Mortgage Modifications Go Mainstream – BE CAREFUL!

Posted on November 3rd, 2008 in Daily Mortgage/Housing News - The Real Story, Mr Mortgage's Personal Opinions/Research

BANKS MAY BE GIVING IT AWAY SOON…finally! But be careful. If it is too good to be true, it generally is. There are very strict rules you should adhere to when getting a mortgage modification.  For those of you not wanting to read the rest of this post, check out the YouTube version by clicking HERE.

Mortgage modifications are finally in the limelight because that is the only way out of the nation’s default and foreclosure crisis. All of a sudden, several politicians and banks have a ‘plan’ most of which will be doomed to fail from the onset.  That is unless they adhere to a strict set of guidelines and essentially use modifications to undo all of the damage that was done through mortgage loan program leverage and artificial affordability over the past six years.

At Mr Mortgage and The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter, we endorse Green Credit Solutions or They are pioneers in this space and reports on positive outcomes I get out of there daily astound me.  Before you accept a pre-packaged government or bank proposed mortgage modification that is likely not the best deal you can get, you need to get a second opinion.  Green Credit will give you a free up front consultation on your specific case, so it is worthwhile to check it out.  There are other reputable modification firms out there but there are a lot of frauds – be careful.

I have been telling you for a year that the only way through this mess is to re-underwrite every single loan made between 2003-2007, especially anything that is not a full-doc 30-year fixed not underwater vs. value.  Currently, there are roughly $7 trillion in loans still on the book made during the years in question. Even borrowers with 750 scores who put 20% down and got a a 30-year fixed are walking due to excessive allowable debt-to-income ratios at the time the loan was made and negative equity, as values are down as much as 75% in some of the harder hit areas in the bubble states.

For all of you who ‘did nothing wrong and are being punished’, I sympathize.  Unless an effective, large scale mod effort at all banks is implemented and well-received by borrowers, housing will have a decade of pain ahead that will hit you hard as well. All that a loan mod effort does is expedite revaluation and de-leveraging process so we can move on. The leverage has to be drained from the residential real estate market or the economy will not recover. If the trillions given to banks and everyone else would have been spent here in the first place, the problem would never have become this bad in the first place. You will pay for all this one way or another. Paying to de-lever borrowers and expedite the real estate revaluation process will trickle back to you to a much greater degree than any other program I have heard yet.

Mortgage modifications come in all shapes and sizes.  But it is my opinion that unless the borrower is re-qualified on a market-rate 30-year fixed rate loan with a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 28/36 and their loan amount dropped accordingly, it has a high likelihood of failure. Remember, what makes most of the loans originated in the past six years so shaky other than exotic features such as stated income, interest only and high-CLTV is the high allowable DTI ratios. Most ‘Prime’ loan programs allowed up to a 50% DTI ratio meaning half of the borrowers GROSS income is going out every month in debt. Many added a second mortgage, cars, boats and lots of other consumer debt pushing DTI’s much higher.

Re-underwriting and reducing principal balances according to what a person actually earns undoes the past five years. At 28/36, the borrower becomes de-leveraged, is able to maintain a decent lifestyle, save money, will pay down principal and ultimately own their home one day.  28/36 is time-tested whereas 50% DTI was a product of the leverage and asset bubble years.  At 28/36, if home values drop borrowers are less likely to walk away because they are not totally leveraged to their house and able to save money.

There are millions of ‘Prime’ borrowers in the nation and in a town near you, fully leveraged and not saving a penny as all of their after tax income and more is going out to pay down loans on depreciating assets.

This is all fine and dandy when your home value is going up $100k a year.  But when asset values plummet the fastest way to de-lever is to lose the largest expense, which is the underwater house. All that they have to do is make the decision to rent a similar home for half the monthly amount and they get their life back.  Once they make that decision they can live in their home for free for a year during the foreclosure process.

The banks and servicers finally understand all of this now that they have seen first hand that the Subprime implosion has jumped tracks to higher paper grades.  Sheila Bair at FDIC finally understands this after seeing IndyMac’s portfolio up close and personal over the past six months. Now, they are all trying to get ahead of the future implosions through proactive loan modifications. A proactive modification is simply the bank reaching out to you offering you a solution. Whether that solution is the right one for you specifically is the tough question, that I suggest you seek professional help answering.

