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Mistake leads to mortgage payment increases in Prince George: 'It just went crazy'

Treasurer plans to 'have everything back in order, so that nobody's escrow or payment or anything is going to be affected'
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Posted at 5:51 PM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 09:22:54-05

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- Some homeowners in Prince George County may have seen an expensive mistake impact their house payment after the county treasurer's office sent out a file that caused real estate tax payments to jump.

"Oh, it just went crazy, unbelievable and the emails,” Prince George County Treasurer Susan Vargo said. "Our office is trying our best to make sure this gets [fixed]. I'm on it almost everyday."

Vargo said her office sent mortgage, escrow and servicing agents a file for real estate taxes were due for the entire year instead of the way the real estate taxes are divided up.

"In two installments,” Vargo said, “The first December 5, the second due June 5."

But the file her office sent was “the full annual amount” for the real estate tax for house and land.

"Getting their statement with the escrow analysis, that was in the negative, their payment was going up, everything,” Vargo explained.

The mistake saw some homeowners facing huge increases in their bill as Vargo and her staff worked on a quick correction.

In fact, Vargo said she was working to clear up the mistake with the mortgage companies and working on a date payments will be fixed.

"He couldn't give us an exact date,” Vargo said. “But the plan is to have everything back in order, so that nobody's escrow or payment or anything is going to be affected."

Vargo said the corrected file was sent out November 1. Those who sent in the taxes for the entire year will be getting a refund, so the escrow account will be corrected.

The servicing agents, who may have collected taxes for the entire year from your mortgage lenders, are in the process of providing refunds to your lenders so that your escrow accounts can be credited for the other half.

If payments continue to be skewed, the homeowner should contact their mortgage lender. They can also call the treasurer's office for assistance.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story indicated a first installment date of December 1. CBS 6 regrets the error.