A Bank of America happy ending
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's not often that we get to share a happy ending to a foreclosure story.
But this time we do.
Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears talks with a local teacher who lost every battle to keep her home but finally won what she describes as a war with Bank of America.
When we first met Colleen Roybal last September, she was patiently attending to her autistic grandson at the home they share in Summerlin.
But underneath that, the special needs school teacher was at the end of her rope.
"It's been like running hurdles and just as I get over one, I see another one crop up and I thought this was the last hurdle and I was ready to run across the finish line and they took the finish line away," Colleen told Contact 13 in September.
She just had the rug pulled out from under her when BOA led her to believe she'd been approved for a re-finance, but then denied it at the last minute.
"I was almost to the point of saying 'they're never going to be able to help me as a homeowner.' And I think that hopelessness is your lowest point, when you feel like you've tried everything and nothing's working."
But after more than four years of fighting and nine different applications for relief from Bank of America, something finally worked.
"I feel like the encouragement I got from channel 13 and you and all my friends and everybody who's going through this -- because there's a lot of us here in Nevada -- that it just really paid off to be persistent and to never give up."
She went through mediation, applied for help from Nevada's Hardest Hit Fund, and finally got approved for HARP -- the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program.
That's for people who are not behind on mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing due to declining home value.
She worked weekends, overtime and through summers to get to that point.
Darcy: You weren't willing to give up and you weren't willing to take Bank of America's multiple no's for an answer.
Colleen: No, I wasn't.
After our September story aired, we continued to follow Colleen's case as she hit brick walls at every turn.
She was continually told she didn't qualify for any of the programs that are supposed to help homeowners.
"Their reasoning... sometimes they did not give me good reasons. Sometimes they just said denied or sometimes they offered something that was even a higher monthly payment."
But as we continued to tell her story, she continued to fight and BOA finally found a solution.
"I think that they did not want me to go back to the news again. I think that this time, they decided that hey, let's do whatever it takes because right from the beginning their attitude was different."
BOA is still refusing to combine her first and second mortgage loans, but her payments have been reduced by more than $1100 per month.
"I felt like, ok, now I can breathe and I can move on to the next part of my life."
While most people probably would have given up hope and walked away, Colleen has a special reason for holding on to this house... A little boy named Bladen.
"Everyone in the community knows my grandson and they watch out for him and he can stick to his routines and the things he knows, which is so important to a child with autism that it just means everything for him to be able to stay in the home that he feels safe and has routines in."
Darcy: Congratulations on winning the fight!
Colleen: Thank you very much, Darcy. I appreciate all your help and support.
If Colleen successfully makes her new payments for a year, she'll be able to apply for a re-finance to combine her first and second mortgages, which is her ultimate goal.