Saturday, May 18 2013 7:14 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:14:03 GMT
A new interactive display that documents the lives and accomplishments of Indiana's politically prominent Bayh family has opened at Indiana State University. About 250 Indiana Democrats and others attendedMore >>
A new interactive display that documents the lives and accomplishments of Indiana's politically prominent Bayh family has opened at Indiana State University.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:05:05 GMT
A central Indiana official says the tough conditions opponents of a planned wind farm are seeking for the project would leave little room for the proposed power-generating wind turbines. The wind farm'sMore >>
A central Indiana official says the tough conditions opponents of a planned wind farm are seeking for the project would leave little room for the proposed power-generating wind turbines.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:00 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:00:45 GMT
A Purdue University official says the school has made fast progress finding $40 million in savings or new revenue to support a two-year tuition freeze announced in March. Purdue treasurer Al Diaz tellsMore >>
A Purdue University official says the school has made fast progress finding $40 million in savings or new revenue to support a two-year tuition freeze announced in March.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:56:01 GMT
Statement from the Indiana Pacers: Over the last two days under the care of the Indiana Pacers' medical staff, George Hill has participated in each step of the NBA's Return-to-Participation Exertion ProtocolMore >>
Indiana Pacers guard George Hill has been cleared to play Saturday night against the New York Knicks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series. More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:45 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:45:02 GMT
Oxbow has won the Preakness, ruining Orb's bid to capture the Triple Crown. Oxbow led from start to finish. It was the sixth Preakness victory for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and 15th Triple CrownMore >>
Oxbow has won the Preakness, ruining Orb's bid to capture the Triple Crown.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:23:35 GMT
A new federal report says inmates at the Marion County Jail in Indianapolis are more likely to be sexually abused by guards than inmates at any other jail in the nation. The Justice department reportMore >>
A new federal report says inmates at the Marion County Jail in Indianapolis are more likely to be sexually abused by guards than inmates at any other jail in the nation.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 4:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 20:56:07 GMT
Pole Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway meant a lot more than just racing. This was a family affair with a little bit of something for everyone for non-stop entertainment. The day's festivities startedMore >>
Pole Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway meant a lot more than just racing. This was a family affair with a little bit of something for everyone for non-stop entertainment.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 4:03 PM EDT2013-05-18 20:03:11 GMT
It's less about the lemonade and more about the lesson. More than 20,000 local children got their first taste of the business world Saturday when they took part in Lemonade Day. The work behind JohnMore >>
It's less about the lemonade and more about the lesson.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 3:32 PM EDT2013-05-18 19:32:54 GMT
There could be bumping at Indianapolis this weekend. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports said Saturday afternoon that it has hired British driver Katherine Legge to drive the No. 81 car. That gives IndianapolisMore >>
There could be bumping at Indianapolis this weekend.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 3:28 PM EDT2013-05-18 19:28:11 GMT
Authorities in hazardous materials suits are searching an apartment in downtown Spokane, Wash., as they investigate the recent discovery of a pair of letters containing the deadly poison ricin. FBI agents,More >>
Authorities in hazardous materials suits are searching an apartment in downtown Spokane, Wash., as they investigate the recent discovery of a pair of letters containing the deadly poison ricin.More >>
Indianapolis - U.S. banks took $50 billion taxpayer dollars, promising to help homeowners reduce their monthly mortgage payments. But 13 Investigates discovered thousands of homeowners taking part in the program are falling into a financial trap - and they haven't done anything wrong.
Now, there is a consumer warning on why the banks' trial run could leave you worse off.
The invitations are everywhere: "Save hundreds of dollars on your mortgage." "Stay in your home for less."
That was the bank promise delivered to the Miller household.
It's the only home 10-year-old Jackson has ever really known. His mother, Amy, created a special world where he enjoys recess, goes to school and gets round the clock nursing through Medicare. And he's beating the odds against a rare genetic disease.
"There's really not anything in here that doesn't have to do with him," Jackson's mother said, showing 13 Investigates cabinets full of his medicines.
He doesn't know it, but within weeks, it could all go away. That same bank-run program that promised to reduce the Millers' mortgage, is now threatening to hijack their home.
