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Big bank former employees blow whistle on HAMP cheats

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Mortgage Professional America | 19 Jun 2013, 07:00 AM Agree 0
Former employees of a major lender have claimed the bank routinely stalled the application process for the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
  • John C Durham | | 19 Jun 2013, 10:33 AM Agree 0
    After 250 calls with a TBTF bank B of A, I thought they were fooling around. Then, after we had been paying the "new mortgage" lower amount on time every time, they sent the Foreclosure warning.

    At this point, when they had ruined our credit and reported us late paying the "original" mortgage note, we had no where to turn for refinancing. I had no money for an attorney.

    So, naturally I took them to ($20) small claims. That got me to THE LEGAL department. Then I got my first call.

    Their New York City law firm told me I was in the wrong court. I told them I knew and was counting on them taking me into the "right" court. (I couldn't afford to). But, I told them that I knew that they didn't have the note or an assigned note and couldn't put the original all back together and the people they sold it to didn't get their paperwork either. If they would just please put my suit into the correct court, I would move the Court to Clear my Title. They didn't move the case anywhere...

    In 30 days, they had fixed up all three credit reports and our FICO scores back to where they were (175 points higher). Sixty days later I had a new lower interest mortgage and $2000 for my trouble and all fees and charges gone.

    Yeah, I sure smell a rat every time I see their Logo...

  • Ronsflorida | | 19 Jun 2013, 10:36 AM Agree 0
    I can believe that! I have tried to assist many Sellers with the HAMP program and the Short Sale Process with B of A only to get royally ran around in circles. But tenacity paid off in most cases as they can only deceive for so long.
    However; unfortunately sometimes it was too long for the Home Owners to hang in, which allowed the bank to foreclose and have the government/tax payer pay up the difference in the loss!
  • Kris Davis | | 19 Jun 2013, 10:38 AM Agree 0
    I agree. However, for any Bank of America Homeowners that are getting the run around, go check out John Wright has a link in his page with "GOOD" e-mail and address of the CEO . Here's a link. WenJohn Wright speaks, BofA listens.
  • Crystal Allen | | 19 Jun 2013, 10:40 AM Agree 0
    How do I join?
  • jim rowan | | 19 Jun 2013, 10:48 AM Agree 0
    Bank of America has been getting away with this type of behavior for too long. The only way to get the attention of the Banks, are to contact the office of the CEO and President. John Wright is fighting back. I found on piggy bank blog the correct email and address and e-mail address and sent a e-mail and heard back from them 3 days later.
  • Phil M, Esq. | | 19 Jun 2013, 10:56 AM Agree 0
    No surprise to me! Several of my clients received similar "stone-walling" treatment from Wells Fargo/ Wachovia and are considering filing a class action suit in New Jersey.
  • John C Durham | | 19 Jun 2013, 11:09 AM Agree 0
    We TALKED with people from the office of the President of Bank of America Mortgage right after we filed in Small Claims. Nothing happened.

    When the hearing date came up, there were delays filed and things started happening shortly after that. Never heard from the President's people again, but after about 12 days, did hear lots from BofA legal department, actually only legal aid there, and NYC attorneys.

    It was the LEGAL department that pushed through the final paperwork and Note. I don't know about other people's experiences, but ours was nothing from anyone, except legal.
  • Wm Matz | | 19 Jun 2013, 11:16 AM Agree 0
    These B/A employees confirm borrower experiences over the last five years. E.g., I had a client receive mod agreement in mail and get call same day that house was sold. Other B/A employee disclosures were that B/A deleted email submissions or shredded paper ones. [All this and more is detailed in my October 2010 Niche Report feature article.]
  • Gayle Seymour | | 19 Jun 2013, 12:19 PM Agree 0
    What about Ocwen? I have a friend who is 83 years old and they have been jerking him around for over 2 yrs. He hired a lawyer and requested mediation prior to foreclosure. They have cancelled the mediation twice now, the last time 15 minutes before we were leaving to attend the mediation. But, what really gets me is Freddie Mac owns the mortgage and they are the ones who give more incentive to the servicer to not work things out with the borrower. Freddie sits back and lets the servicer treat the borrowers this way. Freddie needs to step in and make things happen. They are the ones who underwrote the mortgage and purchased the mortgage putting people in these situations. I look back at the mortgage application this man did for his mortgage and he is at a 69% back end ratio. Why did Freddie Mac approve the mortgage in the first place? Anybody know of an attorney in the central Florida area who is aggressively handling these situations?
  • Marvin Von Renchler | | 19 Jun 2013, 12:46 PM Agree 0
    I have been doing BPOs for the banks for three years. Ive done thousands of them, speaking with almost all of the owners. All you have to do is change the borrower name and the story is the same. Starts out with the borrower asking for help---sometimes as little as asking to skip 1 or 2 payments. Bank tells them they have to be 2 months behind. They dont want to start wrecking their credit but have little choice and agree. After 2nd missed payment, they start the mortgage mod process. Then the fun starts. Weeks turn to months as the lenders play games. They 'lose' docs. They ask for things already sent. They require changes. My favorite story is one lender who told the borrower to fed ex in some docs. Borrower did and waited. after some weeks, borrower contacted lender about docs and was told: "Oh, didnt anyone tell you? We no longer accept those by delivery service---you must fax them in". Im talking THOUSANDS of people and I have their names. Lenders never intended to do mortgage mods en masse. I Could write a book about why but many of you already know it. The legal system needs to know, though. Each states atty general needs to know. Forgot to add that many of the borrowers were illegally turned down over the phone! Some were turned down with no reason given. The entire public and the court system needs toknow why the lenders prefer to foreclose. Look to our wonderful government to keep printing money and giving billions to the banks/lenders/servicerts to keep them afloat and enable them to keep grabbing properties and having a big REO inventory, which would have never happened in the past. This is the biggest overall screwing of the Americn people ever.
  • John C Durham | | 19 Jun 2013, 01:26 PM Agree 0
    Since New York State Courts have tightened up they have yet to see a Note from anyone. FreddieMac doesn't "hold the Note". There is just an agreement everyone in banking have reached to repeat the falsehood that FreddieMac does hold the Notes.

