Preservation Company Hired by Lender Damaged Short Sale Property Causing Sale to Fall Through

We relocated to Florida for employment reasons and rented our home which is located in Illinois. We faithfully paid our mortgage on time for seven years before relocating. We had no choice but to short sell as we could no longer afford two mortgages after our last renters destroyed our property. We fixed the damage, in good faith, to restore the property for a quick sell and ensure we could ask the maximum sales price. After only missing two mortgage payments we were able to secure a buyer. This was the desired outcome since it would preclude foreclosure. Our lender, Seterus approved the short sale price and set a closing date. Before closing our buyers wanted to do another walk through. That is when we discovered we were locked out of our property. We were not in foreclosure so we are not sure why our lender, Seterus, changed the locks without notifying us. Although the home was unoccupied we did not abandon the property since we were still paying the utilities and were in escrow. Once we were able to access the property we discovered (at least) two broken radiators, major water damage to the living room floor and toxic mold on the walls. This damage was absolutely caused by the agent, Safeguard Properties hired by our lender, Seterus, when they improperly winterized our home. An inexperienced Safeguard Properties technician shut off the water inside the home, without properly draining the radiators, which resulted in $25,000 worth of damage when the pipes froze and ruptured. Both Seterus and Safeguard Properties have since refused the repair estimate. This will eventually cause our buyer to walk away leaving us without a buyer and extensive damage to our home. The damage is so major that we will be unable to secure another buyer until the damage is repaired. We have proper documentation proving the damage was caused by Safeguard Properties yet they are refusing to accept any responsibility whatsoever and Seterus has already denied the claim without explaining why they were doing so. We feel they are doing this to force us into an unjust foreclosure, which only serves them better. We are not financially able to pay $25,000 to correct the damage, nor to hire a lawyer to sue both Seterus and Safeguard Properties for the damage, loss of sale and unjust foreclosure. These mortgage companies and the preservation companies hired by them take advantage of the fact that we homeowners don’t have the financial resources to properly fight them and their unscrupulous business practices so they continue unabated leaving the homeowners worse off than they otherwise would have been had they not intervened.  These preservation companies and the lenders that hire them need to be held accountable for their actions. The only advice Seterus has offered was to file a value dispute with Fannie Mae. Unfortunately, that has proved just as futile. They too have delayed the process without cause or reason. We feel they too are avoiding any resolution hoping the longer they delay the process the more likely the buyer will walk away. That way foreclosure becomes the only option left and we end up absorbing their $25,000 mistake. Our only recourse is to contact every real estate lawyer who specializes in this type of loss mitigation until one agrees to take our case. We are hoping we can reach a resolution so our buyers don’t walk away and we can avoid foreclosure by holding the lender and preservation company accountable for their actions. PLEASE take a special interest in helping us to resolve this issue before we lose everything we have worked so hard for. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

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  • published this page in Share Your Story 2014-05-20 09:55:02 -0700