It has been approximately nine years after her home was renovated by designers with ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The home was a dream house, and one that was sorely needed for a family that had lost a Father and Husband, but not the family in Michigan is being constrained to abandon the home due to foreclosure.
Arlene Nickless was the lucky winner for the fan favorite show in 2008 with her three young sons. Her worked in the medical field and had been the main source of income for the family.
Nickless then attempted to give the show a shot and reach out to Extreme Makeover about helping fix up their deteriorating home. It wasn’t long before the crew showed up along with 1,600 volunteers from their community to get to work on the 1860s farmhouse.
The Daily Mail:
During the show, the decades old home was demolished and after a roughly five-day building period, the mother and her boys moved into their brand new 3,300-square-foot residence. It came complete with four bedrooms that had stone columns, dark wood floors, an indoor water wall and a retractable flat-screen TV. Plus, one of the rooms was LEGO-themed, while another had blueprints covering the walls. Her youngest son’s room even had an airplane bed. But the mother-of-three struggled to pay the mortgage on the Eifert Road home and has to turn in the keys by Monday after it was foreclosed on in September.
‘When I stepped out of the house the day Extreme Makeover came, you will see me say ‘I can’t believe this is happening, And, truthfully, that’s what I feel right now: I can’t believe this is happening.’
Arlene admitted that the problems were numerous when it came to keep up with payments on the home, which had been a $30,000 balance after the home was renovated…But due to the tax hikes that the area experienced over the next few years, the balance had risen to $113,000 by the end of 2016.
Karen Schroeder, vice president for East Lansing-based Mayberry Homes, the general contractor for the home, told the Detroit Free Press that the home’s annual taxes more than tripled from $2,000 in 2008 to $7,500 in 2009.
For the next several years, the increased taxes and insurance costs were paid for through an escrow account in the home’s mortgage, but that increased her monthly mortgage payments.
In 2010, Arlene was involved in a major car accident which really set her behind in payments. Nickless shared that during that time the mortgage lender offered to wipe out the balance if she would front $15,000. She was on her way to do just that…When her mortgage was sold to Ocwen Financial in 2011. A company with a bad reputation, Ocwen would end up being the downfall for the family. The company had been so bad, that the State of Michigan had sent out a cease and desist order recently, prohibiting Ocwen Loan Servicing LL from continuing it’s violations.
‘Ocwen had a history of improper servicing and handling of escrow accounts, trouble keeping accurate records, and problems with properly crediting payments,’ according to a press release. The company called the claims ‘unfounded’.
The price of the home is currently $275,000…
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