Like many others, my story is the same - we are caught in the mortgage modification mess wondering when this will end. Our primary mortgage is with Bank of America and is owned by Freddie Mac.
We bought our house 5 years ago at the peak of the market. We live in a lake town close to the Twin Cities in MN. We were able to get our house for $179,000 which was a good price at the time. Nothing was selling for under $200,000. Our house is 980 square feet with a garage larger than the house and we had plenty of room to add on, which we planned to do when our kids were both in school and we no longer had to pay daycare full time. As first time buyers we really didn't know what we were doing. We financed our house at 100% because we had equity going into it with the appraisal. We ended up with 2 mortgages, the primary loan was 2/1 ARM and the 2nd was 15 year balloon payment. Two years into the house we received notification our primary mortgage was going to reset and go up by almost $400 a month. Luckily we were able to refinance both loans into a 30 year mortgage right before everything crashed.
Up until last year we were able to make the payments but my husband had to have 2 major surgeries this past year and quit his physical labor job as he was unable to work. He had no disability insurance, wasn't able to qualify for SSDI and unemployment wouldn't pay out because he had to quit his job immediately per his doctor and he didn't offer his employer "opportunity" to give him alternate accommodations. Apparently it didn't matter that he had doctor orders that he was not allowed to work due to safety issues. In May of 2009 we started to fall behind. I started inquiring about help and it took until September with MANY calls in between to finally receive paperwork that we were approved for a trial modification under the MHA program for my primary mortgage with Bank of America.
October, November and December I made the trail payments. Starting the middle of December I started calling BoA inquiring about when we would be able to make this permanent, etc. They told me to keep making my trial payments and I should hear something in 30-60 days and to check back with them. I started calling bi-weekly and kept hearing the same thing. By the end of January I escalated to a supervisor who told me escalated my case to the underwriting department.
The beginning of February I received a letter via FEDEX from BoA that I had not fulfilled the terms of my trial agreement with them and had not made my trial payments. They gave me until the end of February to come up with the payments that they said I had not made. I called them immediately and of course they had no record of this letter and didn't know why I would receive it when they show all my trial payments. The phone rep told me not to worry about it but my internet research told me I should definately be concerned. I printed off copies of my BoA statements showing where my payments had been deducted from my BoA checkbook and statements from online mortgage showing where they had applied said payments to my account. I then sent all this via USPS certified/signature required mail.
In February I also received a Notice of Intent to Foreclose. My understanding of the MHA program is that if you are in a trial modification that they stop foreclosure proceedings until a decision has been made. After speaking with several different people I finally found one who "discovered" that my account had been coded as normal processing in one place and that was supposedly why I was getting the notice. I was assured I was in the MHA still and advised to keep making trial payments. My case was still with the underwriter for review. He also gave me a promise to pay for my February payment to move to March and told me that I should hear something from underwriting before that payment was due.
In the beginning of March we still hadn't heard anything so I made the payment. I had been calling weekly since February for status updates and towards the middle of March there was a rep that finally told me that it would appear I was turned down for the MHA program in December. I completely freaked out and asked to be transferred to a supervisor who confirmed the same thing. I was livid! They had wasted 3 months telling me one thing when it wasn't true. They informed me that I was still up for review for an in-house modification and that they were working on it. Of course, they recommend that we keep making trial payments. I was given the name of the negotiator working on my case but there is no way to contact her. I started calling weekly for status updates in addition to doing a lot of online research to educate myself. One website that really helped me was www.loansafe.org and their blogs dedicated to each bank. I finally realized I am not alone in this fight.
The end of March bought another package from BoA with a one page letter requesting bank statements, tax returns, and paycheck stubs. I faxed all this information in to the fax number on the letter along with a copy of the request, a copy of my updated property tax statement showing our house is worth $70,000 less than we own on it and a copy of a foreclosed house down the street that is larger and selling for $100,000 less than we owe on our house. I am not sure what they can do with this information but if anything it should show them that they stand to lose a great deal of money on our house so it's in everyone's best interest they work with me. I have confirmed several times that they have received all the papework and even had the phone reps tell me what they see in their system. My online account with BoA also shows all of those papers being received 4/12 in their system. It also states that my account is in "Active Processing" and if I didn't hear anything by 4/16 to call.
Up to this point my weekly calls amounted to being told they need time to work on it and it should be any time. I would also ask the name of the negotiator and it was always the same person. Suddenly last week there was a new note on my account saying my status was in referred. When I called to find out what that meant I was told that there was a note on my account saying I didn't send in the requested papework so I was turned down for a modification. The first rep was completely useless and when I called back the second one was more helpful but she told me that they would have to send out a fedex package and I would need to send all my financials in via FEDEX as that was the only way to get them in the hands of the negotiator. She confirmed that she could see all them in the system but apparently they had no way of getting them to the negotiator. I would need to fill out the papework, they would probably put me on a trial modification and then it would take another 60-90 days after that.
That was the final straw for me. I asked for the number to the office of the President of BoA. I called to complain, vented for 15 minutes non-stop about everything they have done to me and of course only got transferred to the "escalation" department. They would not transfer me to the negotiator but said they would contact her to have her contact me. Surprisingly my phone rang the next morning and it was the negotiator asking how she could help me. She actually spent time on the phone with me listening to me and even gave me her email address. She said she just received my file and she has been busy working on NACA loans. Apparently my file has been playing the inbox shuffle game because she is the fifth one in 2 weeks to have my file. She politely asked for 2-3 weeks to work on this but after taking my information over the phone she said I should qualify for something.
My husband and I have decided that we are not playing their game anymore and we are not making any more trial payments as well. Life goes on and we need to do the same. Either work with us or foreclose on us. I have done my due diligence in fighting this fight and emotionally, mentally and physically I can't do it anymore. We drew the line in the sand and I guess we will see which way the wind blows. If it doesn't go my direction then I will at least have time to figure out where we will go and save up for that. I just really wish it wouldn't come to that.