Call-center confusion disrupts help for distressed homeowners
After a yearlong fight with her mortgage company's call center, Clare Sheaffer feels like a poster child for the country's foreclosure crisis. The former St. Cloud City Council member's center saga began last year when she was laid off from her job as program manager for a Catholic charity. Anticipating problems with her household bills, the divorced mother of two applied for, and was promised, mortgage relief from Chase Home Lending. But that promise soon disappeared, she said, beneath a cascade of miscues and misstatements by Chase's call center. Instead of receiving a loan modification, she has endured a barrage of foreclosure threats and phone calls from bill collectors. "With all the hurdles they have put in my way, I can only be left feeling they are trying to make it impossible for me to get help," she said. "Now it's like they just want to scare me into paying thousands of dollars to avoid going into foreclosure."