The looming threat of foreclosure makes some homeowners easy targets for scammers who make hollow promises to help them keep their homes and lower their mortgages — all for a price. A U.S. District Court has pulled the emergency brake on a California-based operation alleged to be selling pricey “forensic audits” intended to provide relief, but which only pile on more troubles for consumers. [More]
While a lot of focus has been put on scammers who trick homeowners into costly schemes by promising to reduce their mortgage payments, people are also being taken in by bogus businesses that claim to help with auto loans. [More]
We’ve written these words too many times to count, but they obviously merit repeating once more: “Never co-sign a loan unless you are prepared and willing to pay back the entire thing — plus interest and penalties — if the other person defaults.” It’s a lesson a New Jersey woman has spent the last four years learning, and who now faces foreclosure because her dead brother was taken by scammers. [More]
Yesterday, the Treasury Department released a scorecard of just how well (and poorly) the largest mortgage servicers are doing at meeting certain benchmarks of its Making Home Affordable program. Not surprisingly, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase — the three largest servicers — were called out for needing “substantial improvement,” meaning that the banks will not receive millions of dollars in federal incentives until they get their acts together. [More]
The folks at ProPublica recently looked into the all-too-common problem of homeowners who thought they had successfully run through the loan modification gauntlet only to later find out that their bank had no record of the reduction and their house was suddenly in foreclosure. [More]
Ever since Bank of America got greedy and gobbled up the greasy, calorie-filled platter that was Countrywide, it’s been dealing with the indigestion caused by that company’s oodles of toxic mortgages. Now, after losing the Worst Company In America title by less than 1% to BP, BofA has decided to do something more than pay lip service to its crappy state of affairs. The bank has announced it will open 28 new foreclosure prevention centers in 22 states between now and July. [More]
A week after Wells Fargo rejected a couple’s loan mod app and said it wouldn’t start foreclosure proceedings any sooner than 30 days later, a guy showed up on their steps. He said he was with an investment firm that had just bought the house at a real estate auction, and if they would leave within 2 weeks, he would give them $1,500. [More]
BofA has been Fedexing Eli a loan mod opportunity once every two months for the past eight months. He has no intention of doing a refi, he’s never been late on a payment and likes his 5/1 ARM and low interest late. Wonder how many other homeowners is BofA frittering away their bailout bucks on by FedExing junk mail. Meanwhile, the people who actually want loan mods are stuck in purgatory. [More]
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? [More]
There’s an interesting detail at the end of this New York Times article on borrowers who strategically default–that is, they choose to walk away from the home when its value is significantly less than the mortgage balance. It turns out that the homeowner mentioned at the start of the article applied last fall for a loan modification with Bank of America after his income level had dropped, and this was BofA’s response: “The lender came back a few weeks ago with a plan that added more restrictive terms while keeping the payments about the same. ‘That may have been the last straw,’ Mr. Koellmann said.” [More]
When MC lost his second job he had trouble affording his $3,000 mortgage payment. He called his mortgage holder, Flag Star Bank, asking for a break, but the bank told him there was nothing it could do for him unless he skipped payments and submitted a loan modification package.
KTLA says that five people have been charged with torture, robbery and false imprisonment after luring two loan modification agents to a location and then holding them for hours, beating and robbing them before one escaped.
Here’s an interesting discovery about mortgage defaults from the LA Times:
Yesterday, the New York Times wrote about a judge in Arizona who forced Wells Fargo to explain why it keeps stalling and being uncooperative with a customer who has been trying to get a loan modification request approved. Sadly, in the past week we’ve gotten two separate emails from homeowners who are also having trouble with getting banks to approve their requests for the government-sponsored loan modifications. “Who can we contact to complain?” asks one frustrated customer.
Many homeowners that couldn’t afford their home the first time around, can’t afford it the second or third, a new study finds. Fitch Ratings predicts that 55-65% of home loans getting modified will end up at least 60 days behind within a year. The percentage is even higher for those in subprimes…
Fewer than half of loan modifications made at the end of last year actually reduced borrowers’ payments by more than 10 percent… [while] nearly one in four loan modifications in the fourth quarter actually resulted in increased monthly payments.
Did Citi set up its “homeowner helper” site to comply with Obama’s mortgage assistance programs, but then not actually attach it to any humans that will help homeowners? After inputting his info on the site, Citi told reader CoarseLive to schedule an appointment with a representative. No one ever called him. When he tried calling Citi directly, multiple agents told him they had no idea what he was talking about, and they hung up on him, again and again. His story, inside…