QUEEN CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - It's a little hard to find. But that’s just the way Jason Hemphill likes it. His Queen Creek home sits on three acres out in the of the desert. “It’s quiet,” he told 3 On Your Side. “We got wildlife. I mean everyday, we see coyotes or quail in the back of the property."
But exactly one year ago during the pandemic, Jason says he had some trouble making his mortgage payments.
So, he contacted his credit union called OneAZ where his home was financed and asked if they offered a mortgage deferment program like many companies did at the time. "Yeah, it was all over the TV and radio. All the banks were shouting out that with the pandemic, 'We have a deferment program. We'll take care of you,'" he said.
Fortunately, Jason says OneAZ told him they had just implemented a new program that would allow him to skip a few payments with no questions or penalties. "They said, ' We don't know exactly the terms of the program but you'll pretty much be missing the payments and we'll put them on the back of your mortgage and essentially the mortgage is longer,'" Jason says the representative told him.
As a result, Jason skipped his mortgage payments for April, May, June and July. "They said, 'We're not going to report it to the credit bureaus because you are working with us. You called us right away so we're working it out.'"
Everything was perfect, Jason says, until recently when he inquired about refinancing his house with OneAZ. They said he could. But, after paying a $625 appraisal fee to get the ball rolling, he received bad news. "The bank got your application back but the underwriters looked at your payment history and it shows you're behind. We can't refinance you," he says the credit union told him.
OneAZ told Jason the only way they would allow him to refinance was if he repaid a lump sum of more than $8,200, which is the amount of his four missed payments.
But Jason argued that those terms were never revealed when he initially accepted the deferral plan. "It's just been a constant battle since then with getting everything straightened out.”
And it gets worse. While Jason has battled back and forth, interest rates continue to climb essentially making refinancing pointless.
So, he reached out to 3 On Your Side. "You contacted me right away. I think it was the next day. You said, 'Hey, I got your info let's talk about it.'"
I got a hold of OneAZ Credit Union and after looking into issue for me, they agreed to refinance Jason without coming up with more than $8,200 in those missed payments. Not only that, but they also agreed to return his $625 appraisal fee.
And finally, OneAZ locked in his interest rate at 3%, which is what it was when he initially tried to refinance.
"So, in just a couple of days, they were very apologetic and were wanting to work with me now,” Jason told 3 On Your Side. “It's great. I've worked on it for six months and 3 On Your Side steps in and in two days, I'm getting calls from the bank apologizing and wanting to work with me."
The credit union was great to work with and very responsive. For privacy issues, they claimed they couldn't give details as to what went wrong. But they did confirm the issue is completely resolved.