CENTRAL - Ten months after the August 2016 flood, Louisiana residents are still fighting with mortgage companies for their insurance money. Many have contacted 2 On Your Side about the personal challenges they have had with various lenders.
In August, Debby Phillips says her home took on five feet of water. She says dealing with her mortgage company and sifting through the many requests has been the biggest nightmare of all.
"Everybody has been so nice to us... The worst, worst thing in the world was the mortgage company," said Phillips.
Her Central home is finally back in working order, thanks to the help of friends and good Samaritans. Some areas of the kitchen are still waiting for a final coat of paint, but Phillips and her husband moved back in and out of their manufactured housing unit.
Initially, many of the tools and supplies were purchased with their savings, which Phillips says has since been depleted. The insurance company was quick to write a check and Phillips says she signed it and sent it off to Wells Fargo. She says the challenges have only gotten worse. Six separate checks have been mailed from Wells Fargo over the months. The final and largest check, has not been released.
June 16, Phillips says an inspector visited her house and gave her great news.
"The inspector said we are 100 percent," she said.
Watching the inspector send off the paperwork from her driveway, Phillips was optimistic a check would be in the mail quickly.
"When I called Wells Fargo Monday, I called to make sure they got the paperwork and they said they didn't get it," said Phillips.
She went online to her view her documents and confirmed, Wells Fargo had received the paperwork June 16. She waited until Wednesday, called again and Wells Fargo said it still hadn't received the inspector's paperwork. During that same phone call, Phillips says she confirmed with the mortgage company she did not have to do anything else following the inspection and a check would be in the mail that Friday or Monday.
Friday, June 23, Phillips was told over the phone she wouldn't be receiving a final check until all her receipts were mailed.
"When was somebody going to tell us," she said. "We're you just going to wait until two weeks later?"
Phillips tells 2 On Your Side with each person she spoke with the story changed. That same Friday, Wells Fargo told her a form was in the mail and once Phillips filled out that paperwork and mailed it back a check would be sent overnight.
Wells Fargo says regarding the form Phillips was sent, it's used for borrowers who elect to self-contract. The borrowers do not have to sign this form because they completed a 100 percent inspection.
Wells Fargo also says, borrowers are required to provide receipts for proof of work completed when they elect to self-contract on an insurance claim. This is disclosed to the borrower in the beginning of the claims process. However, because the final inspection confirmed the repairs were 100 percent complete, Wells Fargo will be mailing a check for the remainder of the insurance proceeds via overnight mail Tuesday.
The Phillips should have the money Wednesday.