‘Then here I get hit in the face with this’: Homeowners claim mortgage terms not what they agreed to

APOPKA, Fla. — An Apopka man claims he paid off his mortgage, but now the lender is demanding five more years of payments, and he feels the company is holding his home hostage.

He says the loan servicing company refuses to give him answers, so he called Action 9.

“It’s everybody’s dream to get their home paid off,” Earnest Mackroy said.

Mackroy and his wife signed a second mortgage on their Apopka home 15 years ago. They thought it would be paid off this year and the house would be all theirs.

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“Then here I get hit in the face with this,” Mackroy said.

Select Portfolio Servicing, a company based in Utah that handles their mortgage payments, said a clause in their original loan provided a 20-year option, so they owe an additional $16,000.

Earnest claims he and his wife never requested the 20-year option and they never missed a payment.

“I have been paying faithfully since day one,” Mackroy said

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He called the company to dispute the additional balance.

“They keep giving me the (run)around,” Mackroy said.

Consumers don’t get to choose the servicing company that buys their loan and starts collecting payments. When there’s a dispute, it can be tough going for homeowners.

Select Portfolio Servicing has poor customer reviews at the Better Business Bureau but is rated A -plus because of its high customer response rate. There’s also a class action lawsuit claiming they failed to correct mortgage errors and provide payment records.

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“I have a right to my transaction history, don’t I?” Todd Ulrich asked.

“Under federal law you do,” Steve Dibert responded.

Dibert investigates mortgage complaints and handled more than 150 cases against Select Portfolio Servicing, many involving consumers challenging the balances they owed.

“They (Select Portfolio Servicing) want to jerk homeowners around, and they will not give you a complete transaction history,” Dibert said.

Ulrich contacted Select Portfolio several times but has not received a response.

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Mackroy is sending a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“We all need to stick together and fight and stop this stuff from happening,” Mackroy said.

If you’ve been mistreated by a mortgage servicing company, there’s a federal regulation that may help. It’s called the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Once the servicing company is notified in writing, the company must try to resolve your complaint within 60 days.

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.