Mortgage woes: SA woman shares cautionary tale of eviction, heartbreak

Third-party company took woman's money while she cared for sick husband

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio woman has been evicted from her home after she was falsely led to believe a company had successfully negotiated with a bank to modify her loan.

Gloria Antu was evicted from her home in the 200 block of Cherry Ridge Drive late last month after going before a Bexar County justice of the peace.

Antu was given three weeks to vacate the home, but she plans on appealing the eviction to county court, likely keeping her in the home a few more months.

"Just be careful who you trust," said Antu, days before she appeared before the judge.

Antu, who is retired and has lived in the home since 2005, said she and her husband began to run into financial trouble after he developed health problems in 2013.

Antu's husband, who has bounced between hospitals and assisted living facilities during the past year, has a long list of medical issues, including diabetes, a diabetes-related partial amputation of his leg, MRSA infection, intestinal blockages, heart valve surgery following cardiac arrest and a tailbone infection.

Medical records reviewed by the Defenders also show that Antu's husband is scheduled to undergo radiation and chemotherapy treatments for stage 3 multiple myeloma after developing a lesion on his lumbar spine.

"I can't go see my husband every day as much as I should," said Antu, who sold her car late last year to make the first payment to Mortgage Assistance Filing Group, a Dallas-area company that Antu said promised to negotiate with her mortgage company to avoid a foreclosure.

Antu paid the company more than $5,800, only to receive an eviction notice last month that informed her the home was foreclosed on in early January.

An employee working for Mortgage Assistance Filing Group told the Defenders via telephone that Antu's mortgage company denied her application for refinancing, waiting five months before deciding it would not modify her loan.

An attorney representing the bank holding Antu's mortgage said he had received no indication that the refinance company ever worked with the bank to modify the loan.

The refinance company employee said the company had reimbursed Antu's payments.

Antu, however, has still not received her money back.

Antu reported the refinance company to the San Antonio Police Department on July 13, according to SAPD records.

The Federal Trade Commission states that it is illegal for a company to require payment from a homeowner until the person has received a written offer for a loan modification from his or her lender.

Records reviewed by the Defenders show that Antu owed around $112,000 on the home when it was foreclosed on in early January.

Antu said she was flooded with direct solicitations informing her there was still time to save her home.

Many of the mail flyers included the date of her impending foreclosure and the name of Antu's mortgage company.

An attorney familiar with foreclosure proceedings said refinance companies often mine court records then use that information when crafting mailers.

About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. He provides restaurant health reports for KSAT's "Behind the Kitchen Door." Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.