RESULT: BANK OF AMERICA HOME LOANS (AKA COUNTRYWIDE) HAS NOT MODIFIED MY LOAN AND HAS JUST LET IT SLIDE INTO THE AUCTION SALE.
I have been trying to navigate the Bank of America Home Loans (BAC) / Countrywide (CW) retention program for 9 months with no avail. I have a home that is at a market value that is 60% of the balance on the 1st mortgage (Pay Option ARM), where I have fallen behind on payments substantially. I have worked with the BAC foreclosure home retention department and have been denied multiple times, even after proving documented undue hardship, consistent financial capability (to support a modified loan), and willingness to stay in the home to maintain a sustainable loan mod. In fact the trustee, handling the foreclosure, is at an opening bid price that is 50% of the balance which tells me that the investor has approved taking a huge loss at auction--costly for the lender/investor and for the home owner (myself) who is trying everything to stay in the home.
After multiple applications (by myself and via loan mod 3rd party companies) and showing I have income to meet an adjusted loan amount/payment, I was told that there is ONLY ONE (1) reason that I am not approved for any loan mod that will adjust terms, interest, and/or balance that will allow me to maintain a 31% DTI that is needed for these programs to work long term: That REASON IS THAT THE "INVESTOR WILL NOT ALLOW LOAN FOR MODIFICATION", and has nothing to do with the fact that you've proven everything else.
We all know that Bank of America took up to $45B dollars in government bailouts where the taxpayer is flipping the bill to save their toxic assets and fund their bonus pools in this economic crisis, however, do not see that the consumer should get the same deal if the investor who funded the loan does. So regardless of what "voluntary" modification programs are out there, H4H, HAMP, and the constant beating that Congress is giving the lenders/investors to ADJUST MORE MODIFICATIONS, if you have an Investor that doesn't care about helping anyone then the result it that they will let it go to auction even if they have to take 50% loss. BAC/CW will make every attempt to qualify your application by adding the late payments to the back of the loan and see what the payments are -- and they will call the investor to make sure that it is OK for this to happen, however, if they cannot recoup this amount from you, they will claim you do not qualify and will deny. If this is program is what it means to work towards a loan modification, then these programs are not designed to help at all.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED OVER 9 MONTHS, IS TO, BEWARE FALSE HOPES THAT BAC/CW IS HERE TO HELP YOU. THEY ARE HERE TO HELP THE INVESTOR THAT HAS OWNERSHIP OF YOUR LOAN, AND WILL NOT GO THE EXTRA MILE IF THEY ARE NOT DELEGATED BY THE INVESTOR TO APPROVE A LOAN MOD. DO NOT GO INTO THE PROCESS WITH BAC/CW NAIVELY THINKING THAT THEY ARE JUMPING FOR JOY TO HELP YOU--THEY ARE FAR FROM IT.
All I want to say is that if you are not getting anywhere, it's probably because your lender's investor does not give a rip about helping you and will foreclose at a huge loss inspite of your efforts. I hope that this will create some level of awareness that BAC/CW and other lenders are not being just focused on getting you a qualified loan mod if they can't get past the investor. SO ASK THE QUESTION EARLY: WHO IS THE INVESTOR THAT OWNS MY LOAN AND IS THIS INVESTOR THAT HAS THE FINAL DECISION MAKING AUTHORITY ON LOAN WITH THE LENDER (REALLY MORTGAGE SERVICER) WILLING TO MODIFY THE LOAN? IF NO, THEN DON'T WAIT TILL AUCTION FOR THE STARS TO ALIGN TOWARDS A LOAN MODIFICATION (IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN IF THE INVESTOR HAS CONTROL OF THE LOAN MOD PROCESS AND IS NOT WILLING TO BUDGE) -- GET A LAWYER AND OBTAIN LEGAL ADVICE.
FURTHERMORE, I want to point out one more thing in my research, that when BAC/CW message on their answering system says that they are contacting qualified borrows for their home retention programs, they are probably sending the offers to people who actually have no problem with their mortgage but now qualify for these programs to reduce their mortgage also, even though it's designed to help those in hardship. It's good business to offer this to borrowers who don't need it (I would imagine) to reduce their risk of default after modification and obviously to show the feds that their loan modification rates of conversion look good.
Finally, I am working through this with any options left for me (including selling and moving out as a last resort) and will continue to plug away to get a feasible resolution to keep the home. If anyone has any ideas on how I can talk reason into this process with success you've had in a similar situation, I would be open to any feedback. I am thinking about filing a complaint about this process to the state Attorney general and my Senators/Congress representatives, but not sure if that will be futile since there are no laws to force the bank to do a loan mod. I FULLY SUPPORT CRAM-DOWN LEGISLATION AS THE STICK TO ENFORCE BETTER QUALITY LOAN MODIFICATIONS TO HAPPEN.
In any case, good luck to you after reading this report! Let me know how it works out for you.
HELPFUL LINKS AND INFORMATION:
Bank of America Home Retention phone: 1-800-669-0102 (press * for the foreclosure dept to speak to a representative that may pretend to want to help you).
THESE STATEMENTS ARE OPINIONS AND ARE FOR PUBLIC AWARENESS EDUCATION ONLY. THEY DO NOT CONSTITUTE ANY LEGAL, FINANCIAL, OR ANY PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT A LICENSE PROFESSIONAL TO OBTAIN INFORMATION ON YOUR PARTICULAR CASE.
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