Chase released the following loan mod news today, which the market celebrated. What they didn’t tell you is a program like this could take years to get through.  The FDIC has already started a proactive loan mod inititiave by sending 20k solicitations to IndyMac borrowers and only 3500 responded. That is likely because of the pervasive fraud that is not isolated to IndyMac.  Chase will likely run into similar challenges.

IndyMac has gone so far as to include securitized loans, which is something that will make all mortgage securities originated during the bubble years less attractive to investors.

“Initially, the program was applied only to mortgages either owned by IndyMac Federal or serviced under IndyMac Federal’s pre-existing securitization agreements, which provided sufficient flexibility,” she (Bair) said in prepared remarks to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. “However, with their agreement, we are now applying the program to many delinquent loans owned by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and other investors.”

It is uncertain what the Chase program entails but typically the banks only offer what’s best for them and not you for the long run. I am assuming this program is to rid themselves of WaMu’s Pay Option ARMs and Subprime loans before they implode.  Remember, they already wrote these loans down substantially when they acquired WaMu so giving borrowers a 35% principal reduction for example, could actually turn out to be a profitable move.  Principal balance reductions are generally tough to squeeze out of banks because it involves the bank taking a direct credit hit.

The fact is unless banks re-underwrite each loan to a strict guidelines of 28/36 debt-to-income ratios the programs will not work. If they just offer some 5-year interest only teaser rate that is the most popular loan modification currently, they just kick the can down the road and set the borrower up for disaster than.  Giving a short-term teaser bailout also incents others to do whatever possible, including becoming delinquent, to get something.

If you know what you are doing you may be able to get a great deal out of any proactive loan modification offer because you hold the cards. If not, call Green Credit and let them work this out for you:

JP Morgan to Modify Mortgages to Limit Foreclosures

By Elizabeth Hester

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) — JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest U.S. bank by market value, plans to modify terms on $110 billion of mortgages and forgo foreclosure proceedings on all real-estate loans while the changes are implemented in the next 90 days.

The offer extends to customers of Washington Mutual Inc., the savings and loan JPMorgan agreed to buy last month, the New York-based bank said today in a statement. Loan modifications may include interest-rate or principal reductions. The bank said it will establish 24 regional counseling centers to provide face-to- face help in areas with high delinquency rates.

“We felt it is our responsibility to provide additional help to homeowners during these challenging times,” said Charlie Scharf, chief executive officer of retail financial services at JPMorgan Chase. “We will work with families who want to save their homes but are struggling to make their payments.”

Sheila Bair, head of the FDIC, got the loan modification wave going when she announced a ‘plan’ last week to modify three million mortgages. Of course, her idea involves a restructuring that won’t cost the banks any money meaning the program will likely not work.  It likley involves a teaser rate and silent second, which only kicks the can down the road and keeps the borrower highly leveraged. Her sudden move to mass modifications likely comes from her up close and personal experience with the IndyMac portfolio, which scared her to death and made it very evident that nothing is what she thought it was.

FDIC and US Treasury Prepare $500 Billion Loan Modification Plan

Oct 29th, 2008 by Moe Bedard

The FDIC and the US treasury are contemplating using around $50 billion from the recently passed bailout of the financial industry bailout to guarantee about $500 billion in mortgages. The “tentative” plan could include loan modifications that would lower interest rates for a five-year period according to Bloomberg.

The program would be run by Sheila Bair and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and could potentially guarantee around 3 million home mortgages. The plan had been scheduled to be announced Wednesday but was delayed because the details were still being finalized.

The new plan would dwarf past attempts by the administration to curb foreclosures and will be the most aggressive effort yet to limit further damage to Main Street. A loan modification plan that Sheila Bair, Chairwoman for the FDIC has been advocating for over a year and she may just get her wish.

The program, which could potentially help several million homeowners either refinance or modify their current mortgages into affordable loans, would require lenders to restructure mortgages based on a borrower’s ability to repay. The plan is said to give homeowners 5 years of fixed, lower monthly payments before they can reset again.

