FHA Mortgage Foreclosure Issue Widespread After Sandy [AUDIO]
Here's a cautionary tale. If you're a homeowner displaced by Superstorm Sandy and have an FHA loan, you're entitled to an extension, but in some cases you may have to take some action of your own.
There has been a recent flap regarding the Federal Government's April extension.
No one knows that better than Kathleen Murphy of Brick Township in Ocean County. She had to take matters into her own hands after a call to her lender yielded several mailings with foreclosure threats and even a claim that there was no knowledge at her bank about the highly-publicized extension.
"I had to send two of my three daughters to live with my sister while my other daughter lives with me and my husband in a trailer that we purchased and set up in our front yard while reconstruction on our home continues," Murphy explained. "We are about halfway done with the repairs that are necessary for us to move back in, but now we're facing a possible foreclosure."
After battling back and fourth for a while, Murphy started an online petition at the Change.org web site. So far to date, she has received support from over 19,000 people.
As of now, her bank has agreed to extend her moratorium but Murphy tells us it was an over-the-phone verbal message and nothing has been mailed to her in writing on the issue.
"As a result, I don't feel safe with this. I feel they can still swoop in and take our home and it's not right. We have done everything we were supposed to do."
Her lender reported Murphy and her family to the credit bureau as well.
According to Murphy's bank, who wouldn't go on tape with us for an interview, they have worked out their issues with Murphy and have extended the moratorium. They sent us an e-mail.
The following is the body of the message:
We communicated to Ms. Murphy earlier this month that we were able to approve her for an extended payment moratorium. Since Hurricane Sandy occurred, we have been able to help more than 23,000 customers with insurance claims, payment assistance and foreclosure prevention.
Customers can continue to reach out to us for assistance and disaster recovery information through our Wells Fargo Disaster Hotline, 888-818-9147, Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST or online at Get Help with Disaster Recovery at the www.wellsfargo.com website.
You can see the petition online.
If you are experiencing a similar situation, call the FHA Service Center at (202) 708-1420.
Also, visit their website.