The Mortgage Mistake Homeowners Need To Be Aware Of - WSET.com - ABC13

The Mortgage Mistake Homeowners Need To Be Aware Of

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Lynchburg, VA - Who would complain if they didn't get a bill to pay their property tax? That was the scenario for one Lynchburg couple.

It made them think twice though, and it's a good thing they did. They caught a major mortgage company oversight.

"The Cox family contacted us to ask where their tax bill was, because they hadn't gotten the tax bill. They found that that particular parcel had been coded to a mortgage company" said Susan Hargis, the Manager of Lynchburg's Office of Billings and Collections.

Except, the Cox family paid for their home in cash, they have no mortgage company.

"And so with some further investigation we found. Their parcel number had been requested in error. I can't say that it's never happened, but it doesn't happen very often" said Hargis.

Hargis said the slip-up stemmed from the mortgage company requesting payment for the wrong home. The company, CoreLogic, manages Cox's neighbor's home. And with one number off in their paperwork, began paying taxes for the wrong address.

"There are hundreds and hundreds of files that come to us, so no, we don't look at each one and match it up one for one. If you don't get a bill, you need to call us. You need to call us right away and let us know" said Hargis.

"They were required to make a payment of over $1,300 immediately, so that the money could be returned to CoreLogic" said Katie Lester.

Lester is the Cox's granddaughter. She is also a real estate agent and hearing their story made her concerned for property owners everywhere.

"This creates a lien. So you may think that you can sell your house outright and you come to close, and there's a cloud on your title because you owe money to this particular mortgage company" she said.

Lucky for her grandparents though, they never let it get that far.

"I call it a legal scam, but in essence, you just need to be careful" she said.

The biggest safety net is making sure you are aware of when you need to pay your property taxes. If your mortgage company pays for you, make sure they do so on time. If you pay yourself, no, it wasn't a blessing that you didn't get a bill, it simply means, something's up.

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