80 Cent 'Typo' Almost Cost Man Home
Didn't think you could lose your home over a mere 80 cents? Think again.
A simple typo -- accidentally entering "615.02" instead of "615.82" when paying off his mortgage via telephone -- almost cost Tom Mudie his home.
Granted, Mudie was paying off his second trial-mortgage payment after being approved for a mortgage modification program, The Tampa Tribune reports. As part of the program, Bank of America had lowered Mudie's monthly payment by nearly $200 and to protect his home from foreclosure, all Mudie had to do was make the new payments on time for three months.
But one simple error -- pressing "0" on a keypad instead of an "8," which amounted to an 80 cent error -- caused him to unknowingly violate his modification contract and consequently get booted from the program.
"I want to keep my home," Mudie told the Tribune. "And to lose it over 80 cents is crazy."
When Mudie realized his mistake, he reached out to a customer service representative who advised him to send the bank a check for the 80 cents, which would apparently rectify the problem. Mudie immediately sent the check alongside his next payment and hoped for the best.
But luck was not on his side. The next month, the check for 80 cents was sent back along with his last payment and a letter from Bank of America stating: "Your loan is not eligible for the Fannie Mae modification program because you did not make all the required trial period plan payments by the end of the trial period." A foreclosure of Mudie's home was set to go ahead, it explained.
Mudie's unfortunate predicament reflects a trend of simple mistakes leading to consequences that just "get out of hand," severely hurting homeowners in the short- and long-term, Fannie Mae spokesman Andrew Wilson told the Tribune.
Take for example, the case of Shantell Curtis who sold her Vernal, Utah, home in 2010. Or so she thought.
Due to a $1 "coding error" by her lender (Bank of America again) the title to Curtis' home had not been properly transferred to its new owners, making it appear as if Curtis still owned the home. The bank consequently initiated a foreclosure process on the home and reported Curtis to credit bureaus, effectively obliterating her credit score.
Though Bank of America later corrected all the codes on the loan, confirmed that it had been paid, and had all the necessary corrections sent to credit agencies, the inconvenience for homeowners -- among a number of other alleged "abuses" associated with this and other banks -- have aroused public fury.
Thankfully, like Curtis, Mudie's name was also cleared.
Bank spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens apologized to Mudie for the "glitch," admitting that "the bank made an error" when it booted him from the program.
"He's in the process of getting a permanent modification," Bauwens explained. "The paperwork is not finalized, but that 80-cent error is not going to create any additional issues for him."
Though Mudie is relieved to be able to keep his home, he told the Tribune that from now on, he'll be paying his mortgage by mail.
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