Couple's home to be auctioned despite loan modification

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PHOENIX -- A Valley couple say their home was put on the auction block even though they successfully modified their loan. So, they contacted 3 On Your Side for help.

I would say eight out of 10 times my reports are based on miscommunication and that seems to be the case here.

Rachel and Jaime Torres thought they were making their new modified payment. But, as it turns out, they forgot to include money for their escrow account, meaning their new "modified" payment wasn't enough.

"I said, 'Oh no! Oh no, my God,' and I broke down in tears," Rachel said.

The couple were frantic when they called 3 On Your Side recently from outside the county courthouse.

"I was told our house was in auction," Rachel said.

The couple claim they didn't even know their home was being auctioned on this day until they got a knock on their door earlier that morning.

"Some person came to the door and said my house was for auction, no paperwork, no nothing," Jaime said.

Rachel and Jaime say that person was actually a potential buyer who wanted to look around before bidding on their home.

So, the couple raced down to the courthouse to see what was going on.

"The auction was a surprise for us," Rachel said. "There was no sign on the door, no notice, nothing."

Rachel and Jaime say they were shocked because they had documents showing Chase, their mortgage company, successfully modified their loan in November and that they had been making the new modified payments.

"Why are they doing this to us when everything they have wanted us to do we've done?" Rachel asked.

The auction was postponed until August, which means they wouldn't be losing their home on this day, but why would it be auctioned off at all?

We contacted Chase, which cleared up the matter.

It turns out Rachel and Jaime thought they were making the new modified payment of nearly $600. But the new payment was actually closer to $800, meaning they weren't paying enough at all and inadvertently fell behind.

In response, Chase agreed to re-modify their loan one more time to make it more affordable, saying, "We are working closely with the customer on a new, more affordable modification that includes principal, interest and escrow for taxes."

That's great news for Rachel, who says she couldn't have worked through it without the help of 3 On Your Side.

"The feeling right now is a sense of relief," she said. "We didn't know what else to do until Channel 3 came to our side."

I really have to hand it to Chase for modifying their mortgage not once but twice. I think that really says a lot about Chase.