Monday, June 1, 2009

You Can Kiss My HASP!!!

Today's title is directed at Countrywide/Bank of America. It's now been over two months since we applied. During that time, as you know, I've called them regularly to check on things, only to be told it's going to take longer. The kicker? They've deleted my application and I have to start all over. I'm beyond upset about this. I decided to take the advice of friends and family and send Bill Gephardt of 2News a letter.

Here it is:

Have you heard of the Making Home Affordable Plan AKA HASP? Well, when my husband's hours got cut, we lost at least $1,000 per month of our income. We started to struggle to make our payments, draining our savings, cutting our bills where we could and clipping coupons. With no end in site to our money situation I called our mortgage company (then Countrywide, but now Bank of America) to talk about what options were available to us in trying to keep our home. It was then they told us about MHA (HASP), and we applied for it over two months ago.

I sent them everything they requested and called regularly to check on the status. One person told me it would take 7-10 days for me to get a workout packet. When I didn't get one, I called back and was told I should hear something within 30 days. When I called back after that, I was told 40 days, then 50 days, then 60 days.

Each time I asked if they had everything they needed. Each time I was assured they did and that my application was still under review. When I called back on the 60 day mark, I was told I needed to start the process all over again. Why? I was told it’s because my information is now two months old and also I didn't qualify on my first application.

Why was this the first time I was hearing this, after two months of phone calls? I asked that and was told they didn't know why no one told me. When I asked what kept me from qualifying now for the application, when I'd been told by several other representatives there that everything looked fine, I was told it’s because I'm current on my mortgage.

I told them that the rules say that I don't have to be behind on my mortgage to qualify, just that I have to show that we are in danger of falling behind and defaulting, which is what we're trying to prevent. They said that was correct, I don't have to be behind to qualify, but I can't be current. What? How is that possible? I asked this, and they said that I'm not considered current if I haven't paid my bill the first day it becomes due, which is the first of each month.

This modification process takes 30-60 days, according to them, so it would be impossible for me to qualify if I don't fall behind. If I play their game, and fall behind on the slim chance that I may qualify, it ruins the only other option they're offering me: A 5/1 ARM refinance at 4.215%. You have to have good credit to qualify for the HASP refinance program.

We aren't thrilled about the ARM idea, as we feel this is what has gotten so many people in this mess in the first place, but we don't want to lose our home either. According to the Making Home Affordable website, we’re perfect candidates for this program. What’s the problem?

We have several friends and neighbors who have called about this program, only to be given the run-around. According to each of these situations and the information we've all been given individually, at least some of us should have been approved for this program. Some have been told they have to be behind to qualify, some are told they have to catch up to qualify. I've yet to meet a single person who has been approved for this program in my online searches. Instead, I'm finding so many others that are being jerked around in the same way we have been. Good and responsible people are losing their homes! There are numerous websites and forums set up because of this.

What kind of program is this that Obama has set up to help responsible homeowners who have been hurt by this bad economy? How is it going to help any of us if they banks won't let us do it? Please help us, Gephardt. A lot of family's homes are at stake.



I'll let you all know if I get anywhere with this route. If I don't, I'll look for another. I'm not going down without one heck of a fight. Wish me luck!