Mesa man has problems with his loan modification

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MESA -- Ivan Rivera loves his Mesa home and had big plans for it. But with a recent loss of income, his main priority was to just hold on to his home.

"In September, we notified our mortgage company in order to get a loan modification," Rivera said.

Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Task Force:

Community Information & Referral: 1-877-448-1211

Fannie Mae: 1-800-7Fannie or

Freddie Mac: 1-800-Freddie or

Rivera says he was ecstatic when SunTrust Mortgage, his mortgage company, told him they would lower his monthly payments by $300 by modifying his loan.

"They sent an overnight package with a contract for us to sign and notarize and we sent it back," Rivera said. "We thought it was great. Fantastic! Wow! Three hundred dollars a month is a lot of money."

But after signing the contract and making three payments in the new modified amount of about $1,200, Rivera's enthusiasm soon turned to worry.

"I was shocked!" Rivera said. "They told me the contract was null and void due to the fact that, and I quote, 'it sat in someone's office for three months."

That's right. Things never got processed on SunTrust's end and as if that wasn't bad enough, Rivera got more shocking news.

"We've made three payments so far and that money is nowhere to be found," he said. "No one can explain to me where that money goes."

Not only is Rivera's loan modification not processed, the new payments he sent in are missing.

"I'm just very paranoid as to whether or not we're going to be able to keep this place that we've put so much love into," he said.

So, 3 On Your Side contacted SunTrust Mortgage and told them to look into the matter.

As a result, Rivera says SunTrust did find his missing mortgage payments, which is good news.

The downside? The initial program that qualified Rivera for a loan modification has expired, but SunTrust is working on finding a new way to modify his loan.

Apparently, Rivera's money is being held in a suspense account until the loan modification documents can be processed, which according to Rivera, may take a little while.