This story came to me this evening. I thought you should read it.
I’ve never been a “blogger” and tend to not do much writing at all because I’m dyslexic and the whole process of writing, spelling, and grammar causes my brain to want to explode. I’ve decided to write this blog because I’m so frustrated, irritated, POed, annoyed, and just about every other word imagined by Bank of America and their processes that I figured since I’m not rich enough to sue them, at least maybe I can share my experiences with others.
My experience started as such. In 2007 I bought a condo in Kailua. I paid 325k for it, and bought at the exact wrong time. The market begin to stall shortly after and collapsed a year later. The condo was in bad shape so I gutted most of it out and went to work rebuilding. I slept on the floor for 2 months during the process. Spent 25k in materials and some labor, and did a lot of the labor myself.
The summer of 2008 I was laid off. I was able to find a new job fairly quickly, but was making half of what I previously made. It was around this time that President Obama came out with the “making homes affordable” program to address the rising numbers of foreclosures throughout the US.
Since I was paying Mortgage Insurance aka PMI I didn’t initially qualify for the program, but towards the end of 2009 the program was expanded to allow mortgages with PMI. Once I heard of the change I called in, gave my story and was verbally approved for the load modification. The next step was to receive a packet in the mail and submit all of my financial information including my hardship letter.
My initial phone approval happened around Jan of 2010. I called for the next 3 months because the “financial” document request package never showed up. Their excuse every time I called was they were busy and couldn’t get all the documents in order. I made it a point to call twice a week, every time a different excuse about having to many packages to send out. I finally received my packet around the middle of March 2010. Once I got the paperwork I immediatly got to work putting the requested documents together. Mostly it consisted of W2′s, Pay Stubs, HOA dues, electric bills, financial worksheets, and a hard ship letter explaining your situation. I submitted my package via Fed Ex and the nightmare of dealing with BofA was about to get worse.
I started making bi-weekly calls around mid April 2010. I wish I would have recorded my conversations because every single time I called I was given the run around about where they were with my case. I was given over 20 different phone numbers to call, some of them are below. I estimate I made well over 100 calls.
Eminent Default – 888-325-3120, Default Prevention 888-805-2154, National Home Retention Program 888-325-6427, HOPE (can’t recall what the acronym was for) 877-767-0669, Making homes affordable 866-422-5871, Home Retention 866-325-6435, another Making Homes Affordable 800-669-6650, another default prevention 800-669-6607, a number for “legacy” B of A loans 800-285-6000. There are a many more, but you get the picture. It was very obvious they were completely unorganized and intensionally made it very difficult for people to weave through the web of incorrect information.
So essentially for the next 6 months I made my bi-weekly calls, all the while still having financial issues steaming from my lay off in 08 and significant decrease in income in 09. In 2010 I financially started to rebound slowly, but before I could get caught up I lost my renter and was unable to find a replacement roommate. After a few months of looking and not having the extra income I finally was unable to make my full payments.
Towards the end of Oct 2010 I faxed and mailed a letter explaining my situation and referencing section 6 of the RESPA act that BofA was required to acknowledge my request for modification within 20 business days and must try to resolve the issue within 60 business days. Now I don’t know if was that letter or the fact that I hadn’t made a payment in 3 months but the beginning of November I received a call from a lady in the “executive escalation” department.
The lady asked me to send in all of my financial documents and to rewrite my letter of hardship. These were essentially the same documents I had already submitted, but since I had now been waiting 7 months they were considered out of date. She told me my case would take 7-10 business days to complete and be moved onto the under writers. Since I was keen on how BofA did business I continued to call weekly to check on the status, finally on New Years Eve day Dec 31st 2010 2 months after my initial calls with this office I received a call that my case was being moved to the final phase, and my “work out” specialist was a lady by the name of Christina Harris. I was told she would be calling me in 5 business days.
I waited for 7 business days and no calls so I started calling the numbers I had been given. Interesting enough, the numbers I now was calling was for the Office of the CEO. I started leaving messages with Christina Harris but never received a return phone call. I found out her supervisors name, a Cindy M Smith she too never returned my phone calls. Finally on Feb 8th a full month since I started leaving her messages Christina Harris e-mailed me asking for a number of documents including pay stubs, home owner insurance, HOA dues, and tax returns all documents I had previously provided in November. I guess I should add here, they did have a set of tax returns in my file, however they weren’t mine!
So now its mid February. My condo is set to be auctioned off on March 10th. Christina Harris and her boss are impossible to get in touch with. I do have a liaison at the CEO office who has been a tremendous help. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think Christina Harris would have even e-mailed me when she did.
Through this process I have learned that BofA no longer even owns my loan, yet my checks went to them and they are the agent for the owner of the loan. If you’re going through the modification process, it depends on the owner of the loan what kind of package you get or if you get one at all. There are lots of articles out there that point out they often times make more money with a foreclosure then doing a modification. The reason is the tax payer has paid them off already.
If I would have known all the pain this caused I probably would have just let it foreclose and move on. I did try and short sell it, but as soon as any buyers were interested and learned it was a BofA loan they wouldn’t make an offer. We listed my condo under what the other models that had not been upgraded were selling for, but for the investors dealing with Bank Robbers of America wasn’t worth the deal. Their short sale process is notoriously slow. They won’t allow a seller to fill out any paperwork or start the process until an offer has been made. They also won’t assign anyone to the sell so when you call you get a different agent each time. Most of the other banks don’t operate this way.
