7 On Your Side: Property tax nightmare for NJ homeowner

CLIFFSIDE PARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- It's any homeowner's nightmare: you pay your mortgage on time every month, relying on your servicer to pay your property taxes and insurance in full, on time.

But what happens when one of the country's largest mortgage companies simply doesn't pay and blows you off for months?

"For me, it was very frustrating," Mohamad Hussein said. "I felt hopeless to be honest."

Hussein, a first-time homeowner, was freaking out. His tax bill was so tardy his town sent a threat that his home could wind up on a tax sale list.

"'Unpaid delinquent taxes are subject to tax sale.' That was scary," Hussein said. "You're like, wait, am I going to lose my house?"

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The tax bill for his property is more than $2,600. It should've been paid last February by his mortgage company, HomePoint.

"I was struggling," he said. "I was telling people at work, 'I don't know what to do.'"

The ultra-modern Cliffside Park house was bought off-market at full asking price last year during the pandemic, before it was even built.

"We fell in love with it," Hussein said. "We fell in love with the location. We fell in love with this house."

The four-story stunner sits side by side with another home, and both properties share the same block and lot. But when paying his taxes, HomePoint didn't put in a third number called the qualifier.

"The qualifier was the part that they were missing," he said.

This isn't new, and Hussein harangued HomePoint after it didn't pay his November taxes either.

"They didn't pay until December 11," he said.

Hussein was charged more than $240 in late fees.

"I sent like six emails and over 15 calls, and I couldn't get anywhere," he said. "They kept telling me, 'Oh, we're investigating.'"

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He even tweeted HomePoint, which got him nowhere. Then he learned their homeowner's insurance was unpaid too.

"I wasn't covered for 30 days," he said.

So 7 On Your Side got in touch with HomePoint, and contacted Hussein right away -- explaining the reason for their error and saying it wouldn't adversely affect his monthly mortgage payments or most importantly his credit report.

Within 24 hours, HomePoint paid off his first two quarterly property tax payments, along with more than $300 in late fees.

"Thank you, I really appreciate it," Hussein said. "You guys resolved it so quickly. You should start charging."

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