I have spent months following the patterns of these servicers; what they do to borrowers and what they do when it comes time to enter the courtroom. I have watched how the court system treats the victims of these scams and how much they allow the servicing companies to get by with.
Believe me, when going to court with any of the mortgage servicers, the burden of proof seems to always be on the borrower.
THIS PLAN MUST BE IMPLEMENTED BEFORE PROBLEMS OCCUR.
It will not help to wait and start it one or two months before foreclosure proceedings begin. By then, your only recourse will be to look for a good attorney.
DO NOT RELY ON ATTORNEYS TO HANDLE THESES CASES WELL!
I have heard and read more horror stories about how lawyers handle these cases than I care to mention.
They are either blind-sided by the dishonest tactics used by the servicers in court (most of them expect real account records to be presented and go into a tailspin when they see the utter nonsense the servicers produce and are allowed by the court to use.)
Many attorneys miss important filing dates (another common problem).
Some attorneys will bail on you at the last minute (for which I feel they should be censured, but often they are not) leaving you, the victim, in no-man's land at the last minute. After collecting their fees, of course.
So, even if you have an attorney, take it upon yourself to gather and organize your own documentation. Bring it to court yourself. If you don't need it, that is good, but you are covered in case you do. Take absolutely nothing for granted.
DO NOT RELY ON THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM TO BE YOUR ALLY IN THESE CASES; IT MOST DEFINITELY IS NOT!
We all want to feel that if we are in the right it will all come out okay in court.
Judges tend to believe whatever these servicing companies say. Perhaps they cannot comprehend the lies and deceit these companies will engage in once you have been targeted. Perhaps they feel that large companies keep better records. Perhaps they buy into that "all our borrowers are deadbeats" mantra.
At this point, the borrower is defending not only against the servicer, but against the bass-ackward biased legal system as well.
Using this system will force your evidence; judges have been known to completely disregard borrower's documentation in the past.
After catching the servicers in a few attempts at fraud and perjury (and they will if you use this system), this particular judge will now make them double prove everything! Nothing makes a judge more irate than being played for a fool in his/her own courtroom.
Eventually the judges, YOUR most powerful ally, will see that the "deadbeat" label the servicers glue on their borrowers is not always fact. We need to shift the entire judiciary's thinking processes; it will be slow, long and tedious, but enough people following this method can bring that about.
The servicers are allowed to enter the courtroom with incomplete and/or blacked out loan documents; they claim privilege. One of the greatest mysteries in this whole mess is they are trying the borrower for supposedly missed payments and yet are required to show very little of the actual account in question. Amazing, but true.
Hopefully, these companies will be dismantled one-by-one in courtrooms across the country. The method outlined below will protect you against them in court for the time being.
NEVER RELY ON PHONE CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR SERVICER!
The servicers tell you whatever they were told to tell you for that day, but they do not document these calls. Unless you are calling a toll number that shows on your bill and documenting each and every call and what was said in writing, the court considers any mention of these calls to be hearsay.
First, go to your post office and get several "certified
mail; return receipt requested" stickers. Most of you are already using certified mail anyway. Get twelve of them (one year's worth)and take them home in order to ease this process later.
Prepare your envelope (use a small envelope rather than a business-sized envelope) showing your return address and your mortgage servicer as the addressee. Put your certified mail stickers on the envelope in the correct area, making sure that you can copy the tracking number legibly. Fill out all information on the stub concerning where this piece of mail is going, but leave it attached to the "sticky" portion on the envelope.
Write your check.
Copy the envelope WITH STICKER AFFIXED (fold the stub out with it still attached and the servicer's name and address visible) AND your check onto one sheet of paper.
Go mail your payment. The stub you receive at the Post Office will be dated. HANG ON TO IT AT ALL COSTS. This stub also has your tracking number and proves mailing date. Put your stub with your copy (use a paperclip) and wait.
When you receive your signature card from the addressee in your mailbox, copy everything onto one sheet of paper. It is tight, but can be done if you have used the small envelope and don't have business-size checks.
Now you have one sheet of paper that shows your check and the date it was written, the envelope proving that the article was truly mailed to your servicer (the tracking numbers will match), a stub proving mailing date, and proof that the servicer received it.
Have it notarized. Most banks do this free as a courtesy to their customers.
Take this notarized sheet of paper to your courthouse and tell the court clerks that you want to enter it as an affidavit into public record. There is usually a nominal per page fee (that is why you want to keep it on one page if at all possible). Ask for a copy of this after it has been stamped by the clerk and take it home with you. (In some cases, this copy many be mailed to you later and you will receive a receipt at this time).
Once you have received this copy from the court clerk, you can proceed in one of two ways, depending on your situation.
If your servicer is doing a lousy job of recordkeeping and hassling you night and day and you know that those payments are made, here is what to do.
Make a copy of your sheet showing all this info WITH the court clerk's stamp and mail this copy to your servicer with a letter of explanation. Tell them since they cannot seem to keep good records that you are going to help them out by having these payments recorded every month at the courthouse as public record.
