After renting for years, I started looking for a home to buy in 2005 for myself and my children. At that time I was told (by many brokers and banks) that my credit score was too low and that they could not provide financing unless I had a 30% down payment, which I did not have.
I then began to look for an alternative way to purchase a home so that I could stop renting. I decided that perhaps a land contract would be possible. While looking for a land contract, I drove past an open house and stopped in. The realtor was Ellie Taylor ,who said that she had a business relationship with a broker that could most certainly help me. This broker's name was Monica Moore. I contacted Monica and she said...yes, yes. She could help me.
However, after she checked my credit, I ended up with the same story that I had gotten from everyone else. I needed more money down or, as Monica put it I needed to use "creative financing". She told me that if I could find a home for sale I should ask the sellers if they would be willing to make the 30% down payment for me. That sounded very strange and I wasn't sure if I could find someone willing to do that.
After looking, and being sent away numerous times, Ellie Taylor told me about a house in Westfield Center and indicated that the owners might be willing to do this. As it turned out, they were. I contacted Monica and told her that I was ready and that the owners were willing to help me by carrying a 2nd mortgage on the home. I thought that was great. After Monica processed all the paperwork she called and told me what my closing costs were. I can't remember an exact amount but it was more than I had.
I began searching frantically for someone that would finance the house for less closing costs. I found a man that said yes, he would help. I do not remember his name but he was from First Banc Mortgage in Cleveland, Ohio. He said the deal was that I would (on paper) buy my home for $157,250.00 and then has a 2nd "private" mortgage with the owners for $27,500. I would then pay the owners $200.00 a month for one year and if I could pay them $17,500 by the end of the first year then they would "forgive" the other $10,000. I was PROMISED, by First Banc Mortgage, that they would refinance me in one year for the total value of the home and that I would (then) be able to pay off the 2nd mortgage to the original owners.
This sounded good but the house was actually more than I thought I could afford. It was important to make certain that my payments stayed at about $1200.00 a month and did not go up. Even at that amount it would be hard for me to make the payment. No problem, they said! The only thing that was holding up the loan was that it was to be "paperless" and I didn't have a CPA do my taxes yearly. Again they said; Not a problem! First Banc Mortgage said they would provide one for me.
I was really confused about all this so they tried to explain the procedure to me. First Banc Mortgage's CPA would write a letter stating that I made a certain amount of money so that I would be able to get financed. Because the interest rate on the loan was so high; I needed to be able to report more income than I actually made. I told them that I didn't think that was a good idea and never heard another word about it until later when I found out that they actually had a WRITTEN statement from a CPA stating that I claimed taxes on an amount of money that I NEVER made! They sent me paperwork by the ton and an assured me that my mortgage payment would be $1200 or less per month. I ended up signing a mortgage for a house with a payment of $1539.00 and later found out that I still had to come up with the $200.00 a month for the 2nd mortgage owed to the original owners. WHAT?? Too late, I was now the proud new owner of 6728 Arlington Drive, Westfield Center, Ohio 44251.
After a few months, I ended up moving my mother into my home. She was recovering from kidney cancer and I thought that it would be best if she moved in with me rather than living alone. She had mounting medical bills from two bouts of cancer and no health insurance.
As the end of the first year became closer, I started to worry about the huge sum of money which I owed to the sellers. I could not afford to continue to give them $200.00 a month and could not pay them the outstanding $27,500 unless I could get refinanced. I had no choice but to call First Banc Mortgage and tell them that I was ready to refinance in order to pay off the Sellers. After numerous phone calls, and emails over a period of weeks, I heard nothing from them and started to panic. I telephoned Monica Moore and told her that I needed to refinance, with an extra $17,500 in the loan amount, so that I could pay off the Sellers. She told me that I would need a total appraisal on the house of $215,000 in order to refinance for $193,000. I explained that I only needed $173,000. Monica said Better to have cash in the bank. Monica made it happen.
An Appraiser called and asked what I needed the house appraised at. I said Aren't you coming out to look at it? Nope, he said, we'll come out later; do you need the appraisal for $215,000? That is the amount Monica said I needed; she also said that I needed to hurry. With the deal Monica put together, I paid off the Sellers and was free of the 2nd mortgage. Now my mortgage was with WAMU However, my house payment went from $1,539.00 a month to $2050.00 a month. This was more per month than when I was paying two mortgages. How did that happen?
My mom was still living with me and was recovering and starting to help with bills. I thought perhaps I could make the payment. That was until she became ill again, this time with terminal cancer.
Eventually my mother had to stop working and I had to reduce my hours to part-time, and eventually stop working altogether while I sat with my mother and my sister and I watched her die. It all happened so fast. It seems like one minute we were scraping by and making the house payment, then my income halved, my mother's income stopped and at some point I had to stop making house payments or stop feeding my children.
Then I started getting letters from Citi Residential but on the paperwork filed with the court it indicated the mortgage holder was Duetche Bank c/o Argent Mortgage. It got to the point that I did not know who actually held the mortgage on my house
I don't even remember when, the dreaded foreclosure papers came. I immediately contacted an attorney and asked for his help. No problem he said; give me a $500 retainer and I'll take care of this. He went on to say With all of the foreclosures happening, trust me; the bank does not want your house. He said the bank would ask me for about $2,000 down and trust me...I'm 99% sure that they will drop your interest to a normal rate. At that time my mortgage interest rate was 12.75%. Bruce told me we'll get the house reappraised from someone honest and you should be able to start fresh.
I've been sitting here, in my home, since March 2007 grieving my mother, trying to rebuild my business, taking care of three children and wondering where the next dollar is going to come from. Attroney said he went to mediation meetings with the bank, prepared income verification for me and maintained an on-going correspondence with the bank. I have called him for months/weeks, and he does not return my phone calls, I have been waiting for weeks to learn what happened after his mediation meeting with the bank.
Then on August 29th, Citi Residential said that my lawyer never turned in any of the paperwork, nor did he return calls to the bank lawyer and the bank has now filed foreclosure on my home. This foreclosure has apparently been filed by Deutche Bank whose attorney is a Mr. McNellie in Cleveland.
I feel as though I have been raped by the bank. How can I tell my children, after losing their Grandmother, that we are also going to lose our home? I have no family except my children, what are we going to do. I want to keep my house, I want to pay for my house but I need help and Citi Residential is not going to help. They either want me to pay an interest rate of 12.75% or they are going to foreclose on my home.
Please help me. I don't know where to go, I don't know who to turn to and I don't know what to do. I can't lose my home; I just can't. My children and I have suffered enough. We literally have no where to go. There is no longer a Mom to run home to. There is no one to help us. I can't just walk away from all of this.
westfield center, Ohio
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