3 of 6
BACKNEXT
Raul Medina - Moorestown N.J.
Raul Medina - Moorestown N.J.
Raul Medina and Joe Tardiff
No good deed goes unpunished, they say, and Amber and Joe Tardiff might be forced to agree. When Joe's good friend and partner in a landscaping business, Raul Medina, was left a parapalgegic by an auto accident, the Tardiffs and took on the Good Samaritan task of dealing with Medina's mortgage issues.

Medina, who's also a minister, owns two properties, his residence and one he bought for a Moorestown, N.J., church to provide shelter for the homeless.

"My husband made the bank aware of the situation," says Amber, "and asked if there were options to modify the loan. Everybody he talked to gave him a different story. By the time he was able to get through to the people who might be able to help, nine months had passed."

"It was extremely frustrating," adds Joe, "getting bounced around from department to department and get the wrong person again and again."

The lender of Medina's residential property delayed for six months in responding to an offer of a short sale - one in which the sale price is less than the borrowers owe and the bank agrees to forgive the difference. The price was $335,000, the original mortgage balance, but the lender wanted all their fees - $62,000 - paid as well.

"They finally agreed to a short sale but that was after calling and faxing their office daily and begging them to work with us so [Medina] didn't have a foreclosure on his hands," said Amber. "They're getting exactly the same amount of money they would have had they agreed to refinance two years ago."

That was bad strategy for the bank. Prices fell through that half year of dithering and missed payments, and expenses added to the lender's losses.

Medina owes about $280,000 on the other house he owns, in Medford N.J., and it needs a $75,000 overhaul to make it habitable for him. His insurance company offered to kick in $120,000 to make the property suitable for the wheelchair-bound Medina, according to the Tardiffs, if the lender would work out a modification. It wouldn't.

"After seven months of roadblocks, wrong numbers, voice mails to people who `no longer work for the company' I was told that the lender does not offer any loan modifications," said Amber.

Medina's options boil down to keeping the house but pay all the outstanding bills within 18 months or arranging another short sale. Since he gets just $1,000 a month from Social Security and $1,100 a month rent from an apartment in the house and a small housing allowance from the church, he can only afford the original mortgage payment; he couldn't afford to add the missed payments to that and pay it back in a year and a half.

"Based on our experience with two different mortgage companies trying to help a paraplegic minister, the lenders are less than willing to help people struggling to get by," said Amber Tardiff.

NEXT: Richard and Pati Kays - Stuart Fla.
Last updated May 20 2009: 11:55 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
These 10 food trends could dominate 2015 So long, kale. Here's what's expected to shake up the food industry next year. More
Beyond Russia: Geopolitical hot spots in 2015 Investors beware: These 5 global crises are likely to rattle the stock market and world economy. More
These 20 antique guns could fetch big bucks Morphy Auctions in Pennsylvania is putting nearly 1,000 old guns on the block. Here are just a few. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.