News 4 Investigates: Taxpayers fund home loans that some can't p - KMOV.com

News 4 Investigates: Taxpayers fund home loans that some can't pay back

Posted: Updated:
By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

TROY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- All homeowners know it: the cost of a home is much more than being able to afford the mortgage. It is also the costs of upkeep.

So why is a costly government program financing loans for people who can barely afford the mortgage, let alone the maintenance? Are they being set up for failure?

One homeowner told News 4's Chris Nagus she feels her piece of the American dream is now her personal nightmare.

Margarett Golatt purchased her Troy, Missouri home in 2010 after finding out about a government program offering loans to rural home buyers. In her case, the taxpayers also cover part of the mortgage.

Prior to buying her Troy home, Golatt was a renter in Florissant. To become a home owner, the government required her to leave the suburb for a more rural abode.

Golatt and others received direct loans from the government to buy homes. The direct loans were an expense which cost the government nearly $1 billion in 2014.

The cost was more than $2 billion in 2010 when Golatt bought her place.  She said her only source of income is a disability check along with a small pension. Combined, she brings in roughly $2,000 a month.

Golatt didn't qualify for a conventional loan, but the USDA approved her for a $150,000 loan. That allowed her to buy a spacious three bedroom atrium ranch in Tory, where she lives alone.

While Golatt is able to make her payments each month, she also said there are cracks in the foundation, broken seals in her windows, and gaps in her doors that allow cold air inside.

Bids to repair the problems would cost thousands of dollars, and she does not have the money to fix it. Additionally, Golatt won't have the money in the future because her income is not going to change.

Golatt’s 33 year loan won't be paid off until she is in her 90's and it is inevitable that there will be many more costly problems over the next three decades.  So she called the USDA.

“They suggest I borrow some more money from them … to fix it” she told News 4.

In Golatt's opinion, the home should have never passed inspection. In January, the USDA sent her a letter saying the home did pass, but the USDA did not provide a warranty for her property.

Golatt said she will not borrow more money from the taxpayer funded program.

When she bought her new home in 2010, she had no idea how costly repairs could be, and never expected so many issues right away.

According to the USDA, borrowers like Golatt must receive financial counseling. In Missouri, there are approximately 7,500 homeowners receiving loans like Golatt's, with an average loan of $123,000.

The USDA originally agreed to an on-camera interview with Chris Nagus to discuss the loans, but then backed out.

 

Powered by Frankly