I decided to share my letter here with you all:
Dear Mr. Gephardt,
You may not remember me, but we spoke on the phone several months ago about my mortgage company giving me the run-around on applying for the Making Home Affordable Plan mortgage modification, even though according to the government website, our family was very much qualified to do so.
Anyway, perhaps because of you, they finally let us do it, and we were approved for the trial plan not too long after you and I spoke. I wish I could say that was the end of the story, but it’s not. Far from it.
According to the way Obama’s HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Plan, or Making Home Affordable) works, once you’re approved for the trial plan, you make three trial payments on time, and then are set up (assuming you have met all obligations and criteria) for the permanent modification. We made five trial payments. During this time, even though all our payments were made as agreed and very much on time, Bank of America (our mortgage company) reported us late to the credit bureaus—this is also against HAMP guidelines when you’re making your payments as agreed under this government modification. When I caught this, they fixed it the first time.
Five trial payments and many, many phone calls later, we finally signed our permanent modification documents in the middle of December 2009. We were ecstatic. Finally, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. No more having to call them to fix our credit reports. No more getting statements from them in the mail saying we were delinquent, even though we were making our modified payments on time, no more dealing with lost paperwork, inaccurate information, or loan negotiators that weren’t very good at returning phone calls or even answering the simplest of questions. No more wondering how much longer we would make these so-called trial payments, or if we were going to have to suddenly leave our home with our children because of some error or decision made by the mortgage company.
Our permanent modification payments started February 1, 2010. We’ve made every one so far as laid out in the documents. We were told that it should all be put in the system in a matter of weeks. When that didn’t happen, we called and were told it would be about 30 days. At the end of that time we were told 60 days. At the end of that time we were told 90 days from the time we signed. You can see where I’m going with this, right? I continued to call and be put off. I demanded as courteously, but firmly, as I could to have some answers. I’m never given the same answers.
On my last call, I was told that while we’ve been improved on Bank of America’s side of things, our investor, Freddie Mac, has yet to approve us. It’s my understanding that they can’t even offer the permanent modification without investor approval to begin with. I’m so tired of this run-around. I want to feel secure in my own home. I want to know that if I plant my garden, I’ll be here to harvest it. I want to know that when I bring my baby home from the hospital, I’ll be coming to this home.
Our credit is being destroyed by this, too. They’ve started reporting us as delinquent to the credit bureaus again. I called them to fix it again. They sent a letter to me saying they would do so, but have not corrected it after more than a month later. According to their website, we’re over $12,000 delinquent, even though we’ve been making payments all this time. I fear that any day we’ll receive a notice of foreclosure and have no place to go because our credit has taken such a hit.
I’m exhausted from all of this. It’s a full time job on top of all my other things to do. Do you think you could help us get to the bottom of this? We would be forever grateful and in your debt if you would. You can read more about our situation on www.thejugglinghomemaker.com. I’ve outlined our ordeal on my blog for others going through the same thing—and believe me, there are many, many others. Also, if you want to know more about the program we’re under, you can go to www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.
I’m happy to help you help us in any way I can. Thank you so much for your time.
Anyway, I hope none of you give up out there. Stay strong and fight back! Best of luck to you!