7 On Your Side: A New Jersey Homeowner’s Property Tax Nightmare

CLIFFSIDE PARK, N.J. (WABC) — It’s every homeowner’s nightmare: you pay your mortgage on time every month, relying on your repairman to pay your property taxes and insurance in full, on time.

But what happens when one of the biggest mortgage companies in the country just won’t pay and let you down for months?

“For me it was very frustrating,” said Mohamad Hussein. “I felt hopeless to be honest.”

First-time owner Hussein was freaking out. His tax bill was so late that his city sent a threat that his house might end up on a tax sale list.

“‘Unpaid overdue taxes are subject to tax sale.’ It was scary,” Hussein said. “You’re like, wait, am I going to lose my house?”

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The tax bill for his property is over $2,600. He should have been paid last February by his mortgage company, HomePoint.

“I was struggling,” he said. “I used to tell people at work, ‘I don’t know what to do.'”

The state-of-the-art Cliffside Park home was bought off the market at high asking price last year during the pandemic, before it was even built.

“We fell in love with it,” Hussein said. “We fell in love with the location. We fell in love with this house.”

The four-story stunner sits side-by-side with another home, and the two properties share the same block and lot. But when paying its taxes, HomePoint did not put a third number called the qualifier.

“Qualifying was the part they were missing,” he said.

This is nothing new, and Hussein harangued HomePoint after he also failed to pay his November taxes.

“They didn’t pay until December 11,” he said.

Hussein was charged over $240 in late fees.

“I sent about six emails and over 15 calls, and I couldn’t get anywhere,” he said. “They kept saying to me, ‘Oh, we’re investigating. “”

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He even tweeted HomePoint, which got him nowhere. Then he learned that their landlord’s insurance wasn’t paid for either.

“I haven’t been covered for 30 days,” he said.

So 7 On Your Side contacted HomePoint and immediately contacted Hussein – explaining the reason for their error and saying it wouldn’t affect his monthly mortgage payments or, more importantly, his credit report.

Within 24 hours, HomePoint paid its first two quarterly property tax payments, as well as more than $300 in late fees.

“Thank you, I really appreciate it,” Hussein said. “You solved the problem so quickly. You should start charging.”

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Penny D. Jackson