MORRISTOWN (WATE) - A Morristown family is dealing with a mortgage servicing company that has thousands of people worried.
Over the last few years, the housing industry has faced its most serious crisis ever. Millions of people have mortgages that are upside down or they have tried to modify their high interest loans in an effort to lower their monthly payments.
Cindy McNatt and her husband have tried this path, but it hasn't been successful. Now they're about to lose their house.
Cindy is a surgery technician. Her husband is a store manager. Like many couples with children, their monthly budget is tight.
The couple purchased their home eight years ago with a big monthly mortgage at nine percent interest.
They tried a loan modification program last year. Their mortgage lender directed them to Seterus, Inc., a mortgage servicing company that handles the daily maintenance of their loan.
The modification deal hasn't worked out. "This was our dream house. We worked very hard for it. Now it's going to be taken away," Cindy said.
She has a mountain of paperwork she collected over the last 14 months to prove her case of solvency. "Look, all of these are payments to Seterus."
Cindy says the documents show monthly mortgage payments automatically deducted from her bank. She showed 6 On Your Side a $7,500 check sent directly to Seterus. Yet, she says the company claims her payments are late.
"Your mortgage is due on the 1st. Here you go, Seterus," Cindy said, picking up a payment form, "My money arrives to you on the 1st. Guess what? No, it doesn't. It takes them five to 10 days to process it."
While it's processing, the McNatts are charged $83 a day because it's "not processed and showing up on their screen," Cindy said.
Records show, the McNatts have accumulated thousands of dollars in late charges.
Cindy says calling Seterus is futile. "You put in your number, then the last four of your social. They're closed, and it's 4:00 in the afternoon."
The Council of Better Business Bureaus report that with nearly 17,000 inquiries to date, Seterus is one of the most-inquired about businesses in the nation.
Consumers like the McNatts have complained about billing issues and inconsistent billing statements since their mortgage was transferred to Seterus, beginning last July.
"It's primarily service claims. They have not posted their payments properly, can't get them to call back and fees that are unaccounted for," said Jerry Tipton, with the Greater East Tennessee Better Business Bureau.
He also says with nearly 400 complaints, the company's F rating has been changed recently to NR, not rated. "That means the company has contacted the bureau system in Oregon and asked them to personally evaluate all their complaints and try to help them resolve these," Tipton explained.
But that may be too late for the McNatts. A letter from Seterus says their loan modification, which stated a year ago, has been rejected.
"They said they're going to foreclose on our home July 2nd," Cindy said. "I want my home. I don't want to leave it. I don't want to leave it and enjoy the hard work we've put into it."
6 On Your Side has made several efforts to get Seterus' side of this story. However, we have not received a response.
The McNatts have taken their complaints to the Federal Trade Commission and to the Tennessee Consumer Affairs Division in Nashville.
If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.