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Eastern Kentucky flood victim frustrated with $700 monthly mortgage payments on unlivable home

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Posted at 5:38 PM, Sep 13, 2022

(LEX 18) — The night of the deadly floods in Eastern Kentucky, Brandon Tackett, his pregnant wife, and six children got out of their mobile home just in time.

The water was so strong it swept the concrete foundation out from under it. The trailer itself was anchored or it would have washed away too.

"It was pretty traumatic, especially for the children," Tackett recalled.

He said they narrowly escaped that night only to feel trapped by their mortgage lender afterward. He said he's frustrated that Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance is still asking for his $700 monthly mortgage payment on his mobile home that's unlivable.

"You're just a number and a payment to them," he said.

He said he has put about $8,000 into rehabbing the mobile home and it still has thousands of dollars in work to be done.

"I'm literally going to have to rebuild this house out of pocket and pay you a payment at the same time," he said about VMF.

He said he called Vanderbilt and told them he is struggling. After three phone calls, he said they let him delay one month's payment to the end of his mortgage term. He said that's not nearly enough.

"One month delayed payment is no help," he said.

For now, Tackett said he will continue to pay. He works 60 hours a week to provide for his family. But going forward, he may not be able to afford it.

"At this point, I would even accept an adjusted payment," he said.

We asked Vanderbilt what they can offer flood victims in this extraordinary circumstance.

They said, in a statement, "Our thoughts are with the Kentucky families impacted by the catastrophic flooding. Our team at Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc. is working with Mr. Tackett to help him keep his home during this challenging time. When a family encounters hardship, Vanderbilt seeks to work with each customer to help them stay in their home. We work together to decide on the repayment plan that is best suited to their situation, including loan modifications, payment extensions or a homeowner's assistance program."

Tackett says he got a call from Vanderbilt Tuesday afternoon after LEX 18 reached out to them. He couldn't pick up since he was at work and plans to call them back.

In the meantime, he is in contact with a lawyer who said he is working with dozens of others in similar situations with their mortgage lenders.