    Therefore, the game can go on.

    Just get it in front of a Court. Threaten the bank that you will press for Clear Title. It worked for me and cost $20 to file in Small Claims. Banks can't come up with the real original note. We don't have to pretend that they or FreddieMac has it. There are very very few real notes out there, ie, with the necessary ASSIGNMENTS attached to them.
  • Margie DeMastry | | 19 Jun 2013, 02:11 PM Agree 0
    I am a realtor handling a short sale with Bank of America. We are on our third offer on this property, the two previous buyers backed out because BOA took too long to respond. They lost the paperwork many times during that period and we had to send it again. Then it had to be updated since it took too long for them to approve the short sale. The buyers went else where. During that time my seller was offerred a mortgage modification when we had a short sale already submitted. He has moved to warmer climate and did not want a mortgage modification. We knew what BOA countered the last buyer so we knew exactly what they wanted so the third buyer comes along and writes an offer on exactly the terms and conditions that we knew BOA would accept. Submitted it along with updated seller docs and had the package in for about 2 months waiting for an answer. We were just notified that BOA closed our short sale file because they sold the mortgage. They could not tell us who they sold the mortgage to but my seller would be getting a letter telling him and then we would know who we shold submit a new short sale packet to and start all over with the new lender. It took BOA about 2 weeks for my seller to get the letter and we are starting over with the new lender. This is just one of many stories I could tell about handling short sales.
  • darin young | | 19 Jun 2013, 03:24 PM Agree 0
    I started the HAMP process with Aurora Loan Servicing which then went to Aurora Bank. Same story as above with lost documents, papers etc. They just kept stalling then they would say the paper work is too old so start over. Tried for about 1.5 years then eventually got the first mortgage modified to a very good rate BUT what a ridiculous process and filed complaints with the Office of the Thrift.
  • Karen R | | 19 Jun 2013, 07:07 PM Agree 0
    BOA's behavior is shameful. I had a disabled client in a mortgage with them at an 11% rate. He was less than $400 short to close even after I waived all fees. They would not accept a $400 short payoff. The customer service people tried so hard to help but if they don't have a template for what you need, you're not likely to get it done. I wish I had thought to file in small claims. Maybe I could have helped him.
  • Randy | | 19 Jun 2013, 11:13 PM Agree 0
    I'm a licensed mortgage lender for the last 23 yrs and just to set the record straight on all this, it costs alot of money for the original investor and current servicer on that mortgage note (two differentt entities most of the time) to modify or short sale a mortgage. If you personally gave someone your own money and you had an agreement with that person which they put in writing, they would pay you back plus a set amount of interest and if that person who promised to pay you back, wants to pay you less than originally agreed upon, would you personally want to take less than what you invested? No one would ever invest money into that and you personally would never be able to get a mortgage in the first place! For all those people who want to complain about how our system works when it comes to mortgages, get off your lazy rear and complain to your local representative who sits in Washington, they are the ones who made all this happen and caused all the problems in the first place!

    People in America sure seem to think that everyone "deserves a mortgage" or they should get something for free at the cost of others. I say, go get a job or create a new one and save your money because there are alot of people out there who want to take your hard earned dollars away from you!

    Read the comments and think about that person who is complaining about the system? They want something for free or at a discount! I'm complaining because I'm sick and tired of people believing they are entitled to something when I personally have to pay for their mistakes in the first place...
  • John C Durham | | 20 Jun 2013, 09:42 AM Agree 0
    Randy, I certainly agree with you: "If you personally gave someone your own money and you had an agreement with that person which they put in writing, they would pay you back plus a set amount of interest and if that person who promised to pay you back, wants to pay you less than originally agreed upon, would you personally want to take less than what you invested? No one would ever invest money into that and you personally would never be able to get a mortgage in the first place! For all those people who want to complain about how our system works when it comes to mortgages..."

