It is not news that there are hundreds of thousands of troubled homeowners in the country. It is not even news that the lenders refuse most who request help.
But, are you aware of the fraudulent practices that the lenders are using to deny loan modifications?
Here is my story:
In July 2007, we re-financed with Countrywide in order to get out of an ARM that was about to go up astronomically.
In order to get the loan through, the value of our home was appraised over what is was really worth. In addition, only my husband's name was put on the loan since the credit cards are in my name.
The loan is an interest only arm that does not include taxes and insurance. The payment is $3407 and my husband takes home $1300 per week. I am a stay at home mom with 2 young children.
In September of 2008, we were struggling to pay our bills. The value of our home was plummeting. We weren't behind yet, but were about to be. We pro-actively contacted Countrywide in October 2008 and asked for help.
Here is a time-line of events:
October 2008 - Sent Countrywide hardship letter. Husband withdraws $25K from his retirement fund to pay bills. This money must be repaid quarterly - $1000.
December 2008 - Countrywide refuses loan mod without a reason.
March 2009 - Obama plan underway. Contact Countrywide again. They say they can't help because we make too much money. Because they added husband's net income to his gross income and used that figure! Request that they re-open our case.
May 2009 - Told by Bank of America rep John McFarland that they will not help us since it is not their fault we are over-extended.
July 2009 - Contact Bank of America's Barbara Desoer to request a loan mod. Cannot pay August mortgage payment. Faxed new hardship letter and required documents.
August 2009 - Assigned Bank of America Negotiator Melissa Henderson.
August 21, 2009 - BOA Melissa Henderson calls to inform me that our request is being denied. She informed that we meet all of the requirements under President Obama's HAMP program, however, because my husband borrowed money from his retirement plan (which is depleted and we are still repaying), we do not qualify for a loan modification. She said that we are current on credit cards and car payments and therefore do not fall under the guidelines for assistance.
This is outright fraud. The HAMP stipulates that retirement accounts cannot be used to determine financial status and in addition, being behind on anything (credit cards, mortgage, etc.) is not a HAMP requirement.
Think I am only one person? Wrong, go out to www.loansafe.org and read the thousands of horror stories.
The lenders feet must be held to the fire! If we continue to let this happen, our country will be in worse shape than it is now!
Joanne in Hopewell
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