17 June 2013
 June 17, 2013
Category: Good Stories

“Our house just means family to us.” – Thomas Smith

From an interview with Thomas and Aline Smith of Kitts Hill, Ohio whose home was saved from foreclosure through the efforts of Mark Cardosi and the staff at the SEOLS office in Portsmouth, Ohio.

The Smiths have lived in the almost 100 year old house on Township Road 191 for 34 years. The home on the edge of the Wayne National Forest was reconstructed in 1934. Their son and grandchildren live next door. Thomas is a 71 year old retired veteran. Aline is also retired and has been disabled for a number of years. They always made their mortgage payments to CitiMortgage on time.

Early in 2011, they began having a problem. CitiMortgage said they were behind on their payments. The Smiths called to try to straighten things out and sent copies of their payment receipts. After many phone calls and visits to the CitiMortgage offices, nothing was resolved and CitiMortgage increased their monthly payments from $544 to $844. The Smiths contacted attorneys. None would take the case.

CitiMortgage moved forward with foreclosure proceedings. The Sheriff showed up at the Smith’s door with a notice of foreclosure. Mrs. Smith said, “We didn’t know which way to turn. We were scared to death and embarrassed.” A neighbor suggested they contact the legal services office in Portsmouth. Thomas and Aline talked with Managing Attorney, Mark Cardosi. He said he would take the case.

“Mark was right with us at the court. We have total respect for him. He’s our friend. He’s been our friend.” – Aline Smith

Mark appeared with the Smiths in court, and helped Aline and Thomas organize and produce evidence of mortgage, insurance and tax payments. Nonetheless, CitiMortgage demanded payment for taxes and insurance that the Smiths had already paid. It became clear that without notice to the Smiths, CitiMortgage had created a separate escrow account for insurance and taxes and began siphoning off money from the Smiths’ principal and interest payments to deposit into and apply to the new tax and insurance account. CitiMortgage had even prepaid some of the Smiths’ tax and insurance liability with the Smiths’ principal and interest payments. The matter was finally resolved and the foreclosure was dismissed by CitiMortgage at its own cost. Aline and Thomas received no apology.

Mr. Smith stated, “It’s hard to be treated that way. I’m a veteran of 6 years. CitiMortgage was not willing to negotiate. It didn’t make sense. We just wanted to be fair and to be treated fairly. If not for Mark we would have been out. We hope SEOLS can help more people that need help.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »