JUPITER FARMS, Fla. - For more than 18 years, the Guttilla family has called Jupiter Farms home. but they could soon have to find a new place to live.
"This mortgage company is putting us in a foreclosure,” Janice Guttilla said.
It's the last thing Guttilla thought would happen when she first applied for a modification in 2010.
"All we did was ask for help, so that we could stay in our home. We didn't want anything for free, we just wanted a payment that would help us stay in our home,” Guttilla said.
During the application process her husband lost his job. That's when her mortgage company approved them for “UP", the government's " Making Home Affordable Unemployment Program ".
The family's $1,416 mortgage payment was reduced to $131.
"I thought, wow for five months, this is really going to help us and then by that time we should have a modification, something that we should be able to afford, and continue with our payment,” Guttilla said.
And the family was approved for a modification.
"When they gave us the payment that we had to pay again, it went up. Now they want us to pay $2,047. Well if we were having trouble paying 14, what would it be for us to pay more?"
But when signing paperwork for the Unemployment Program the family unknowingly agreed to a modification that could cost them more.
"It really looked like we were being helped, if you read the fine print through it all it says that in the end it could hurt us instead of helping us,” Guttilla said.
The Guttilla family took their paperwork to an attorney who says the mortgage company isn't doing anything wrong.
"Don't ever sign any papers without legal advice. Don't ever trust any program that they say that they can help you with, unless you know every single thing about the program,” Guttilla said.
The family now owes more than $28,000 to get their mortgage current. Janice is hoping for a miracle.
"What I'm asking for is help. I need someone out there, is there someone out there that can help us stay in our home?"
Otherwise the family will be forced to sell.
NewsChannel 5 asked Janice's mortgage company to if it's common for homeowners to see payments go up after a modification. A representative explained payments could be higher because modifications generally add taxes and insurance to an escrow account, which may have been paid separately before the modification.
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