A familiar story, one that seems to hold a common theme. This one is told by a woman who lives here in Michigan.
In November 2008 we called our mortgage company (at that time it was Countrywide) requesting a modification of our loan. We really just wanted a lower interest rate as ours was 10.99% but we weren’t opposed to them lowering the principal of our now underwater mortgage either. But we weren’t asking for anything more than the lower interest rate. They told us at the time we needed to be at least 2 payments behind to be considered for the modification. So we allowed ourselves to become 2 payments delinquent and got the ball rolling. We submitted the novels worth of paperwork the requested and were told it would take about 60 days for an answer. We waited the 60 days plus another 30 and still hadn’t heard anything. So I called the bank, which by this time was Bank of America as the whole Countrywide being bought by them fiasco had taken place. And was told that we were still in review and a negotiator would be in touch with me within 2 to 4 weeks. This went on for several months. During this time I started getting letters from the collections side of the bank stating if I didn’t pay my delinquent payments our house would go into foreclosure. Problem was I had been paying all along, but while your in the modification process they don’t report the payments, they hold them in some kind of limbo forever. But when I would call the modification department they would tell me not to worry about it since we were still in review we were protected and no we weren’t slated for foreclosure, but yes we were still in review and oh could we send the same 60 pages of info we had already sent in. This cycle repeated over and over again for the next 18 months, including the collection letters and even letters of impending sherrifs sale. Until I got fed up and hired an attorney.
It was amazing I hired an attorney and in less than 1 week I had a modification package in my hand. I never did talk to a negotiator, but they did modify our existing loan. Here’s where it gets really fun. The modification wasn’t super to begin with but we took it because it kept us in our house. The claimed we never paid during the almost 2 years it took to modify so they tacked all those payments on the back of my mortgage and then were kind enough to drop my interest rate. So we signed the packet, notarized it and I made sure it was received by sending it signature only. 2 weeks later I made the first payment at the new rate, this was in April of 2010.
I thought everything was back on track, until 2 months later I was on vacation and get a call on my cell phone from none other than BofA’s collections asking me why I’m delinquent on my account and telling me I’m in foreclosure. I needless to say went little crazy and cussed the barely English speaking lady out telling her I had been modified and have been paying my bill someone around there needs to do their damn job and leave me the eff alone. I hung up on her since she just kept asking why I was behind and when I could make a payment, and called customer service where I was told oh no maam your paperwork is here it’s just not been updated throughout the system that’s why their still calling. This went on for another 2 months and finally I got loss mitigation involved and was able to get one phone number that directed me to the same person everytime.
This should have led to an immediate resolution but it didn’t. After accepting 3 payments under the terms of the modification they were trying to tell us that the investors had rejected the modification. I basically told the guy after I submitted yet one more round of paperwork he better get it all straightened out before the week was out because even though I was no banker or law major even I knew they were breaking a contract. I also bluffed the hell out of him, up until that point everyone I had talked to outside of collections had repeatedly assured me that everything was fine, all our paperwork was in order it was just a matter of their system not being updated. So I told this guy I had recorded every single conversation I had with every person I had spoken to at that company and if they tried to screw with me he and I both knew in the end I would win. He actually said uh oh when I told him I had recordings. In less than 24 hours after that conversation he came back saying that the modification was good but I had to have an escrow account which put the payment right back where it was before this whole thing started. Not to mention on top of all the stress, and heartache those bastards still put a foreclosure on my husbands credit. How does that even work? We still live here, yet it shows the house was foreclosed, and there’s nothing we can do to get that off.
So this past April we decided we were done being a slave to BofA when a better opportunity presented itself, so we stopped paying them and started the short sale process. We sign the papers for the new buyers on the 6th, part of me is sad this was our first house together, where our kids were born, etc. but another part of me is just relieved to be out from under it. We owe triple what it’s worth and eventually the stress it was causing may very well have broke us.