The Royal Bank is putting a house foreclosure on hold after a Harvey man raised questions about why his house no longer had fire insurance, a fact he discovered after his home was gutted by a fire.
Brad McCullough, a licenced carpenter in Harvey, said he’s always had fire insurance on his home.
But when he and his wife refinanced their mortgage with the Royal Bank, they did it through the financial institution, without a lawyer.
The couple didn’t realize they lacked fire insurance until it was too late and their home had been destroyed.
Instead of having their home covered by insurance, they were initially told by the Royal Bank that they were being foreclosed on.
The problem started when they refinanced their mortgage with the bank.
"When we remortgaged then that should have been brought up, and I thought it must be added into my payment, type of thing. I don't want to step on anybody's toes. It's my fault, plain and simple," McCullough said.
David Peterson, a Fredericton lawyer, said banks require lawyers handling mortgages to have proof of fire insurance. But, he said, banks don't apply the same rules to themselves.
"The bank told the McCulloughs, I'm sure, like they tell every other customer, 'You don't need a lawyer, we will look after your legal services.’ And with that goes the responsibility to do it correctly," Peterson said.
"And the bank didn't do it correctly, they didn't make sure the property was insured, they didn't follow up for the insurance coverage, and they should eat it and put these people back in the position they would have been in if they'd had insurance."
It is unknown what will happen to the McCulloughs. The Royal Bank, however, has put the foreclosure on hold.
Officials with the Royal Bank declined a request for an on-camera interview.
They did send an email, however, that says the bank is "actively investigating details around this case and discussing options."
The Royal Bank statement said the institution is proud of the mortgage services offered to its clients.
But McCullough said he doesn’t know what is going to happen next with the financial institution.
People in Harvey, friends in Fredericton and others who McCollough has worked for in the past have donated $15,000 and supplies to help build a new house.
All of McCullough's co-workers are volunteering their skills to build the house, as well.
"We're helping out cause Brad's a good guy and he deserves all the help he can get," said Nicole McCoy.