It was good to see an old Client of ours this week. It was four years ago that I last talked with her about her mortgage situation. She reminded me that when she first came to see us her home was scheduled for foreclosure sale in a matter of weeks. We were able to get that sale cancelled, and there was where our involvement in her case ended. In bringing me up-to-date as to the intervening events, she informed that she proceeded to file a bankruptcy and upon coming out of that, went right back to attempting to gain a loan modification with her then-servicer, Litton Financial.
That process continued for about a year. As I see so often with these loan servicers, which are paid a percentage of the loan balance (as opposed to a percentage of the amount they collect), Litton then victimized Mary Jo by keeping her a “puppet on a string”; that is, it had her submit financial packet after financial packet, never allowing her to reach the end goal of a permanent loan modification. When the servicing of Mary Jo’s loan changed from Litton to Ocwen Financial, she thought she finally caught the break she needed to get her mortgage problems resolved for good.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly (given Ocwen’s track record of fraud), this was not to be the case. In fact, just the opposite turned out to be true: Ocwen actually ramped up the fraud against Mary Jo to a whole new level. It actually offered her a “Trial Period Plan”, which is supposed to be the precursor of a permanent loan modification. This required Mary Jo to make three monthly payments of approximately $550 (her former payment was over $800). If she successfully did so, she was to be given a permanent modification which would lower her monthly payment to the $550 level.
Mary Jo completed the Trial Period Plan by making the required payments. Despite doing so however, Ocwen refused to give her the permanent modification. Instead, it asked her to recomplete the same financial forms she had been completing and sending in for years. Finally, Mary Jo put her foot down and decided to come back in to see us for help. Looking back over the history of her situation, it appears that Mary Jo’s HAMP victimization goes back a period of years, almost to the time she first came to see us.
Given her income, almost without question she should have been offered a HAMP loan modification as long as four years ago. Because she wasn’t, at least on paper, she has been overcharged tens of thousands of dollars on her loan. No doubt this transgression will have to be taken into account as we begin to resolve Mary Jo’s mortgage issues once and for all. Tragically, Mary Jo’s story is not uncommon in this Country today. Fully half of our clients are, like Mary Jo, “false HAMP denial” victims. Most of those have been victimized for several years before coming to see us. Don’t let yourself be victimized! If you have been struggling for mortgage relief with your bank and seem to be going nowhere, seek help.
Note from the author: If you have questions or comments- regarding this or any Foreclosure Story article or should you like to have a “free mortgage analysis”, please visit www.mcgookeylaw.com, visit us on Facebook or call us at 419-502-7223.
Kate Eyster and Lauren McGookey contributed to this article.
Copyright 2014 Daniel L. McGookey