NEWS

Widow, mother of 3, set to lose family home next week

09/27/2013 05:03 EDT | Updated 11/26/2013 05:12 EST
The widow of a former CFL quarterback and mother of three is about to lose her dream home.

Laurie Metcalfe and her three daughters, ages 4, 8, and 10, have been living in a house in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, but as of Sept. 30, will be homeless. 

Life started to unravel for Metcalfe after her common-law spouse, Bob Torrance, died suddenly last year. 

Metcalfe

Torrance was a former quarterback for the Calgary Stampeders, and a member of their Grey Cup winning team in 1992. 

The couple made the decision to move their family to Newfoundland in 2007, and in 2010, they purchased the 5,700-square foot home.  

"We have three kids together, this is our dream home, we moved here .. and this is where we were going to live the rest of our days," said Metcalfe. 

One day in January 2012, Torrance fell suddenly ill — the following day, he died of a streptococcal infection.

"It was a complete shock. When he passed away... I'm kind of still in shock over it... It got really tough just trying to keep the kids sane and stable and fine. You know they're doing good, they're doing great, we're all kicking along fine, but it's been a tough year and a half," she told CBC. 

Metcalfe, who was employed as a science technician with Memorial University, took extended time off without pay and cashed down pension funds to be with her children. This fall, she had planned to return to work, as her youngest daughter started kindergarten.

After Torrance died, Metcalfe decided to sell the family home.

It sold in just one day on the market, but the potential buyers couldn't secure financing. After several months, Metcalfe took it off the market.

Earlier this year, she made the decision to sell the house again. Metcalfe said money was tight, and she fell behind in the mortgage, missing January and February payments.

In March, the Bank of Montreal sent Metcalfe a letter, looking for $8,800 to cover the months missed, as well as lawyers' fees.

Metcalfe's

Metcalfe

"So, I went to a refinancing company, and [they] said they could help. It was all pre-approved. I had someone come in and appraise my home at $500,000. I had a lender, he's in Ontario. Their lawyer's in town, and I asked them about my mortgage, if I should keep paying it, or 'Is the bank going to act on their letter, saying I must pay it up by a certain date, at the end of May?' And they informed me that the loan, because things are tight now, would go through... All you needed to do was hold tight until the paperwork goes through, and they'll pay up the arrears of the month or two I missed."  

A broker at Mortgage Intelligence in Ontario arranged the loan.

They were willing to lend the money, at 17 per cent. The broker would earn a 20 per cent fee, or $6,000 on a $30,000 mortgage.

Under the Mortgage Broker's Act in Newfoundland and Labrador, it is illegal to charge that high of a fee. The allowable amount a broker can charge is one per cent, plus $100. Metcalfe

Metcalfe'sMetcalfe

In the end, neither lender gave her the money.

Attempts by CBC to reach Mortgage Intelligence by phone and email have been unsuccessful.

Situation critical

Last month, the situation escalated, when Metcalfe discovered the bank was going to auction off her home on Aug. 23. 

The auction was not successful.

Metcalfeheriff's

"I have nowhere to go; I don't have family I can stay with. I don't have anything set up, I don't have anywhere to put my things. I didn't think I had to go anywhere — I was refinancing — just like everybody does it every day, they refinance. They get in a stumble with their mortgage and they have to fix it," she said.

"Unfortunately, I woke up one day, and I have to leave in a week." 

MORE:cbcNews