A senior couple in Pasco County, Florida is facing the prospect of foreclosure. But the reason doesn't have to do with missed mortgage payments. This time, it's reportedly because they paid too early one month, and used the wrong routing number the next.
Only three months after Sharon Bullington, 70, negotiated a mortgage modification under the Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), Bank of America informed her and her husband that they had been ejected from the trial plan for improper payments, St. Petersburg Times reports. (h/t The Daily What.)
The problem was that Sharon has made her January payment in December, instead of the required "month in which it [was] due." She then allegedly incorrectly wrote her routing number on her February payment, leading the bank to cancel the modification. The Bullington's explanations and pleas for help have reportedly been to no avail.
The episode is only the latest in a series of oddball foreclosure stories that have included a homeowner being asked to pay $0.00 in order to avoid foreclosure and JPMorgan repurchasing a soldier's home on the same day he returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. But in many ways, the Bullington's story goes against the typical narrative of a post-recession American homeowner's struggle.
Instead of paying too early, most of those threatened with foreclosure are struggling to make payments on time. Indeed, the number of mortgages which are overdue by a month rose to the highest level in a year in the second quarter of this year, according to Bloomberg. Consequently, the jobs crisis is largely being blamed for the percentage of home loans overdue by 30 days, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington.
Also a rarity is the Bullington's ability to successfully negotiate a mortgage modification in the first place. Despite the continued existence of the Obama administration's anti-foreclosure initiative HAMP, the number of preliminary mortgage modifications approved in June was the lowest since April 2009, at 15,000, according to government data reported by The Huffington Post.