Mortgage payments hold up new home after tree damage

Mortgage payments hold up new home after tree damage

A Winston-Salem home was ruled a total loss after a tree fell. Insurance came through but final mortgage payments held up the process.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Dora Hamilton woke up and wasn’t sure what she was going to do. She had been taking classes at a local college and was scheduled to go but wasn’t feeling well. 

The forecast that day called for storms and plenty of rain. Hamilton thought it was best to stay home and not battle the elements.

“I was debating that morning about going to school, then something overwhelmed me and said get up and go,” she said.

A short time later she headed out the door with a jacket and umbrella. By the time Hamilton finished class the storm had hit Winston-Salem and was still raining and windy.

She hopped in her car and slowly made her way home. The roads were wet and slick and she could see plenty of branches from trees on the ground.

What Hamilton didn’t know at the time was the worst of the damage was yet to come. The storm snapped the trunk of a giant tree in her neighborhood.

“I come around the corner and something looked different,” she said. “I pulled in the driveway and could see all these branches in the carport.”

The massive tree fell on her home crushing one section and damaging several rooms in the home. Firefighters were already there when Hamilton arrived.

“A fire marshal told me, ‘Ms. Hamilton your house is gone’,” she said.

The home she had lived in for more than a decade was destroyed, yet Hamilton was relatively calm. Remember earlier when she was going to stay home, there was a good chance she would have been in the room where the tree fell.

“If I stayed home that morning, I would not be here talking to you (Kevin) I would be dead,” she said.

A short time after arriving and surveying the damage Hamilton called her insurance company and the mortgage company.  An adjuster was sent out to look at the damage and assist with the claim.

It didn’t take too long before the insurance company cut her a check for $40,000 to start the process of hiring a contractor to build a new home or make a down payment on a prefabricated house.

After doing some research Hamilton decided to buy a prefabricated home since that would allow her to be in the home sooner. The last step was to get the remaining balance of the loan on the old home paid off.

That’s when things hit a snag. The mortgage company wasn’t handling the issue quickly and it was causing delays in purchasing the new home. She contacted the insurance company, but her adjuster could not assist.

“He (the adjuster) said to call the news or get an attorney,” Hamilton said.

By now it had been almost eight months since the home was destroyed. She reached out to us in hopes we could help. Our Call for Action Team spoke with Hamilton and investigated the issue. 

News 2 then reached out to the insurance company and the mortgage company for answers.

We also contacted the company Hamilton was buying the new home from. Before purchasing the new home, the company needed to make sure the previous home was paid off.

After we called, the mortgage company was able to resolve the unpaid balance issue a couple of weeks later. On the day we met her out at her property she had just received the notice that her loan was paid off in full.

“I feel really good,” Hamilton said.

The new home was delivered not long after and she is now out of a hotel.

“I just thank you for your time, you not only listened you took action,” Hamilton said.


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