Partial mortgage payments a problem

By Kristen Miranda - bio l email

Posted By Jeff Rivenbark  email

LENOIR, NC (WBTV) - Roy and Mary Causby thought they were doing the right thing.

"Back in the depression, my father always told me, even if you tried to pay a dollar toward what you owed, you were at least making an effort and it put you in good standing," Roy said.

So when they suddenly couldn't afford their monthly mortgage payment on the home they had owned for several years, they sent in what they could.  The payments were several hundred dollars less than what they owed, but they tried.

Roy and Mary say within three months of not being able to make the full payment, they were notified the foreclosure process had begun on their home.  They tried to get help but most agencies told them it was too late.

"Folks don't understand, sometimes, when they sign a contract on a mortgage, that's a contract to pay a specific payment," said certified credit counselor Helen Whisnant.

Whisnant explains not paying the full payment is contractually not serving the obligation.  Typically the mortgage service company will put that partial payment in the "pending" column, waiting for the rest of the payment to arrive.  When it doesn't, it is as though the family never paid at all.

"They might as well hold on to their money until they can make a full payment," Whisnant says.

It's too late for Mary and Roy to get any help, they will lose their home.  They shared their story so no one else goes through the same devastation.

Click the links above for more information on foreclosure law in both North and South Carolina.