• FOX13 uncovers, fixes billing error that could have caused local couple to lose home

    By: Leah Jordan

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A simple error could have left one local couple with nothing. 

    “I’m not going to give my house away,” Brenda Townsend told FOX13 in April. 

    ORIGINAL STORY: FOX13 investigates how a simple clerical error could have cost a Mid-South couple their home

    The Townsends said their house payment skyrocketed out of nowhere: it went from just over $600 a month to more than $1,700 a month. 

    She said no one could tell her why, and she needed help. 

    FOX13 Investigates started digging and uncovered a clerical error that could have led the Townsends to foreclosure. Instead, Brenda and her husband James are now back on track to financial peace of mind. 


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    “I was happy, I was really amazed, and most of all I was grateful that its fixed,” Brenda said. 

    FOX13 Investigative Reporter Leah Jordan looked at the Townsends’ previous bills, their insurance policy, and the assessor of property website. The Townsends authorized Leah on their mortgage account so she could communicate with Mr. Cooper representatives herself. 

    FOX13 Investigates also asked an expert in the field for his opinion. 

    “What I can see is there’s a huge issue with the payout towards the county taxes, and that seems to be our issue,” Ryan Guess said.

    Guess works for Triumph Home Loans in Memphis. 

    Together, Guess and FOX13 discovered an extra 0 – or a rogue decimal point – was tacked onto the county taxes in the Townsends’ escrow account.

    It was a simple clerical mistake. Guess said it could have been human error or even a printing error. 

    Regardless, he said it could have easily led to a credit mess or the Townsends losing their home. 

    Leah called the Mr. Cooper representatives again. They told her they saw where the mistake was, would rectify it within 14 business days, and would waive any late fees. 

    On the 14th day, Leah called Mr. Cooper to check in, and a representative confirmed the situation had been rectified. 

    “I’ll tell you one thing. If you want help, call FOX13,” Brenda Townsend said. “I haven’t been let down, not once. And you kept me updated on what’s going on. And I appreciate it.”

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