Impact 5: Mortgage modifications take persistence

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - Persistence has paid off for a Lake Worth homeowner who refuses to give up. After hearing no from her bank over and over, she finally got a yes, and it's going to help her keep her home.

We first met Taylor Hartmann in April. She was having trouble paying her mortgage after a diving accident last year left her paralyzed.

She and her mother Marlene Chapman didn't know where to turn for help.  Her bank was refusing to work with them.

"If it weren't for the segment on WPTV, Impact 5, we were at a point where we thought it was ending," Chapman said.

She contacted us and we told Taylor's story. Right after it aired, Tony Licavoli from the Homeowner Assistance Division of the Paul Krasker law firm started working on Taylor's case.

He submitted the exact same paperwork Taylor and her mom did, with a different outcome.

Bank of America reduced Taylor's payment by 60 percent.

Licavoli is a loss mitigation manager. He says you don't need a law firm to help you with a mortgage modification, but sometimes you have to apply several times.

"The banks seem to play games with them. Asking for documents over and over again," Licavoli said.

Chapman says that's exactly what happened to them.

"Unfortunately it does take, 1, 2, 3, times, because a final modification can be granted. But don't give up." Licavoli said.

That's a motto Taylor uses everyday to keep moving forward.

"I feel incredibly lucky to be sitting here and be able to say thank you and know that I'm going to be able to go home to my house and move forward from here."

Now Taylor can focus on getting back to school. She wants to study sociology and provide help for others.

Bank of America was able to lower Taylor's payments three ways: extending the term of the loan, reducing the interest rate, and lowering the principal.

Bank of America released this statement about Taylor's modification"

"While the investor's guidelines did not allow for modification of Ms. Hartmann's loan because she was current on her payments, a Bank of America customer relationship manager recognized the extraordinary and compelling circumstances of her situation and continued to work with her and her family to produce an individualized solution. We are currently finalizing the modification and hope it provides Ms. Hartmann with the opportunity for continued success as a homeowner. "

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