5 On Your Side

Woman faced foreclosure even after on-time payments

Posted November 13, 2013
Updated November 16, 2013

— Like a lot of people, Mary Wolkomir wanted to save some money, so she started the process to lower her mortgage payment.

Bank of America approved her for a trial loan modification, which reduced the payment on her Raleigh home by nearly $200.

After being approved for a permanent modification in April, she got a foreclosure notice in July. Bank of America said she hadn't been paying her entire mortgage.

After spending months trying to get things straightened out on her own, Wolkomir contacted 5 On Your Side, which got in touch with the bank.

The next day, the company sent an email apologizing for the delay in converting the loan. The loan modification was finalized, and Bank of America requested a credit correction to show she was current on all payments.

Bank of America has faced its share of mortgage-related complaints.

It is named in 23,000 complaints filed with the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since the agency started taking them nearly two years ago.

Wolkomir is happy her delay is resolved.

Still, many people struggle to make mortgage payments whether from a job loss or illness.

There are two key things to know in that situation.

First, as soon as it's clear you are having trouble making your payments, contact your lender. Don't wait until it is too late.

At the same time, watch out for so-called foreclosure assistance or rescue companies that require payment up front before they "help" you. It's illegal to charge an upfront fee for foreclosure assistance services in North Carolina.

Help is also available through the state. Two resources worth looking into are the North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund, where qualified homeowners can get significant interest-free loans to help them pay their mortgage.

The State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project offers free counseling, access to legal services for some and help with your mortgage servicer.

16 Comments

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  • greenfeet Nov 19, 8:59 a.m.

    When I pay my monthly mortgage payment to Bank of America, the bank will call it unapplied funds on my monthly mortgage statement. They have never called it the amount I paid. Does this happen with anyone else?!?

  • UpChuck Nov 18, 3:23 p.m.

    I've had BofA for seven years as my mortgage lender and have never had any problem with my mortgage or their service. Pretty sure most of you folks only comment using information you've heard, but not actually witnessed.

  • FragmentFour Nov 15, 2:19 p.m.

    Bank of America and Wells Fargo have consolidated themselves into a pair of incredibly faithless institutions - neither of which is worth doing business though. Thank God (and some insightful humans) for credit unions!

  • mm23 Nov 15, 9:16 a.m.

    In North Carolina if you need mortgage re-fi or foreclosure avoidance, I highly recommend Raleigh Area Development Authority (RADA). Very professional, responsive and knowledgeable. The process takes some time but they are very committed individuals. And at least a couple of years ago when we sought them out, they did not charge a fee. We are in our home because of their help and counsel. Can't say enough good things.

  • samr Nov 14, 7:57 p.m.

    We paid off our home loan 20 years ago. superman

    Good for you but the mortage industry you dealt with 20 years ago does not even resemble the mortgage industry today. BOA's servicing record during the foreclosure crisis is among the worst ever. They have pulled every trick in the book to keep borrowers on the dangle while they were collecting incentive payments from the federal government.

  • lickashot4bk Nov 14, 7:56 p.m.

    I went through a similar situation with BOA and I cant stand them and their sneaky and grimey ways

  • lwe1967 Nov 14, 6:06 p.m.

    Never did like Bank of America. They have taken over a lot of banks in many States and, I don't believe that they are quite koscher(sp). I read not too long ago, that they foreclosed on a house that they didn't even have a mortgage on and never did and sold the home right of from under the owner. He sued them and one. The man had payed cash for the house and, he had a title search done! That is not the end of their horror stories. Although, to be fair, they are not the only bank that has done this. In the above case, it cost Bank of America a pretty sum in the end!

  • lec02572 Nov 14, 3:17 p.m.

    "...watch out for so-called foreclosure assistance or rescue companies that require payment up front before they "help" you." It's against the law for companies to require a payment up front. File a complaint with the NC Dept. of Justice.

  • 678devilish Nov 14, 12:34 p.m.

    Praying she will not loose her home.

  • Trixie Nov 14, 12:28 p.m.

    "Bank of America approved her for a trial loan modification" She was approved to make the small payment so why would she continue to pay the higher amount?

    These banks don't give a hoot about people or trying to correct their mistakes until they're called out on it.

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