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!


  1. My name is Matt and I am a producer for Bill Gephardt. I searched our email system and I do not see an email from you. And this blog does not list contact info for you.

    Please call me (801) 839-1301 or email me directly at

  2. Before I get into HASP, the reason ALL Mortgage companies are taking SO LONG to process loans now-a-days is because most of these companies have had Massive layoffs over the past two years. Now with a Refinance Boom, Mortgage Companies do not have the manpower to keep up with the Volume, especially with HASP, where you don't have an option to go with another lender then your current Mortgage Servicer. So, many loans are out of compliance before they reach Processing, and when expired, you need to start all over. :(

    Mortgage Employees are so overworked, it's not funny. Why I know all this. Because I work for a Mortgage Company.

    On HASP.

    Here's the thing you need to know about these loans.
    This loan program benefits the Borrowers in the long run. For example, if you lower your mortgage payment by $500.00 a month (which would be a lot) then you'd save $180,000 in payments on a 30 year loan.

    But, this loan Benefits the Mortgages companies upfront. Despite them losing millions long term by refinancing so many of these loans, in the short term, like immediately when you close, Mortgage companies are collecting closing costs, and much of it from Borrowers buying down the rate. And, in most cases, closing cost can be from $2,500 to $10,000 dollars depending on your situation.

    DO THE MATH: HASP will not benefit everyone.

    It's easy to figure out. Take the amount of money you are saving it each month and times it by the months/years you have to repay that loan and subtract it from your closing costs.

    Example: You save $100.00 per month
    $100 x 12 mos =$1,200. $1,200 x 30 yrs = $36,00.
    $36,000 - $10,000(closing costs = $26,000 in savings.

    This is moderate savings over 30 years, and if you are breaking the bank by shelling out this money, this loan is not for you.

    The lower your monthly payment drops, the better a deal this HASP loan is.

    Hey, don't think our savy goverment put these loans out to just help the innocent homeowner. Bull!! It's making the Mortgage companies millions today, helping them get out of the home.

    Many people walk away at the table once they realize the huge out of pocket/up front cost they need to shell out, in which case, many people don't have.
    So, don't go investing all your time filling out paperwork for a loan that doesn't benefit you.
    Be smart, do the math, and ask some questions.

    Why are closing costs so high?

    It varies.

    Most people refinancing, if over 80-85% CLTV are required to Escrow. So, even if you weren't escrowing your taxes and homeowners insurance before, you may be required to now. And, if your taxes and/or insurance or do w/in the next 60 days, you'll probably be paying that upfront. More money out of your pocket.

    There's some bullshit about $2,500 of government assistance with your closing costs.
    Well, this ploy only lowers your closings costs by $2,500 - which helps in most cases. But, they are not giving you $2,500 - it's just being rolled into your mortgage payment.

    Don't get me wrong, the HASP loan can benefit you, despite from what I'm saying here.
    Just be smart and do the math.

    This is a new program, and Loan Agents probably haven't been trained enough to really know what the up from closing costs are actually going to be, unless their very good at their job. So, don't be suprised when after you spent weeks filling out paperwork, sending in items to the Mortgage company to process your loan just to find out the closint costs are higher then what was disclosed to you.

    This is inside information people, I am not talking out of my ass.

    Now, it's up to you to decide if this works for you.