Couple claims they were misled about windstorm coverage

Kelly Holleran Sep. 20, 2010, 8:41am

A Beaumont couple has filed suit against the bank and insurance company that they claim led them to believe they had secured windstorm insurance when they purchased their home.

Glen and Theresa Nepveux claim they financed their home purchase through defendant Countrywide in April 2008, but the closing was delayed because the bank needed to procure insurance for their home.

About two weeks after the originally scheduled closing, the Nepveuxes were told they were able to close as Countrywide had secured the necessary insurance, according to the complaint filed Sept. 13 in Jefferson County District Court.

However, yet again, the Nepveuxes experienced a delay because the bank could not secure windstorm insurance for the house, the suit states. The bank asked the Nepveuxes to obtain windstorm insurance through State Farm, but State Farm informed the couple they could not get the insurance, the complaint says.

When the Nepveuxes explained the situation to the bank, it promised to redouble its efforts and obtain insurance through a company it had previously worked with, they claim. On a third closing date, the bank indicated that it had secured windstorm insurance through defendant Balboa Insurance Co., and the Nepveuxes paid $487 in premium costs for coverage, according to the complaint.

After Hurricane Ike struck on Sept. 13, 2008, the Nepveuxes made a claim in October 2008, but were told they had no windstorm insurance, the suit states. Later, the couple was told a policy had been procured and back dated, the complaint says.

However, the Nepveuxes claim the $27,000 they were paid was not nearly enough to cover the more than $70,000 worth of damages to their home.

"The policy procured by Countrywide through Balboa only insured to the value of the loan, did not include the Nepveux's equity, and did not provide the coverage the Nepveuxs believe they procured," the suit states.

In their complaint, the Nepveuxes allege the defendants violated the Texas Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and say the defendants are guilty of negligence, misrepresentation and fraud.

"Balboa and Countrywide had a shared financial interest in the use of Balboa," the complaint says. "Raeglin's (the Countrywide employee selling the loan) loans could not close without appropriate insurance, including windstorm. For Raeglin to receive his pay/bonus, and for Countrywide to sell the mortgage, they had to ensure that the customers were approved for windstorm to allow funding."

In their complaint, the Nepveuxes are seeking a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief to which they may be entitled.

They will be represented by E. Hart Green of Weller, Green, Toups and Terrell in Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D188-204

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