Couple sues Fifth Third Bank for attempts to collect unowed debts

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 24, 2010

HUNTINGTON -- A Barboursville couple is suing Fifth Third Bank after they claim the bank failed to act on a loan modification and continued in attempts to collect debts it was not owed.

Robert E. Bell and Heather M. Bell reached out to Fifth Third Bank in hopes of achieving a loan modification to ease their financial burden, according to a complaint filed March 11 in Cabell Circuit Court.

On Oct. 21, 2008, the Bells claim the bank offered them a loan modification that reduced their monthly obligation from $938.11 to $733.03, with a $497.94 payment in principal and interest plus a $235.09 escrow payment; an interest rate of 4.25 percent; an extension of the term for repayment period; making the loan current again; and making the first payment of $733.03 due on Jan. 1, 2009.

On Oct. 23, 2008, Mr. Bell confirmed the terms and conditions of the loan modification with Mark Pike of the Fifth Third loss mitigation department, according to the suit.

The Bells made their scheduled payment on Jan. 1, 2009, but on Jan. 16, 2009, they were informed by Fifth Third Bank that their mortgage loan modification had been approved but "in direct contradiction to the terms and conditions of loan modification agreement stated that their new payment would be $653.28 in principal and interest...with payments now retroactively due beginning Dec. 1, 2008," according to the suit.

The Bells claim they were informed they had defaulted on the loan for failing to make monthly scheduled payments. They claim for the entire year of 2009 the defendant failed to help them with the loan modification.

The Bells are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Robert E. Vital and R. Matthew Vital.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 10-C-211

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