The sum that former homeowners Jerry and Inez Baldwin were expecting as their share in the settlement of a class-action suit against suppliers of contaminated Chinese-made drywall used to build their house would not have made them whole. The couple lost $180,000 when they abandoned their home in June 2013, eventually handing the house to mortgage loan backer Fannie Mae through a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Homeowners in the settled lawsuit will receive an average of $42,000 each in the case. But there's a twist: Some former owners, including the Baldwins, find their former mortgage holders stepping up to claim the money.
The Virginian-Pilot has a report (see: "Chinese drywall victims face new hurdle," by Sarah Kleiner Varble).
"The Baldwins and hundreds of other Virginia families that were affected by the defective drywall have yet to receive a cent in compensation for the tens of millions of dollars they collectively lost over the past eight years," the paper reports. "The government did not offer disaster assistance to the families, and insurance companies were not required to repair their homes. Most of them were uninhabitable and very difficult or impossible to sell. Except for a few families who were able to afford the steep expense of hiring a contractor to repair their homes or who were able to do the work themselves, many drywall families lost their homes through foreclosure or bankruptcy. Others had to persuade their banks to accept short sales."