Family asks for help to save home

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A Chesterfield woman caught up in a loan modification nightmare with 'Bank of America' called 12 On Your Side for help saving her home. Her complaint mirrors others that claim the bank's process forces foreclosure.

Whether this family is approved, is up to 'Bank of America'. But since my inquiries, the case has been expedited -- turned over to the office of the president in the 'Bank of America' Home Loans Division.

"I am totally helpless," said Karen Long. "Instead of helping me, it's going to make me lose my home, because of the increase in the payment. I can't afford it."

There are more papers than words to explain how the Longs got here. Facing foreclosure and fighting to stay in the house they love. Karen Long says it's scary.

"Being homeless with pets and my kids...I have a full time job; I work 50 hours plus every week. My husband has 2 jobs," said Karen. "The most frustrating part is being afraid that I'm gonna come home...that our house is going to be locked."

Karen says it's a lax process marred in foot dragging. She's among a long list of clients critical of how slowly 'Bank of America' handles modification applications.

"They have verification here that they've received my documents yet they sent me a letter in March saying I was at risk of losing the modification because they weren't receiving any of my documents," she said.

'Bank of America' responded by email this evening. Para-phrasing: the slow downs are industry wide but says it's helped 160,000 families keep their homes since January 2010, and completed 650,000 modified home loans since 2008.

Karen's case is getting special handling as they research a payment dispute and previous Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) trial modification.

"Why aren't they in trouble for doing this? Not just to me. I don't understand why they are not in trouble for it," Karen said. "Modify the loan so that it's affordable for us to stay here."

'Bank of America' says foreclosure is a last resort and its focus is on home ownership retention solutions. It cites an "unprecedented" high volume of applications, and says it continues to improve customer service. 

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