Senator Kohl informed me that he had no authority over a non-government institution but would communicate with Citimortgage on my behalf if I granted his office that permission. I did. This resulted in a letter to Citimortgage wherein Senator Kohl asked to receive copies of everything I received from Citimortgage.
This brought about two changes in my relationship with Citimortgage. The first change was that they ceased to communicate with me by any means other than telephone conversations making certain there was nothing that could be documented or sent to Senator Kohl. The second change was that my file was transferred to an internal entity called the "Executive Response Unit".
The Executive Response Unit (the acronym is DERU) is supposedly charged with "expediting" the process of loan modification. Representatives from this department informed me that transfer here was a very good thing, that modifications became final very quickly here - ONCE THE DOCUMENTATION WAS RESUBMITTED AND COMPLETE. So. I began again.
The problem this time was that the definition of "complete documentation" had changed. For instance, my husband had to provide information regarding how much longer he would be eligible for unemployment benefits. Minnesota, the state from which he draws unemployment, does not provide such documentation for people who are on unemployment extensions. The reason for this is completely rational: they don't know. The time frame for extensions depends on federal and state congressional actions. Who could guess about that?!
In addition, I work for the University of Wisconsin - System and we do not receive paper check stubs for our payroll checks. We receive electronic versions. Copies of these were deemed unacceptable documentation because "they don't look right". Confirmation letters from the payroll department in Madison, a copy of my yearly salary letter, and my W-2 forms all together were still insufficient documentation of my income and employment. I begged to know what would work and nothing short of forcing the entire state to change their payroll system was acceptable - although they would not commit to such a statement, or to reasonable requirements, via email or letter.
In other words, if I could not provide documentation that is impossible to provide, my documentation is deemed incomplete.
I think part of the problem is that I am NOT "under water". My home appraises for more than the mortgage balance -- even after they have capitalized theconsiderable accrued interest during the trial period. I think they are waiting for the hope the housing market will improve, because regardless of appraised value, nothing has sold in my zip code in the past six months.
I am not asking them to reduce the principle. I am asking only for a reduction in interest rate and an extension of the term -- which, ironically enough, will result in a greater profit for Citimortgage. Right now, and for as long as the trial period continues, my mortgage balance is actually going UP.
We were not stupid. We were not irresponsible. We did not borrow more than our home is worth or more than our means could provide -- until my husband lost his job. We are in our late fifties and there is no place for us to go and nothing left for us to do but await the indulgence of the banking kings -- and these are ruthless kings indeed...