Harlingen grandmother fights to keep home

Maria Benitez

She's a 71-year-old great-grandmother who has lived in her Harlingen home for more than 40 years.

These days Maria Benitez should be enjoying her garden, instead she's praying day and night that she doesn't end up homeless.

Maria and her husband bought the home on "R" Street, but years later, took out a home equity loan with Nationstar Mortgage, LLC.

She paid every month and when she fell behind a few months, Nationstar allegedly offered a temporary modification which Maria was able to pay for two more years. Suddenly Nationstar stopped accepting her payments.

"They said they were going to do it under a different program."

Next thing she knew, Maria was being told to pay everything she owed of the $45,000 loan which the woman who lived her life taking care of her children without a job could not afford. With her husband deceased, she was out of options.

"I just want to keep the house and keep making payments."

An Austin based attorney representing Maria and many others like her says the modification in Texas is illegal and he's filed a lawsuit on her behalf against Nationstar since they are now saying Maria needs to give up her home completely.

"Why? Where am I going to put all my things? I'm going to have to stand in line for housing. Why?"

She's resorted to medication to calm her nerves and keep her from crying all night as she waits to find out if she can keep her home.

It holds every memory of her children, grandchildren and husband who in his last days knew his wife would have to fight to stay here.

"When he was sick he told me not to let them take our house, until God decides he doesn't want me here anymore."

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