Wachovia also has a program in place but theirs involves that you refi the loan off of their books. They will allot a certain amount of money to your case to buy down your principal and/or interest rate, but they force you to sign a silent second mortgage note for the injected amount called a ‘spend’.  This is a major problem with the program and is why I feel it will ultimately fail.  Borrowers are not interested in staying over their heads in debt, which is what Wachovia’s plan essentially does. Once again, if you have a Wachovia loan then you know they want to deal so go for it. If you don’t feel comfortable get professional advise from a mortgage modification specialist:

Wachovia’s New Program – ‘The Spend’

Oct 8th, 2008

There are significant problems with The Spend, however. Most obviously, they are artificially supporting house prices by giving borrowers extremely low interest rates such as a 2% 30-year fixed and a zero interest rate second. In addition, what if values are not at the bottom? The ‘negative equity effect’ is real and if values continue to tumble what’s to say that the borrower will not just walk at a later date. A good number of these may even turn into rentals because with a 2% fixed and zero% second, the property may cash flow.

The thought process is that if the borrower can afford their payments, especially on a 30-year fixed, it does not matter what the value of the home does – they will stay and make their payments. Well, this has obviously been proven wrong, as we are seeing Prime and Jumbo Prime default in greater numbers as values fall. On the other hand with house prices down so far in the areas in which this program is going into effect, there is a much better chance that this fundamental will play out going forward.

But then there is still the silent second hanging over their head and the fact that home owner is underwater by that large of an amount. This makes borrower repayment patterns totally unpredictable across all paper grades. This also makes typically life circumstances such as job loss or illness almost a guaranteed default.  If you have equity in your property, you have wiggle room.

One thing is for sure, The Spend is worlds better that the recent BofA/Countrywide settlement scam, in which the AG sold hundreds of thousands of borrowers down the river at a ridiculously low price. Remember gang, once you do something with respect to a mortgage modification or refinance, you lose your rights to come after the lender for predatory lending violations and forced rescission/modification.

Bank of America/Countrywide have been ‘working’ with borrowers for quite some time, but their solutions stink. I wrote about a specific incident I heard about first hand on Sept 3rd.  Be very careful accepting a 2% interest only loan for 5-years without a principal reduction even though that may immediately solve your cash flow problem. This is nothing more than an exotic loan that will blow up on you in 5-years. I highly doubt home prices will ‘come back’ in five years – if they stabilize at lower prices than we see today, we will all be very lucky. This is a perfect example of a terrible mortgage mod. Click the link below to the full story. It is a good one:

BofA/Countrywide – A Direct Threat to Borrowers & Shareholders

Sept 3, 2008

Meet The New Game in Loss Mitigation – Put it off for 5-years with 2% rates and 200% LTV workouts; make the borrower sign away their life waiving all future claims; then tell the shareholders it is ‘performing’. In 5-years this will bury the borrower beyond all recognition and force them into bankruptcy, but until then ‘problem solved’.

Even servicing companies are getting into the action. Below is a short-refi offer if you refinance and get your loan off of their books.  Below is an actual letter sent by Select Portfolio Servicing, A Credit Suisse company. They are offering a principal balance reduction of roughly 11% plus up to a 2% closing cost incentive if you can refi quickly. This may be a great deal for many. This is the best I have seen yet. Although 11% still may not be enough principal balance reduction for most in the bubble states, this gives you leverage to twist their arm for more.

The problem with this program is its not tailored to each borrower, rather a mass solution where they picked a principal reduction based upon current valuation.  The reduction and new loan amount must be a function of what the borrower really earns at 28/36% debt-to-income ratios or the home owner remains over-leveraged and as house prices continue to fall, they will default:

Archive For Mr Mortgage’s Personal Opinions/Research

22 Responses to “Mortgage Modifications Go Mainstream – BE CAREFUL!”

  1. Re-underwriting and reducing principal balances according to what a person actually earns undoes the past five years. At 28/36, the borrower becomes de-leveraged, is able to maintain a decent lifestyle, save money, will pay down principal and ultimately own their home one day. Additionally, if their home value drops further they are less likely to walk away because they are not totally leveraged to their house.

    As much as i love your posts, I disagree. Re-underwriting and reducing principles to what a person earns will not work. That will leave homes right next door to each other valued completely differently and could still leave someone who makes a little more than the neighbor underwater. I would never agree to that mod because it would leave our house at almost current payments but the actual value is down 200k. They would need to do mods to current value or 90% of to stop the bleeding. That would be the only real way to become de-leveraged. But they wont ever figure that out. What we earn and what the home is worth are two totally separate issues. C’mon Mr. M. you knew this!!

