Senior Gets Help From Sherriff To Stop Sale of Home

image The Philly Burbs published an article about Montgomery County’s Sherriff John Durante securing a court order temporarily blocking the sale of a elderly couples property which was supposed to be sold at auction last week.

Durante said he learned that the pair had been approved for a reverse mortgage that they could use to pay the initial mortgage company but the lender wanted to proceed with sale.  "It galls me to no end that the mortgage company did not want to work with an older couple," said Montco Sheriff John B. Durante.

According to the article, Durante worked with its department solicitor Thomas J. Speers to ask the mortgage company to remove the property from the April sheriff sales but the mortgage company refused.  "I don’t know what the mortgage company’s hurry was unless they had a buyer waiting in the wings," said Durante, claiming the property was worth at least twice as much as the $135,174-plus that the mortgage company was seeking.


"If anyone deserves stimulus help, it is seniors who have worked hard all their lives, paid their taxes and bills on time and now, because of health problems and the economy, have fallen on hard times," said Durante.

Durante said that, in the past, when he was made aware of similar situations he had Speers meet with the bankers or mortgage companies and work out acceptable solutions.  This is the first time he had to seek a court order "to make a mortgage company do what was right," said Durante.

Over the past couple of months I’ve heard from a handful of people that negotiating short payoffs with lenders is getting more difficult.  It’s unclear why this is happening but its good to see that people are working to keep seniors in their homes.

Sheriff stops sale of elderly couple’s home

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  • I originate reverse mortgages in the Detroit Metropolitan are. I specialize in short payoffs. Actually the degree of difficulty in getting a short payoff closed depends on the particular lender that is servicing the loan. I have been told numerous times that we don’t accept short payoffs only to find an senior executive that guided me to the correct individual who could help. I even enlisted help from the investor of the loan. If they agree to the short payoff then the servicer will. Working with the lenders on short sales takes a different skill and mind set than tradition reverse mortgages. There is a multitude of free information on the internet that can help you achieve these skills. The key is persistence and patience

  • I had a senior who waited to tell his family that his home was in foreclosure until a week before the sale. We made several phone calls and the mortgage company (reluctantly) gave us 30 days to close a reverse mortgage to save the house. Well, as often happens with RM’s the house needed a few repairs and the thing dragged on past the 30 days. The mortgage company refused to grant any more extensions. The loan on the house that was in default was a FHA loan, so I called HUD. It took several days to get the right person on the phone, but HUD slapped the hand of the mortgage company and gave us the the couple of days we needed to finish up our loan. This house too had a very low loan to value.

  • Regarding my suggestion that appraisal conditions should be different from homes for sale is spelled out pretty well in this article from USA Today:

    The national median home price of single family homes sold during the first quarter fell 13.8% to $169,000 year over year, and 6.2% compared with the last quarter 2008, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That was the largest year-over-year decline in the 30-year history of the report.

    NAR attributed much of the loss to two factors: First-time homebuyers, who are often entry-level buyers, accounted for about half of all purchases during the quarter. And many buyers took advantage of the deeply discounted prices of foreclosed properties and short sales. These “distressed properties” typically sell for 20% less than traditional homes, according to NAR. These homes also accounted for about half of all transactions.

    “Traditional homes in good condition have held their value much better, so owners shouldn’t be overly concerned about median prices,” said NAR president Charles McMillan, in a prepared statement.

    Sales volume was weak as well. Homes sold at a 4.59 million

    I would consider an rm refinance to fall into the “traditional Homes” catagory. I am especially peturbed by the new mortgagee letter requiring appraisers to adjust for declining market conditions. My last appraisal was valued LOWER than all previous sales!

    If Treasury is allowing banks to value their distressed assets at higher than “mark to market” then there should be a similar provision for rm’s.

  • Sheriff Durante,
    I own a consulting company whose job it is to guide senior applicants thru the preparations to do reverse mortgages when lenders no longer feel they can help them. We see these circumstances often and fight the same issue. What you did for these folks is so very exemplary and deserves to given special notice by HUD/FHA as a sign that the banking industry remains broken for the thousands of seniors who do not have someone like you in their corner. Thanks for being there when it counted,

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