In November 2004 we refinanced our home through First Franklin Financial. We made every payment as agreed to First Franklin Loan Services, even when the loan made the first adjustment. The original payment was $1,076.99 and jumped to $1,500.65 at the 24-month mark. The adjusting months are December and June. The payment has continued to climb, $1,646.62 and $1,664.87.
In March 2007 we were unable to make the scheduled payment and called asking for help. Once we finally were able to get a person on the phone they mailed us a brochure from the Resolution Team. This brochure tells us we can agree to a repayment plan (An agreement plan where you resume making regular monthly payments in addition to paying a portion of past due payments, until the loan is current), Modification (If you can make payments on your loan, but do not have enough money to bring the account current, we may be able to modify the terms of your original loan to bring your loan current), or options to give up your home with the short payoff or deed in lieu of foreclosure. We have lived in our home for 17 years and decided to ask for a modification.
The list of documents and a financial statement were supplied along with the hardship letter. Our story is not much different from many others; family death, loss of job and illness all contributed to our inability to keep up with the increases to our mortgage payment. I have to ask if there is a family out there who's income kept up with these jumps? Net monthly income increases in excess of $500!
Needless to say, but the contact with our mortgage company improved dramatically when they began calling our home once per hour every day. We would talk with them, discuss options and possible payment dates but guess what, they would continue to call us every day (more like 5+ times per day) until the account is current. We achieved contact but not communication.
While we waited for the loan modification process we were never assigned a contact and never received a response we began the repayment plan. The solution, make payments of $2,058.28 or face foreclosure. We attempted this while we waited for three months. Then we missed one payment and received foreclosure paperwork. They never replied to the loan modification and we were finally told there was no record of our request, no open file. The information was resent while they continued with the foreclosure. In answer to our prayers we received a small chunk of money, paying them enough to stop the process.
We were still faced with a payment of $1,664 on a $175,000 loan. Unable to keep up, they started the foreclosure process in acceleration mode in April 2008. This forced us to make some really hard choices. With the economy and our newly lowered FICO score refinance was no longer an option. We decided to file for Ch 13 Bankruptcy protection. The excessive fees, of over $21,000 were rolled into the 5-year settlement plan and the mortgage payment remains the same.
Playing dirty is the name of their game. We have attempted since August to once again ask for a loan modification. I spoke to the company in July, and asked if they had anything new available and what did I need to do. The response was we have always had this option but we are so busy now that we only address loans that are behind 60-90 days.
I wrote a hardship letter August 19, received the same brochure dated September 4, sent a new package on September 19 via email after attempting to fax 45 times. On October 8 we spoke to the rudest person I have ever encountered on the phone. She claimed the file was missing all documents except the hardship letter and property tax bill. I could resend the other stuff and wait 7 days to check back. I have attempted to reach them by phone every day since October 13th. After waiting on the phone for 3 hours I was hung up on, this is most every day. No one ever comes on the line.
As of this week, after making payments to them through the BK court, we were served with paperwork to remove the house from the bankruptcy protection because they have not had a payment since October 2007. They lied to make their case look better. We agreed in the BK process to make the mortgage payments but they will not look at a loan modification application unless you are 60-days past due. Were we SET UP, it looks that way.
Even after showing the judge proof that we have made some payments, the bottom line is that we are behind. In addition, they managed to get a court date within 30 days, provided service by mail and made a stipulation that a motion to oppose must be filed and served at least 14 days before the hearing date. Our window of opportunity is about 3 days.
With 200+ homes for sale in our community of 72,000 and 90% are empty and bank owned, why does this company want to take our house when we want to keep it and make reasonable payments for it?
Apple Valley, California