Consumerist’s Hero of the Weekend is attorney and writer Wajahat Ali, who fought an epic battle for a home loan modification against Wells Fargo and won. Eventually. It’s a well-written and terrifying look into the financial crisis, the state of America’s megabanks, and how homeowners in need seemingly stand no chance against the towering indifference, incompetence and confusion of those megabanks.
One would think a financial institution would consider [a loan modification] a viable and wise short term solution, considering the country is mired in one of the worst recessions in recent memory. However, wishful thinking is not one of the options on the bank’s automated phone service. One might also assume the banks operate purely out of greed and avarice—but if that were the case, they would simply take the short-term money from the clients instead of wasting resources on foreclosure costs, appraisals, and reselling a house that had been brutally reduced in value.
In fact, shockingly, the banks are mostly apathetic, confused, poorly informed, and poorly managed. The left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing. I imagine a giant warehouse where underlings paid minimum wage simply parrot a written script, crunching numbers in a giant database in which a thousand tubes and wires cross and intersect one another but ultimately lead nowhere.
Indeed, the difficulty of making a loan modification happen is why many homeowners strategically default. It’s easier.
Go read the article–it’s long, but funny and engaging and will make you want to stand outside your nearest Wells Fargo branch with a torch and a pitchfork.
Could It Be That the Best Chance to Save a Young Family From Foreclosure is a 28-Year-Old Pakistani American Playright-slash-Attorney who Learned Bankruptcy Law on the Internet? [McSweeney's] (Thanks, Kelly!)
Maybe Homeowners Wouldn’t Strategically Default If Lenders Cooperated
Will A Human At BofA Finally Please Modify My $160,000 Underwater Mortgage
Bank of America Screws Even Ex-Employees Of 21 Years On Mortgages