FRAMINGHAM (CBS) – The effects of a punishing winter are still hurting some homeowners, including a man in Framingham.

The damage in Dwight Woytowick’s home was extensive. The ceiling collapsed; walls, floors and carpets were all ruined.

“(Water) was just cascading water down the walls,” he explained.

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports

Months after ice-dams ruined his home, Woytowick received an insurance check for nearly $50,000.

The problem is, he hasn’t been able to spend a dime.

The check was made out to him and his bank. The bank won’t give him the money.

The mortgage company, Chase told him since he was doing the repairs himself, he had to do at least 50 percent of the work before they reimburse him.

The single father who designs cell phone apps says he spent $12,000; most of his savings and retirement to repair ceilings, replace windows and repaint.

In the process, Woytowick fell behind on his mortgage, prompting Chase to change its mind.

“Now they said ‘no, you are behind with your mortgage so we won’t release the funds,’” Woytowick explained.

Now, Chase says he has to finish 90 percent of the work and catch up on his payments before they hand over any of the money.

To Dwight, that’s a deal that’s not only unfair, but it isn’t possible. “It’s absolutely impossible. I’m out of money now,” he said.

A representative at Chase told WBZ-TV that the bank is looking into the situation.

As for Dwight’s home, he says if he doesn’t get the check, it will be in foreclosure in about a month.

By law, Dwight’s insurance company had to put both names on the check. But, they seem baffled by Chase’s move. They say they’ve never seen a mortgage company do this, and believe Chase’s actions are heavy-handed and excessive.

Kate Merrill

Comments (35)
  1. Garry Burke says:

    Sounds like the bank believes in slavery.

  2. brooklyn says:

    If you don’t pay your mortage you loose your house. Simple. Get a job and pay your bills

    1. Elle says:

      Brooklyn needs to quit his or her job and go back to school. You don’t ‘loose’ your house, you ‘lose’ it. ‘Loose’ is used to mean when something is not tight, like a ‘loose’ fitting. This is 2nd grade stuff.

    2. Matthew Sherrard says:

      You’re an idiot, plain and simple.

      1) The man had a savings. He spent it on the repairs.
      2) Those repairs were insured, so a cheque was issued to reimburse him for them.
      3) The bank that holds his mortgage won’t give him the money from that cheque.
      4) Since he does not have any savings anymore, he has fallen into arrears.

      The bank is *responsible* for his inability to pay his mortgage.

    3. fred says:

      Brooklyn, you either didn’t read the article, have poor reading comprehension, or a troll.

  3. karen says:

    i very well may remove my accounts from chase after reading this. america bailed out the banking industry, their execs continue to get extravagant bonuses, and a single father is being scrod by the big boys. if this doesn’t get turned around, my money goes elsewhere, and with a copy of this article to the chase bank in ny where my accounts are. good luck mr woytowick.

  4. kyle says:

    brookyln….you are a moron! Get a brain.

    1. Jean says:

      Agreed and well said.

  5. ann says:

    This happened to us as well with Chase as our mortgage company. Our insurance company made the check out to us and Chase, Chase forced us to send the check to them, then they told us they would only release the check once the work was done. When the word was complete they then added that they wanted an air quality test done on our home as well. We were very fortunate to find a company that was willing to do the work and wait for Chase to send them the check.

    1. homeowner says:

      Ann thanks for the comment. Just so the to be clear on what has gone on in my situation, I do have a job. I have General contracted many times doing improvements on my property. This allows me to select the “best” workers for specific jobs that need to be done, rather than relying on a contractor to select the cheapest labor who generally do poor quality work and make more profit on the job. My family and myself have been involved in the trade doing many renovations of houses. I am not looking for a vacation or pocketing the money, I just want my house repaired correctly and in a timely fashion.

  6. JamesM says:

    I would’ve expected this from Bank of America…looks like their CEOs have had a few too many 1000 dollar lunches together…

  7. justsayin' says:

    I wonder whose pocket the check went into. Chase bank is one of the biggest crooks going in the banking industry.

  8. p2boston says:

    I may cancel my Chase credit cards now. I never liked Chase anyway. The banking industry has a bad attitude.

  9. Michael says:

    Hmm I have had a chase credit card for quite a while. I think I might cancel it now.