    BUT, I think we know that this is hardly the mortgage banking business since 1999, when Glass/Steagall went down and MERS & derivatives & the Bubble came onto the scene. And, it never was "our personal money" ever. We bankers, under the law, lend the US dollar into original existence, pure and simple with small reserve requirements. The reserve requirements for TBTF banks is less than our own money in community banks because of special relationships to government handouts and de facto protections from bad bets, but that may change under laws being considered in Congress at the moment.

    Your comments certainly can't be taken as merely disingenuous but does display to public view a life spent avoiding a deep study of the underlying economic issues of banking in general and have fallen out of touch completely with the daily middle class people of our Nation. You can hardly be completely unaware that 12 million people are predicted to be foreclosed upon. To read your words, one would think, that is nothing unusual at all, instead unprecedented in World history, let alone our own Nation's.
  • Viva la Revolucion | | 20 Jun 2013, 10:59 AM Agree 0
    No one is surprised by this I hope.
  • Wm Matz | | 20 Jun 2013, 11:32 AM Agree 0
    Randy ignores that B of A received billions of Federal tax dollars in aid, which mandated participation in mortgage mods [HAMP]. B of A also fabricated documents or forged signatures [robosigning], in addition to other, widespread violations of state foreclosure laws.
  • Marvin Von Renchler | | 20 Jun 2013, 11:58 AM Agree 0
    Folks---they DO NOT want to short sale. They do not want to mortgage mod. They want to do non judicial foreclosure for many reasons. As I mentioned in my story elsewhere in here, thousandsa of people weretold 'unofficially' to STOP making payments in order to qualify for a mortgage mod. If ever there was fuel for a law suit---this is it.
  • Gayle Seymour | | 21 Jun 2013, 05:27 AM Agree 0
    John- I appreciate your comments. By going to small claims court, am I right in assuming the goal is to get the judge to award the house to the owner if an original note can not be produced? I don't know if my 83 yr old friend would feel right doing that. As he is not trying to get something for nothing. If he could turn back the clock, he would not take Ocwen's advice, which was to not make his payments so he would qualify for the mod. He would have continued to make the original payments by renting out a bedroom or accepting help from his family members, whatever it would take. I could write a book on the way Ocwen mislead him. To cut to the chase.....2 weeks prior to the mediation he receives a letter telling him the servicing of the mortgage has been sold to another company. Mediation has been postponed twice now. Small claims court is certainly worth a shot. Thanks!
  • John C Durham | | 21 Jun 2013, 12:26 PM Agree 0
    By going to small claims court I forced a connection with the Legal Department of BofA. This opened up a relationship with people who actually called me on the telephone. As revealed in recent press, no one is allowed to actually call a client.

    The legal department said that I was in the wrong court. I knew I was in the right court, because it was the only court I could afford. Experts in this area needed $6,000 to prepare a case. Yes, it was the wrong court for this issue, but that was something that could be argued later on and I was sure they would win and then the case would go elsewhere. I told their NYC $400 an hour attorneys that if they wanted to screw me around further go ahead. The day I filed I just wanted a modification. Take me into another court and I will change the suit to ask for clear title, ie, change the complaint into a Clear Title Suit. I believed that I could handle the case from that point and I wouldn't have to come up with anymore money, see?

    In such a suit, we just run a notice in the paper and notify everyone who is likely to have a legal interest in our home. In the mean time I would pay the court for the monthly payments and the court would hold the money until it made a decision. The court, NYState courts, would naturally ask for THE NOTE and all the ASSIGNMENTS. I am confident that no one on Earth has them who also has money into my home because the investors in the securitized trust never got any passthrough of the documents of MERS. Simple. The worst that would have happened is that someone did show up who could prove an interest, and it wouldn't be B of A, and I could start paying the person who should be getting my mortgage payment, also it's not going to be B of A.

    I have an indemnification from B of A that they are the right ones which also extends to the people who I sell to. Sooner or later when the right person comes along who should be getting the money, B of A is going to have to make things right with them, not me.

    By the way if everyone would follow through and ask for the Note and Assignments, all of this would have stopped long ago, instead of 6 million families being thrown out into the streets by banks that don't have any legal financial interest whatever in the home, but have stolen them all. So, there is another 6 million families headed for the street. Do you really think that the American People involved, their friends and families are going to continue to lay down for all this?

    Some people say that if history is any guide at all the Republic is headed for civil war. Maybe, maybe not. I hope not because I really don't want any innocent people working in banks dying over this, do you? I don't even want the upper level bank thugs dying over this. I just want them to face Justice. Don't we owe it to the nation to resist the TBTF banks before blood starts running in the streets?
  • John C Durham | | 21 Jun 2013, 01:12 PM Agree 0
    In the late 1920's, Twenty-Five States' Legislatures passed Moratoriums against Home & Farm foreclosures by banks. This was before FDR stopped it in all the states in 1933.
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