  2. That’s why markets need arms-length transactions between consenting parties in order to determine prices. Supply and demand needs to function freely.
    Repricing loans based on one’s ability to pay wont create a market price. If this was the case, I’d buy a house in Hamptons and be done with it. Someone could get the modification and still be hopelessly upside down. The free market will ultimately determine what a property is worth. All this intervention is artificial and temporarily slows the market towards it’s goal to seek balance.

  3. Even with a loan modification, will the mortgagor be able to make a profit on the future sale of the house? If not, I would look to sell my house immediately. Don’t get me wrong, modification is absolute necessary.

    Let’s say I bought a house in 2005 for $400k. It is now worth $300k. That is 25% less. JP Morgan agrees to write me a new mortgage in the amount of 95% of the house’s current worth or $285k. But what if JP Morgan stipulates that they will keep all of the profit above $285k when the house is sold. Or JP Morgan says they’ll keep all of the profit up to $400k (the original amount owed). So I have to ask myself, how long will I keep this house when there are other houses I could buy for $285K? I would take the modified loan and immediately look to sell the house and buy another house at $285k because then I get to keep any profit on the future sale of the house.

  4. Mr. M. I understand the need to do something, and to do it right is urgent. However I must agree with the fact that re-underwriting will value like homes at entirely different levels. I also understand that right now comps are getting killed by foreclosures, but that is temporary in nature and eventually neighborhoods will settle down from that mess and slowly recover. When you have loans re-written that is permanent and at resale it totally favors the people that were underwater. In essence it flips the prosperity to the people with newer higher loans from the people with older homes that did it correctly. How would you like to see your neighbor sell their home for 100K less than you can because their debt was forgiven? It sends a bad message and devalues the homes of the people that did things correctly forever. Not a good idea at all in my opinion.

    I think the foreclosures must continue and time would be better spent on figuring out how to get them sold as quickly as possible. Maybe large public auctions or something like that could be done. Maybe the homeowner goes to foreclosure and then can rent to own the home back at the new market rate in say 5 years. I don’t have all of the answers, but just re-writing loans at 10’s if not 100’s of thousands of dollars less to people who shouldn’t have purchased them doesn’t seem fair and that moral hazard is what got us here in the first place.

    What you are advocating here is:

    1. People who have put down 30% in an area that has dropped 20% get nothing.
    2. People who are paid up to date on a home worth less than they owe get nothing.
    3. People who own their home outright get nothing.
    4. People that paid more than they should have get “Bailed Out”
    5. People who are not current because they took out a heloc to buy a boat and new car get “Bailed Out”
    6. People that have homes worth less than they are worth but decided not to pay any longer get “Bailed Out”

    I am sick and tired of everyone getting “Bailed Out” and even though this is not Tax Payers money by doing it this way it still sends the entirely wrong message and hurts the people who played by the rules and were honest and did things the right way. I am totally opposed to this sort of thing being done. I know it is not up to me and I can’t stop it, but it does send a bad message and especially to future generations of people. What would you think if you were 18-25 and saw this occur? I would say to myself I can buy anything I want and if I can’t afford it Uncle Sam will save me or the bank will just re-write my loan to make it affordable. If I lose my job and get a new one making less I just go to the bank and tell them to re-write my loan. This is not good precedent to be setting…

  5. sorry to say it but you are 100% wrong….debt is debt and must be repaid by someone. you can not redo loans……because someone has to eat the difference. if the banks do it it will BNK the banks. so move it over to the tax payers….fine but when my taxes go up and i am will file BNK. i didnt get a no doc loan and i cant afford to pay someone elses loan on top of mine.

    there is no cure for this problem….we will crash.

  6. But it is my opinion that unless the borrower is re-qualified on a market-rate 30-year fixed rate loan with a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 28/36 and their loan amount dropped accordingly, it has a high likelihood of failure.

    I can tell you in California this is impossible to do. While these guidelines are admirable, they have not been the norm in CA for 15-20 years. If you imposed these factors in CA it would result in literally trillions of dollars in losses to the financial institutions.

    That is why you will continue to see the bogus workouts, at least in CA. The powers that be have run the numbers under your scenario and know it won’t work – from a financial point of view.

  7. “For all of you who ‘did nothing wrong and are being punished’, I sympathize. Unless an effective, large scale mod effort at all banks is implemented and well-received by borrowers, housing will have a decade of pain ahead that will hit you hard as well.”

    This is absolute B.S.
    Bring it on. If you can’t afford your payments then TOUGH LUCK!
    I completely agree with Stu.