To wrap this up, I understand I made a risk purchasing a home. I don’t expect a hand out. My argument is Obama bailed all these banks out with my tax dollars, with the idea that they would in turn help out their continuant’s. Bank Robbers of America cleared their books, gave their executives massive bonuses and pay raises, paid off the wall street investors who bought all these shady loans and didn’t extend that service to the homeowners. What’s good for one, should be good for the other.
If anyone reading this wants to talk more about it feel free to message me. I will also give out the numbers to the CEO office via e-mail.
[b]Feb 18th 2011
So yesterday (2-18-11) I was e-mailed by my frequently absent Loan Work Out specialist asking me to fill out ANOTHER hardship document. This was essentially the same document I had submitted in November and earlier in March of 2010. They also asked me to send a letter stating that I am opting out of the Making Homes Affordable program (the original program I was approved for over a year ago) in order to move forward with the this modification. Clear as mud???
They also asked AGAIN for my home owner insurance policy. This is where it gets good. They gave me a set of explicit instruction
“Their number is 1.800.669.6607. Please ask for an “inside transfer” to our insurance “2nd level queue”. The inside transfer number is #80457.”
I called the number and gave the instructions and they said they were not the correct department and the internal number wasn’t valid. They in turn directed me to the Escrow Departments Direct number 866-265-3321. When I called them they had all of the correct information for my insurance.
I was then transfered back to the Modification Team who according to them every tax document underwriting was asking for has been updated and completed. The lady I spoke with called the inside transfer number herself and they confirmed that my information was up to date. She said she would be e-mailing Christina and Cindy directly to relay the information.
I e-mailed Christina Harris again, only to find out she took the next 4 days off from work. I e-mailed her supervisor Cindy Smith to please follow up and guess what…. Once again Cindy Smith didn’t respond. God, I wish I could find a job where I don’t have to call customers back and could take frequent vacations.
So today I called to check on the status again and they gave me another number to call. This time is was the Customer Services Dept. 1-866-767-4104 who handles all insurance documents, and guess what???? Yup you got it, all my insurance information was UPDATED and CORRECT.
[b]March 22 2011
It’s been about a month since I’ve blogged on anything. It’s basically been more of the same except I was told by BofA’s employee of the year Christina Harris that my modification has been approved and I should be receiving my documents any day now. That was about 2 and half weeks ago and I haven’t heard a word from her or the underwriter. I decided to call today to see what was up and the gentlemen I talked to at customer service told me according to the notes in my account that the underwriters still needed to complete their review and they would be ones to contact me next. He doubted I would see any paperwork this month. That being said, since the condo is set to be auctioned again on April 11th that I would need to file for postponement of sale by the 31st of this month. I may be going for a record on postponed sale dates.
So a few weeks ago I met with a friend of a friend names Kea who has done a lot research in the world of mortgage fraud. She was explaining to me that when Obama’s team put their Making Homes Affordable program together they had about 20 loan options. In the rare occasion that the banks modify they have only been loaning of 4 the loan types. These loan types allow the banks to get reimburse again from Obama in the tune of about 2k per loan.
Remember now, we as tax payers have already bailed out the banks once, so they are essentially double dipping here. The banks being the sneaky devils they are set up the modifications in 3 month trial programs. Once the 3 months is up, and they have received their double dip payment from Obama they find some technicality in the loan and end up disqualifying the home owner and foreclosing on the property. This is actually true, it happened to my friend although he was able to avoid foreclosure.
The next piece of info will blow your mind!!!!! She also talked to me about asking the bank for your original “wet ink” copy of the mortgage note. Legally, the bank needs to have that along with the original deed to be able to foreclose on you. The reason this is HUGE is what the banks did during this feeding frenzy was to take all their sub-prime and risky loans, chop them up and essentially make a stock out of them, they then sold them to all of our friends on Wall Street. During this process most if not all of the original paperwork was destroyed or lost. There was also laws broken in that the bank can’t legally sell your mortgage note for profit without paying you off. So when they sold your 300k mortgage for 325k, that 25k belongs to you! After talking with Kea I started doing my own research and confirmed this is true. There are a number of blogs and articles our there written on the subject. I will post some links at the end.
So, according to what I have read and discussed there are a number of things that I can fight BofA on this foreclosure. First off, if they don’t have my original paperwork and deed its going to be hard for them in a court of law prove they have ownership of the property. Furthermore, its actually not legal form them to foreclose on me when they don’t even own the loan.
I’m still learning the ins and outs of the legal process so what I have written today is most definitely fluid and could be and probably will be changing as I go through the process of fighting my foreclosure. Please don’t take any of this as legal advise, but I encourage anyone reading this going through either the modification or the foreclosure process to DO YOUR RESEARCH and fight for your rights. I will leave you with some links. The first one is classic, mortgage fraud right in our own back yard.
Where is the note???
Its called the MERS system, demand the note.It may be possible that the judge may have been "Influenced" already though.This is why we should have let the banks crash.It would have hurt bad once,now it will be a festering wound for a very long time.
Thank you for sharing your story - too many people do not simply voice what is happening to them. Knowledge truly is power and the more we know as a society the better we will be.
As far as your situation goes you have a lot going for you. The issue of "produce the note" is valid here, but what is more important I believe and other courts have held is "real interest" and that the party foreclosing must PROVE that they have possession AND the right through properly, official endorsed assignments dating all the way back to the original Lender.
I have personally done over 2,000 hours of research on this topic and foreclosure fraud - it's amazing what atrocities are occurring without us knowing about it! A great resource for how to stop foreclosure, educate yourself and get great tutorial videos that I have found is the site Foreclosure Fraud Exposed. They have a video on youtube as well - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48hG4YRdLI4
It may be helpful!
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