Jim and Susan’s mortgage is underwater by $160,000. They want to live up to their obligations, they want to keep their home, but they can’t do it with a $370,000 mortgage on a house that’s only worth $210,000. An attorney told them to send some “jingle mail,” just pop the house keys in an envelope, mail it to the bank, and move away. What they really want is a modification so they can stay in their house, but Bank of America has been jerking them around and they don’t have faith that this last hurdle will actually get them a mod. Isn’t there a decision-making human at BofA that can finalize this deal for them?
Susan writes: “My husband and I both lost our jobs in December of 2008. We were able to keep paying our mortgage with Bank of American, Countrywide, until April 2009. I immediately started working on a modification. In April, BOA said we were approved of a modification and we should receive the documents by FEDEX any day. We kept waiting and waiting and then, literally, in July, we called every week and they, out of the blue, told us we were denied. I can’t remember the reason why. They said we need to reapply. So we did and we again waited. In about August we were denied . We were both looking so hard for employment during this whole time and trying to keep everything afloat with just unemployment. We have gone through all of our savings and by October, only I had found employment and Jim was still looking.
The balance on our mortgage is about $370,000 and the value in 2009 dropped to about $210,000. We told this to a bankruptcy attorney and he said “dump the house, walk away. Its a bad investment, dump it”. This caused me to become very upset because, yes, it is a bad investment, but IT IS OUR HOME! We don’t want to lose it, we don’t want to have to move.
I called Bank of America and begged and pleaded for them to do something. They took all our financial information, again, and said we qualified for a modification and if we pay 3 modified payments, they would approve our modification. So we paid Oct. Nov and Dec payments, on time, exactly like they said. Beginning of January, we received a letter saying they were going to accelerate foreclosure! Jim called and we were told we were denied because we are behind more than $25,000 in payments. (Back in April, if we were approved of the modification, BOA would have made thousands in interest from our mortgage and we would not be in arrears by $25,000!) They said if we pay $2500 that would bring us under $25,000 in arrears and we need to REAPPLY and they will then do the modification.
So now, we are going to jump through this hoop, scrape together $2500, somehow, and reapply. BUT THIS IS WHERE WE ARE ASKING FOR YOUR HELP, PLEASE! Will this really be it? Will they really do the modification after we pay $2500? We are so desperate and scared about losing our house. We are both employed now – we can pay the modified mortgage payment but we are afraid they are going to string us along and we will lose our home. We need someone who can talk to someone at Bank of America who can make a decision and get something finalized. Representative Daley, can you do this? Please we really need help to save our home. We owe the debt, we know, and we are prepared to get back on track with our mortgage and start paying Bank of America back.
We all have heard that billions of dollars were given by the Obama administration to the banks for this exact purpose. What are they doing with this money?
Please help us, we will pay our debt, we just need someone in your position to get us to the right person to finanlize a modification. Thank you so much for reading this e-mail.
Jim and Susan”
If BofA won’t mod their mortgage, aren’t they really just daring Jim and Susan to strategically default?