    I don’t care how much value my property goes down, because I took on a loan I could afford.

    Maybe Americans need to WAKE UP and realize how much they can actually afford. All these stupid loans and credit industries are diluting people’s perception on affordability.

    The market will crash, and needs to crash. The only people who should survive are the ones who live with in their means.

  8. ..all the credit market does is INFLATE prices, create bubbles, only to crash, and re-distribute the wealth, making the rich, richer, and the debtors poorer.

    Think about it; what can 90% of America actually afford these days? How come Inflation is exponentially growing every 5 years?

  9. Wow we have all the CA home owners saying it is not fair! What about the farmer in the mid west who never benefited economically from any one’s mortgage equity withdrawals and has to listen to Californians saying it is not fair? California will likely benefit to the tune of 40 – 50% of the total bailout while contributing only 13% to GDP.

    Most Californians benefited during the housing boom indirectly whether they participated or not, due to increased economic activity. That is jobs or sales due to MEW’s, home building, RE market related.

    I doubt that Californians will receive much sympathy outside of California and fully expect anti-Californian sentiment to build as the full extent of the bailout is recognized and where all this bailout money is going to be dumped.

    So what about that mid west farmer that got nothing at all during the boom yet has to payout taxes in the bust? Now that would really have to suck.

  10. I’m fine with the loan modifications, as long as they add one thing:
    you must prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that you did not lie on your loan app.
    This inquiry needs to be done by a 3rd party. And if the lender mods a loan which is found to be fraudulent, they are on the hook for borrowing government $$ to fraudulently lend it. Lets add some SEVERE penalties to that as well.

    90% of stated loans were inflated by 5%. 60% of them were inflated by >50%*

    Oh, and make all loan mods recourse-able.


  11. Here is the problem with alot of these loan modifications..INVESTOR PROPERTIES.. not ones owned by homeowners who are living in them are being given loan modifications.. this is not everyone will qualify..I already know of a mortgage broker who has 3 million in home loans who has gotten a modification including payment of back taxes owed on the properties…The banks have no clue and are so overwhelmed that thye are not bothering to find out if the information provided by the loan modification companies are true…we will I am sure find out in the near future that this system is being manipulated just like the loans were before..

  12. How bout if we just knock 40% off of every home loan out there. Everyones. Then everyone gets a cut and it stops the bleeding.
    I know, never happen. There is no solution except to let it happen without any more intervention. Any mod that would leave neighbors at diff. values or take the equity as part of the mod is a no win. Ever.

  13. dr-
    as a renter with NO debt, I’m against your proposal. If you’d like to cut me a check in line with everyones’ multi-hundred-thousand dollar bailout, I’m on board.

  14. For free makets to work, people must be rewarded for making good decisions, and punished for making bad decisions.
    Anything that falls short of that, as this whole modification effort does, will only prolong the inevitable.
    Furthermore, anybody who thinks that this modification process will bring back our housing market is delusional. It will merely negate any chance of resurrecting the market, hurting the overall economy for decades to come.
    This is simply the law of unintended consequences – always the prduct of slimy, cowardly politicians pretending to help us.

  15. I’m with Stu and the others that mostly oppose this. I understand the theory behind this that because of the non-recourse nature of the original home loans, the only way to incentivize the borrow to pay rather than walk is to do principal reductions. However, I don’t think this changes the ultimate outcome, but maybe slows the rate of decline. There will be fewer foreclosures but the value loss to the “good debtors” who paid their mortgages is going to be the same, whether today or next year or five years. Values will continue to reset downward until they hit their market clearing price.

    If you write everyone down to 28/36 and let them stay, you basically have given people who couldn’t afford it more house than they deserve, while punishing those who stayed within their means. And when the employment leg collapses further, they’ll default on that loan.

    We’re going to get hurt nonetheless so unless I get 20 or 25% principal haircut, I’m not interested in subsidizing this program (although after tomorrow I figure it will be rammed down my throat eventually)

    Anyone read the article in the WSJ about Antioch, CA? What struck me is house cleaners and bartenders living in houses $400k to $600k – that is absolutely insane on their likely income!! One of them had 50% DTI!!! In those cases, it is their fault for not being reasonable and the banks fault for giving out a loan that had very little chance of ultimate repayment without refinancing. But personal responsibility seems to be outlawed in the US today.

  16. It is very simple. The borrower and the lender have a note which says borrower pays X or lender takes the house.

    The “underwater” borrower needs to turn the house over to the lender and rent.