Try to do this civilly (gag) as you do not want to antagonize them. You only want them to be aware of what you are doing.
Tell them if they have questions about your loan payment from now on that the information will be available from the courthouse. Give them the mailing address of the courthouse and a telephone number for the clerk's office and ask that they direct any future questions to the court clerks.
Do not mail this letter with your payment or to your payment address. There should be another address on your statement that says "For complaints". Use that address.
As always, keep copies of all correspondence, but this does not have to be mailed certified mail. Do this the first two or three months and then skip it thereafter. They should know by this point that you are serious. If they continue to call you, keep referring them to the court clerk's office. That way the servicer can verify that your payment record is truly entered into public record for itself.
If you are not being tormented but still feel you need to protect yourself "just in case", simply keep your copy and skip the letter to the servicer.
Put these copies into a notebook or folder of some sort and keep it current. Attach your cancelled check to your sheet of paper when you get it (or a copy of your bank statement showing the check has cleared).
MORE POSSIBLE HIJINKS BY THE SERVICERS:
If your servicer begins returning payments, carefully open their envelope (leaving postmark intact), read the letter, and return the letter and the returned check to the envelope. Mark this envelope "#1" (assuming this is the first time this has happened). On the sheet of paper corresponding to the info about the mailing of that check, put "#1" and a brief explanation of why the servicer returned your payment.
If it happens again, do the same thing, but mark it "#2" and again match it with the correct mailing info and so on. This keeps everything correlated and in order. Make sure you leave both the letter and the returned check in the envelope. This also goes into your folder or notebook.
Every piece of paper you get from your servicer goes into this notebook/folder along with the envelopes. Dates are extremely important in court proceedings. Every statement, every letter, everything.
SNEAK ATTACK FORECLOSURES:
If the servicer tries to pull one of those sneak-attack foreclosures, you are "armed and dangerous" because your information was public record before theirs. If they are claiming that your payment six months ago was late or never received and you recorded that it was six months ago, well, gee, they will be embarrassed in court. Judges have to pay attention to public record.
If the servicer files any kind of legal proceedings, these affidavits will be the first thing to jump up and bite them because they are public record already.
This folder is a powerful tool should you have to run to court to get an emergency injunction to stop a foreclosure. You will not have to dither about looking for records. It will all be there; proof of check number, proof of mailing date, proof of receipt. And anything returned by the servicer for whatever BS reason they have for returning it.
And it is all already public record!
You will have enough organized proof for any judge to be able to make a quick assessment and decision that you have indeed been mailing your mortgage payments. You will undoubtedly get your injunction.
CANCELLED CHECKS ALONE ARE NOT ENOUGH:
Cancelled checks alone are no good as the servicer will simply claim that you did not mail it until the day your payment was due (or after). They certainly will never admit that they "aged" the check in order to create bogus past due fees!
Anyone can write any date on a check, after all, and you need rock-solid evidence. Half the battle is to have clear, chronological records that prove beyond a doubt that you have made every effort in good faith to live up to your contract.
Then you cannot be held responsible for the servicer "aging" your payment and all that other nonsense they pull. Once you have mailed your remittance in good time it is up to the servicer to get its work done in a timely manner.
Servicers are notorious for sending out BS letters claiming that you did not do this or that with "funny" dates on them. That is why they are so aware that dates can be fiddled with. If you are entering this information monthly, they will not have a leg to stand on in court. Your proof has already been filed.
THE INSURANCE SCAM:
Then there is the insurance scam that they like to pull. If this is an issue in your case, enter a copy of your private policy into public record as well to prove that you have always had insurance. It is a good idea to get a printout of some sort showing the history of your policy from your agent in order to show that you have been covered all along. Then just enter it twice a year or so to stay fairly current.
This is a good idea to file into record even if it is not an issue. One never knows when it suddenly will become an issue.
The servicer counts on making the borrower into a nervous wreck by pulling fast ones at the last minute. By doing this you should have all the ammunition necessary to take them on and win! Even without an attorney if necessary.
Since you have covered your bases already the servicer will then be forced to explain to the court how they bungled things up so badly. You have prepared a kick-butt offense, which will force THEM into the defensive posture instead of you being there. It is always better to be on the offensive in legal matters.
After following this procedure for two or three months you will get the feel for the flow of it and it will not seem so difficult. Once you find out the fee for entering the record, ask the clerks if you can mail it in with the fee and a self-addressed stamped envelope for your copy to be sent back to you if getting to the courthouse is a problem. A lot can be done by fax and is allowable in most legal matters.
Your court clerks will have to be your guide as procedures vary from state to state and county to county.
If every soul being held in captivity by these servicers would do this, I do not think it would be too long before a noticeable drop in foreclosure rates would be noticed.
It is a crying shame that anyone in this country has to go through all this to make a mortgage payment or even has to think about it.
Yes, it is a huge pain, especially in the beginning before you get used to it. But, it will save your home if it comes to that.
And homelessness is the biggest pain I could ever imagine!
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