HSBC, a British Bank which did not take federal government TARP funds during the 2007-2008 banking crisis, did not obligate itself to abide by the national mortgage relief program known as HAMP. Because it did not make that commitment, it seems that HSBC feels free to act with absolute audacity when dealing with homeowners struggling with their HSBC mortgages. The most recent example of this which I’ve seen of this phenomenon is in Chris’ case. Chris bought his home for $105,000 about ten years ago, financing the purchase through Beneficial Finance. Because he has a whopping interest of 10.8%, his payments, including taxes and insurance, are almost $1,000 per month.
Having fallen behind in his payments, Chris reached out to HSBC, thinking that surely the Bank would give him a little break on his interest, which is almost 3 times the going rate. He thought wrong. Personally, I’ve talked with people with even higher interest rates than Chris’, which HSBC has turned its back on when they likewise asked for help. Because he may be able to get help from family members in catching up with his past due payments, or even in paying his loan off in full, thereby escaping the evil clutches of HSBC, Chris has gone so far as to try to get a “reinstatement quote” (amount needed to make the loan current), and a complete payoff figure, to no avail, as HSBC refuses to give him that information. In his attempt to save his home from foreclosure, he sent in a double payment in December, 2013, which was subsequently rejected and returned. That fact is a dead give-away that HSBC is cranking up its foreclosure machinery against Chris.
There is light at the end of the tunnel for Chris, however. We pointed out to him that as a debtor he has the absolute right to reinstate the loan by paying the past due payments and also the right to get a payoff number, and get rid of the loan altogether. Our plan for him will be to point out to HSBC these transgressions, and get it to back away from its continuing its course of fraudulent conduct. In the process, we will make a complete request for all the documents regarding Chris’ loan, including the original promissory note signed when he took out the loan, and a complete Payment History showing each of his payments from the beginning to the present, and exactly how those payments were applied.
As to the promissory note, we have a strong belief that HSBC no longer has it in its possession, which could create serious problems in its effort to collect. As to the Payment History, we would not be surprised to find bogus charges added onto Chris’ loan, leading to an incorrect and inflated amount owed. The goal will be to ferret out the fraud, throw it back into HSBC’s face, and cause it to come to the table and treat Chris fairly. It’s just too bad this is even necessary. Given the profits to be made through foreclosure by a lot of bad actor banks, however, fighting back just to be treated fairly is often required. And without question, HSBC is a leader among those bad actor banks.
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Kate Eyster and Lauren McGookey contributed to this article.
Copyright 2014 Daniel L. McGookey