- In 2000, we moved into a lovely 3 br., 2 bath home in my old neighborhood. We were going to rent with the option to buy. The rent was a little bit on the high end but the end result was the ability to have some money stocked towards the purchase price. So, it was an acceptable situation.
- In 2005, we began looking to purchase the home. We did some minor research and contacted some companies regarding a mortgage. Then out of the blue (or so we thought) HOME 123 contacted us via telephone. We spoke with a gentleman that we felt confident with and began the process. We were approved for a 30 yr fixed rate mortgage at 7.25% interest. We followed the process all the way up to the appraisal. That’s when our lives began flipping all over the place.
- All the homes in our area were going for well over $100,000 so it wasn’t too farfetched that we’d appraise for that. We were purchasing for $80,000. We rolled the closing cost in, given we had the extra equity. We were advised to do it as a refinance since that would allow us to use the LTV instead of the asking price. The appraisal came back $5000 less than expected. I couldn’t understand, given the appraiser was only at the home for 15 minutes and was never even inside the home.
- We were advised that our interest rate would need to go up since the LTV was not what we expected. The payments would have to go up almost $100.00 a month. Since we weren’t escrowing our taxes and insurances that would be really hard to do. He advised us to go with a 2/28 ARM to keep the payments roughly the same and “just refinance in about a year or two”. His logic was that the housing market is going up “you should appraise for $100,000 within a year or so”.
- We were never advised that the payments would change every six months and that we could max out at 15.45%. He simply left that part out because “you won’t be in the mortgage by then”.
- Our mortgage originated with New Century Mortgage. One month after closing, our mortgage was transferred to Saxon Mortgage Services.
- A year after we purchased, my husband got hit with an 18 month layoff. He was making really good money so we figured that he’d ride out the layoff. The potential for earning that somewhere else was slim. Plus, this particular company had been around for at least 100 years. It wasn’t like they were going to close.
- We applied for a HEMAP loan through the Pennsylvania Federal Housing Authority. The HEMAP loan program would offset our mortgage payments for a total of 24 months.
- July 2008 was the 24th month of the HEMAP program. Employment rates were extremely high and the potential for employment was low. He hadn’t received a call back from his previous company, so he was looking for another job.
- Over the next 2 years, we had tried to work with our mortgage company. We had applied for 5 modifications, in total. Our first modification was approved but we weren’t going to sign it because it contained false information and wrong calculations. No one was able to answer our questions. Thus, they say our modification was denied by them due to not returning documents.
- We were told to re-apply for a modification. The second, third and forth were turned down for “insufficient funds to support regular payments”. If, by regular payments they mean the current payment, then that explains why we were requesting a modification.
- The fifth mod request was closed so that they could refer us to HAMP.
- We were denied modification then approved just two days later.
- Documents were repeatedly faxed, sent via certified mail and also emailed, only to be lost, shredded or requested again. At one point, the documents that were there previously had gone missing and the ones that weren’t there before had miraculously appeared. I made it a point to print our entire name, loan number and sign every single document to avoid this possible error.
- Our trial period began July 1, 2009. Our trial period payment was set for $1033.59 for the duration of the trial period. We had our trial period extended 1 during the process.
- I had submitted a written request for our note. The note was sent to us along with documents for 4 other Saxon customers, including but not limited to legal documents for 2 separate law offices representing Saxon customers. I reported this action to the FBI.
- Saxon repeatedly delayed notifying the Court house of our participation in the HAMP program and the stay as it pertains to our home. Our local court house was not notified until the day of the sale on two separate occasions.
- In November 2009, our case was expedited and we had been officially modified by January 2010. The final modification payment was set at $868.84 for 30 yr.
Updated on March 28, 2012:
Where are we now? Nearly a year since my last post. We are still in the home that I refuse to lose. Our situation hasn't changed much. We spent the better part of '11 behind the 8-ball - one or two months behind [BUT never three]. , we never really paid the stated $868.84 from the time we were Modified. Shortly after the mod, they increased payment to $921.25 due to escrow shortages we forewarned them about.
Any income tax returns have gone to Saxon. This year it took $3500 to bring us current and pay 'late fees'. Now that we are officially current, we are being TRANSFERRED to Ocwen. I fear their errors are just being buried further under more paperwork. Our payments, being close to $1000 a month, are now 1/2 our monthly take home. We were never provided with a complete breakdown of what exactly was added to our original principal balance. We were given no other choice but to accept the amount or walk.
I was never provided with the exact amount of fees that were to be waived during the modification. They could have just tacked them on as other fees and forced us to swallow. I'd love to re-finance but I won't consider that unless the next company can fix the mess. I highly doubt it... Until next time. Fight back, stay strong.
A crime is still a crime no matter what color it is.