Anthem family wants to save home but says bank won't help

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ANTHEM, Ariz. - Holidays are pretty much picture perfect in Melissa McGarry's Anthem neighborhood.

“It's an amazing neighborhood,” she said.

She and her family moved here 10 years ago with help of a loan through USAA, a bank that focuses on helping members of the military.

“My dad, because of his service, it makes us eligible for USAA. It’s called their legacy program where military can hand it down to their children,” Melissa said.

But when times took a turn for the worse a few years ago, Melissa says she began asking about a mortgage modification to reduce her house payment.

Two-and-a-half years later, she's still trying.

“It was just this never ending cycle of resend us this,” she said. “I mean, I can't even tell you how many times we sent stuff in. It was just so frustrating,” she said.

Melissa says she even hired a company to help push the modification through.

She also fell behind on her house payments.

That was when, Melissa says, the bank stepped in to help, or so she thought.

Months later, she learned her home was in foreclosure.

“We had a buyer show up at our doorstep at 4:30 in the afternoon and say that they're selling our house tomorrow at 11,” she said.

Melissa scrambled to bring her account up to date so her home wasn't auctioned off.

But she says that only landed her right back where she started, so she emailed 3 On Your Side.

“They're supposed to take care of the military, take care of their families and we're back to spinning our wheels,” Melissa said.

USAA immediately began looking into all this as soon as 3 On Your Side contacted them.

We're told the hang up was, in part, due to a miscommunication somewhere along the line.

Realtor Kevin Kauffman says three years into the housing market collapse, that's a problem that continues to plague banks and leave homeowners in limbo.

“That's where the old saying the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing,” Kauffman said.

In a statement, USAA tells us:

“At USAA, we never want to see one of our members lose his or her home. That’s why USAA and the mortgage servicer, PHH, have worked diligently to help Mrs. McGarry retain her home.

We worked with Mrs. McGarry on several loan modification requests that could not be completed because required documentation was not provided to the mortgage servicer.
Mrs. McGarry was recently approved for a trial loan modification prior to contact with KTVK. We were able to approve the trial loan modification once the required documentation was received. The mortgage servicer has since contacted Mrs. McGarry via phone and mail to notify her of the decision and is currently working with her to put the trial loan modification in place.”

That's a relief to Melissa who says she couldn't be happier to be one step closer to staying in her home, and near the neighbors that have become more like family.

3 On Your Side also reached out to the company Melissa hired for $1,500 to help with the modification.

It has agreed to refund her money.