Loan Modification Hell: Thanksgiving Success Stories #4

Last Updated Apr 26, 2011 5:07 PM EDT

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of peace and celebration for what we have. But so many homeowners are in dire straits thanks to the messed-up loan modification programs that I feel have only complicated our problems.
My Thanksgiving gift to you is a short series of Loan Modification Success Stories. Click to read Loan Modification Success Stories #1, Success Stories #2, and Success Stories #3.
The Loan Modification Hell road has been long and pretty rough. Millions of homeowners have applied for a loan modification under the government's HAMP program. About one-tenth of those who applied for at temporary loan modification were approved for a permanent loan modification.

My Loan Modification Hell blogs have been extremely active, with folks checking back to let me (and each other) know what's happening. Every once in a while, someone posts their success story.

For those in the trenches, I wanted to share a few success stories:

From Tammy:

Our Mortgage was originally with Taylor Bean & Whitaker (TB&W). My husband lost his job and we did what we could to get by. We spent countless hours on the phone with TB&W (when we could get a real person to talk to). There wasn't a day that went by that we didn't spend time working on our situation. Typical response was "you will have to be months behind for us to help". I finally could not handle the stress, and started writing and calling everyone that I could, from the President of the United States on down! I contacted an attorney for Freddie Mac and she was able to get me in touch with people at TB&W. We were able to set up the trial period for Modification. Before I could even get all of the paperwork completed and our 3rd month of the Modification complete, we received notice from OCWEN that they now help our Mortgage. TB&W filed Bankruptcy and left their customers out to dry. OCWEN sent our paperwork to Foreclosure. NIGHTMARE gets worse! I contacted the Freddie Mac Attorney again and explained to her that we had a trial period completed with TB&W and just needed to set up final Modification paperwork. OCWEN said they showed no Modification in place and we owed what they said within 30 days or face foreclosure. Countless hours on the phone and letters being sent. Finally got somewhere after 4 months of stress. We got the paperwork on the Modification from OCWEN (Who might I add has horrable customer service). Got the paperwork in an envelope dated November 12Th, Paperwork dated November 1st, and required to be back to OCWEN by November 10Th. Explain that? When I called OCWEN, they told me to get the paperwork back or lose the Modification. Mind you, every day we received a phone call from OCWEN reminding us that we were late, facing foreclosure, etc! After contacting the Attorney again, the phone calls stopped and we had until December 1st to get the paperwork in. Modification was going well until we noticed that we were being charge late fees every month due to the Modification agreement starting November 1st. After sending OCWEN all of my paperwork, past and present and all of the correspondance, they removed the fees. You must stay on top of things. TB&W had all of our escrow. None was transfered with our paperwork to OCWEN.
It has been a nightmare, but YOU MUST stay on top of things. Keep every bit of paperwork, (I have file cabinets full!), get names of whom ever you speak to. Do not give up. I am so thankful I didn't. We have helped several friends by giving them the names of people that helped us. Things are going a bit better, but again, you must stay on top of the situation.
Tammy - I'm so happy to hear that you are getting your loan modification. It's been unbelievably tough with the Taylor, Bean & Whitaker loans - I think that's because that company was really screwed up and there have been investigations into fraud, which complicate an already complicated situation.

Your advice to stay on top of things is excellent. Keeping good notes and staying on top of things is the only way to go. Make sure you keep you paperwork - you might need it again.

Thanks for letting me know what happened to you.

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Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com and The Equifax Personal Finance Blog, and is Chief Content Strategist at RealtyJoin.com, a community for real estate investors.
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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns ThinkGlink.com, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.