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ABN AMRO Shows Mercy to Soldier

Sgt. Yvette Curry came home to find husband left her, home in foreclosure

September 1, 2004


While U.S. Army reservist Sgt. Yyvette Nicole Curry was taking care of wounded soldiers in Iraq, her life in America was falling apart and she was close to losing her home.

Curry, a member of a Forward Surgical Team, returned to Columbus, Ohio, in May on a 10-day emergency leave to find her husband gone, her four kids living with relatives and her home being foreclosed on by mortgage giant ABN AMRO.

"I have to fight for this house," Curry, back in the country on a second leave, told the Columbus Dispatch this week. "It's the only stability that my kids (ages 10 to 16) have."

The company was foreclosing after, according to the paper, Curry's husband did not keep up the payments. And because she had been transferred four times, she wasn't paid for three months.

"She's not a deadbeat who didn't pay," Army Reserve lawyer Lt. Col. Dale Vitale told The Dispatch. "It was impossible for her to pay."

But ABN AMRO, displaying a sense of fairness and possibly sensing public relations nightmare, has halted the foreclosure and agreed to waive fees if she makes up past payments and stays current on the mortgage, a company spokeswoman confirmed in an interview with MortgageDaily.com.

The company's legal fees from filing the foreclosure and pursuing payment totaled $3,256, the paper reported.

"We did waive those fees," said Jenn Cornell, a spokeswoman for ABN AMRO's office in Ann Arbor, Mich. "We're trying to resolve the situation. She wanted to stay in the house ... (and) we wanted to help her."

"Are you serious?" Curry was quoted as telling The Dispatch when finding out the news. "Thank you, Lord Jesus! Oh, God! Wait till I tell the kids."

Cornell said she could not comment further.

Curry, 32, a nurse, was married in January of 2003 and was activated for duty a month later, according to The Dispatch account. While at Fort Stewart, Ga., she gave her husband power of attorney to sign for a $127,000 mortgage loan with ABM AMRO.

The couple closed in April of last year. Curry, who had been sent to Iraq, didn't know that two monthly payments of $883 had been missed. Her husband, apparently unable to deal with Curry being away, left the home, placing their kids with relatives. She has since filed for divorce.

Curry, who was stationed near Baghdad, found out what was taking place from neighbors who found foreclosure notices tacked to her door of her home.

"I was helpless. I was crying," she told the paper. "The commander said, 'Let's get you on emergency leave to straighten this out'."

Family members have offered to move into the home to care for the children if Curry is called back to Iraq. And a local church is also assisting.

"If they send me back to Iraq, that's OK," she told the paper. "I've got help now."

Patrick Crowley is a political reporter and columnist and former business writer for The Cincinnati Enquirer. Email Patrick at: [email protected]

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