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Chinese Drywall Homeowner Applied for a Forbearance Agreement

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Middleburg, FLSherolyn, a paralegal, had to move out of her new home because it was built with Chinese drywall, and now she is asking her mortgage company for a forbearance agreement. "State officials are encouraging mortgage companies to grant this agreement to homeowners with this toxic drywall," she says.

If Sherolyn doesn't get this agreement, she faces foreclosure and even bankruptcy."I know I'm not the only sad case," she says. "Many people down south are trying to get enough money together (some are selling t-shirts) to march to Washington; the federal government let this stuff into the country and they should take responsibility."

It seems that no one is taking responsibility—yet. Sherolyn is hopeful that the first Chinese drywall trial, set for January 10, will give homeowners financial assistance and safely remediate the affected houses. "A Louisiana judge has granted everyone who has Chinese drywall to identify themselves before December 2 and file a lawsuit before December 9," says Sherolyn. "I filed immediately."

This lawsuit is likely her only hope of compensation.

"Our contractor was a friend of a friend and my brother built the house," she says. "My brother noticed that the drywall was stamped 'Made in China' but he wasn't aware of the problem. Now he is sick with respiratory problems. When he installed the drywall, he had a sore throat, headaches and fatigue. We just thought he was working too hard."

Sherolyn and her two young daughters are now renting a mobile home. "Right after we moved in the girls had the same symptoms as my brother: they were coughing, had sore throats, headaches, and nose bleeds," she explains. "Since we moved out, they've been fine."

Air Conditioning Problems

"We had air conditioning problems right away. At first the service calls were covered under our 10-year warranty but we aren't covered anymore. The A/C company owner took some electrical
outlet plates off the wall and sure enough, the copper wires were black—he said it was because of the contaminated drywall."

The labor charge for one A/C coil alone is $509 and Sherolyn's smaller air conditioner is "toast." So are her microwave, computer monitor, and jewelry, which is also turning black.

Insurance Denied

She also tried to get recourse from her insurance company but hit another brick wall. "I filed a claim with Homeowners Insurance but they denied coverage," she says, "because their expert confirmed Chinese drywall."

Mortgage and Property Tax Dispute

"Adding insult to injury, my property tax bill is $5500. Because we can't even live in the house,
I disputed the tax amount and have a hearing scheduled for December 2. I should only be taxed on the value of the property and not the house.

"Wait, it gets worse! Because I had to pay rent and a damage deposit and transfer utilities I was unable to make the mortgage payment. When I told the mortgage company about the Chinese drywall, they immediately sold my loan to a collection agency. Now I'm trying to work out a forbearance agreement, meaning the mortgage company will take 3 payments and put them on the end of the loan to give me a chance financially to figure out what we can do.

"I asked them to reduce my mortgage to the land value ($69,000) and let me make payments on that instead of my current mortgage, which is $224,000. That way I could afford to make the payment and rent something until a Chinese drywall settlement is reached. Right now there is no protocol on how to remediate these houses. They are being treated as hazardous material, the same as asbestos or mold. This stuff might even leach into the 2x4s, causing the structure of the house to become unstable.

"So far, the mortgage company hasn't replied. I am now facing foreclosure and bankruptcy, losing my property and all my investment—all because of Chinese drywall."



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