My name is Vida Palmer, I am a life long resident of the state of Mississippi. We are the luckier victims of Hurricane Katrina, our home still stands with just some leaks in the roof, We can stay in our home because it was not flooded and although my kids rooms leaked, and many of their possessions were lost they are happy to sleep on the couch for now until we can repair their rooms and the rest of the house. I spent the first 7 days after the storm helping victims in the Biloxi area including bringing food and water from north Jackson County to Biloxi every day. Finally to my relief after 2 months of waiting desperately, (not to mention the end of our savings account), the insurance check finally arrived yesterday. We were all so relieved and the kids were happy because things would finally get back to normal. Their rooms could be fixed and all things were good.. right?WRONG!!
My husband went to the bank to deposit the check into our account. The bank said no it must be signed by the mortgage company. So already quite agitated, because I have lived here my whole life, been through all the storms since Camille, and never once had to have the mortgage company sign for my check!! I begin the nightmare process of contacting the loan company to see what is involved? Here is what I found, they want me to send the check endorsed by us to them (via mail) and they will then sign it. So I asked ?then you will send it back here?? No they will keep the check and disperse funds to me as they see fit to repair my home. So the Mortgage and Insurance companies have worked a deal so that the money can sit in their accounts and draw interest on our money while they slowly disperse the funds to us as they see fit!! The lady supervisor of Country Wide home loans said they had to "protect their investment"????????
I asked her where Country Wide was the days after the storm when I was spending my savings account buying Lumber to secure the fallen areas of my carport and home. They weren?t around to help protect the investment then. They also weren?t around to give out water, food, or help of any kind!! Now they are around because they want to profit from our loss. By placing everyone?s insurance checks in the Mortgage companies banks they can draw large amounts of interest that belong to us.
I contacted my local bank and they said several companies were trying this, they also said most of the local loan companies were signing off on the checks. However the out of town lenders like Country Wide were holding the funds. How can this be possible, it is my insurance that I pay for? I own most of my home out right, my home is no where near a total loss, but they will keep my check?
I told the supervisor at Country Wide that I would be joining a class action suit to stop them from doing this, In the mean time I am having my house refinanced from another lender so that I can cash my hurricane check with my release of lien form, as Country Wide Mortgage will never get their dirty paws on my insurance claim money. I am saddened to think of the people who don't have the options or finances I do, as their checks sit at the mortgage company while big business collects the interest stolen from hurricane victims and hand out a little at a time to them as they see fit. How do you sleep with yourself?
Sincerely Vida Palmer Moss Point, Ms