Oct 6, 2016 8:02 PM
EXETER - Nearly four months after an Exeter family's mortgage company claimed they owed $25,000 in back taxes, the Hichborns finally think their struggle is over.
When Jon and Lisa Hichborn first reached out to NH1 over the summer, they were in the middle of a stressful and exhausting battle with their mortgage carrier, Ditech.
They received a letter in the mail claiming they owed nearly $25,000. Not only that, but their mortgage bill would increase by $800 a month in order to pay the outstanding bill as soon as possible.
"We didn’t know if we were going to be able to keep our home based on what we were originally being told," Jon Hichborn said on Thursday. "There was just no way that we were going to be able to do what they were pressuring us to do."
Jon's wife Lisa spent hours on the phone with Ditech representatives, looking for answers about how they allegedly fell so far behind. Beyond proof they owed the money, the couple was trying to get the company to negotiate the terms of repayment.
They also went to the Town of Exeter to make sure they were up to date on their taxes, which they were.
For the majority of the summer, they feared they could lose their house.
But the couple decided to fight back, reaching out to NH1 and seeking the help of experts on the subject. They received advice from friends, lawyers, representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing, and even strangers on social media who have been through similar situations.
However, in late August, the Hichborns received an updated bill showing the $25,000 had been paid.
"Initially, it was like, wow," Jon said. "It was a pretty cool feeling, but we were also leery at the same time because so many things had changed up to that point, almost on a daily basis, so we were waiting for what was going to happen next."
They don't know where the money came from or how it was paid, leaving them skeptical of how the situation was resolved.
"We waited, and waited, and waited, and we’ve made a couple of payments, which is now just principle, interest and escrow," Jon said. "I think we’re at a point now where it’s done. It’s over with."
The Hichborns are back to paying the amount they expected to pay this year, and received a letter from Ditech confirming everything had been, in Jon's words, "cleared up."
"Any conflicts we had are over," he said. "It feels great."
Still, Jon said somewhere deep down he knew they didn't owe any extra money and was hopeful a solution would eventually be reached.
"We don't let things just lie, and we know how to find resources," he said. "This was not something that was just going to be thrown under the carpet. We were not going to just let it go away. We were going to fight it tooth and nail."
That's exactly what the Hichborns did, and they said they're relieved to no longer have the threat of losing their home hanging over them.
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