Tornado victim seeks answers to insurance runaround


One Raleigh family says their mortgage company is causing a big holdup. Their insurance company has paid them over $50,000 for damages their home suffered during the tornadoes.

However, despite all that money, they can't get all of it because their mortgage company is holding more than half of it.

The Lau's Raleigh home was hit by the April tornadoes. Their insurance company originally gave them about $30,000 to cover the damages. The money came in a check that not only had homeowner, Mike Lau's, name on it but also his mortgage company, BB&Y.

"The mortgage company puts it in escrow and sends to us as needed to make the repairs," said Lau.

Mike found a contractor to do the repairs for the $30,000 and BB&T did send two different checks for $10,000 each as repairs progressed. However, during the construction, Mike hired a public adjustor to look at their home and policy.

"He came in and looked around and said you should be getting more than this based on your policy," said Lau.

Their public adjustor actually said that, according to their policy, they should be getting more than the $30,000 which Mike's insurance company originally gave them. In September, Mike's insurance company sent out another adjustor.

"He did find additional things but he only cut us a check for about another $25,000.

That additional $25,000 had to go once again to Mike's Mortgage company, BB&T.

"When I first talked to them, they were going to send us two-thirds of the money since that's what they've given us so far," said Lau.

However, that never happened.

"We're not sending any money. We're going to hold onto all the money until the work is 100 percent completed," he said.

Something Mike says he didn't understand, as the contract for repairs still stands at $30,000. The additional $25,000 his insurance company gave him in September, Mike wants now. He adds he doesn't feel BB&T has any right to that money.

I got in touch with BB&T. A rep looked into it and in a statement said in part, "we understand that working through the rebuilding process is difficult for those involved. BB&T is committed to making sure the Lau's home is put back to the way it was so they can resume their lives. BB&T is working diligently with the parties concerned to determine the extent of the damages and to ensure our client's interests and their home are protected."

The Lau's also just got some huge relief! The outside construction is done so BB&T did send an inspector and the Lau's tell me he signed off on those repairs and, as for the inside, signed off that 90 percent of the inside repairs are done. So the Lau's just got the checks from BB&T that total more than $30,000.

Right now, there is just about $5,000 of the insurance money left that the Lau's will get once the inside repairs are finished.

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