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A Kentucky widow is forced to file for bankruptcy to save her home after her husband’s death froze her bank account and mortgage payments and triggered foreclosure.

A Kentucky widow has spoken out about how she was forced to file for bankruptcy to save her home after her husband died.

Carol Haynes, 80, told the story to a local Kentucky news station — as foreclosure rates across the country continue to rise post-pandemic.

The financial chasm created by the crisis, she said, has affected her and her husband of 25 years – after the deadly virus claimed his life in 2022.

His death triggered a freeze on his bank accounts, causing automatic mortgage payments on their two-bedroom home in Florence to stop.

It happened without her knowledge — and led the bank to file for foreclosure, she told WKRC-TV Local 12. Haynes then received a letter stating that the house would be sold at auction on May 23, leading her to file for bankruptcy.

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Carol Haynes, 80, told the story to a local Kentucky news station — as foreclosure rates across the country continue to rise post-pandemic.

Carol Haynes, 80, told the story to a local Kentucky news station — as foreclosure rates across the country continue to rise post-pandemic.

She received a letter saying the house would be sold at auction on May 23, leading her to file for bankruptcy.

She received a letter saying the house would be sold at auction on May 23, leading her to file for bankruptcy.

That stopped the sale despite the fact that she had relatively healthy finances, she said – because she hopes that evidence of a loan modification made by her daughter, allowing them to make payments, will be withheld before the bankruptcy court.

“I want to be around his stuff,” she said of the Northern Kentucky home once shared with her longtime love, Ed Haynes.

“I can feel it here. I think if I left here, I wouldn’t live long,” she added.

Now able to pay the mortgage, she remembers the start of the crisis – when not only was she reeling from the loss of Ed, but she was recovering from a bout with Covid herself.

A freeze on her bank accounts followed and automatic mortgage payments to the bank stopped, she said.

“Did you just think these things were settled?” asked a Local 12 reporter, referring to how this all happened without her knowing.

It was daughter-in-law Tiffany Tormey, the one who successfully negotiated a loan modification, who responded.

“I did it, I did it!” said Tormey, 42, adding, “I thought (my mother) was fine and I just didn’t want to bother.”

“It was just a little miscommunication.”

It started with the death of her husband of 25 years – after the deadly virus took his life in 2022.

It started with the death of her husband of 25 years – after the deadly virus took his life in 2022.

This miscommunication caused her late husband’s bank to begin foreclosure proceedings on the home – a process that typically results in a lender repossessing the property before attempting to sell it to recoup losses.

However, after learning the news months later, Tormey was able to negotiate a loan modification that would “make the loan current (and) put an end to the arrears,” she told Local 12.

“And we would just make the payments.”

But the bank was already in the process of selling the loan, both said, leaving them in a difficult situation when it came to rectifying the situation.

Meanwhile, Tiffany helped her mother-in-law make the payments, while the bank transferred the deal to a new owner.

The new mortgagee, however, never received the amended agreement, leading him to file for foreclosure again.

Tormey then sent the proof of the modification to the mortgagee, in vain.

Unable to get around the bureaucratic formalities that big banks are known for, his mother received a letter stating that his house would be auctioned on May 23.

Daughter-in-law Tiffany Tormey (left) successfully negotiated a loan modification, but the red tape that big banks are famous for left them without support.

Daughter-in-law Tiffany Tormey (left) successfully negotiated a loan modification, but the red tape that big banks are famous for left them without support.

Her plan would have “(return) the current loan (and) end the arrears,” she told Local 12. “And we would just make the payments”

Her plan would have “(return) the current loan (and) end the arrears,” she told Local 12. “And we would just make the payments”

But the bank was already selling the loan, her elderly mother-in-law said, leaving them in a bind when it came to rectifying the situation.

But the bank was already selling the loan, her elderly mother-in-law said, leaving them in a bind when it came to rectifying the situation.

This prompted her savvy and experienced mother-in-law to file for bankruptcy, even though she had the money to make the payments.

A day earlier, the man who allegedly made the sale, Boone County Chief Commissioner Larry Dillon, said the only thing that could save the two men was a court order from a local judge.

“If I have an order from the circuit judge directing me to sell property,” Dillon said in a video interview a day before the widow stopped the sale in its tracks. “I have to sell it.”

“Obviously you don’t want to see a little old lady kicked out of her house… but I can’t unilaterally make a decision to cancel a sale.

“If I do that, I’m violating a court order,” Dillon said.

He added that Carol might file for bankruptcy – advice she apparently followed.

She now hopes that the evidence from the loan modification will allow everything to be resolved in bankruptcy court – although that step is usually for people who can no longer pay their debts.

By providing a fresh start by liquidating assets to pay debts or creating a repayment plan, this practice has, for now, saved Haynes.

That prompted her savvy and experienced mother-in-law to file for bankruptcy — even though she had the money to make the payments, she said.

That prompted her savvy and experienced mother-in-law to file for bankruptcy — even though she had the money to make the payments, she said.

The loss of her husband, however, remains significant.

The loss of her husband, however, remains significant. “It was a wonderful wedding,” Haynes told the station from her home in Florence. “A happy one. I’ll see him again.

A day earlier, the man who allegedly made the sale, Boone County Chief Commissioner Larry Dillon, said the only thing that could save the two men was a court order from a local judge.

A day earlier, the man who allegedly made the sale, Boone County Chief Commissioner Larry Dillon, said the only thing that could save the two men was a court order from a local judge.

Another foreclosed home, this one in Pleasant Hill, California.  Foreclosures are currently affecting thousands of homeowners across the country.

Another foreclosed home, this one in Pleasant Hill, California. Foreclosures are currently affecting thousands of homeowners across the country.

A miscommunication caused her late husband's bank to begin foreclosure proceedings on the home — a process that typically results in a lender repossessing the property before attempting to sell it to recoup losses.  Pictured is another foreclosed home in Miami

A miscommunication caused her late husband’s bank to begin foreclosure proceedings on the home — a process that typically results in a lender repossessing the property before attempting to sell it to recoup losses. Pictured is another foreclosed home in Miami

However, the loss of her husband remains serious.

“It was a wonderful wedding,” Haynes told the station from her home in Florence. “A happy one. I’ll see him again.

She added: “I lost him quickly – but I guess it was better than seeing him suffer for a long time.”

Foreclosures – which can take the form of notices, auctions or repossession by the bank that signed the loan – currently affect thousands of Americans.

ATTOM’s latest foreclosure activity report for February 2024 shows that a total of 32,938 U.S. properties were subject to foreclosure requests, an increase of 8% from last year.

Rob Barber, CEO of ATTOM, said at the time: “The annual rise in foreclosures in the United States suggests a change in dynamics within the real estate market.

“These trends could mean a changing financial landscape for homeowners, leading to adjustments in market strategies and lending practices.

“We continue to closely monitor these trends to understand their full effect on foreclosure activity. »

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