Mortgage mix-up in Trenton

TRENTON - December 4, 2009

Three days after being locked out of her house because of a bank mistake, Nina Morra was let back in today, only to find she had no water, no electric, and no heat.

"I am sick and it's very hard to have days like I've had," Morra said.

After spending several months in the hospital following a stroke in January, Russian-born Nina fell behind in her mortgage payments to Bank of America and was facing foreclosure, but on November 19 she'd been accepted in to a repayment plan. Nina then went away for a week to visit relatives for Thanksgiving, but when she returned late Tuesday night to her Division Street home she found the locks had been changed.

"I couldn't open the door and I couldn't realize what's going on with my home," Morra said.

Nina and a realtor friend spent the next couple days making dozens of frantic and frustrating phone calls trying to straighten out the problem and get her back in her house.

Finally, late Thursday night, Bank of America admitted it had made a mistake.

Apparently Nina's paperwork for the repayment plan didn't clear quickly enough to stop an inspector for the bank from changing the locks and declaring her house abandoned while she was away. Spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens says Bank of America takes responsibility because it was their contractors and promised to pay any costs associated with the mix-up.

A local councilman is blasting the bank for the mix-up.

"Those people are honestly struggling to pay their mortgage and you're going to make some type of mistake like that? You know, it's inexcusable," Councilman Manny Rivera said.

Nina Morra was in the process of getting her utilities turned back on, but is calling her lockout a nightmare that didn't have to happen.

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