Sam, who we met for the first time last week, is the latest example of homeowner victimization by mortgage loan servicers in what without doubt is a gigantic national scandal. The simple apparent fact from a cursory review of Sam’s finances is that he qualifies for HAMP mortgage relief. On the other hand, Sam had not been granted that relief. Instead, Sam’s loan servicer threw him into foreclosure, and even though he had been working diligently with the servicer throughout that process, he faced a default judgment in the legal proceeding, as he had not filed an answer to the complaint, as required under court rules.
And this is where loan servicers, whose very compensation is based on the amount owed on the mortgage (i.e. the higher the loan balance, the higher their compensation), take advantage of the system, the court system, that is. That system is governed by a very rigid set of rules. One example is the rule in Ohio requiring that the foreclosure defendant file his or her answer to the complaint within twenty-eight days of being served. The court has no way of knowing whether or not someone like Sam qualifies for HAMP mortgage relief, or has been victimized in some other way by that loan servicer. Fortunately, in Sam’s case, I’m sure we’ve caught the servicer’s fraud in time to save his home.
However, when considering the fact that over half our clients are, like Sam, False HAMP Denial Victims, it is fair to say that this sort of homeowner victimization has reached enormous proportions. Without a doubt, we are talking about millions, if not tens of millions, of homeowners nationwide being illegally denied HAMP mortgage relief. And in many cases, obtaining or not obtaining HAMP means the difference between saving and losing one’s home. The reason for this is two-fold. First, HAMP oftentimes results in a significantly lower monthly mortgage payment. The second reason is that HAMP
constitutes a complete loan do-over in the sense that once qualified, the homeowner simply starts making his or her new mortgage payment, without having to repay what often is a large amount of arrearage. If you are a homeowner struggling for relief on your mortgage, do not let yourself become another foreclosure statistic! Stand up for your rights under HAMP.
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Kate Eyster contributed to this article.
Copyright 2014 Daniel L. McGookey