750 Northlawn Dr.
Cols. OH 43214
4810 Cemetery Rd.
Hilliard, OH 43026
750 Northlawn Dr.
Our long and confusing story with Homewood builders began in April of 98. We were looking to sell our current home, we desperately needed more room. We were told by our Realtor our only chance of getting another house was to go through a builder who has their own financing. Due to our credit history. Initially we were sent to 2 other builders who both turned us down. Despite both rejections we went to Homewood. That is where we met Steve Schlump-sales rep. for them. He sent us to Developers Mortgage to apply for a loan.
We were very honest with John Flanagan the loan officer.and we were pre-approved for $125000.00 loan.The loan was contingent upon us paying off our creditors. We informed him we planned to pay off all of them when we sold our home. Most of them were Dr. bills.
After the pre-approval we picked out a lot and other options and paid a dep.of $250.00. We picked Lot32 which completely fit our needs because of open space behind and low traffic. We particularly wanted this lot because we have small children 2 of which are special needs. We felt this was in their best interest. We thought we were on our way.
A few months later we received a letter from Homewood saying Sorry we couldn't help you. We immediately contacted Mr. Schlump. He informed us that the letter was a mistake and to come back to his office and redo the paperwork. When we went to do that he told us the price of the house had went up so we would have to choose a different one but that it was almost exactly the same. Also we would have to choose a different lot. 32 had been sold. This time we chose lot 36. It was a court but we were told it would not be dev. for along time. Which meant low traffic. Everything else from lot 32 stayed the same-colors, flooring carpet etc.
Sept. 98 , our 1st Realtors contract was up, Steve conveniently had a friend who was a Realtor who he said would sell our house for 5% which would help us with down payment. We signed for him to rep. us also as our buyers agent. In Dec. 98 Steve called and said he wanted to go over our figures and was worried we would not have enough money. We went back to the office with Mel Sims now our agent and Steve. He said we were going to have to modify our options in order to qualify. He did this to make it look like we originally signed on 36 not 32. We reluctantly signed changing our options. Prior to that meeting we were receiving letters from Dev. Mort. with the price of 36 but actually said 32. When we got these we contacted Steve, again he said just a mistake don't worry.
At the same time our old house was up for sale. We had several people who said they were going to make an offer but we never heard back from them once they left. At that time we just assumed they changed their minds. We didn't realize what was going on til later. mel Sims contract was going to expire on 3-18. On 3-1Steve called another meeting, with us and Mel. He said construction couldn't begin until we had a buyer for our house and that Mel was willing to offer us a guaranteed buy to help us out. We had our house listed low to begin with considering it was a ranch and in the Hilliard school district (which is excellent) Mel's offer was $15000.00 less. Again we went over the numbers- Mel said he'd finagle the numbers with our current mortgage and we would still have what we needed to close. On 3-4 we received the contract, Mel also sent it to Homewood. 3-3 we had pre-const. meeting.
My husband purchased our old house in 1984. It was through the RHD formerly Farmers Home Adm. The loan was subject to recapture of any government subsidized payments. Taxes were not included in the payments. We had been behind in taxes for a long time--everyone knew this. Developers and Homewood. Aug. 98 we were informed that we would be able to pay taxes through an escrow acct. We called and set this up. When we rec. our Oct. statement it said we owed our reg. payment of $450.00 plus $347.00 in fees. We again called and asked about this, my husband explained to a lady there that the house was up for sale, and that we would have trouble paying the whole 347. She said just make sure you make your reg. payment and send in whatever you can on the taxes. Which we did. From then until July 99 we paid $600.00 each month-on time. June 99 Steve called and said John Flanagan (DEV. Mort.) had pulled our credit and that our mort. comp. said we were in default. They had applied all the money to our taxes not our payments. Work stopped on the house. This was not our fault but a mistake by the mortgage comp.
Steve told me to write a letter to the "committee" explaining the situation. That I had paid $600.00, I included copies of my canc. checks. Several weeks went by before we heard anything else. The beginning of July. My father-in-law who is also my husband employer rec. a Verification of employment from 1ST State mort. comp. along with a consent for release of info from Dev. Mort. They applied for another loan for us without us even knowing about it. At this time we didn't realize this was our original loan app. on lot 36. They all knew at the beginning we would not be financed by Dev. at the int. rate and payment sch. we were told when we signed the papers.
Now enters 'Diane' from 1st state. She called wanting to set a appt. to go over our loan. We had trouble with our sch. so we told her we'd call the following week to try to set this up. By this time we were completely confused. We again called Steve. He said "hold on before you meet with her John Flanagan and I have to put together a good faith estimate" This was July! The house was half done at this time. My husband asked about the interest rate, Steve said he didn't know. He told him then if it was above 7 Kathy (ME) probably won't do it. By now we were frustrated and upset with the on going problems we had been enduring this whole time. The secrecy and deceitfulness by all parties involved were now getting the best of our emotions.
At the same time Mr. Sims conveniently came up with a buyer for our house, he was an investor. His offer was $8000.00 less but Mel Sims advised us we should take it cause it was probably the best we were going to do. We were pressured for time also. On 8-1-99 my husband signed the contract to sell our house. As soon as the papers were signed Mel called Steve to see if he had the Good faith Est. Of course he did and was even kind enough to fax it over. This is when we finally learned our payments would be $1143.00 at a rate of 10.5% Our original terms were $812.00 Taxes and insurance included. 4.5% ARM. Taxes and ins. are not inc.
