Diane Wilson," Linda Williams said.

So they turned to ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, who contacted Bank of America and the Williams got great news, fast.

"When I contacted you, it was resolved within a week," Linda Williams said. "I couldn't believe it, I just started crying. I mean tears were rolling down my eyes. It was unbelievable and I thank you, you really did come through."

So did Bank of America, they honored the loan modification and deleted the $18,000 in late fees. The Williams also got to keep their home.

"Had it not been for you, we'd still be battling this right now," Linda Williams said. "This is what we've been fighting, fighting to save our house."

A rep with Bank of America said they were glad to reach a resolution.

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