Bart was sued for foreclosure by Freddie Mac in September 2010. Freddie, like its mortgage-funding cousin, Fannie Mae, was essentially taken over by the federal government in 2008, having racked up hundreds of billions of dollars in operating deficits due to a combination of ineptitude and corruption. Bart’s story is proof of this. At the time when he ended up in foreclosure, Bart's monthly mortgage payment was over $2,400, including taxes and insurance. He fell behind on those payments due to long periods of intermittent layoffs from his job. As he struggled to revive his income and save his home, Freddie demonstrated a callous attitude, refusing to work with him in any meaningful way during its drive to foreclose. Bart’s big break came in early 2012 when he gained full-time employment, earning enough money to allow him to make reasonable mortgage payments. At that point, Bart clearly qualified for mortgage relief under the Home Affordable Modification Program, otherwise known as HAMP. Even so, relief was not to be at that time.
As we see so often, Bart’s “lender” did not take all the legal steps to allow him to save his home, instead taking the tunnel vision approach in its quest to foreclose. Although by no means totally unique, the sad and ironic fact in Bart’s case is that it was the federal government itself, though Freddie Mac, which violated its own laws (HAMP) over the course of the next year by not allowing Bart to qualify for HAMP relief. However, as they say, good things come to those who wait, or more appropriately in Bart’s case, those who persevere. That’s so because just in the past month Freddie finally qualified Bart for HAMP. The end result is truly dramatic, starting with a reduction in his monthly payment from $2,400 to slightly over $1,100. This modification will no doubt allow Bart to stay in his home for many years to come. Thus, to borrow from another well-used quote, “All’s well that ends well”.
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Copyright 2013 Daniel L. McGookey