West Virginia Record

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Couple who purchased twice-flooded Peterstown property claim they were told it wasn't in flood zone


By Carrie Bradon | Mar 30, 2019

PRINCETON – A Peterstown couple claims that they were sold a property that was in a flood zone after being told it was not at risk for flooding.

Patrick P. Galford and Tessa L. Galford filed a complaint in Mercer Circuit Court against Alcova Mortgage LLC; Nationstar Mortgage LLC, doing business as Mr. Cooper; and Shumate Appraisals LLC.

The suit states that the plaintiffs were seeking to purchase their first home in January 2017. The plaintiffs allege they signed a purchase contract for the property at 715 Ballard Red Sulphur Parkway, Peterstown for $85,000 and had to obtain financing and an appraisal for the contract price. The plaintiffs allege they worked with Alcova for the mortgage and Ronald Shumate was hired to perform the appraisal. Shumate appraised the property at $91,500 and the plaintiffs' closing was scheduled for March 15, 2017, the suit states.

The suit states Nationstar currently holds the mortgage loan.

The plaintiffs allege they were given a flood hazard determination that stated that the property was not in a Federal Emergency Management Special Flood area and that flood insurance would not be necessary. They allege they property, however, was in a special flood area and the contract failed to include that information. 

The defendants allegedly informed the plaintiffs that the property was not in a flood area in addition to making a number of other misrepresentations about the property. The plaintiffs allege that if they had been aware of these details, they would have changed their purchase decision. 

Shortly after closing on the property, the plaintiffs allege they were told that their property was in a flood area and they were forced to purchase flood insurance. On Sept. 22, 2018, the suit states the plaintiffs' home sustained damages from flooding and it was flooded again on Oct. 11, 2018. The plaintiffs allege they have been given estimates of the repairs which total more than $47,467.

The suit states after the September flooding, they had to vacate their home and have been unable to return.

Alcova is accused of illegal loan in excess of fair market value and all of the defendants are accused of fraud/intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation and breach of professional standards.

The plaintiffs are seeking all reasonable sums due, attorney fees and court costs. The plaintiffs are represented by Eric J. Buckner of Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner in Princeton and by Jason E. Causey and James G. Bordas of Bordas & Bordas PLLC in Wheeling.

The case has been assigned to Judge Derek C. Swope.

Mercer Circuit Court case number 19-C-37

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