    The lender then needs to price the house at a price an existing renter is willing to buy it for.

    In the process house prices will decrease to between 2.5 and 4.0 times median household income in their local markets. (It will be 2.5 in most markets and as much as 4.0 in markets with rising incomes.)

    Thus house prices will reach a sustainable price level and go back to increasing at the level inflation and not be investments but shelter.

    Banks will loose, people who treated their house as an investment will loose. Prudent savers who consider their house shelter or who rented will be rewarded.

    All other proposals punish the innocent and reward the profligate.

  17. “All that a loan mod effort does is expedite revaluation and de-leveraging process so we can move on.”

    If I were denied a mod for the simple reason I could afford my mortgage, I would demand the same treatment or stop paying.

    Loan mods are fine if tax payers don’t pick up the tab. But you know as well as I that the banks can’t eat the losses for all mortgages 2003-2007. “De-leveraging” in this context is just a euphemism for giving taxpayer dollars to bail out irresponsible borrowers and banks.

    I’d rather see every single one of those homes burn. For an added bonus, the homes of all those who profited from the massive fraud that was this mortgage debacle.

  18. fedwatcher is right on.
    dafox…. that was a joke.

  19. I too was outraged when I read the WSJ article. The idea that $70M income supports $600M mortgage is absurd. What can we do? Is there an organized effort to try to stop the continual bailout of the crooks/banks/politicans? We need to make our voices heard somewhere other than these wonderful forums.

  20. […] Comments BertDilbert on Mortgage Early Payment Defaults Surge in 2008Baseballmom on Mortgage Modifications Go Mainstream – BE CAREFUL!peterb on Mortgage Early Payment Defaults Surge in 2008Stu on Second Mortgage Notes For < 1 cent on […]

  21. It’s all fun and game until somebody gets hurt.
    Sure the responsible people who live within their means are outraged until they get FIRED, have a heartattack or heaven forbid something bad happens. I’ve met a couple of those who have now loss their job or had their base pay cut and now they are not so indignant or outraged. And of course it’s the predatory lenders fault. Nevermind that the gov pushes funds on banks that lend to low-income and low credit people. If lenders throw money at individuals, they’d be fools not to take it. If banks push money at lenders to give out loans, they would be fools not to take it, if the gov funds banks and throws money at them to give to borrowers, they would be fools not to do it. Lot of fooling going around. At the end of the day, the folks who couldn’t afford homes in the first place are back where they would have been. The ones that are hurt are the ones that are left in the wake. The loan modifications DO NOT de-value homes. How much a person owes and what rate they pay do NOT determine value of a home. It potentially keeps it from hitting the market as a REO which DEFINITELY de-values prices. Let’s just do what we can and forget the finger pointing. A LOT of people were foolish (or were they?) and a lot of people will be hurt or will have family and friends that are (and if you don’t – it explains a lot). Including all the idignant and outraged people and yes, ultimately, the middle-class will take the hit. But at least the loan mods will take REOs and short sale inventory off the streets – even temporarily, and that will help slow down the spiraling prices and at least give the lenders an opportunity to negotiate the short sales they currently can’t even deal with so that SOME buyers who can still buy can actually GET a HOME!

  22. I agree. I bought my home at a decent price and got a mortgage I could afford. I bought 2 investment properties during the boom because what could be safer than real estate right? I always paid on time and have good credit. Now, the crummy economy has reduced my thriving industry to nothing and I’ve been reduced to consultant status by my apolegetic boss. So, half my pay and no benefits. Cannot refinance because all values are way down, my equity has disappeared. Don’t know how long it will take me to find a job comparable to what I had… I had VP status and have kept paying at the expense of savings and credit cards. On top of all this… I began trying to talk to my mortgage companies in october, sent all docs and proof of new hardship, as well as proof that with just little things like a lesser interest rate and eliminating PMI, I could adjust. Guess what? They all transfer me from department to department… people within the same company tell you different things and some have suggested that they won’t help me if I don’t stop paying. This is what’s really going on. And mortgage modification? You can’t even talk to the morons giving you the runaround in customer service… they just want a commitment date of when you’ll pay as you’re telling them you’ve only had coffee for breakfast and lunch today. This is where are taxes are going… or you can pay thousands to a sleazy pseudo-lawyer to fill a form for you. And for those of you finger-pointing… point this.

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