Marvin Parks lost his job with a NASCAR team in the summer of 2008 and has been trying to get his mortgage payments reduced since the federal effort started 16 months ago.
In October, Wells Fargo slashed the monthly payment on his family's Mooresville home by more than one-third, to $1,076. That was a trial modification, designed to last three months and prove that a homeowner can make the reduced payment.
Parks, who is married and has two young children, made seven trial payments, based on bank statement copies provided to the Observer.
Then the bank denied him a long-term modification.
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Parks, 46, said Wells told him he didn't have enough months of unemployment benefits left to qualify. That wasn't the case when he initially requested a modification.
Last month, Parks started a new job as a mechanic and immediately reapplied for a modification. By month's end, he was denied.
The problem this time?
He hasn't been working long enough.
Wells didn't respond to a request for comment on whether it routinely requires homeowners to have a minimum length of time on a new job.
Parks' wife, Jodie, also said Wells recently told her they should have resumed their full payment after three months at the lower trial amount. But, she says, nobody told them.
Meanwhile, the partial payments have tarnished their credit standing, and they could face foreclosure over the unpaid amounts from the trial period.
"It's just all screwed up," he said.