This man sent me his story shortly after my story was published in the Farmington Hills Patch. It’s similarity to my story is eerie yet it happened across the country from me, in California. So eerily similar that I asked him if I could share his story with my readers.
September 2008, our family began to struggle to handle the interest only mortgage we had with Countrywide. Although we had yet to be late on any mortgage payment and had always paid in full, we began to be alert to ways of reducing our rate on our loan.
On the evening of November 20, 2008, we saw a live local news broadcast from the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency encouraging the public to attend a free mortgage refinance workshop where lenders such as Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo, Countrywide, Chase, IndyMac Bank, Bank of America, and Wachovia were on site providing “one-on-one” sessions with loan modification specialists to help struggling homeowners process loan modification applications. We quickly rushed down to Sacramento to attend the event.
Countrywide required a 3 month forbearance agreement be filled out. Within 2 weeks Countrywide sent a letter indicating they had modified our existing loan, reducing the rate to 4% with payments to begin March 2009. The letter further stated there was nothing we needed to do further to receive this rate. We began making payments as agreed on times starting March 2009.
The loan was sold to Bank of American May 2009; they suddenly started charging late fees pointing to the old 7.125% rate. We provided them paperwork and they later reversed the late fees. Bank of America then sold the servicing to Residential Credit Solutions (RCS) July 2009.
After making payments for 6 months on time at the new rate, RCS returned our August 2009 payment on 8/10/2009 along with a “Notice of Intent to Take Legal Action” dated 8/24/2009 demanding over 19,000 dollars in interest and late fees pointing to the OLD 7.125% interest rate.
We sent RCS the documents substantiating the agreement, but they would not acknowledge them saying Countrywide did not setup the loan correctly. RCS continued to foreclosure.
After spending over 34,000 in attorney fees, which are “non recoverable” in California, I finally ran out of money and ended up going Pro Per. I wrote my own complaint, summons, Ex Parte Application for TRO, Order to Show Cause, and Proposed Order submitting more than 300 pages of evidence of never being late. The bank’s attorney showed up to the hearing; it was a sweet victory to hear the judge sternly reprimand the banks actions and Grant the Enjoinment stopping the foreclosure until the case can be heard!
All enjoinments require bonds in the event the court was out of their mind and the defendants actually prove the enjoinment was not correct.
RCS remarkably tried to later argue by filing a Demurer stating I had not made payments for over 2 years and that we had made payments we had not, which caused me to file the First Amended Complaint referenced above adding an additional Cause of Action for an Accounting. I filed the amended complaint a few days before the demure hearing causing the court to cancel the defendants demure (another sweet victory J).
We have tried in SO MANY ways to work something out with RCS/FANNIE MAE, but I believe there is just too much money on the table to be made from FDIC Loss Share Agreement reimbursements that cause corrupt individuals at the top to turn away from actually granting a modification. That is why so many HAMP loans never really work.
I have learned SO MUCH from this experience. My attorney, who now resides in the background ($350.00 an hour) has written off many hours lately because I think he gets a kick out of a pro-per guy going in and knocking down bank attorney with evidence and subject matter. I tell him, this was as hard as my Master’s Degree Thesis and I really would rather he do this, but I really need to keep the money at this point.
I can easily provide all my evidence to anyone that might want it. However, it takes 4 separate emails split into 4 sections of Exhibits as there are over 300 pages.
We are appalled at what has happened to good people of America. The economic collapse can easily be attributed to corrupt individuals who have abused relaxed lending laws instantiated earlier this decade. We hope our story shows just how bad financial institutions have become. Currently Nevada’s Attorney General, Catherine Cortez Masto, has led an unbelievable fight against Bank of America (I have personally had to argue with B of A attorneys about our loan agreement). California Attorney General, Attorney General Harris, recently joined Catherine Cortez Masto to form a joint investigation alliance designed to assist homeowners who have been harmed by misconduct and fraud in the mortgage industry.
However, I think we need to make ourselves heard. I wish us the best.