Battle with mortgage modification company

Seven On Your Side
May 13, 2011 8:25:36 PM PDT
The foreclosure crisis has left many homeowners desperate for lifelines to stay in their homes.

Many mortgage modification companies offer help to lower payments.

A Staten Island woman invested her trust and her money in a firm promising guaranteed solutions..

When they didn't fix the loan then closed, she asked Nina Pineda and 7 on Your Side to track them down.

With the kind of reaction Eyewitness News received, it's easy to see why customers of Home Safe America are left upset.

Desperate to stay in her home, Jayne Gastaldo signed with Home Safe America last fall after falling behind on her mortgage and being threatened with foreclosure.

"We've been in this home for 30 years, and that's what makes it so heart-wrenching," she said.

An internet search for help brought her to the Home Safe America website. For $2,500 they guaranteed to work with her bank to lower her mortgage payments.

"They said in 90 days we're gonna get your loan modified," adds Gastaldo.

According to her contract, if Home Safe wasn't successful Jayne would get a full refund.

But Home Safe America never got Jayne's modification and then went out of business.

When Eyewitness News went to Home Safe's offices, the company's president was selling mortgage modifications under a new name, United Solutions Corp. At first he didn't want to talk.

But we caught up with Jayne's salesman after he walked out of the office. Yet, he said it was news to him Jayne was still waiting for her refund.

Finally, the company president agreed to refund Jayne.

Off camera he placed the blame for clients not getting refunds on his former Home Safe partner.

We went looking for the partner and found him too selling mortgage modifications for another company.

The partner also refused to be interviewed but promised to pony up part of the refund for Jayne.

Within weeks of our visits she got three bank checks from Home Safe's former partners.