KIYC: Mortgage company still appears to ignore NJ law with Sandy victims

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Despite two previous Kane In Your Corner investigations into their conduct, a national mortgage company still appears to be ignoring New Jersey law in their dealings with a couple that survived Superstorm Sandy.

Phone recordings show a representative from “Mr. Cooper” – a division of Nationstar Mortgage – demanding payment, even after he is informed that the mortgage on Jim and Carol Ferraioli’s Middletown home is supposed to be frozen until 2019 under state law.

“Right now the account is ten payments past due,” the company’s loan officer can be heard telling Jim Ferraioli. We need a minimum of eight of those payments.”

When Ferraioli explains his mortgage is in forbearance pursuant to state law, Mr. Cooper’s representative plows on. “Forbearance Act? I’ve never heard of that. The options we have available here are a repayment plan… or we can apply for a possible loan modification.”

“It seems every time I speak to somebody, they don’t know what’s going on,” Jim Ferraioli says. 

Mr. Cooper issued a written statement, which only seemed to raise more questions. "We have been in touch with Mr. Ferraioli to explain the timeline and details of the program, and we are reaching out to him again to ensure he has all the information he needs,” the statement says.

The problem is, the phone recording obtained by Kane In Your Corner stems from a previous attempt by Mr. Cooper to “explain the situation.” And much of what the company representative says is incorrect.

As Kane In Your Corner first reported in October, the Ferraiolis were victims of a fraudulent contractor. Their house was elevated and then abandoned. After sitting in the air for years, it is now so badly damaged that it has to be torn down.

But while the mortgage problems persist, there does appear to be some hope for the Ferraiolis on another front. Wednesday, the State of New Jersey officially gave them $140,000 in grant funding, to replace the money they lost to fraud. That gives the couple hope their long journey home may eventually come to an end.

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