Disabled Vet Gordon Kouba Says Chase Bank Dishonestly Offered Him Special VA Loan


A disabled veteran says Chase Bank told him that it would grant him a special VA loan to buy a house -- then rescinded the offer, saying it never offered that type of loan to begin with. Now the Chicago-area man could soon be homeless.

Gordon Kouba (pictured at left), 43, of Grayslake, Ill., is a former Marine who sustained three back injuries during his service. He now requires medication and can't stand or sit for more than a few minutes without pain. He was trying to get a VA loan under the Illinois Housing Development Authority's Welcome Home Heroes program, which offers financial assistance to homebuying veterans. Kouba told AOL Real Estate that Chase Bank offered him the loan under the IHDA program in May.

"I was just so happy," Kouba said. "I had picked a house, and the owners accepted my bid. ... I put out on Facebook: 'Hey, I got my house!' "

But after two months of paperwork -- and two closing dates that he said Chase didn't honor -- his loan still hadn't come through. Chase told him that the IHDA was the problem, holding up the application process. Then, Kouba said, Chase told him that the IHDA kicked the bank out of its programs and that it could no longer give him a loan.

Neither Chase nor the IHDA would comment on the nature of the split between them.

By this point, Kouba had already told his landlord that he was moving out of his apartment.

"What am I supposed to do now?" Kouba said. "I told my landlord that I would be out by June 30."

Kouba called local officials and news media about the incident. That's when he got a call from the IHDA. He said that the IHDA told him that since Chase initiated the paperwork for his loan, the agency would still accept it. The problem, IHDA told him, was that Chase just never completed the paperwork.

When Kouba confronted Chase with this news, the bank gave him this head-spinning response, he said: It doesn't offer VA loans through the IDHA anyway, so his loan was dead.

"Why [Chase] offered it to me in May is a mystery," he said. "They were completely dishonest with me."

'Bending Over Backwards'

After CBS Chicago reported Kouba's case, however, Chase offered to complete his loan and expedite the process.

"They're bending over backwards for me now," Kouba said.

A Chase spokeswoman declined to comment on the case, saying only that "we have expedited Mr. Kouba's application for a mortgage through the Illinois Welcome Home Heroes program. We hope to have an answer for Mr. Kouba as soon as we complete our review."

When AOL Real Estate contacted a Chase representative named Dee Lewis, who is helping Kouba through the process, she said that she was not authorized to discuss his case.

An IHDA spokeswoman also declined to discuss the case, telling AOL Real Estate: "We are more focused on the current situation and how [Kouba is] being helped."

Though Chase is now telling Kouba that it will complete his loan, he faces a new problem: If the loan doesn't come through by the time he has to leave his apartment, he'll have nowhere to go. His said that his landlord has only extended his lease until the end of July.

"I'm almost a month over the time I told [my landlord] that I would be moving," Kouba said. "For all I know, he's got someone to rent the place out.

"I'm in the streets come the first [of August]."

See also:
Housing Discrimination: Disability-Related Complaints Soar

Banks' Paperwork Foul-Up Cost Atlanta Woman Her Home
'This Is Crazy': Company Snatches Condos from Owners

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Army Veteran Sues Landlord For Housing Discrimination
Army Veteran Sues Landlord For Housing Discrimination