Local News

Alamance County family struggles to keep home

Posted December 24, 2009 5:30 p.m. EST
Updated December 24, 2009 6:31 p.m. EST

— With so many people out of work, the holidays aren't just about finding that perfect present this year. There are homeowners, like Robert and Yodith Tierney, who are struggling to simply make their mortgage payments.

The Tierneys bought their Alamance County home in Graham last summer. It was a dream come true but then, earlier this year, Robert Tierney lost his job in the insurance industry.

“I felt lost,” he said. “I would have never bought a house in June 2008 if I thought I wasn't going to have a job by February 2009."

Still, the couple had to make their monthly mortgage payment, which is more than $1,200.

“We feel downtrodden, and we also feel like we've done nothing wrong,” Robert Tierney said.

Robert Tierney said in the meantime, he has applied for hundreds of jobs with no luck.

Fortunately, the couple has a mortgage borrower’s protection plan through Bank of America. The bank is supposed to pay about $1,000 of the monthly mortgage, while he is out of work, for a year. But the Tierneys have had problems with the plan.

“It's chaos. It’s like they're not communicating with each other,” Yodith Tierney said.

The couple said the borrower’s protection department and the mortgage company were rarely on the same page. Despite paying their bills on time, the Tierneys said they still received overdue notices and were told their loan was in default.

According to Bank of America, a technology system upgrade caused the problems.

Robert Tierney’s borrower’s protection agreement on his house expires in February. The couple isn’t sure what they will do after that.

“We will keep the home. That’s our goal,” Yodith Tierney said.

A Bank of America spokesman said Tierney’s payments are up to date and the problem has since been fixed.