"It's terrifying to think we're going to have to take him out of this home. I trusted them, I was naive, I had no idea this could possibly happen," Amy Miller said, shaking her head.
She's talking about HAMP, the government's Home Affordable Modification Program.
In 2009, Congress gave banks $75 billion to modify mortgage loans for eligible homeowners. $50 billion of that was bailout money paid for by taxpayers.
Wells Fargo suggested HAMP to the Millers. They had not missed any payments, but wanted to reduce monthly costs. Miller's husband's restaurant earnings and her rental property income had declined.
"I could see down the road this keeps getting harder every month," said Miller of the family's finances.
For three months, they provided financial statements, tax returns and other pertinent information. Based on those records, the bank cut their nearly $1,500 a month payment to $900.
"I was told that as long as I made all the payments on time, that we would be accepted," the mother explained.
But when the trial period ended, there was a surprise.
"We had been rejected," Miller told 13 Investigates.
They could either come up with $5,000 or face foreclosure. So the couple dipped into a 401K and sent the money.
Wells Fargo sent it back.
The bank wanted, instead, $100 payments until December and then a whopping $19,000, or else...the house.
"Besides being scared to death, I just thought that, that didn't make sense," said a frustrated Miller.
The Miller family's story is not unlike thousands of homeowners all across the country. In fact, a Chicago law firm with a growing reputation for consumer advocacy is now jumping into the fight.
"It was certainly in the intent of the government to keep people in their homes. That's the whole point! Rather than having their homes saved, they're one by one falling into deeper debt. And one by one, losing their homes," said attorney Rafey Balabanian.
His law firm, Edelson McGuire, is seeking a federal class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo.
"You do everything you're supposed to do. You're told at every turn that you've done everything right. And then you wake up one morning and get a letter that says you were denied for your modification and now your loan is in default and you have to pay off $15,000 by the end of the month or face foreclosure," said Balabanian, repeating a similar story he's heard from homeowners across the country.
Wells Fargo isn't the only bank accused of luring customers into a broken promise.
A government review of HAMP as of September showed 1.3 million trial modifications started by banks, of which more than 699,000 were canceled. The number of permanent modifications totaled just 466,000.
In Indiana, a mere one percent, or 4,600 are getting permanent help. Hundreds of others who were making their payments are now worse off than they started.
"It's hard to tell people that they should trust in the modification process at this point," said Balabanian.
"For me, there was no other option but to fight them," said Danielle Terry of Mooresville.
Terry and her husband went through a frustrating HAMP trial with Chase Bank. She, too, made all of her trial payments, only to haggle with random call center workers over lost documents.
She was denied.
The bank wanted fees plus what she didn't pay during the trial, or threatened to take her house.
"That was complete reality, that I could get a letter any day that said you have 30 days to get out," said the young mother.
Desperate, Terry turned to State Representative Ralph Foley, who directed her to the Indiana Supreme Court and a group of pro bono attorneys who set up a mediation with Chase.
Indiana's director of consumer protection says too many homeowners don't know they have a right to mediation or other modification deals.
"In many instances, you're not eligible for any of these programs unless you are still living in your home," explained Abigail Kuzma, whose office is a branch of the Indiana Attorney General's Office.
Danielle Terry stayed put. One day, with no warning something unexpected showed up.
"I laughed. I did laugh," said Terry, with chuckles of relief.
Chase had come up with a different modified deal. Bank officials would not speak on camera, but say Chase has changed it's process.
The bank will now "require complete and current documentation to review an application for a trial modification." That, they say, is likely to dramatically increase the percentage of trial modifications that become permanent.
For Amy Miller and her bank, time is running out. The stakes are high.
"Life and death, in my case," Miller summed up. "I, not in my wildest dreams, could have imagined that (the program) would be utilized, to give an advantage to the banks."
Despite repeated requests for information and a month-long review of the Millers' case, Wells Fargo refuses to answer 13 Investigates' questions.
