South Florida

Credit Repair Program Doesn't Help Family Land New Home

The Soriano family thought they would be living in their dream home by now.

The family had signed up for home purchase credit repair program with the home builder, Lennar.

They began making payments for the home while it was still being built at the Isles at Oasis community in Homestead..

The contract they signed lists the lender as Eagle Home Mortgage, a company clearly disclosed as a Lennar Corporation affiliate.

"They told me that they can they would work with my credit," Johann Soriano Mendez said.

Johann says that while the house was being built, Eagle Home Mortgage gave him a plan of action to improve his credit so that he could qualify for the loan.

"I did everything on time right away," Johann said. "I paid them $11,750."

During that time, Johann made payments toward his deposit and the money was held in an escrow account.

But when it was finally time to close on the house, Johann was told his credit score was still too low to qualify for the loan, so the deal was off. He asked for a refund of what he'd paid.

After a lot of back and forth, he says he signed a cancellation agreement on June 27 that included the promise of a refund. August rolled around and the check still hadn't arrived.

Johann says he didn't understand what was taking so long.

"Just to cut a check is ten minutes, one signature," he said. "Why is it (taking) four to six weeks to cut a check?"

That's when he called NBC 6 Responds and Telemundo 51 Responde.

"I didn't get the house and I didn't get the money to move," Johann said. "I feel bad for me, for my family, I feel bad."

In a statement, Eagle Home Mortgage told us it offers "a voluntary no-cost credit education program to help customers understand their credit, and show them how to avoid or address common mistakes that may limit their ability to qualify for a mortgage. In 2018, the program helped over 1,700 families achieve their dream of home ownership. While the goal is to obtain pre-qualification for a mortgage, we do not guarantee a specific outcome. Participants are under no obligation to use Eagle for financing or to purchase a home from Lennar."

Lennar told us it "works closely with our customers through every step of the home-buying process - including recommending services offered by our partners and affiliates that may be beneficial. Unfortunately, not every prospective buyer ends up qualifying for a mortgage. In this case, it took longer than we would have liked to process the refund and we apologize for any inconvenience that delay may have caused."

Soon after NBC 6 Responds got involved, Johann got the call that his refund check was ready.

After waiting almost six weeks, Johann got his money back.

"I'm super happy I want to thank the NBC group, my family and I, we are really, really happy," he added.

Johann says he plans on using the money to move because their current home doesn't have enough space for their growing family.

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