  10. Billy Pow says:

    My father lost his house due to frozen-buried fire hydrants back in the winter of 2007,Commerce Insurance did everything legal and beyond to get out of paying claim.While this was going on over course of 3 years Bank of America harassed my father daily sometimes 2 or 3 times a day at first wanting him to refinance,then when his lawyers advised him to stop paying the mortgage whether or not he was living in house and if he had done any improvements to the house ,even though they had sent appraisers to the house on 2 separate occasions who were very confused to find house had burnt to the ground!!!!!!!!! Needless to say they still foreclosed on the property even though it was under litigation.Now 4 years later property still has burnt remains in a neighborhood of $500,000 + homes !!!!!!!!!! During this time my father has lost his job as a manager he worked 20 + years 60 hours + a week,his retirement ,his car,and being in his early 60’s has had a tough time finding a job even with 40+ years of working his ass off making other people fat and happy !!!!!!!! What message does this send to future generations ofAmericans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Michael says:

    This is an email I just sent to my Chase credit card support center.
    I intend to cancel this account as soon as I have the last balance payed off. I am going to change all accounts that automatically charge this account. Unless of course you can provide some type of proof that Chase bank is not dealing with Mr Dwight Woytowick in the despicable and unprofessional manner that I am reading on CBS News. I was startled to come across news headlines that read “Framingham Man May Lose Home After Bank Witholds $50K Insurance Check” and a story that is even more disturbing. If this is how you deal with your customers I do not want to be associated with you at all for any services. If you actually take the time to look at the type of customer you are losing and add that by others also voicing their support by canceling their accounts, you might have some cause for concern.

  12. Kizzy says:

    I think brooklyn should go apply for a job at Chase. Sounds like he/she would fit right in. More than likely, the reason he fell behind on his mortgage, was because Chase refused him the money to fix his house, so he needed it for that. Then when you fall behind, they swoop right in to take everything from you. Real nice. Great society we are living in. The banks and creditors don’t care about anything except the almighty dollar. Doesn’t matter to them that if they worked with you, everyone would get what they want. I have found them to be the same way with their credit cards, and will be getting rid of it once paid off. I hope more people will respond this way. Maybe it will force them to rethink what they are doing to this home owner. There is just something really wrong in this world when people don’t care about anyone else, and would just as soon attack as help.

  13. REalist says:

    the guy should have hired a contractor instead of doing the repairs himself. In that instance he would have owed a contractor and not a bank. The contractor would be aggrevated by not receiving full payment, however would not be able to take his house. Also who spends there life saving to do a repair and disregards the fact they have a mortgage to pay? The homeowner sounds like he was trying to do the repairs himself cheaply hoping he would be bank most of the 50,000

    1. Robin Langlois says:

      REalist, Even a contractor can take the guys house. It’s called a mechanic’s lien. They put a lien on the proeprty to ensure that they are paid as well. Regardless of he did the work himself or hired a contractor, Chase has no right to hold onto an Insurance check that was to compensate the home owner for damage. Last time I checked that’s the whole point to having insurance on your house, in case something like this were to happen. I’m sorry this happened to him and his family and I hope they are able to recover from this.

  14. REALIST says:

    After reading all these comments I continue to see beliefs that got this country into the financial mess we are in. Banks are not responsible for all the illls in this world. Peoples lack of individual responsiblity is at fault. The liberals in this country worked very hard to make mortgages affordable to people who never had any business having homes A form of affirmative action for the poor. People who do not have the financial means nor the intellligence should not own homes. People keeep blaming the banks and not take any responsbillity for your actions and this country will keep going in the same direction.

  15. buildmeister says:

    If Chase insists on holding the money, force them to go through the hassle of dealing with the repairs. Then if the work is not sufficient, sue them and the contractor they chose.

  16. Jim Garfield says:

    Maybe the whole story isn’t being told here. I don’t love banks either but maybe what they are doing is protecting the taxpayers from paying again. The check goes to them so that they can be sure the homeowner spends the money on the repair and not a vacation. They release the money to the contractor in stages as the work is completed. This is to keep the value of the house in case the bank gets stuck with it. Maybe this guy already owes more than the house is worth. The storm was only three months ago. All this happened and they’re foreclosing already?

  17. Cinque says:

    I have a very strong feeling that there is more to this than meets the eye. He doesn’t sound like a contractor so how was he going to do the repairs by himself? He also fell behind in his mortgage payments right away and now is close to foreclosure which tells me that he was close to losing the house anyway.

