SEMINOLE — After hearing Carol and Timothy Grundmann recount their six-year battle with a loan servicer, a Pinellas County judge had this blunt reaction:
"The court has never seen such horrible treatment by a financial institution to its customer. It was deplorable."
And it seemed as if it might continue, when Green Tree Servicing said it would appeal the judge’s order last fall that it pay the Grundmanns $231,531.
Now, though, the couple has reached a settlement with Green Tree, marking an end to a foreclosure case that they say never should have been filed because they had been making payments all along.
"We can’t talk about it," Tim Grundmann, a retired Pinellas sheriff’s sergeant sheriff said of the settlement. ‘‘But it’s done and it’s a such a relief."
As the Tampa Bay Times has reported, the couple’s ordeal began during the recession when they were late with some payments. They fully caught up and had a letter from Bank of America, their original lender, attesting to that. But after the loan was transferred, Green Tree insisted they were seriously in arrears even though it kept accepting their payments and kept changing the amounts they purportedly owed. In 2013, it began foreclosing.
The Grundmanns are still living in their Seminole home but are dealing with a different mortgage company. They have bought a lot in Madeira Beach — where Tim grew up — and plan to build a house there.
"We love our home but it has bad memories after the last six years," Carol said. "I look at it and everything I would loved to have changed, we couldn’t and now that we can, I don’t want to do it. It’s time to move on."
The Grundmanns, both 53, are retired and plan to stay that way. Carol co-owned a pre-school that has closed. Tim left the sheriff’s office a few years ago.
"The last time I saw the sheriff, he said, ‘Are you ready to come back to work?’" Tim recalls. "It was a really good job but 30 years is enough."
Susan Taylor Martin can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate