financialcounselor

Making Home Affordable Horror Stories

A look at how banks are misusing the government’s $75 billion housing program, and why it’s not working

  You may have heard about the federal government’s $75 billion dollar initiative to stop the country’s foreclosure crisis. It is called Making Home Affordable, and the key component to this initiative is its loan modification program. An MHA loan modification is designed to entice the banks to reduce mortgage interest rates for their borrowers who cannot afford their house payments. And for a lot of people, getting approved for this program is the difference between keeping and losing their home. All the people who’ve seen their salaries reduced, or their hours cut, or who have lost a job and took a lower paying one because it’s the best they could find. And all the people who’ve seen their house payments spike due to some kind of feature in the mortgage they took out. That’s tons of Americans.
  At my agency, the term “loan modification” has taken on almost a mythical status since the program debuted in March 2009. Clients call us pleading to know how they can be approved for the Making Home Affordable loan modification program. “Please tell me, what do I have to do to get a loan modification?” they will beg.
  But it’s solely the bank’s decision which of their borrowers to approve for the program, or if they even want to participate in it at all. And from what I witness everyday, speaking to mortgage companies and listening to my clients’ tales, it becomes obvious why the Obama administration expresses anger over the banks’ use of the program, and why the administration concedes the program is not helping nearly enough people.
  The spirit of the program seems to be right on the money: Lower a person’s mortgage payment in line with the amount their income dropped, or by the amount their mortgage payment has jumped. Seems simple enough.
  But very few people who would actually be helped by this program are being approved for it. Think about it, the person’s transportation costs, the cost to feed their family, these costs do not shrink. For a lot of people, just having the house payment shrink isn’t enough. Many people I speak to who do get their loan modified will lose their home anyway due to other issues with their personal finances. And the unwieldy decision-making procedures employed by the mortgage companies often leave borrowers worse off than they were before they applied.
  The way MHA works is, the government gives incentive money to a bank for every loan it modifies according to the stipulations of the MHA program. When a borrower applies for a modification through their mortgage company, the bank’s accountants will determine if the bank stands to make more money by accepting the government funds and modifying the loan, or by keeping the terms of the loan the same. And if they think they’ll make more money by putting their borrower in the MHA program, they’ll do it. Otherwise, they won’t. It’s as simple as that.
  The purpose of this series is to illustrate how the approval process can actually make the situations of distressed borrowers worse, and what I see people endure as they navigate the approval process in hopes of realizing the treasured loan modification. It is also to show how the mortgage companies are, in fact, utilizing the Making Home Affordable program in ways that, while adhering to strict government standards, will not prevent foreclosures despite the mortgage companies keeping the government funds received for utilizing the program.

Beware the approval process

  Everyday I speak to people seeking to qualify for the government’s loan modification program, which is designed to lower a mortgagee’s house payment to an amount the borrower can afford, keeping them in the home.
  But some people find themselves in worse shape after applying for this program, because of the mortgage companies’ cumbersome approval process.
  One such client was a man named Don. Don’s company had been bought out, and the new owners were consolidating the operations. They gave Don a choice: take a demotion and major pay cut, or keep his position, responsibilities and salary but take a job at their headquarters on the other side of the country. Don opted to leave his family in Illinois and take the job in Washington. But with an apartment and separate life in Seattle to pay for, he was struggling like crazy to keep up with his mortgage back home. So he applied for the government’s loan modification program to lower his house payment.
  Don’s mortgage was up to date when he applied. He was initially approved and put on a 3 month trial period paying $700 less per month on his loan payment. The 3-month period ended up lasting six months. And halfway through the 5th month, Don was informed by his mortgage servicer that he had been denied the program after all.
  Now, the bank was demanding the $700 it had not received each month during the trial period, for a total arrearage of $3,500 due immediately. Even worse, the bank had reported five late payments to the credit bureaus, and was considering the mortgage to be in default, all of which was badly damaging Don’s credit.
  “They didn’t tell me any of this would happen,” Don cried. “They said I was approved. They certainly didn’t tell me that I’d have to come up with thousands of dollars if I was turned down. I mean, they’re the ones who told me to pay less. And then they wreck my credit? This is unbelievable.”
  Don was in bad shape. He didn’t have $3,500 to bring the loan current. With a wife and three kids to support back home, plus his apartment, he couldn’t even afford to go on a repayment plan and pay a bit extra each month to get the loan current.
  The kicker was that a $80 late fee would be assessed each month until the mortgage was made current.
  “What the hell kind of program is this?” he said.

Beware the confusing language used by mortgage companies

   One big problem with how mortgage companies run the Making Home Affordable approval process is their use of confusing language. Often, an applicant will be told that they are qualified or pre-qualified for the MHA loan modification, or in the case above, that they are approved for it. This often (understandably )leads the person to believe that their loan is going to be modified. It doesn’t. It simply means that the person’s situation falls within the eligibility requirements set forth by the government. The investor who owns the mortgage debt still needs to decide whether they want to actually approve it for the qualified borrower. And far more people are denied than are approved.
  The approval process includes what they call a trial period, where a borrower is told to make reduced payments for what is supposed to be three months. Often these trial periods last far longer. I’ve talked to clients who have been on a trial period for a year. And at any point during the trial, the bank can suddenly decide they don’t want to modify the loan after all.
  Making the situation worse, the customer service reps at the mortgage companies who field calls from applicants tend to downplay the possibility the modification will be denied. From what I hear, they paint far too rosy of a picture.
  A recent client I spoke to named Sandra was crushed to learn that her mortgage company was turning down her request for a modification after months of being told she was qualified for the program.
  “You should have heard them,” she said. “They told me not to worry about anything. And now they say they can’t help me and to put the house up for sale.”
   I think the reason for this is simple human nature. It’s much easier to tell people what they want to hear, than it is to to explain how things could go wrong. So if you’re applying for a loan modification, remember that nothing is final until it’s in writing.

Mortgage companies lose paperwork repeatedly
  
  As part of the approval process for an MHA loan modification, mortgage companies will require a great deal of information and paperwork from the borrower. That in itself is understandable. What is not understandable is the frequency with which mortgage companies lose the paperwork their applicants submit. This happens all the time.
  And for some reason, the fax machines at mortgage companies never seem to work right. You would not believe how often I and my clients are told that some document was not received because of trouble with a fax machine.
  Aside from the fax machine glitches, the phone lines also suffer frequent malfunctions. Calls to the mortgage companies routinely drop, often after a long time waiting on hold.
  All of this would almost be comical if my client wasn’t in danger of losing their home.  
 

Be prepared to wait for an answer

  And the approval process for Making Home Affordable can take a very long time. Some of my clients have been waiting for an answer on their loan modification application for over a year. This is very important to keep in mind if you are applying for MHA. Do not expect a quick answer.
  The reason (I assume) it takes the banks so long to make a decision whether to approve a borrower for MHA, is because the amounts of money involved are huge.  The bank is not going to make a quick decision so that their borrower can stop worrying and sleep at night. They do not care about that. They only care about their profits. Expecting a bank to be concerned about anything besides its bottom line is like expecting a flea to be concerned about whether its presence is making the dog it lives on itch.
  This is a major problem with the MHA approval process. A common statement I hear from my clients goes something like this: “I can’t keep making this payment anymore. If they can’t lower the payment then fine, but they need to tell me, otherwise I’m throwing money at something I’m just going to lose anyway.”
    

The mortgage companies are extremely unforgiving

  Here is another thing to keep in mind if you are applying for Making Home Affordable: It is vitally important to follow your mortgage company’s instructions to the letter. Do not do anything they do not tell you to do. Do not deviate from their instructions.
  One client of mine, John, was told he would be put on a trial modification period beginning July 1. He was told to submit his monthly payment of $875–$400 less than his normal payment–by the first of  every month. John’s loan was five months past due, and he had some extra money available from his tax refund. So he sent his mortgage company $600 to go toward the past due amount as a show of good faith. This was in mid-June, right after he was informed about his acceptance onto the trial period. Understandably, John thought his mortgage company would view this as a sign of initiative on his part, that he was serious about getting the loan current and keeping his home. Unfortunately, the mortgage company didn’t see it that way. They kicked him off the program for not following their instructions, and told him he was being denied the loan modification. John was out of luck.
  Why would a business view their client sending them money as a bad thing? I don’t know. I can only assume it is because these banks are gigantic multinational corporations. The sheer size of these banks requires they institute beauracratic processes that produce miles of red tape, and these processes and procedures take away any decision making power from all but a select few in the organization.
  So remember, if you are looking for assistance from your mortgage lender, only do just what you are told. When it comes to the lending business, sometimes up is down and black is white. We are through the looking glass indeed.

Banks are misusing the Making Home Affordable program

  Lastly, I want to discuss how the banks misuse the Making Home Affordable program. I talk to people all the time who are approved for an MHA loan modification, but because of extenuating circumstances in their finances, these people will still not be able to afford their home, and will end up losing it even though their payment has been reduced, and the bank gets the government incentive money.
  It is rather widespread. If I had to put a number on it, I would estimate that maybe half of the people I speak with who see their loans modified under MHA will actually be able to afford the house. A great many people cannot afford even their new lower payment. It’s because of other extenuating costs, such as high utility bills, high health insurance or prescription costs, and high debt payments to other creditors. Very often, we will put together their budget, and their monthly cost of living still totals more than their income, even after seeing their mortgage modified and their house payment reduced to the government stipulated 31 percent of monthly gross income.
For example, one client saw her payment reduced from $2,100 per month to only $1,000 per month–a gigantic savings. But when we put together her monthly budget, her living expenses and debt payments totaled $110 more than her income. And that was just those costs she knew she would have every month–things like car payment, transportation, utilities, etc. We didn’t factor in anything for clothing, flat tires, Christmas presents, nothing.
Below is a look at her household budget:
Net income:
$2,560
Expenses:
$1,000 – house payment
$450   – car payment
$550   – utility bills
$220  – gas and car insurance
$300  – groceries
$150  – credit card payments.

  Another one of my clients, a woman named Cheryl, was approved for MHA, and she saw her house payment reduced from $1,800 to $1050, a huge savings. But Cheryl, who’d taken a $20,000 pay cut, had three kids to support on her own, and she was saddled with other debt payments–a $425 car payment, a $110 student loan payment, and $200 in monthly credit card payments. Plus, her utility bills totaled about $600 per month. Her reduced net income was about $2,800 per month. These basic expenses total $2,385, leaving only $415 each month to pay for everything else–food, transportation, clothes–that her family would need. There is no way Cheryl will keep up, even with that lowered payment. She will surely go into default again.
  Even though her bank followed the government’s program to the letter, it will not keep Cheryl from losing her home. It’s just a matter of time.
  I can’t count how many people I speak to who are approved for Making Home Affordable, and they are in even worse financial shape than Cheryl. Sometimes I’ll put together a budget with the client, and find that their expenses total up to several hundred dollars more than their income. And that’s after the loan is modified and the payment reduced. The bank’s underwriters who make the determination whom to approve have access to their applicant’s budget information. They know there’s no way the borrower will be able to keep up. So why do they approve them? I can only assume it’s because they get to keep the incentive money given them by the government for doing the modification. And of course, when the borrower defaults–which they surely will–they get to foreclose and take possession of the house anyway.
  And the government wonders why their MHA program is not stopping the foreclosure crisis.  

  If you’ve had any experience with the Making Home Affordable program, please feel free to post your story here.

  1. “$415 each month to pay for everything else–food, transportation, clothes”

    For $415 a month I could feed a family of 5 plus pets; pay for gas or a used bicycle (even in many suburban and “rural” areas, it’s possible to get to a grocery store, school, sports practice etc on a bike. It may not be comfortable but if that’s what it takes to keep your home… I used to ride 10 miles – 5 each way – to get to events in high school); and buy clothes (there are thrift stores all over and clothing swaps are springing up as well).

    Dooming Cheryl to lose her home because she’s not making enough is a frightening assumption; we don’t know whether she’s implemented the austerity measures she’d need to keep her home or what she pays in gas to get to her job (would it in fact be better for her to find a job closer to home, for another pay cut, if it meant lower transportation costs and less vehicle maintenance? Could she reduce her car insurance coverage amounts to lower that payment?). It may in fact be that her costs of living are too high for $415 a month; from where I’m standing, I know that here in PA that’s more than I’ve ever had free for clothing and food and I’m just fine.

    Yes, the MHA program has its horrors. I am not downplaying Cheryl’s very stressful situation nor any of the others having problems out there. However, this website should be telling people that there -is- hope, not just providing fear-mongering articles.

    • Sure,you can feed a family of 5 plus pets at the city dump with 500 bucks. Are you kidding me???
      According to the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the average cost for a moderate meal plan for a family of four in the United States is $771.10. Even in the Thrifty plan side is $580 for a family of 5.
      Look it up at www
      .cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2008/CostofFoodFeb08.pdf

    • I work for a mortgage company and I am a fannie mae negotiator. I approved and denied HAMP modifications. It brings your payment down to 31 % of your GROSS INCOME, not NET income.
      You are right that people have a lot of other debt. It is your home or your credit cards. I would pick my home… When you are placed on a trial payment plan you need to make the payment requested.
      Your loan needs to fall behind at least 30 days to be able to buy back your mortgage back for CDO investments. I had borrowers send in their regular payments to avoid being reported negatively on their credit report. I had to deny them too. Apparently there is no hardship if you can make your regular payments. I always asked for a month of current income upfront so there would be no denial after the borrower completed their trial period, at the beginning of the program it was an option of taking income over the phone and then after the trial plan to send in proof of income and that is why so many homeowners were denied after completing the trial period. Borrowers were giving NET Income instead of GROSS Income, a big difference.
      I know this process is very confusing. For borrowers that are served foreclosure papers in the JUDICIAL STATES, when the paper work states you have 20 days to respond, you need to respond. File an extension of time to file a response with your county courthouse and send a copy to the mortgage company’s lawyer so you can delay the process of foreclosure. Contact NACA, they are a free 3rd party that will help you with the modification process with your mortgage company.
      I hope this helped

      • Does anyone know if an individual is denied loan mod under MHA is the bank required to give written notice in the state of california?
        Our family is undergoing a horrendous MHA application via BoA and we think because there is a little equity in the house BoA i sgiving us the run around so they can foreclose the house while we are under stress…it has been –so sad.

        Please provide any advise.

        Sincerely,
        Amy

      • We are told that we are in the last 30 days of being approved for the making home affordable refinance after a year’s process. We received our mortgage through a local credit union in which we bank. Recently, the credit union has stopped processing our automatic mortgage payment and than we get a call stating that we are late on the payment even though the funds are there for them to withdraw at their convenience. I asked them why this is happening and they cannot give an answer to us. Nobody has sent us anything yet or told us to stop making any mortgage payment at all. They promised me today that I would not be assessed a late fee and this would not show up on our credit report, however, I am concerned after reading all these negative reports. What should we do?

      • So, even if your mortgagor is the one who filed to foreclose and they’ve offered you a Trial Period Plan Agreement, YOU as the mortgagee have to file to stop the foreclosure? I had a guy here taking photos today and I’ve made my first payment already. I had previously asked the mortgage company and they said they’d not yet received word it was in foreclosure!

      • I think that you are giving people false hope alone with all the other mortgage company pretending to help but actually pocketing bonus and other money. Until it happen to you, or someone close to you , you guys don’t care is all about the money that why this government and economy is in so much trouble now with debt. Unless my husband, sister, brother work in one of these office to help me thru these troubling time, their is no help just false statement and a lot of run around, but understand this the more people losing there home you and a lot of other will not have a job now count on that future wise the big boss is only going to keep a few of his money maker and the remaining just like you will be in the unemployment line. Also remember this it may not look like it but their is a BIGGER BOSS looking at you and the time you could have help you didn’t and the tables will turn.

    • I agree. Try the making homes affordable through your bank. My girlfriend who is a single mom of two saved her home after trying loan modifications that did not work. I encouraged her to be persistent and keep doing paper work after paper work and pray. She is still in her home with a more affordable mortgage that is not underwater. Hope that helps.

    • I am a Real Estate agent and Loan Officer and I have been volunteering to help clients try to save their home with a MHA program. It is more time consuming then anyone can imagine. They will drag you through the mud, promise the moon, never put anything in writing and then take it all away in a blink of an eye. I have been trying to help a veteran on active duty for the last nine months with appeals etc. Wells Fargo is crooked and nasty, as most of the banks seem to be. There really is not any home. The banks are miss using the system to fatten their own pocket and foreclosing anyway. My last few I have done the bank has actually said they would rather foreclose. They get the government money to help the client only to take the house in the end anyway. It is nearly always a lose vs lose situation.

    • Dawn: Where do you grocery shop, the local dumpster? Pull your head out of your ass.

  2. 50% on, 50% off.

    I will say that you have shown some very serious problems in the banking industry. Problems with communicating requirements and outcomes are huge. Whether these institutions are giving the wrong information by accident or on purpose does not matter, they should be held to a higher standard.

    With that said, your article, as already pointed out by Dawn, is fear-mongering and spreading misinformation (the very thing you seem to be so against). There are multiple examples I could use but will limit myself to the following:

    The last segment titled “Banks are misusing the Making Home Affordable program” paints a very heatbreaking story. Yes, this lady’s situation is bad. However, you go on to say how the bank is bad for using MHA to adjust her mortgage even though it will still fail….What would you have the bank do? Deny the adjustment and make her go further into debt? Or are you going to the other extreme and saying they should just give her the house and forgive the mortgage entirely? I really would like to hear your response to this since I have no idea how the bank, which lowered her monthly payment very substantially, can be viewed in a negative connotation.

    Further more, the bank owns the property with her. Entering into a mortgage contract is a partnership between two entities. Whether you like it or not, both the lender and the borrower have obligations to each other. Not only do they have duties they must both perform, but they share the risk involved with purchasing real estate. Whether you like it or not, the banks should in no way shoulder the entire risk of a foreclosed property. Again, this story is sad that the person last taken such a reduction in income, but I can’t help but notice other options available to help her pay the restructured debt. i.e., $425 car payment….sell and buy a cheaper car. etc. This person lived at the limit of her means, I noticed a nice cc payment too, and since her means shifted, she can no longer afford it. There is a reason I pay ~$1000 less a month on housing than I could afford….so I can put some money into my savings account in case of a “rainy day.”

    Again, spot on with some of the inherent problems with the banks. But stop trying to demonize them without looking at the risks they have taken also.

    • David, thank you for taking the time to comment.
      In response to your accusation that I “say how the bank is bad” for putting “Cheryl” in the Making Home Affordable program: I never once say the bank is bad. (If that statement is in there, and I’m overlooking it, please point it out.) Nowhere in the essay do I judge this phenomenon to be good, bad or ugly. I’m simply reporting what I see in the course of my job. And what I’m seeing is that only about half of the people I personally speak to, who have been given MHA loan modifications, can afford their MHA modified payment. And that’s according to the numbers in the client’s budget, which the client tells me. That’s it.
      As to what I would have the banks do, that’s not for me to say because I’m not a banker or a policy wonk. I’m a financial counselor and a writer. Bank executives have to base their business decisions on whatever best helps company profits. And I’m sure that’s exactly what they’re doing.

  3. Sorry for being late responding to the two comments.
    The two comments by Dawn and David point out a mistake that I’d like to address, and hopefully fix. Because my intention with this blog certainly isn’t to be a fear mongerer. I realize the example of “Cheryl” didn’t really support my argument that there are a lot of loan modification recipients who cannot afford their house payment reduction. Perhaps Cheryl will be able to keep up with her new house payment. You’re both right, the numbers show she technically can afford the house.
    I went back through my notes and found another recent client who’d been approved for a Making Home Affordable loan modification, and I’ve added that person’s predicament as an example.
    Because I don’t believe in just burying problems, I’ve left the example of “Cheryl,” which these two readers find objectionable. (And also because I still feel this client’s example is relevant to my point. The numbers in her budget show it will be difficult to afford the home.) Also, in the conversation I had with her, “Cheryl” was very unopen to many of the points and suggestions I would bring up. That’s part of the reason I used it. She seemed unwilling to even consider changes that would save money in other parts of her budget. Of course readers of this blog have no way of knowing that. So, I screwed up. When a writer conveys the wrong message he intends, well that’s a big problem. So thank you for the criticism. Anything to improve the writing.

  4. Thank you for listening to the comments and improving the article! :) The added example does a lot more to convey the point.

  5. Can you tell me if HSBC Bank is a player in this federally sponsored program. I have a horror story that may be of interest to you.

  6. i,m writing about my daughter who purchased a home and four months later lost a good paying job and had to take jobs that paid much much less money. she applied for programs through Chase(i believe it was ham?) they did tell her she had to stop paying her mortgage for 3
    months which killed her because she had perfect credit. she paid $500 a month when approved- i think it was 6 months and then had to make a $4-$5000 balloon payment.the balloon payment was made
    may of 2009. waiting for approval a financial advisor told her to
    make a payment in good faith of $800 so they would see she was trying. so the bank has been using the money to pay the $1300 mortgage every other month with late fees so now she is 6 months
    behind and just told her she can’t get the modification.

    • Ms. Bene, your daughter’s experience is way too common. I actually tell a lot of clients to contact their representatives and let them know about the shenanigans that mortgage companies pull. They are, supposedly, working for us.

  7. I have a story, but I am telling everyone to write to the comptroller of currency and to the presidents of the companies that owne your loan. Talking on the phone does not work. Do not give them info. The people on the phone are just puppets. They can do nothing for you. You have to write. Make Home Affordable is a scam they put you in it so you will get behind. They get a little money now them foreclose later because you can never catch up. So they take your home. No feelings at all. You have to write document everything. Do not talk to them on the phone they are bill collectors.

  8. I had our mortage with Washington Mutual who was bought by Chase. I was remodeling the house with an equity line of credit which Chase closed with no advance warning. I owed two companies $16,000 and was able to pay only $2,ooo to one. The larger part of this was put on no interest for one year while I tried to talk to Chase about a refinance. This was before the Bank Bailout. I thought I was doing my part in helping spur the economy and my kitchen cabinets were falling apart. My husband was permanently disabled working at the local prison because they didn’t have a lift for the van that took wheelchair prisoners for doctor appts. Long story short, he is housebound and I try to make it a nice place for him. It is a small beach home which we bought three years before his injury. Using the growing equity in the home kept us able to keep up with the home maintenance and improvements necessary for his care. We opened a home equity line to replace old appliances and fix the kitchen and bathroom. I locked the rate on a first draw, and on the subsequent increase they gave us was unaware that we were set up to pay interest only on a variable interest rate heloc which is still low. When they closed the heloc I was forced to use cc’s to try and stay afloat while I worked with the loan officer at Chase to refiance. He wanted to get us in under 5%, so I was told to keep checking. The cash for clunker car program came about, and I helped my mom trade in her 15 yr old car for a new one, and I went and talked to the loan officer and asked if it would negatively affect my loan application as rates were dropping. He smiled and said no. Well, unfortunately what I was unaware of was how much the housing market was depreciating and I would subsequently find during making an application for a refinance that because of ratio of debt to income combined with the loss in value that the only loan he said I qualified for was the home modification program that the government offered. He gave me the papers and as you mentioned, I was to submit them three times because something was always missing, but they wanted them all faxed again. I sat in the bank the last time and completed a few pages which they wanted me to redo and the bank faxed them to dept handling this. I got a call and spoke with someone who was going to present the loan modification and wanted more information as to our living expenses. I emailed her a list of medical bills and our cost of food etc. She said everything looked fine and she needed to show our need. Well, I was using cc’s to manage to stay afloat as utilities had tripled and so had gasoline. Not to mention the new car payment. I was dumbfounded when she called several weeks later and said that our housing payment was too low to qualify for a modification because although we paid $2,ooo a month between the first and the heloc, the government quidelines did not allow them to consider anything but the first mortgage. Since then I have stopped paying the unsecured credit and focused on the home expenses which are secured by real property, the car and our living expenses. I think this process is exactly as your experience dealing with it suggests. It is not helping those who are having a horrible financial turn of events at no fault of their own but rather by poor advice from their banks.. who by the way are making huge profits at our expense. If my husband was able to move, even if we are for the moment under water yet, we would leave. Unfortunately as we are both disabled and on ssi we have to hope that things won’t force us out of a home we have been in for the last 23 years, and now owe Chase three times more than the original purchase price. It took care of a lot of things we needed for his condition, but at a heavy price.

  9. We have had similar experiences. B of A actually told us to stop making our payments for 3-4 months. I told them to go “pound sand”. I said it was very hard for us to make that monthly payment BUT we were doing our best. They get people to call you that sound like used car salesmen. You have to be strong when you talk to them. I found that a good tool to use when you talk to them …ask “can I record this conversation” you will hear a click of a phone hanging up.
    Other talking points:
    [1] credit bureaus are in bed with their best customers “the banks”. They ruin your credit and you pay more later for things. Congress should put controls on the “big three bureaus”. They are an extension of banks and corporate america……taboo topic
    [2] Time frame for approval for MHA can run over a year…right. I’ll bet it didn’t a year to approve any of these loans.
    [3] A lot of these people approving MHA sound like some of the people working in the “sub-prime” lender field. banks can “shake”n bake” when they smell profit. Ever notice banks only offer you things when you don’t need them……..like money.
    [4] President Obama is either unware of these activites or is part of the “horse and pony show”. I voted for the man. He is at the right place at the right time do some good for the people.
    The “spirit” of the MHA seems to be hiding behind the the $75 billion……you can hide alot behind it.

  10. My first mortgage is with Metlife – Payment is $1699. My second mortgage is with Bank of America – Payment $879. My husband made six figures selling real estate until 2008…We cashed out retirement, sold property, vehicles, cut every expense we thought we could do without. But the job my husband took making $45K and my temp jobs and part time work wasnt enough. We tried to get the HAMP modification and didnt get approved. Then we were offered the Fannie Mae MHA modification with a reduced payment on the first mortgage with Metlife of $510. This was a savings of almost $1200 a month and we were getting caught up on all of our bills that were past due..Our first mortgage was behind two months when we started reduced payment trial period. We were on the reduced plan for 4 months. Now Metlife says we are denied and owe $12,000 in past due payments. WE have no money we are requesting a repayment plan but we do not know how we will afford the $1699 payment plus more to repay the past due amount. We feel screwed. We work so hard and thought we were getting the break we thought we deserved but instead we now owe $12000 on a $45000 first mortgage that pays out in 36 more months. I just wish I knew someone that would loan me the money to refinance. But thats not ever gonna happen….Praying that I dont lose my home.

  11. Can anyone give me information about whether a bank can do a modification and then change the payments when ever they feel like it?(even though you have fixed rate and your insurance and taxes didn’t rise). Have a loan modification horry story that is unbelieveable,didn’t know that a bank had this much power!

    • APPARENTLY THEY HAVE THE RIGHT i HAD A MODIFICATION APPROVED WAS PAYING ON TIME FOR 8 MONTHS THEN ONE SATURDAY GET A NOTICE IN THE MAIL I WAS LATE WITH MY PAYMENT THE AMOUNT WAS TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I WAS PAYING. AFTER CALLING FOR 3 MONTHS THEY FINALLY TOLD ME IT WAS HUMAN ERROR ON THEIR PART, THEY MADE A MISTAKE i ASKED THEM TO REDO IT THEY SAID NO THEY WANTED ME TO PAY 3500.00 A MONTH TILL I CAUGHT UP. I DIDN’T HAVE THE MONEY. SO WE STARTED A NEW ONE WAS APPROVED STARTED THE TRAIL PERIOD THEN THEY SAID I DIDN’T GET APPROVED. THIS HAS BEEN A NIGHTMARE FOR A YEAR ALREADY HAVE A LAWYER…. MORTGAGE CO. HAVE ALL THE RIGHTS WE HAVE NONE PRAY FOE ME THAT I DON’T LOSE MY HOUSE BEEN IN THE FAMILY FOR OVER 60 YEARS I AM SOOO SICK…..

  12. We have been going through the MHA program, we called every two days for 3 months to keep tabs on it. Every person we talked to gave us diffrent direction, one would say “yes we have all your information”, two days later the next person wanted us to fax 150 pages of taxes, pay stubs, property taxes & lots of others so off to the fax I went. I ended up sending them all 3 times. Only to be denied because of “lack of information”. The letter was sent the same day the girl told me I had 72 hours to get the information in again. It’s just another way they can make a dollar off of sombodies elses bad luck. On a side note take your faxes to there in town location and make them do it. It’s free and you can get a little satisfaction by knowing they are paying a person to watch the fax machine for 2 1/2 hours

    • Wow sorry to hear this. But my story is close to your. But I started the process in 06/2012 I would fax items over and over call and one Employees tell me nothing needed . Then call in next day this is needed. This ordeal went on for close to a year. I got tired and file a complaint with the BBB wow they response quickly like in two days . I only found out that I was approved on the BBB website from the Mortgage Company response for the Making Home affordable program. I even went on line file a complaint to White House website. They do response back but might take a couple months but they forward the information to correct dept. Really another thing you could do is go to MHA program directly to Freddie Mae or program sponsor and they will fill out the paper work and I was told by rep they would have to close out the other file tell them your ordealand they make calls out every three days and they forms are dated down the bottom when they are send out to you. Good luck but it work for me.

  13. My situation began back in 2008. I lost my job of 28 years. My company just closed up shop. I applied for a loan modification and went circles over the phone. Was told I had to get 3 mos in the rear before they could help. I was already on my way there since we were only living on one income. When BofA requested my financials they saw how I had accumalated a nice employer sponsored 401K account with my previous employer. They advised me that we were not in need of assistance at this time and wanted us to catch up all past due payments which by this time I was 6 months behind. Like a fool, I pulled out money from the 401K and paid but what was I thinking? I was throwing this money at a mortgage I could no longer afford and ended up falling behind again to which the bank refused to help me as long as I had that 401K account. In the end.. (long story short) I exhaused all my 401K money because BofA played this game with me and lost the house. I would have been better to just cut my losses and walk away with my 401K still in my account. Now I have nothing. No house and no 401K. Thanks a lot Bank of America!!!

  14. is there any lawyers to fight these banks, or government officials. need help!!

    dan s

  15. i do not get how difficult it is…They lose your paperwork..they tell your loan negotiator is being assigned. then you call back 2 days later and they tell you it have been denied…meanwhile you never even had a chance to speak to anyone….who is getting all the so-called money for these programs?????

  16. true… you know what they say…It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong -Voltaire

  17. Submitted making home affordable about a year and a half ago. Called every week following up and was told the famous words “under review.” After about 8 or 9 months our file is finally looked at and we are told the person who was reviewing it either quit or got fired. So our file was just sitting there for almost a year while being told under review. Now, we are asked to submit more current info because the info in the initial packet is dated. We were then approved or pre-approved and was told 4-6 weeks for the packet and the trial payments. It has now been over 3 months. I keep on calling and now there has been 3 escalations, another commonly used word besides under review. Probably, the banks are truly understaffed and probably they are reluctant to give the modification. There is absolutely no oversight so they “have their way with you.” The people answering the calls are clerks who are reading off the screen for status and they are not qualified. It is a sad situation! We are still waiting and it has been without exageration about a year and a half. Will we get the modification? When I see it I’ll believe it. Good luck to all. By the way the bank is Bank of America and from what I hear they have received the most complaints. Bank of America bank of opportunity supposedly- not when it comes to modifying the loans! If someone would get together as petition and contact government officials and make these banks accountable maybe some good would come out of all this. I truly don’t beleive the banks are complying with the program and they are at the very least dragging their feet. At he very least they are putting homeowners through hell playing with their emotions and the very real fear that they may lose their home. Shame on them!!!!

  18. Yeah, I was approved. They lowered my payment but they didn’t say the payment included principle, interest, escrow and insurance. Everytime I asked I got the same answer. It could go up by a couple of hundred dollars. I new I wouldn’t be able to afford the new payment if they were to include the insurance and escrow at a later date. So I declined the offer. When paperwork arrived telling me to short sale my home, there was a breakdown of the monthly payment. This payment did include principle, interest, escrow and insurance. Having the break down in front on me helped me understand. So I wrote an appeal letter to reinstate the MHA. They declined my offer. Seriously, they would rather the house go into foreclosure or short sale then accept my money. I wrote letters to everyone. The congressman, president and ceo of BAC, attorney general. Anyone who might listen. I received a call from the president and ceo’s office. They are going to help me. Yeah right!!!! After weeks of talking with them, they sent me a new mortgage payment. $1,000 dollars more than the previous amount. I could barely afford the first payment and now they raise it $1,000.00. If I were to payment this new amount it would leave me with exactly $300.00 to live off of a month. Makes alot of sence. I’m still calling every day, and I will keep calling until someone helps me.

  19. I googled ” will I lose my home if i am late on my trial payments?” and this page caught my eye … I have been reading all the comments and the original post and am heart broken! I too have been trying to modify my loan for an amazing 3 years! November 1st 2011 was my first of supposedly 3 trial payments, here we are on last day of May 2012! And still making trial payments, a cousin of mines has been making “trial payments” for 12 months… It is true that the banks play with our emotions and could careless about us, our families and our investment in our homes, but i must be very honest and say, I got myself into this cituation, not the bank, I had a choice to commit to this debt when i signed my loan docs 5 years ago, and i commited, in reality, no one knows what the future holds, there are no garrantees in ANYTHING in this world, and we are all one choice away from a dramatic life change, our now can change in a split second…..

    I am a born again christian and ever since i have put ALL my life including my home in the Lords hands, our homes dont belong to the Banks, they belong to the LORD, and ALL those people that could have helped others, but chose not to, will one day have their judgement day….Basically, i thank God for putting this page for me to read, just a reminder that GOD comes first and if we put him first before ALL things, he will take care of us, I was convinced that as long as i keep making my payments I would be fine, but of what I just read, until I am caught up ($45k) and making my regular payments, then I cant be sure, so i will just leave it in Gods hands and just Pray!!!! What else can I do? My life is in the hands of the Lord, not the banks, and if i lose my home, it is Gods plan and i must learn to accept it and beleive that he has something better for me in my future ….. God bless u and i will pray for all those in our situation…

    • Everyday we make a committment to something,from going to work all the way to picking the kids up from school. This does not mean that we are the only one to blame when: you’re laid off due to no fault of your own, you’re child is hit by a car and needs total care now (running in the backyard is not an option), husband has job as janitor now that the Post office doesn’t need all those mail carriers (not any fault of his due to all the technology to email/fax or reply online). And, you work part time due to your child , remember?

  20. Thank you, Lord, for NormaMay and all of the injured whom You care for. Please help me to remember this is NOT about me, but about YOU!

  21. Voluntarily gave my house back to the bank.. I am now completely debt free, can live wherever I want since I am no longer under “house” arrest and am not fueling the bank’s CEO’s 50 million dollar bonuses. I am no longer under any stress, have more funds to actually go out and do stuff from time to time instead of tossing and turning every single night wondering how I am going to keep paying on a mortgage that is $110,000 upside down. However, I am also single with no children so moving around is not a problem for me so my particular resolution was my resolution as this is a personal decision to make. I too was denied twice for a modification from Chase and I agree a decision was made between me and the bank to agree to the mortgage. It is and was a contract. I have every right to break that contract as does the bank if I don’t pay. So, they now have my house back which has no value to it and I have my life back. Win win (if my case)..

  22. Laura, you make a good point and it’s something I bring up to clients in similar situations. If something is stressing you out that badly, it may not be worth hanging onto. There’s a lot to be said for letting go of something that causes so much anguish.

    • It is not so much as stressing about the finances as it is about the game playing with the not so direct answers from the corps. Even you would want us to be direct , open and honest. There is more to be said for that and It’s not the material thing that causes the problems, it’s the man made issues that cause stress and heartache.

    • i am totally stressed out right now and regreting signing the 3 month trial period paperwork recently, They lowered my payments by almost 200.00 and i just made my first modified trial payment on August 1st, what happens now? is it too late to change my mind? i don’t want to be paying this trial period amount any longer, is there a way out of this? i would rather see where i can downsize my other living expenses than loose my house.

  23. Weve bern denied modification we are now in forecouse we need help ASAP

  24. Bank of america lead us along for a month then said your denied now we are in foreclosure! Bank of America shut down our escrow and we fell behind on our taxes unknowing to us then we jump their butts they paid them but we are now so far behind we cant get caught up with late fees and interest plus we have an adjustable loan it went from 1100.00 to 1600.00 we cant afford it plus we have had several unexpected hardships since buying the home in 2005 im now on disability ! They are using my income and im not evenon the loan ! My hisbands income has decreased some and is continuning to do so no overtime more meds and grandchildren custody battles daughter in drug rehab so is husbands brother we help my two sisters pay my mothers assissted living rent and her personal needs like depends and ensure ! I was hospitalized last august and sept with a blocked colon for three weeks have medical bills ! Please help us to get a lower note and lower interest rate get our taxes straightenef out and our home out of foreclousure ! My husband works at St Jude Hospital ! And he will til he retires he is 58 yrs old I am 56 we have to save our home we have nowhere to live and we have been in our home since 05/05/05 we have three dogs and a cat been married for 38 years please someone help us get out of foreclosure and get a lower note with s fixed rate! Please Bank Of America wont help us ! We have two car notes and no credit cards!!!!!!!!!!

  25. I recently worked with HOPE who helped me to apply for a temporary mortgage forbearance. Instead of my mortgage holder responding to that application, I received written notice from that I now need to pay much more each month, almost doubling the payments that were a hardship to begin with. This was done by creating a new escrow account when there was none originally in place. On top of this, they are also billing me for the entire previous years taxes and insurance costs, all of which were already paid directly by me on time. I never needed an escrow account, and have always paid my taxes and insurance costs on time without one. It seems like a way to hold my money while I struggle topay what is being paid by my state through homestead exemption. While I am still current on all payments, these new costs are due next month. I have been paying $628 and now they need $3778 within 30 days or they will foreclose. For me, the Making Homes Affordable Plan did just the opposite of that. It made it not affordable, due to the decisions of my lender. I have been living in my home for 12 years, and love it here. This appears to be a cheap trick by an unscrupulous lender to force me out of my home when I am making all my payments. What can I do to stop this and restore my original terms I agreed to with Countrywide before the note was bought out by Bank of America?

    • If I am FORCED out of my home, I WILL burn this Mother Fu-ker down to the ground on my way out of town

  26. What kind of “financial counselor” are you, anyhow? Why didn’t you send her to a bankruptcy attorney for a Chapter 13 that would have allowed her to eliminate all of the credit card debt and modify her car note to pay it out over 60 additional months?

    You should be sued for malpractice.

  27. I don’t even know the way I finished up here, however I
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  28. Anyone trying to deal with a loan modification knows it’s enough to give you a breakdown. The deny because they claim missing documents. I think their favorite is the 4501-T. The send a letter stating you have 3 days to resubmit all the paperwork again. They send letters out that don’t apply so they can come back later and say you didn’t send in the documents. Last time I was rejected in 3 days. I have been rejected 3 times now all BS reasons. How do I know for sure it was even submitted? They don’t submit for other relief options unless you ask them to. The CRM’s are grossly unqualified, you can never get them when you call and if you try to talk to someone else they want to reroute you back to the same incompetent and always unhelpful CRM. They ruin your credit so you can’t get a job, a loan and even car insurance, utilities look at credit scores. They stall your application until you can’t qualify.

    I also had my taxes paid even though I don’t have an escrow and have always paid on time. They make it harder not easier. The ONLY options they seem to want to give you is deed in lieu or short sale unless you fight tooth and nail with them.

    Hope, Hud, foreclosure hotlines, DOJ – none of them are much help at all in spite of the fact they have all received 3 figures sums to help homeowners. No one holds the banks accountable unless you get a lawyer and if you are hurting you likely can’t afford one.

    As I understand the laws now change in 2013 so you will owe the IRS if a deficiency is discharged. So you can lose your house, still owe the lender and the IRS. They don’t help, they ruin lives, credit, potential jobs. They are withholding federal funds they have received intended to help homeowners, ignore the guidelines and are not accountable to anyone!!!

  29. I’ve been denied for MHA plan by BOA (formerly Countrywide). Bankruptcy Chpt 7 discharged in 2010. My attorney told me if wanted to stay in my house..pay the mortgage. I’m current but I applied for MHA plan hoping that I can bring my payments down. But nope! I can’t believe this crap! The BOA reps advised me that if I was late and facing foreclosure – I would have a better chance of getting approved. What the heck!? Now I need to call ? who? I’m just so lost and want to walk away!

  30. WOW! It’s in a weird way comforting to know I’m not the only one…
    I have a FHA loan, my Leander is freedom Mortage, I being a single mother of 3 kids had got cut to part time around this time last year, I called Leander they in same told me I needed to be 3 months behind for any kind of help, at that time I applyed for MHA, in the past year I have applied 10 and denied 10 times, due to failure of theirs, saying I didn’t provide addicuate info., not turning paper work in, in timely fashion, failure to provide requested information, once was even because page 5 of my 10 page fax didnt have my loan # on it but all the rest did, but really they are not organized, loss of paper work, I don’t think they receive proper training on these matters…
    I came home one day to find a trustee sale notice date taped to door which was set for 60 days from date on notice, I called and called Leander, my leander had keep telling me as long as I keep applying for modification my house would not forclouse (LIE) then why did I get that on my door? I seeked forclousor counciling and was refurred to a agency called “save our home” I had to them send them ALL my info, time was cutting closer and closer to sale date, I had gotten approved for assistance for this program now it was a hassle with leander saying they don’t except 3rd party payments and they didnt participate in the program witch program was MHA so goes to show how educated these people are on things, to not even know what programs the company you work for participates in!
    LOOONNNGGG story short after begging my Leander for help, after calling them out on their employees not knowing what they are talking about, I sent a nasty unpleasant fax 4 days before sale date saying they gave me no choice other then filing bankruptcy (which I had down loaded and filled out when all this first started, just in case they tryed to screw me) as on day 3 before sale date I was just getting ready to leave my house to go file bankrupty the UPS guy pulls up with a over nighted trial mod. Which I had to fill out sign and western-union them $1200 to save home, the trial mod was $100 a month MORE then it was, they said because I was so behind durring

  31. WOW! It’s in a weird way comforting to know I’m not the only one…
    I have a FHA loan, my Leander is freedom Mortage, I being a single mother of 3 kids had got cut to part time around this time last year, I called Leander they in same told me I needed to be 3 months behind for any kind of help, at that time I applyed for MHA, in the past year I have applied 10 and denied 10 times, due to failure of theirs, saying I didn’t provide addicuate info., not turning paper work in, in timely fashion, failure to provide requested information, once was even because page 5 of my 10 page fax didnt have my loan # on it but all the rest did, but really they are not organized, loss of paper work, I don’t think they receive proper training on these matters…
    I came home one day to find a trustee sale notice date taped to door which was set for 60 days from date on notice, I called and called Leander, my leander had keep telling me as long as I keep applying for modification my house would not forclouse (LIE) then why did I get that on my door? I seeked forclousor counciling and was refurred to a agency called “save our home” I had to then send them ALL my info, time was cutting closer and closer to sale date, I had gotten approved for assistance for this program now it was a hassle with leander saying they don’t except 3rd party payments and they didnt participate in the program witch program was MHA so goes to show how educated these people are on things, to not even know what programs the company you work for participates in!
    LOOONNNGGG story short after begging my Leander for help, after calling them out on their employees not knowing what they are talking about, I sent a nasty unpleasant fax 4 days before sale date saying they gave me no choice other then filing bankruptcy (which I had down loaded and filled out when all this first started, just in case they tryed to screw me) as on day 3 before sale date I was just getting ready to leave my house to go file bankrupty the UPS guy pulls up with a over nighted trial mod. Which I had to fill out sign and western-union them $1200 to save home, the trial mod was $100 a month MORE then it was paying, they said because I was so behind on payments, durring trial it would be more final mod would be lot less! So I sent it in, but they never canceled sale I had to keep calling both trustee and bank all the way upto 30 mins before sale, I payed my trial payments for 4 months I keep calling lender worried about what was next finally they said they was ready to move forward on mod but when they went to pull title I had a $200 lein on it from my HOA that needed to be taken care of first, I said fine I’ll call and take care of that, WEEELLL when I called HOA that $200 had now turned to $1200 due to fees they charge blah blah blaaah I said I can’t pay that much right now so they advised me to write a perposal to the board with a settlement price I could afford, but it could take upto 30 days to get a response so I did that same day notified Leander of time it could take, well in that time waiting for HOA responce someone dropped the ball and my house went to auction beknowns to me,( and I didn’t know they postponed the sale previously not terminate sale..) I got a letter in mail oct. 5 showing my new payments starting dec 1st. Thought wow they did mod without me having to pay HOA lean, then Oct 12th I get a letter sayin house was sold on oct. 10th I have 30 days to move out! Mind you no one bought house it went back to bank!! I’m now unemployed, can’t get anywhere with lender, person that was handle ing loans mail box full cant leave messages, no one else wants to talk to me about it, say I need to talk to her!!! I can’t afford to go lawyer, and I went to the free legal aid but they turned my case over to a nother office!! This morning I got notice taped to door to vacate property within 5 days or leagle action will be taken, so I already feel like shit because I can’t put gifts under the tree for my kids, now I have to tell them that we are now going to be homeless! ( which that’s how my kids wanted to spend this Xmas!, feeding the homeless)…. Thank you whoever dropped the ball and didn’t contact trustee to postpone that sale, I hope you go home every night feeling good about yourself, because atleast you have a home to go to!!!!

  32. We got approved for the home affordable program and were put on a three month trial period. So we paid our mortgage for three months and after the three months we were sent a letter saying that they had to raise our mortgage due to a low escrow balance now our home is not so affordable. It seems to me like my mortgage company took they incentive money from the government and now raised my mortgage in order to have me default and fall into forclosure. My question is, is this legal?

  33. I have heard that every time the bank got an application to modify a loan they receive a thousand dollars. Is that true?

  34. My mortgage was with countrywided at first and then transferred to BOA. I was struggling because I had lost my job but my husband was the only one employed. We begin falling behind on our mortgage and I heard about the home affordable program. First I was told I couldn’t apply because we both had to be employed or showing income. I then found employment and then applied again and was first prequalified for a trial period. I paid my trial period payment for several months. Then I received a letter from sent by fed. express staing that I was approved for the making home affordable program and that the documents stating the agreement will soon to follow in a seperate package and that I should sign and return them once received. I waiting and never received the seperate package with the modification agreement. I called and they first told me I wasn’t approved. I then explained that I received the letter of approval. Then I was told by another representative after calling back that i should be receiving the docs shortly. I never received the docs but did receive a letter from BOA stating that my loan would be transferred to IBM (now seterus). So I asked them do my approval transfer with the loan and they stated that everything remains the same when a transfer is done and guarenteed that they will give me the home affordable mod. This new bank did modify my loan but not under the home affordable program. First they asked me to fax the approval letter to them, which I did, and they turned around and said that document dont transfer because I was approved by BOA and they never sent me the final modification docs. I felt that I was taken advantage by BOA and now after reading the info and the comments from this web site understand how the banks operate. Just a question if anyone knows….can something be done when this happens or do I have to just deal with it because it seems as if banks can do whatever they want and get away with it?

  35. does anyone know if it is required for the bank to provide a breakdown of the amount that is being added to the principal or just give you the amount they are adding to principal balance with no explanation?

    thank you

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  38. I have been fighting with bank of America three years now in the mean time I have files and been discharged fro Chapter bankrupcy. Like everyone else have applied fro MHA program three time and been turned down three time because of their stupidity. This last time I have had a girl that has done a great job, followed up every 7 days, kept paperwork straight was a real pleasure to work with but alas the system stepped in and screwed it up. Received my trial payment today that is $50 dollars less than my original payment, if i could do this I could have made the old one. Turns out that payment is based on 31% of your gross monthly income. They give you a lot on mumbo jumbo about looking at all of your expenses but comes down to 31%. They moved all my late payments to end on load, reduced interest fro 6% to 2% and extended the pay back terms but my payment only went down $50. o my payment stayed the same, principal stayed the same but Fannie made a little less. Am looking for ways to get this payment reduced if I can not then I walk away. I will be contacting the Office of the Controller of the Currency, this is the fed office that over sees the banks.

  39. I was in the mhap with BOA, I made the first two of three trial payments on time. I call prior to my third payment being due, and was told they were extending the due date for those affected by sandy, I was told as long as I made my payment in the month it was due, I’d be fine, needless to say I submitted my final payment a week late, and have been receiving foreclosure notices since. I’ve been assured by boa that this was system wide issue and would be corrected but I found out today I have been booted from program.

  40. We jump through hoops like each of you. Lost
    paperwork, repetitive refiling due to a missing document. You have to start process over again. Told to go 3 months behind , told is best way to qualify. O/W if could pay payment or did pay, you don’t qualify because you can make the payment, at the sacrifice of dome umpaid bills. Do they ever read the hardship letter

  41. To be continued: It is 3a am. Need sleep. I have had huge hardships. Just can’t wtrite it now. I found this site yesterday. Makes me physically sick knowing what a scam these banks are, tearing up lives with no conscience or any regard to their fellow man that sacrificing every dollar and the roof over our heads to appease these fat cat bankers. CAN YOU TELL ME; CAN I SELL MY HOME BEFORE THE BANK TAKES ALL OF THE EQUITIY OUT, AND DENIES MHA PROGRAM
    ANYWAY? Will write again. Will explain more, later.

  42. Wow I thought I was the only homeowner going through this nightmare.

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  44. How can we get our money back from making home affordable? My husband and I sent them $5184 to bargain with wells Fargo. We cannot contact anyone now, no one will call us back to answer questions, and would prefer to not have their help and get our money back. Anyone know who to contact in cases like this?

    • Call BBB and make a complaint they will open up a case and investigated it for you and something will begin to happen with good results.

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  47. Thanks Paula , I’m gonna do that asap

  48. I was a first time home owner, young and a newlywed, in my mid 20’s. I bought my home in early 2007, right before the market started to crumble. For where we purchased our home (NorthEast Ohio) the market was still booming, and there was not a lot to choose from in our price range. We ended up with an older 2 bedroom home on a small lot in a nice neighborhood, needed a little work (which we were prepared for) and paid 86,500 for it.

    Within two years, the economy fell apart in front of me. I lost my job, had to go on Unemployment as there were no jobs to be had. I got an under the table position as a nanny just so I could make ends meet. Same time, I got a divorce…and then a letter stating my property value went down $15,000. Now on a single income and an underwater mortgage I had a house I couldn’t sell…everything in my neighborhood was for sale the last two years and not moving.

    I eventually ended up taking a job that paid $13,000.00 less than my previous position. It was all I could find and my unemployment was going to be ending in a few short months. With no longer being able to nanny with my FT hours I started falling behind on my mortgage. Eventually the letters started rolling in. I didn’t know what to do and thought I was just going to have to lose the home.

    The bank then suggessted I enroll in the Making Homes Affordable program. I did everything I was asked, was approved, and my payment was only reduced by $100.00. I was eventually able to finally find a room mate through my new job and was then able to make the payments as requested. Once completed with the trial payments, I received all the final paperwork from the bank and it turns out I now owe $96,500.00 on the house. What they did (and was not explained to me at the start) is took all back payments, about 10 months, and added them into the back end of the loan along with all the “reduced” payment amount. My house value is still only at $71,500.00. Houses in my neighborhood are starting to sell for around $80,000.00

    In the long run, I should have read the fine print. I should have not trusted the loan modifier I was working with and should have not believed what the court was saying in how this was such a tremendous program for people “in my situation”. Now with the economy getting better, I have managed to land a great job and am back to making what I was before all this began. I have been current with every payment since the modification, I met a wonderful man and we got married this past fall. Things are much, much brighter then that horrible dark period where I cried everyday for months on end.

    However, we are not out of the dark completely yet. My new husband and I make a decent living together and we have been able to continue on the minor repairs the house was in need of when purchased (windows, siding, etc…) but we are not rich and we are still in a housing market that hasn’t recovered; And we are severly underwater on the mortgage. Thanks to this “modification” program, more so then when I started this journey. For young, nieve, 1st time homeowners who were in over their heads to begin with I think this program is a joke. How is this helping people?? I am now stuck with a house we will never be able to sell for the price of what we owe on it. Not even close. The rules were never explained and I was beyond desperate to save my house. “fill out this paperwork kid and we’ll get you all caught up on the payments and even get you a reduced payment” is almost word for word what I was told. I take full responsibility for not reading the fine print, and I now know never to trust anything the government/bank is telling you. There really is no such thing as help for those who truly need it.

    • Dear Veronica Tate,

      You are not severely “under water” on your home. My loan was for $125,000.00 in 2007. Bank appraised at $160,000. Through HAMP, I now owe $148,000.00 Home is valued at $40,000.00

  49. I have written and called and donated and begged so much in the past 6years that I cant take a chance of carpal tunnel as Medicare probably would find a reason to deny and I can’t afford that chance, I have made so many phone calls l’m losing my hearing and that will lead in the same direction and last but not least I have read so many different programs and promises that my eyesight is just about gone but I’m not entitled to see either so I have decided to remove all my money in the banking system since I can take better care of it on my own and not get charged for the financial burden of having our system take such fine care of it and maybe if we all were to take this burden off the bankers hands then where will they get the money for those large salaries and bonuses they deserve for making them work so hard taking care of all our money so well. So here is my suggestion, we all take our out of the banks now that we can all legally carry guns now to protect it in our own homes and just think how much easier we can make it on those poor old overworked bank presidents. Just trying to do my part.

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  51. I do have a MHA horror story. I called them and was on the phone for counseling for over an hour. Then I was given a counselor I don’t know if I should reveal her name. If I could get a hold of someone who would listen I would make a huge huge complaint. She took all my information has me faxing over documents. We were emailing each other back and forth and she made me feel confident that THIS Government program could help me. Okay so abruptly she stopped returning my calls and emails. I mea to the point that I had to go through others to get to her. Then she told me to fax over another set of documents and then again abruptly stopped all communication with me. I then called to speak to someone else regarding this situation and was told to just sell my house. I am appalled at this type of treatment. I thought the Government developed these programs to help people. If anyone knows what can be done please let me know.

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  59. Hello all. I have been dealing with BoA for over 3 years now trying to get my loan completely modified.
    My 3 trial payments were all made 11/2010, 12/2010, and 1/2011.
    I was told to keep paying modified amount until perm modified.
    My original mortgage was $2800.00 a month. The modified amount is $2000.00. After more than a year, received perm modification documents. I was prevented from making payments online without going thru my RM. I kept questioning this. Was told once perm documents processed everything would be “normal” Flash forward 2 more years.
    I have paid and never missed any payments since trial was granted!!! I am being strung along. As of July 2013, when I called to make my modified payment, I was told that I must make a $2800.00 and my RM could not explain anything nor did I receive any communication of this. I can’t afford it, but I am getting an attorney to try and fight this once and for all since I have documentation on being granted a perm modification.

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  74. I recently asked BoA about refinancing or any other possibilities to get a better mortgage. They have sked for my lenders mortgage statements which I provided and personally handed to the person. Three weeks later I asked what was going on, and was told they never recieved the papers. So I e-mailed them to the person in charge. I was told, that my property appraised for $ 186,000 on Zillow, and the amount we owe was too high compare to the value. Is it common practice to base a desicion on a web sit like Zillow? I can just changed a few things on Zillow, and my house appraises for $ 220,000, so I should be able to refinance! Are you serious! Do they think we are stupid?
    I sent a letter to BoA Headquarters to see if it is common practice, but no answer!

  75. […] Making Home Affordable Horror Stories | On the Frontlines of … […]

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  78. Hi I’m being refured to this com. Call affortable house direct the representative is asking me for $1500 upfront to get me a remodification and get my my payments reduced. Then in two weeks or so pay another $500 to complete their fees does this sounds normal? Please let me know thanks HT.

    • Never pay fees up front for these kind of services….it’s illegal so it’s more than likely a scam…

  79. Don’t do it Hector. It’s a scam. It’s all a scam. They don’t help and leave you hanging. My husband and I lost our home.

  80. I was laid off work, Oct.2012. Where I recieved only1,150 per month. I am a single parent with three teeage children. I applied for a loan modifacation. I got no reply. In April of 2013 I found work. I was two months behind in my house payment. I made a couple two thousand dollar payments. But I just couldnt catch up. I reapplied for a home modification loan. On my salary I was making. The mortage company put me on a forbearance plan. But, they did not lower my payments. I needed a lower payment not forbearance. I defaulted on that. Now the bank is telling me My original agreement is volded and I need to file bankruptucy to keep the house. I cannot afford an attorney. I just want to walk away from this house and be able to get me a place to live. I went from 40,000 a year in 2012 to maybe 20.000 this year and couldnt get a loan modification.

  81. Our loan modification was recently approved, it took from April till October 2013 to get this far, now we’ve been told it could be another 2-3 mths, for all the final paperwork to be done on their end. In the meantime we were told to continue w/ our modified payment and send it to the modification dept. We continue to get harassing phone calls from the collections dept of the SAME bank, the modification people told me this would continue until all the paperwork is final and then supposedly they will finally speak to the other dept in the same freaking building and let them know all is well (apparently they don’t normally speak???) My question is, since I know the loan is modified, am I required to speak to the collections dept of the bank when they call or can I just ignore them? It gets incredibly aggravating, every single time they call they act like they do not have a clue about the modification and keep asking why we can’t make our payments. I don’t understand this when it’s all through the same bank! By the way our loan payments dropped HUGELY by about $300 a month. I have all the documentation with signatures and notaries, etc to prove this has been accepted. I’m in Michigan by the way.

  82. We have been trying to get our mortgage modified with Citi mortgage for over a year. They never receive all of the documents we fax over! We finally escalated the claim with MHA organizations. The person at Citi mortgage we are now dealing with seems a bit more helpful but we will see. I own the home with my friend, he is on disability because he is a paraplegic. He has a mountain of medical bills. I don’t know how he could be refused from this program but I guess we’ll see. We just faxed (again) all of the documents they request. I am trying to stay positive but if we do not qualify it is very likely we will have to foreclose. We are already 2 months behind.

  83. I’m in the middle of a MHA nightmare too. It’s been three years that I have been begging Webster Bank N.A. to move the process along. I ended up with a traditional modification with $100 more monthly payment and 10 years added to the term of my loan…interest rate 5.37%. I can’t go anywhere else for a loan because my credit has been absolutely ruined. The banks are using a program designed to help people for their own profit…big suprise!

  84. I am still fighting with Chase Bank. I recieved a letter stating that my loan had been sold to jp Morgan Chase. I was told to send my payments to the same address. According to the loan modification calculator my payments should be around $750.00. My paymenys are $958.00. I cant afford that. The goverment has to know what these banks are doing. But, it continues to happen. Somebody needs to come forward and stop these houses from being foreclosed on and peoples credit being ruined. Its sad that these greedy banks are finding loopholes in a program designed to help keep the foreclosure rate down. I guess we can only rely on God. All of us people that are being unfairly treated by these banks. The day is gonna come when your pain will be relieved. God bless you all.

  85. I applied for home lian modification even these past months I have medical problems I’ve submitted bank all documents explained that I was doing repairs to home. They rejected saying I was renting or using home as a transitional home which is not true. Resubmitted request again now they say that they don’t accept my Water utility bill that only electric bill is accepted I explained my daughter pays my electric bill. So now they use that against me denied loan now they have a sale date on my home. Unbelievable that I can not use water bill as the utility bill stated in the procedures. Banks are not there to help they took the bail out from government us tax payers and still trying to screw us over. Government needs to put more pressure on banks to help the mortgage homeowners a totally wasted program so many people losing their homes. It’s a shame

  86. I am seeking a loan modification to get my payments down to 31% of my income. My income dropped 7,000 a year. My bank (Chase) is giving me the run around. To all the homeowers that have and will lose their homes to these practices by these banks, hold on. God is on the case. My Church was just preaching on this the other day. This CEOs of these big banks has a date with destiny. They are robbing the taxpayers of their money. And God is not sleep. Many have lost and will lose there homes. Its truly sad, the President implemented a program to keep people in their homes and these banks are not adhering to the stipulations of the bailouts. God is not sleep

  87. This making home affordable program is complete 100% bullshit. went through it with Chase, its about helping the bank not lose money not helping homeowners. Its a dame shame we are at the mercy of the banks in this great country I wish you all luck, and justice for all (except if your a bank then you can get away with anything)

  88. I went through everything everyone is saying the trial period which gives you BAD credit Finally after almost a year we got accepted for the Home Affordable Modification ! Our mortgage was $2,570 a month the trial we had to pay $1000 for three months or so than when we got the Homeaffordable modification paperwork our mortgage payment was going to be $1600-$1700 but we only owed $290,000 on the mortgage itself and in order to get our mortgage payment down we had to sign the mortgage for $315,000 but gives a 3% interest instead of the 5.25% we had. we are now paying $2,130 a month.That is NO WAY NEAR 3% and they got money on the back end since we only owed $290,000 than it went up to $315,000…HELP what can I do ? Also supposly this interest rate is only good for 5 years what if your credit that they ruined isn’t better How does a loan at 5.25 at $2,270 go from 3% to only $2,130???

  89. My trial period for the Loan Modification ends in Dec. I have made my Jan payment in the new modification amount of just a little under $100 dollars per month and interest rate lowered from 5% to 4.8%. I have yet to submit my final documents accepting the modification because I am unclear if its worth it. At the time of my original loan my PMI/MIP rate was at .5%. If i accept the modification will my PMI increase to 1% that I believe is the minimal current rate for California residents. If I decide to take my tax refund and apply it to my past due charges current and keep my original loan will I be better off than going through a loan modification to extend my loan term 7 more years and possibly increasing my PMI? My B of A Loan Modification worker cant answer my question and my deadline is less than 1 week away.

  90. This Banks are jokes. My income dropped about 6,000 a year. I have beentrying to get a loan modification for months: I deal with Chase. I have done three loan modification packets. The last one in October 2013. I was told that it would be uploaded that same day. The person working with me called me yesterday 1/15/2014 and said it had expired. They drag it out till they are ready to actually foreclose. This trial mods are to sqeeze every cent from you, give you hope, find any reason to deny you. Then foreclose. If they can make more money foreclosing you want get a mod. Their main concern is the bottom line, not helping people. They took goverment money and are stealing houses.

  91. We had sell our home due to MAJOR MEDICAL BILLS sick child w brain cancer kept me away from knowing “there was even any HELP” I did bancrupsy only to default cause trusty was about same as my mortgage. The relator n lawyer “took advantage n SCREWED US” WISH I COULD SUE A LAWYER!!!! N MY BANK NEVER 1 HELPED IN ANYWAY SOLD MY HOUSE LIVED MISSERABLY W 3KIDS AT MY DADS N NOW RENTING N WITH ALL THIS I HAD NO IDEA THERE WERE MODIFICATIONS PLACES LIKE CHURCHES TO HELP ECT…ILL GET A LOUSY 300 FROM THIS “FORECLOSURE REVIEW” N MY HUSBANDS FAMILY OWNED THST HOME SINCE 1970 RAISE MY CHILDREN N LOST EVERYTHING STILL A MESS OF A PERSON ANYONE KNOW OF A WAY FOR HELP W SUING A LAWYER LET ME KNOW ROSEANN0424@GMAIL.COM

  92. These lenders are not here to help. I filedloan modification paperwork in November 2013. Got a call from the person working with me two months later and was told that my paperwork had expired. And I had to do another one. These people are liars. Now I am getting foreclosure papers. I lost 6,000 a year of my income. It would be so simple to modify my loan and bring it down to 31%. But, they dont want too. They would rather take the property and sell it than to add years, lower interest rates etc. Lowering interest rates and adding years to the loan will keep people in their homes. Our Goverment has turned their backs on the people who through no fault of their own was laid off or lost income due to the struggling economy. Someone needs to step in and stop this nonsense. I pray that God brings justice to all the people that have been foreclosed on due to circumstances beyond their conttol.

  93. Turns out that my husband and I are not the only victims of the ongoing battle with the mortgage company for MHA modification. For the past year and a half, we have fallen behind on our mortgage numerous times and then tried for the MHA modification. Each of the 4 times that we’ve tried in the past BOA has told us that there was missing/incomplete information and to provide that for their review in turn, we would receive a letter of denial dated with the same date in which a phone conversation took place about the missing/incomplete information. We have even fallen victim to the scam of a legal firm promising that they could get us a reduced payment with reduced interest rate. All we had to do was file the paperwork with them and pay them 3 monthly installments of $900/mo. To n o avail this did not even get us the results that we were hoping for. I have all the documentation from each time that we’ve tried and along with that email threads to prove what had been requested was indeed sent over. Heck, at one point we had even contacted the Attorney General and the Office of the Comptroller to inform them of what BOA was pulling on us. Unfortunately, they went with BOA on the whole idea of “lack of information.”
    It’s been very frustrating and it sure would be nice if something would work out to our benefit of not losing our home.

  94. […] and if you’re not good at paperwork, you may just want to take a pass on the whole process. You can find any number of people who can tell you about the frustrating experience of trying to pro…. Everyone that I know who has been rewarded with a meaningful modification has been extremely […]

  95. Well we are on the program but the problem I’m having is I choose automatic payments because they recommend that , the funny part is they don’t took the payment.I call them to see what happen and they say they don’t have it on the system I call them 3 times before to make sure because I want to follow the policy and they don’t take the payment ,when they did it they did it for the regular amount , now I’m late on my payment and the payment is way more that the one on the trial period I just did what they told me to do but they don’t do what they say when I told the guy I need a prove o a letter because was they mistake they hang up on me and never call me back. its anything I can do about it ?? because I can guarantee at the end of the trial they will say was my fault .

  96. […] and if you’re not good at paperwork, you may just want to take a pass on the whole process. You can find any number of people who can tell you about the frustrating experience of trying to pro…. Everyone that I know who has been rewarded with a meaningful modification has been extremely […]

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  98. I have applied for NJ home keeper program, and as of today they are still telling me they are waiting for the papers from the bank in order to go to the underwriting to see if I can be approved for the program. I called the bank and they are telling me that I was actually approved in the program 3 days ago. Can this be correct? The bank think I am approved, but the NJ home keeper program processor doesn’t know about it?

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  100. I am going through this with BOA. They are crooks. I feel like my home is being taken. I’ve prayed for God to take my life, not my home. BOA needs to be seriously investigated for misuse of government finances. How do they get away with this? I received a letter stating my house is going up for auction. I’m in review for modification. I was told by BOA today, I qualify for MHA. I really don’t know what the future holds with us keeping our home. What I do know is BOA is contributing to mental breakdown. Why can’t the government shut them down? They are the crooks who put me in this sketchy loan in the first place! I was a first time home buyer with good credit. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. My job took a tank in 09, I bought the house in 06. I’ve been paying interest only payment since 06 -14. They made hella money so far! I pray that justice is served.

  101. We qualified for this got the reduced rates payments then get ready to do our taxes and found out the reduced 33,000.00 that we got reduced was counted as an income we got which is almost more then we make a year! Has anyone else gotten this also?

  102. Bank of America recently approved a capitalization modification. They said we did not qualify for HAMP as they only factored our income to the ONLY debts as mortgage, taxes, HOA. No bills. No food. No fuel. Nothing more was factored. This seems against government guidelines. I will be calling, writing the Attorney General. Then President Obama.

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  105. My husband passed in 2009, we had just finished declaring bankruptcy (whew). When his funeral bill came, that wiped out our entire life insurance policy on him.

    I got a settlement from a car accident and was paying on a first and 2nd mortgage. Unbeknownst to me… bankruptcy ALSO cleared my 2nd mortgage even though we had reaffirmed. So I was paying an extra $350/mo that I could’ve put in the bank.

    Then in 2012, after not being able to afford the mortgage and trying to get the ARM loan modified, they filed for foreclosure. I got a wonderful atty for $1500 the same day I was laid off from my job in June 2012.

    The foreclosure went on thru December when during a mediation Wells Fargo (WF) decided to modify my loan. My payment was $834/mo pre-forclosure without an escrow and now its $900 with an escrow. The actual mortgage payment went down to $550 or so.

    In 1/2013 I received my statement showing that $10272.59 of a $30817.76 has been forgiven after making one year of successful on time payments…with that $30k being divided up into 1/3’s for 3 years to be forgiven… this is a Federal guideline. Now, in filing taxes for 2013 they sent me a 1099-C which is for the forgiven amount, except its for $25270.57.

    I call WF to ask what its for and of the 19 people that I talked to this past month, (I was transferred to their bankruptcy dept 3 x’s even tho I’m not in bankruptcy anymore, and at least 4 supervisors and even 1 supervisor of a supervisor!) not one of them could tell me. All they would say was whats on their screen (DUH!). Not a single person could break this humongous amount down as to what it specifically was for.

    And if you don’t know what the tax repercussions are of a 1099-C… You have to add that to your income on your taxes.

    However, I also found out that the $10k is exempt from that under the HAMP program, but I don’t know what the other $15k is for and WF either can’t/won’t tell me.

    Yes I could file exempt but to do that you have to itemize your entire household items, your 401k, or other investments, your clothes, furniture, etc…. who’s got time to figure out what all that stuff is worth/costs when you have young children and a life?

    You would think the easy way would to call the creditor…right? NOT!.
    You would think a big conglomerate such as WF would have the technical ability to find this out with a few punches of a button. NOT!

    Time to write my congressman, and maybe, perhaps, the segment on the news that rights some wrongs in their community…. in the meantime… use the money that you’re paying the mtg company for other things… go into foreclosure… get mediation… it works when its THEM coming to YOU. They don’t want another empty house to deal with.

  106. Kerry 26 February 2014 at 9am

    I too realized that this is additional income, however, if it was thru HAMP , is not. However, it is supposed to be split up into 3 equal segments over a 3 year period.

    and YES – someone else asked “does the bank get money from the government for doing HAMP loan Mods… – Yes.

    At IRS.gov this is what it says (http://www.irs.gov/uac/Principal-Reduction-Alternative-Under-the-Home-Affordable-Modification-Program):

    In connection with every HAMP modification of a loan that is not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, to encourage participation in HAMP, the government provides incentives to the investor (that is, the holder of the loan), to the homeowner, and to the servicer. If a HAMP modification of such a mortgage loan includes a PRA principal reduction, the government makes additional incentive payments over three years to the investor. (These additional incentives are called “PRA investor incentive payments.”) The size of the PRA investor incentive payments depends not only on the amount of principal reduced but also on the loan-to-value ratio and the loan’s payment history before the HAMP modification. The PRA investor incentive payments range from 6% to 21% of the principal amount reduced.

  107. My husband & I were given a 1 yr modification which then magically “expired” & our mortgage went up. We did everything we could to save our home, working 7 days a week in various jobs to selling things in the house to borrowing money from friends & family, I even thought about selling my plasma at one point. Right now we are in limbo sort of, my husband alone is filing chapter 7 & we are facing foreclosure but I am trying a last ditch effort to save the home by placing it online & asking for donations, right now we are behind 3 months but both of us are unemployed, the only way to totally save it is to pay off the mortgage. We were so screwed by this bank it’s not even funny, that along with medical bills our only home, our 8 yr old son’s only home, will be yanked out from under us. This bank, or the auto dealer they work with, also forged my signature as a co-signer on a loan application for our car & came after me for the payments, took $4k out of my personal bank account with just my name on it to initiate the loan modification, as well as freezing my husband’s salary as he used to work for them-8 yrs of a frozen salary with a so called promotion they never gave him a raise for, they repossessed our car 20 days after the car payment was made & then wanted over $3k to get it back-woke up to go get my son from school & the car was gone…the list goes on. They have caused me to have major trust issues with any bank or anything financial related. I tell a lot of people to not play the victim in life but we really got taken by this bank & our only way to get it back now is by asking for help from everyone. I have posted my house’s website on twitter, facebook, local newspapers & anywhere I can looking for help from anyone. If enough people are reached & donate just $10 each we might be able to try & save our home…….http://www.gofundme.com/7o9vuw

  108. Making home affordable is a joke, a curse to have to deal with, and seems like a sure way to lose your home, especially if your dealing with Green Tree Servicing. Is there any help out there? Really?

  109. I’ve been dealing with this nightmare for two years. It started with BOA. You all know the routine. Months and months of them asking for this form and that form. Oops, this one needs to be redone. Oops, that information has aged out, please submit them again. I’m always the one making the phone calls and keeping the process moving. Finally, I’m told everything is in order and your case is under review!! A month and a half later, after a dozen more calls and being assured that I just have to be patient, someone tells me that my case was closed a month ago. No notice. No reason given. You have to start over. Without any other options, I did. Same routine. Four more months go by and guess what? My mortgage has been sold to Nationstar. Don’t worry, we’ll transfer your case files. Nationstar laughed at that and said I had best start over again. Round three. More of the same.The sheriffs sale is scheduled. I look for a new place and sign a lease. Two weeks before the sale, I get a call saying hooray! you’ve been approved for a loan mod!! A week later the sheriffs sale is postponed because its November, they won’t be able to sell the house in the winter months and they’d just as soon have me pay the utility bills. Now they have the house up for auction before the judge has signed off on the sale. In other words, they’re selling the house before its officially theirs. Ironic after two years of them whining to me about that comma being outta place was cause for the whole process being put on hold.
    My interest rate was 2 points higher than the going rate. They could have given me relief the week I called with trouble. The house will sell at auction for a fraction of its value. The bank could have reduced my principle for half of that amount and I could have made it work. We all would have been better off.
    Anyway, I am convinced that systems like this don’t function the way they do out of chance or incompetence. This system functions exactly as it was designed to function. Its goal is not to help the homeowner. They want to appear as if they’re doing something but they want these houses in foreclosure. I would guess that the government is also funneling the mortgage companies alot of money to “manage” these bogus programs.

  110. I was denied a loan mod from Chase. They said I ciuld not afford the property. Duh !! I thought the program was named Making homes affordable. Wake up america these lenders do not want to keep us in these homes. They drag out the loan mod process until you are so far behind and you have no other choice but to go into foreclosure or do a short sale. Stealing your property and ruining your credit. Everytime you miss a payment that is negative on your credit. When you do a short sale that impacts your credit in a negative manner. So what difference to it make? Save your money, let them foreclose and get another place to live. Your credit suffers anyway. Do not file bankruptucy to save your home. Then you are assured of a harder time to get a place to live. These lenders dont care.

  111. I am in the lumber business Oregon and my wife working education for 21 years it was disabled 2010. During the two-year Social Security disability process our story was like many others. We’ve been in our home just the day after our marriage 36 years ago. We missed many payments. Long story short we applied for the modification through Chase Bank, the process was not lengthy but it was meticulous. They to promised us basically an approval that we would most likely be approved for many of the programs and we could choose which was best for us. Got my letter in the mail today. DECLINED! They claim we don’t have enough income to cover her expenses, however, we are below the 31% debt ratio and with my wife Social Security and her retirement added on to income today we are making more money than we were when we obtain the original refi so eight years ago. This makes no sense. They have our home up for sale 10 days from today. What do we do? In shock! I didn’t even see this coming… Not for what the customer service and intake people told me. I thought I was doing the right thing. Can anyone help me?

  112. I was with Countrywide first then Bank of America. I was only one payment behind but it took 3 years and several packages that seem to be lost or faxes never received. There were other excuses like, we were moving offices, new people, new extension and no return phone calls. I used a Fannie Mae agency to help me .But, it made no difference. I would of paid if my mortgage was modified correctly. Because it took three years of shuffling me around and everything and even when I complained to the Banking commission it made no difference. I ended up paying about 1400 a month instead of 1000. and of course that resulted in me not being able to keep my payments up. right now, I have a free attorney and is taking another 2 years again to get modified and the first offer was like 1700. It’s like they are setting you up for failure. Now, I know why they get paid to approve Making Home Affordable. So they’ll get the money plus the house and it makes sense now. They act like they’re doing you a favor when you’re living in the house and not paying while you wait for an answer but, they know they get the last laugh.

  113. I hired a attourney to help me with chase mortgage chase sent me a loan modification that doubled my payment so this has been going on since October of 2013 I have done everything asked of me by my attourney emery law , I got a letter from another lawyer stating my home is being sold on May 8 2014 I sent this letter to my lawyer and they tell me don’t worry about it well here I am 2 weeks away from my home being sold and getting told don’t worry lol $3000 gone for lawyer fees chase gets there house back 100% profit when sold the American dream is gone it’s not right what’s happened to my family I hope they all sleep well at night

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  115. My advice is to not hire an attorney. If the lender wants the property they can say no dice and all attorneys fees are gone down the drain. The lender has to approve everything. So they have the upper hand. Chase are crooks. They denied me a loan modification after my income dropped 8k a year. One thing Chase did do, The represenitive I spoke with has family ties. She referred me to the Floridas Hardest hit program, where they are supose to bring my loan current and give me temporary mortage assistance. Its a lot of paperwork and scrutiny, but, it might help. The goverment allocated billions of dollars for the hardest hit states. Check and see if there is a Hardest Hit Fund in your state. These lenders do not want to keepus in these homes. Good Luck to everyone who has had their house taken or in the process of being taken. God is not sleep. These banks have a date with destiny.

  116. hello my name is david and me and my wife where vistim of fraud by individual posing as agent from making home affordable back in Nov 2013 we made what we thought was and agreement to modifiy our mortgage which was was being schedule for foreclosure in March 4,2014 prior to this we where sent all the document to sign and have notorize aand sent back with a payment of $1618.00 the amount of the back payment and a schedule payment workout of three payment stsrting in Jan 1,2014 thru March 1,2014 as it stand now our home was foreclosed on and and the gentlemen that biddded was ALAN CRAMER INVESMENT .Now we are faced with being evicted from our home because of this fraud and the bank COMMUNITY BANK OF TEXAS WAS UN WILLING TO REFINANCE OR MODIFY THE LOAN we also had a second loan with SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION that community bank never notified about the foreclosure we due in court to try and save our home .If anyone know of any agency that can help us in our time of need we would be so greatful thank you and god bless you all

  117.  

    In the state of Wisconsin and most areas around the country, lenders and mortgage holders are using the HAMP program to lead borrowers on.  This program was designed to help people to stay in their homes, and when looked into more in depth, you find lenders using the program to profit, leading borrowers on, and to force people into foreclosures. 

     

    My subprime mortgage has been sold to the 3rd lender since it was opened in 2007.  My ex-husband is the secondary borrower on my loan and has made the road to getting my mortgage on the track very difficult. 

     

    In 2009, my ex-husband and I separated.  He left the home in a disgraceful state, and also in foreclosure status.  I was working overseas in support of the US Armed forces in Iraq.  My lender at that time was First Franklin Loan Services.  They said they would work with me, but after several failed attempts to cure the default on my loan over the course of several months (from April 2009- August 2010) which included missing deadlines due to my location and document turn in requirements, the lender requiring the documents be mailed in within 10 days (which it would take me 10 days just to get the paperwork while I was in Iraq), them holding my payments for upwards of 20 days and stating that because the payment was not credited by the date that my repayment agreement was voided and I would have to start the process over, I finally started to deal exclusively with the attorney’s office in charge of my loan. 

     

    I was able to get the correct payoff amount for the foreclosure to be taken off my loan and sent a certified bank check to the lawyer for the mortgage company in an amount of over 15000.00!  I received confirmation of receipt, and then received a letter stating my loan was to be further serviced by Bank of America.  I immediately contacted Bank of America and informed them that I was not living at the home due to me working overseas (at this time I was in Bagram, Afghanistan).  I had expressed my concern over communications and was told by the customer service representative that I would be able to receive all communications through email from that point forward as well as through USPS at my home.

     

     I sent in my first payment and expected everything to be handled smoothly. My cousin who was staying my home while I was away, shortly thereafter contacted me and said that my payment had been returned to my home.  I contacted Bank of America about this and was told that my home loan was coded with a foreclosure status.  In looking, when the loan was transferred, First Franklin never removed the foreclosure status.  Bank of America was still under the impression that I owed over 15000.00 in payments.  When we discussed this and I was able to provide them with proof that the payment was made they removed the code. 

     

     I was making my payments on time for the next 4 months when my cousin, contacted me again and told me she had a letter from Bank of America stating that my payments were behind and foreclosure was going to be started.  When I was able to finally reach BOA about this issue, I was told that my mortgage now had an escrow account because of the foreclosure status that was on my account when they received the account.  I questioned why that was when the foreclosure had been cured months prior, when I already paid my insurance and taxes from my own pocket.  They could give me no other reason than the code had prompted the system to add the escrow account and that is where my new default was.  The escrow account had been being unpaid for 3 months and racking up fees because no notification was given to me that the escrow account was added.  The woman I had spoken to about the foreclosure code had asked me if I wanted to set up an escrow account I stated NO because I paid the taxes and insurance on my own each year.  She assured me to deny the escrow.  When I demanded the escrow account be removed because 1) I was never notified of the change to my loan, 2) I had already paid my insurance and was about to pay my taxes out of my own pocket, and 3) I denied to have the escrow account added in the first place; I was told that the escrow account was now mandated due to the account being in a default status.  I then proceeded to tell BOA that it was their fault I was in default for not notifying me.  They still added the escrow without my consent or approval. 

     

    The next time I had a problem with BOA was when I returned from working overseas and took an income loss of almost 100,000.00.  I approached BOA about refinancing my loan.  Because my ex was still on the note, I was denied a refinance, denied the opportunity to sell the home in a sale or a short sale, and the terms of my loan did not allow me to assume the loan. In speaking to the loss prevention department I was assured that with my quit claim deed, divorce papers, and my signature I would be able to relinquish my home to BOA with no ramifications to me as my ex-husband was extremely uncooperative and refused to sign any paperwork.  I was told to stop making my payments and within 90 days my home would be through the deed in lieu process.  I was also told it would be ok to end my homeowners insurance.  At about day 75 I called to get an update on my deed in lieu status and was told that I was rejected for deed in lieu without my ex-husbands signature.  I at this point had not spoken to my ex in almost 2 years.  Had no clue how to reach him other than through an old email.  I asked if the bank was able to assist me in locating him and sending him the paperwork and was told that the bank was not authorized to do that.  I chanced sending an email to my ex (who was abusive) to ask him to contact the bank.  The response I received was, “You are a big girl, you wanted the house in the F—n divorce, now you f—–n deal with it!”  I relayed this message to the bank and was told they were sorry but without his signature they would not be able to help me. 

     

    I chose to let the house go into foreclosure.  The projected length of time to complete a foreclosure in Wisconsin at the time was 10 months.  This was in October 2011.  During this time I received notices of hearings, which I was unable to attend due to not living in the state and not having enough income to be at the hearings.  These notices also had my ex-husbands name on them.  He was never properly notified because BOA would not add an address to the account to notify him at his own address.  I again returned overseas to work, and at that time, June 2012, I was now 10 months behind on payments, and they had added a lender placed policy that jumped my payment up to 1600.00/month.  They would not accept a payment arrangement that I could afford, and since the loan was behind would not accept any payments unless it was for the full amount due.  While working in Afghanistan again, I was attempted to communicate my desire to repair my loan and bring it to good standing, attempted to make arrangements with the mortgage company, was denied for the HAMP program because on a temporary contract job I made too much money, yet when I returned home did not make enough, and each time they sent me the application, my ex-husband was on all the documents and each time I filled them all out and turned them in I was denied (I believe the total number of times I applied for HAMP was almost 8 times). 

     

    In June 2013, I was scheduled for a final hearing for my foreclosure with Bank of America.  This nightmare was going to come to an end.  No more dealing with my abusive ex-husband, no more dealing with creditor calls, no more reporting to the credit bureau and destroying my credit right? No.  Bank of America sold my loan to Nationstar Mortgage, in foreclosure status, with a past due balance of over 30,000.00! 

     

    Nationstar Mortgage started off being very sympathetic and what appeared to be very confused as to how they ended up with my loan.  In my history with Nationstar, I have explained what happened.  I was offered a deed in lieu as I was with BOA.  I turned in my documentation, and after all this time of no contact from my ex-husband other than him telling me to deal with the “f—n house my f—-n self” Nationstar contacted him to get his approval about the deed in lieu.  My ex denied approval for the deed in lieu.  When I was contacted by Nationstar representatives, they seemed very concerned and wanted to help.  They assured me that with my quit claim deed and copies of my divorce papers they would be able to submit an application to the HAMP program.  I started submitting the documents in October 2013.  I was asked to resubmit the documents multiple times for multiple reasons (they were not sufficient, they were expired, they needed more information, it was not the right document, they sent me the wrong form, etc. etc.).  In March 2014, finally there was some headway!  I had been approved for the modification!

     

    My dedicated loan specialist was calling me to tell me that the mod had been approved and that I should be receiving a packet in the mail within 2 weeks explaining the details.  About one week later, a new loan specialist called me and wanted me to submit a payment to him over the phone.  According to the first loan specialist I spoke with, my payment was not due until 1 May 2014.  I was waiting for the paperwork to ensure that the new terms would be agreeable and that I would not be entering into an agreement that would set me up for a future failure. 

     

    This loan specialist called once a week for the next three weeks suggesting I make a payment of over 1000.00 for my first month of my trial modification.  Once I received my documents in the mail, the next time he called, I asked for a truth in lending document to show me the terms of the modification.  I was told that there was no Truth in lending documents for a modification, but told that my payments would be significantly cut and given the figures.  I thought about this for the next few weeks.  On April 28, 2014, I called to make my payment to secure my trial period and my modification (which needed to be made by May 1 remember…) and was told that I had no approved modification.  The underwriter had written in that my house was vacant, with no intentions of leasing it, and that it was marked as condemned by the mortgage loss department inspector and so my modification was rejected, and they refused to take my payment for my trial period.  I argued with them, and was told my only recourse after all this time and energy and work to get this far was to write an appeal and USPS mail it to them and wait for a response. 

     

    My loan as of this date is currently over 60,000.00 past due, it has been more than three years, and I still have no resolve, no cooperation from the lender, and my personal finances and credit history have been destroyed! No private lawyers will assist in this matter as the big lenders have a budget more than my annual income to provide for lawyers to defend them against their unsavory tactics and lies.  I was a willing homeowner who wanted to pay the mortgage and keep my home.  After all the thousands of dollars I have paid out to these companies to try and work through these issues, and honesty I have given them, I am nothing more than a number for them to get more money.  I have read through several posts, blogs, and rip off reports that this is an all too common practice for these lenders.  They keep applying borrowers to these programs and get paid for every application they submit.  I know they have profited by at least what I owe as back payments on my loan by as many times as I have been submitted to these programs.  This is drastically still affecting the housing market, and pushing good people to lose their homes.  Something needs to be done about this.  People need to band together to press this issue through the justice system and stop being bullied and taken advantage of and losing their entire livelihoods from these practices. 

    I know I can not be the only one who is in this situation. 

     

  118. I have filed a modification with wells fargo mortgage and will begin my trial 3 month mortgage note pay next month in june. What chance do I have after reading all this do I have keeping my home or being accepted for the modification they tell us is government backed? So like everyone we feel free of scams? What will happen to me? Does anyone have or used wells fargo mortgage company? Help please!

  119. You really have no chance of modifying your loan yourself. They will loose paperwork all the time, switch the person you are assigned to or he/she never calls you back or try an extend these so-called trial payments which only get you behind in your mortgage.

    From what my experience was and from what I’ve read, the mrtg co will only pay attention to you when you stop paying them altogether.

    I suggest you let them take you to foreclosure court. They are required to mediate with you before a final decision – at least where I live. They offered me a modification and I had just lost my job…go figure.

    I also found out that federal regulations require them to forgive a portion of your loan so that you are not underwater. If your loan is not underwater, then I would not advise you to quit making payments.

    Yes not making payments will mess up your credit score but personally I’d rather have a place to live. My payment went down from $865 to $552/mo.

    Read up on Making Home Affordable and about the HAMP loan program online with those titles. Also check the IRS website for other information.

    Look me up on Facebook if you need more information in where to find these websites or for more help.

    Angel Theus Ms Lady A

    PS: do NOT PAY anyone who says they can help you do this. Even tho the big five banks were in a class action against them and had to pay $74mil in settlement duels to these awful customer service tactics… The customer service tactics are still being used. The cust svs ppl are being told by their super’s to string you along any way they can

  120. your blog is very informative, All you have told is nice & these steps must be followed before buying a property as it is investment of one long tern earned income that he saved. so it is his responsibility to invest it accordingly. Get its inspection with electric fittings, surrounding areas, medical health support nearby, employment etc. Taking loan from bank check their documentation, agreements, formalities, lien etc.

  121. This program is a joke, after over 1year of going back and forth with the bank, doing everything the asked and said multiple times, we ended losing our home and selling it on a short sale. GOOD LUCK!

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  126. Twice i have applied for a loan mod with PNC Mortgage. The 1st time my interest rate was reduced 1.5% but my monthly payment increased about $100.00. I used a real estate lawyer but could not affird the fees everytime PNC requested the same documents over and over i finally relented and accepted their terms.
    The 2nd time i used a ome Affordable reccommended lawyer-Butler and Assoc. locally. All they did was waste my time submitting the same documents over and over. Then one day i get a call saying they have been trying to reach me for documents overdue and they have been trying to reach me. A lie because there are no phone records of them calling me except for the day after the due date. I started all over again n submitted to Butler and Assoc. a new set of documents

  127. Its sad, but these lenders are not trying to help the homeowner. People do fall on hard times. I have heard of some folks loosing their homes after 20 years or more. Thats ridiculous. The goverment is sitting around letting these lenders do as they please, why still funneling them money. I have had trouble with my lender not giving me a loan mod. If I default again, when I hope dont happen. I will certainly walk away, since these lenders refuse to help, its the only alternative. Giving these greedy b******* back their property and sleep at night.

  128. We have had ALL of these things & more happen to us during the past year if our modification prices and we still don’t have an answer.

    What can we do? Can an attorney file a suit?

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  139. My husband and I did a home modification and were approved. However, just when we thought all was fine and after paying for notary service and photo copies, we had to do it all over again because the employee at BOA failed to give correct instructions.
    We are now being asked to do it all over again for a third time, or face having our mortgage go back up prior modification approval. This time we are going directly into a BOA branch and won’t leave until everything signed has been confirmed and verified to be correct.
    For the record, BOA bought our mortgage shortly after we closed on our new home. BOA raised our monthly payment, stating reasons our property taxes had gone up, which was not true.

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