In June 2009, My wife and I were interested in the Making Homes Affordable Program offered by BOA---who took over our mortgage from Countrywide, Inc. We contacted the BOA office in (because:"We're here to help you."), and got the run around on that program, essentially a loan modification program, but were told that we would have to apply for the Special Forbearance Program first.
I am a full-time caretaker for my wife, whose health has deteriorated, and medical bills just kept getting higher, even though we have one of those "Cadillac" health insurance programs. we also had had major expenses on HVAC failure, so things were about to implode. we had to do something.
We began the process, provided the required paperwork, and waited to hear further contact. The representative had our home phone, FAX, and cell phone numbers. At the end of the month, we had to travel out of state for a few days. When we returned, we had three messages from BOA (two on the home phone and one on the FAX/answeering machine) asking for more information. I called back, and was told that we were dropped for failure to respond to requests for further information! I never got any calls on the cell!
We decided to try it again, and this time we were accepted into the forbearance program. We were leery to say the least, since the program allows one to "miss" three payments to provide some financial relief---but then one has to pay back those three months of missed payments in a lump sum, not roll the missed payments into the loan, so we were told. It made no sense, but we did enter the program, hoping to get approved eventually for the Making Homes Affordable Program.
We still made the payments (and on time) under the forbearance program because something just did not add up. I did some researching online and found too many horror stories about special forbearance options and how mortgage payments actually increased, and people were forced into quick sales. Glad I did that.
In November 2009, we received notification that we were approved for the Making Homes Affordable Program----a big $75.00 reduction of our $2000/month mortgage payment! I was told that the reduction amount could be more after our case was fully reviewed. We began a four month trial period with a reduced payment. The trial period ran from November 2009 through February 2010.
In January 2010, we received a FEDEX package requesting more documentation (Well, the same documentation I had already sent at the beginning). I provided it, and called to insure that it had been received. I received confirmation that it had been received and that everything was current and up to date, in fact the package was in underwriting.
After making the final trial payment in February 2010, I called to inquire as to the next step. I was told that everything was in order, all the paperwork was there, and underwriting had the package. It would take 60 days to finalize, verify occupancy, etc. At that time, i was told to continue making the reduced mortgage payment (Remember, a $75.00 reduction!). I did continue making the payments and on time.
On 1 March 2010, we verified the status of the package, again. We were told that the package was complete as of 26 February 2010. But then, for some reason, we were directed through three other offices, and told that the package was complete, but was "in processing". To what degree of "in processing" we could not get an answer. In other words, the right hand did not know what the left was doing.
At the end of March 2010 we received another package. It was the same type of welcome package I had received back in November 2009. Essentially, I was beginning the process all over again! I had to resubmit everything! I called, questioned why I was being asked to start the process all over, and was told that it probably was a duplicate copy, but to send in the information anyway. Yes, my package was still in processing. I sent everything again, even more than was required. The package was received by BOA on 21 April 2010; I tracked the package. It was due NLT 24 April 2010.
I called to check on the status on 24 April 2010, and was told that it had been received, was complete, and was being processed. I was instructed to keep paying the reduced mortgage payment amount.
On May 23, 2010, we received a FEDEX letter from BOA stating that we were not eligible for the Making Homes Affordable Program. The reason: "Your loan is not eligible for the Making Homes Affordable Program because you did not provide us with the documents we requested. A notice which listed the specific documents we needed and the time frame required to provide them was sent to you more than 30 days ago. We may also have sent you additional notices about missing or incomplete documents."
Obviously, they don't have their act together. There never was a main point of contact for my loan modification, and I always received the excuse, that so many modifications are being processed that sometimes items get lost or sent to the wrong office.
I certainly hope HUD is more competent in handling my complaint against BOA.