HOPE NOW - Homeowner's HOPE Hotline: 1-888-995-HOPE
HOPE NOW Mission Statement: Maximize the preservation of home ownership while minimizing foreclosures. Assist borrowers who have the willingness and wherewithal to remain in their homes, but need some help to do it.
Indiana Supreme Court The Mortgage Foreclosure Trial Court Assistance Project (MFTCAP) Elizabeth Daulton, Project Manager, at (317) 234-7155
MFTCAP was created to assist trial courts in scheduling and conducting mortgage foreclosure settlement conferences. This program utilizes court-appointed facilitators to reach out to foreclosed borrowers, ensure they are aware of their right to a settlement conference, and to bring both parties to the table to try to find a mutually-agreeable settlement, or "workout."
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:40 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:40:00 GMT
Allison Jacob of Indianapolis who is a junior at Ball State University where she's majoring in Communications and Public Relations was named the 2013 500 Festival Queen on Saturday morning. She graduatedMore >>
Ball State student Allison Jacob named 2013 500 Festival Queen. More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 4:18 AM EDT2013-05-18 08:18:20 GMT
The winning numbers were drawn Friday night in the $190 million Mega Millions jackpot. The winning numbers were 11, 15, 35, 43, 49, with a MegaBall number of 41. Saturday night, numbers will be drawnMore >>
The winning numbers were 11, 15, 35, 43, 49, with a MegaBall number of 41.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 3:18 PM EDT2013-05-17 19:18:48 GMT
CeCe Bruce has received a couple of large tips in her life, but nothing like he one she got Wednesday morning. CeCe, a waitress at the Steak 'n Shake restaurant at Keystone and 54th Street, receivedMore >>
CeCe Bruce has received a couple of large tips in her career, but nothing like the one she got Wednesday morning.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:43 AM EDT2013-05-18 10:43:31 GMT
A car came very close to crashing into someone's home near Lawrence. It started with a brief police chase after the officer tried to pull the driver over for a traffic stop. It ended on Conreid Drive,More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:14 AM EDT2013-05-18 13:14:33 GMT
The son of the U.S. national swim team director is reporting that Michael Phelps is planning a comeback for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Peter Busch, whose father Frank oversees the American program, is a newsMore >>
The son of the U.S. national swim team director is reporting that Michael Phelps is planning a comeback for the 2016 Rio Olympics.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 1:58 PM EDT2013-05-18 17:58:30 GMT
The San Diego Chargers have agreed to a two-year deal with star pass rusher Dwight Freeney that could be worth $13.35 million. The deal to bring Freeney to the Chargers came four days after outside linebackerMore >>
The San Diego Chargers have agreed to a two-year deal with star pass rusher Dwight Freeney that could be worth $13.35 million.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 1:06 AM EDT2013-05-18 05:06:01 GMT
Visitors and employees of Indiana University Health will no longer be able to buy sugary drinks from cafeterias, vending machines and gift shops on hospital campuses. Indiana University Health implementedMore >>
Visitors and employees of Indiana University Health will no longer be able to buy sugary drinks from cafeterias, vending machines and gift shops on hospital campuses.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 1:19 PM EDT2013-05-18 17:19:05 GMT
Point guard George Hill will be a game-time decision as the Pacers try to close out the Knicks. After Indiana's shootaround Saturday morning, coach Frank Vogel did not say whether Hill had passed hisMore >>
Point guard George Hill will be a game-time decision as the Pacers try to close out the Knicks.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 1:13 PM EDT2013-05-18 17:13:48 GMT
A Lafayette program designed to help the homeless, victims of domestic violence and nonviolent offenders is carrying on its mission despite the loss of federal funding. Efforts started under the WeedMore >>
A Lafayette program designed to help the homeless, victims of domestic violence and nonviolent offenders is carrying on its mission despite the loss of federal funding.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 10:59 PM EDT2013-05-18 02:59:44 GMT
A mother is pleading with police and her neighbors to try and find the driver who struck her son in a hit and run crash. Daniel Lopez is in critical condition, fighting for his life at the hospital. PoliceMore >>
Police still don't know who struck seven-year-old Daniel Lopez, who remains in critical condition in a coma. More >>