We met with Diane on 8-18-99 she had all the loan papers ready for us to sign. and asked us to back date them to 7-12. This proves Steve knew on July 12 the terms of the loan but because fear of our rejection of such a high int. rate never informed us until we sold our home. Diane pressured us hard to sign the papers -- my husband finally did but I refused and walked out. After hours of crying and trying to figure out what to do I began to realize what was going on. We were supposed to get a copy of those papers within 3 days but Mr. Schlump, Mr.Sims, Mr. Flanagan and Diane all made sure we didn't. They all knew if we understood the terms we would not have sold our house. Which clearly gave them the advantage? They knew exactly what they were doing. They backed us into a corner---strong armed us. We had no choice but to buy this house on their terms at payments we can't make. We have 5 small children to think about. No one even cared about us only their own interests, commissions and KICKBACKS. According to Ohio laws and federal laws Its illegal to sell something to someone when they know the person cannot afford it. Isn't that what Consumer Laws are there for??
On 8-24 Mel called and wanted to meet with us to "go over figures"
He knew I had spent days crying at this point. He said Steve and himself were concerned and wanted to try to help us be able to make our payments. They said if we borrowed a little extra $ we could put it in a separate acct. Steve figured we needed $3600.00 So each month we could withdraw $300.00 and add it to what we were earning and we would be close to our original payment amount. To help us accomplish this we would need to increase the sales amount "a little" from $125000.00 to $127000.00. They would pay all of our closing costs and increase work equity from $4400.00 to $6000.00. He and Mel wrote all this out and told us it was the only way we could still get the house. Both of them knew we were desperate because of the kids and we were homeless. We were told we had to do everything they said.
I consulted with an attorney on 8-23 who was amazed at what he called a good case of fraud and breech of contract. He agreed we had no choice but to go ahead and close. He was planning on taking legal recourses after closing. Our 1st closing date was 8 27 the same day we closed on our other home. That date had fallen through as did 7 other closing dates during the month of Sept. It was one excuse after the other. Also we were paying the man who bought our house $30.00 a day rent. During this time we continually requested a copy of the HUD 1 Settlement Statement and Truth in lending statement. We received neither until the actual closing. Another shocking discovery was that Mr. Holt the buyer of our house is the owner of some of the land that Homewood is developing.
We finally closed on 9-30 but not without a few last surprises.
Not only was the interest rate 10.5% it will increase to 13% in 2 years. There is also a prepay penalty of 1%. The net proceeds from the sale of our home were $12,600.00. We needed $11997.00 at closing. At that time we owed Mr. Holt another $600.00 for rent. We were left with $3.00. Our payments ended up being $1,170.00.and there was no extra $3600.00 to help with the payments as we were told there would be. Best of all the $6000.00 work equity could no longer be considered work equity since we didn't qualify for the original loan. Mr. Sims our BUYERS agent didn't attend the closing.
At closing we were given 4 separate checks totaling $6000.00. We were considered private contractors for Homewood. We were told we would receive a 1099 and have to pay taxes on this. (We didn't rec. one) We feel all the people involved all worked together and what they are doing is criminal. At least the research I've done at the library and on the Internet says they have broken some federal and state laws, not to mention moral human laws. We are hard working middle-aged people responsible for 5 children. These people through their dishonesty and conspiracy have stolen everything from us. It is only a matter of time til we lose this house. Our attorney has since informed us that he and his partner must decline our case due to the time it would take to pursue it. We have been referred to a larger firm and are in the process of retaining another attorney. (Which we've done)
If you were to see the dev. Westbrooke Park where our house is located it would be obvious that HOmewood is having a hard time keeping up with honest builders such as MI and Dominion. There are so many empty lots and several SPEC. homes.
I need to tell as many people as I can about this because I am positive we are not the only family they have hurt due to their dishonesty and greed. Someone needs to stop them from wiping anyone else out. I have proof of all my claims other than spoken words. I have a whole book of contracts and lies.
That is half my story. That was a letter I wrote back in Jan. trying to summarize this whole mess. I sent this letter to the OH Ag office on the advise of my new attorney. They dismissed it and sent it to the BBB which is useless. On 3-22 I met with another attorney who said criminal charges needed to be filed. I haven't heard back from him.
During the past 7 months we have wiped out our savings and probably will not make June payment. We barely made May. The house has numerous flaws, 2X4 bowing, floors sinking, heat problems, none of the rooms are square, not enough insulation, etc.etc.etc. Homewood is well aware of all the defects and are not correcting them. They even went so far as to send a serve guy out to compile a list of needed repairs--at the bottom of the paper that he tried for over 2 hours to get me to sign, it said "all repairs complete"
I refused to sign this over and over. Finally had to threaten to call police to get this guy to leave. Another good display of dishonesty.
Had I have signed that paper which he said I had to sign in order for work to start--which was a blatant lie--I would have been signing that it was already done? When the att. read over the closing papers he said they never paid any of the closing costs--we did.
As far as the difference in lots-this was not supposed to be dev.
For quite some time--we now sit on the corner to the entrance of a major construction site. My children have been put in an extremely dangerous situation due to lies. We recently had to contact a charitable organization called Creative Housing to have a fence installed to protect them. We qualified for this due to the fact our children qualify for MRDD serv.