Paperwork Screw-Up On Mortgage Refinance That Inadvertently Left Homeowner Without Fire Insurance Not Discovered Until Subsequent Blaze Guts Home
In Albert County, New Brunswick, CBC News reports:
- The Royal Bank is putting a house foreclosure on hold after a Harvey man raised questions about why his house no longer had fire insurance, a fact he discovered after his home was gutted by a fire.
Brad McCullough, a licenced carpenter in Harvey, said he’s always had fire insurance on his home.
But when he and his wife refinanced their mortgage with the Royal Bank, they did it through the financial institution, without a lawyer.
The couple didn’t realize they lacked fire insurance until it was too late and their home had been destroyed.
Instead of having their home covered by insurance, they were initially told by the Royal Bank that they were being foreclosed on.
The problem started when they refinanced their mortgage with the bank.
"When we remortgaged then that should have been brought up, and I thought it must be added into my payment, type of thing. I don't want to step on anybody's toes. It's my fault, plain and simple,” McCullough said.
David Peterson, a Fredericton lawyer, said banks require lawyers handling mortgages to have proof of fire insurance. But, he said, banks don't apply the same rules to themselves.
“The bank told the McCulloughs, I'm sure, like they tell every other customer, 'You don't need a lawyer, we will look after your legal services.’ And with that goes the responsibility to do it correctly,” Peterson said.
“And the bank didn't do it correctly, they didn't make sure the property was insured, they didn't follow up for the insurance coverage, and they should eat it and put these people back in the position they would have been in if they'd had insurance.”
It is unknown what will happen to the McCulloughs. The Royal Bank, however, has put the foreclosure on hold.
Officials with the Royal Bank declined a request for an on-camera interview.