  18. Nova says:


  19. Lori says:

    I used to work for a small company that helped people to refinance when they were in (or close to being in) foreclosure. I have seen people be behind in their mortgage for over 12 months and the banks JUST started proceedings. I have also seen people fall behind 1 month and the bank start proceedings. As far as this guy being a contractor or not, I have done some construction work myself (both residential AND commercial) and if he knows what he is doing I say more power to him. It sounded as if he knows what he was talking about. Shame on Chase. Thats why I chose to get rid of ALL my cards and only go with the loadable WalMart cards. At least they do not charge you a few if you go over, you just have to pay whatever your card is over and then you can put more money on the card.

  20. Mark says:

    People like Realist and Brooklyn should get a clue before they comment on situations like this. The man has every right to repair his own home and yes,the banks and credit card companies ARE the problem especially when they are empowered by liberal aholes like Barney Frank.He and his cronies are the reason this country almost collapsed under the weight of debt. People who can’t qualify for a mortgage, as well as the unscrupulous lenders who profiteered, made the mortgage collapse inevitable.Socialists like Frank,Reid,Pelosi and Obama will be the downfall of this Republic.Wake up and smell the coffee America!!

  21. Practical says:

    I’ve heard of this same situation several times. Legislature is needed to ensure that the banks pay repair contractors out of the insurance payment which should be kept in escrow. When repairs are complete and all outgoing payments are tallied plus any reasonable bank administration fees, any credit balance should be refunded to the homeowner as they’re the ones who paid the insurance premiums. This way the banks protect their interest in ensuring that the house is repaired, but the homeowners aren’t pushed to bankruptcy in the meantime.

  22. Andrea Magnell Kontos says:

    And just who is getting the interest on $50Gs? Chase. The insurance company makes the checks out to the owners – Mr. Woytowick and Chase. However, Mr. Woytowick needs the money to repair his house as to keep the value of the home. Chase doesn’t care about the value as long as they get their monthly payment. Shame on Chase for not caring about their customers. I too will be leaving the Chase Banking Company!

  23. petem says:

    So many people, so many different ways to get around to bashing liberals. I am a liberal, or a progressive and I believe in not only being responsible for myself and my family, but to support my brothers and sisters (look it up in your bible, you right wing holier-than-thou wingnuts). This man, who by the way I believe has weighed in here under ‘homeowner’, sounds like he has tried to do the right thing as the bank has jerked him around on their chain. I learned my lesson a couple years ago, when I needed Chase, under my old Sears Gold Card, to OK a purchase, and after nearly 30 years with them they wouldn’t because the minimum payment on my 50.00 (that’s right Fifty Bucks) balance was a couple days past their date, and by the way, that payment zero’d my balance… I cancelled that card then, I got a new card within couple weeks from my local bank and now have no money and never will again have money in one of these mega banks. Anyone that does is a sucker and should get out as soon as possible. They deserve to fail for all the bald faced greed, and evil they have been exposed for.

  24. REALIST says:

    REALIST, hey Mark

    when you typed
    “People like Realist and Brooklyn should get a clue before they comment on situations like this”. I was deeply hurt. Actually not!! Yes people have the right to repair there own houses, but every situation needs to be looked into. Clearly I agree with you on point you made about barney frank and all the dam liberals in this country. There have been far too many handouts and lack of oversight. This is one more example. As many have pointed out, things went down hilll pretty quickely for this guy. Clearly there is more that meets the eye here and the liberal media is making this guy look like the victem, when he most likely is an irresponsbile home owner. Like I said what kind of idiot spends all their savings so they put themselve in a situation where they have no money to pay their mortgage. The bank is only responsible for what the repairs cost. My theory is he spent $1000 on repairs had some contractor buddies create receipts for $50,000 and was hoping to pay down his mortgage. Thinking he was getting 50k from the bank I bet he went out and bought a new car and a plasma. Good job CHASE!!!

  25. Gerry says:

    I think the first question one should ask is how many payments was he behind before the ice damage? Is he very far in debt and is trying to to the work himself in order to gain some extra money in some way then that is not right! I have a feeling there is more to this story than meets the eye! Homeowner how many months are you behind in your mortgage? Why don’t you ask Chase to reimburse the contractors and not release the check to you! If you were so far behind in your mortgage you didn’t have much in your savings or retirement or you would have used that to get current on your payment! People think about that!

  26. response says:

    When you have a car loan out, and your car is totaled, the check is made out to you and the bank.
    This situation is no different.

  27. Dee says:

    When I had damage done to my house, my insurance company did the exact same thing. I had Option One as my mortgage company. They kept the check, refused to pay and said 50% of the repairs needed to be done before they would release the check. When 50% of the repairs were done, they came back and said 90% needed to be done. I wasn’t behind on my mortgage. I ended up paying the contractors. So yes it does happen people.

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