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Homeowner Left Hanging After Mortgage Lender Is Shuttered

A New Hampshire cancer survivor who nearly lost his home four months ago due to "immoral" practices of his mortgage company now claims he's left "in the dark" after the same company was shuttering by federal agencies due to possible fraud.

Taylor, Bean and Whitaker, of Ocala, Fla., the nation's 12th largest home-loan company, was suspended on Aug. 4 by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for failing to submit a required annual financial report and misrepresenting that there were no unresolved issues with its independent auditor.

"They never even had the gall to let their customers know what was going on," Angelo Kontarinis told FOXNews.com. "We've tried to get through to them and no one is answering. We've just been making our payments as we agreed to, but we're in the dark now, as are they rest of their customers."

FHA Commissioner David Stevens said the "FHA won't tolerate irresponsible lending practices," and suspended the massive mortgage company's business, effective immediately.

"We were also troubled that the company not only failed to disclose it was a target of a multi-state examination and a separate action by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, but then falsely certified that it had not been sanctioned by any state," said Stevens.

One week later, Kontarinis, of Exeter, N.H., still has no answers about the status of his loan.

He is no stranger to trouble with Taylor, Bean and Whitaker. In early 2007, the adjunct professor at the New Hampshire Institute of Art was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Unable to continue working, the 40-year-old father of three then fell behind on his mortgage payments last fall and contacted the mortgage company to refinance their three-bedroom, $265,000 home.

Kontarinis was told nothing could be done until he and his wife, Melissa, fell three months behind. Five months later, after "constant rude comments" from employees at Taylor, Bean and Whitaker, Kontarinis received an attorney's notice in late April indicating their home would be auctioned on May 8.

An innocent e-mail Kontarinis sent to Kidney-Onc, a discussion list for relatives, researchers and physicians of kidney cancer patients, explaining his situation led to "literally thousands" of good Samaritans determined to keep the Kontarinis' in their home.

After incessant calls to the company by those individuals, including one inquiry from Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a caseworker at Taylor, Bean and Whitaker called Kontarinis and restructured his mortgage over the phone, lowering the interest rate by one-third.

That six-month agreement was made in May. What will happen come October, when he is required to refinance, is anyone's guess, Kontarinis said.

"We're hoping to restructure our mortgage permanently with whomever takes over," he said. "We're hoping a better, non-corrupt organization takes over that will be fair to work with."

Kontarinis said he does feel a measure of validation seeing the end of a corporation that gave his family so much heartache.

"We've always said they were a corrupt, immoral organization," he said. "But I do feel bad for their employees, who will be out of a job. But these are the same people who called us names on the phone for months."

Attempts to reach representatives at Taylor, Bean and Whitaker were unsuccessful Friday.

For now, Kontarinis, who said he's feeling healthy prior to additional treatment scheduled for this fall, is focused on which finance company will takeover his mortgage. A mortgage attorney advised him to continue making payments nevertheless.

"We're just waiting to see what will happen next," he said. "It's anyone's guess."

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 4.30% up 4.25%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.29% dw 3.32%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.58% dw 4.59%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.45% dw 3.63%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.52% up 3.49%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.38% dw 4.46%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.11% dw 4.17%  
$30K Loan Graph 4.99% dw 5.10%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.40% dw 4.55%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.40% dw 4.51%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.91% up 2.87%  
36 M Used Graph 3.43% up 3.35%  
48 M New Graph 3.19% up 3.14%  
48 M Used Graph 2.97% up 2.92%  
60 M New Graph 3.22% up 3.17%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.34% -- 0.34%  
1 yr Graph 0.68% -- 0.68%  
5 yr Graph 1.38% up 1.37%