Loan Modification Success Story - Filing a Complaint With the OCC Can Help

Don't miss the comments: Are You In Loan Modification Hell: Join The Club, Loan Modification Hell: Income Requirements For New HAMP Rules, and Loan Modification Hell: The Horror Stories Continue.
Are you in loan modification hell? Does it seem as though you'll never get out? Jknippel is a frequent commentator to my Are You In Loan Modification Hell: Join The Club blog post and she has been in loan modification hell Since October, 2009. Here's what she had to say about the loan modification process she went through (I have edited her comments a bit for clarity, but you can see all of her original comments at the Are You In Loan Modification Hell: Join The Club blog post):
"I have been in this hell since Oct 09...started making payments in Nov (modified trial payment) because I did get the paper work back quickly. At first I was hopeful... I saw this blog and thought not me I'm on top of it. Yeah right. Now I'm still waiting. My credit is screwed. No one will refi at this point in the game and I'm seriously considering walking away. REALLY think about it. Even tho' I called every week, took good notes, and kept up my end of the deal, you get the run around and no one really seems to know what is going on. You can get confused, frustrated and discouraged fast. It wears down your every day living. I'm lucky my husband and I are a strong couple [because] I could see this causing divorce because the money issues alone are taxing to put up with this! We lost family a member, have been hospitalized, loss income and the stress from the bank it too much to handle. Save yourself: try to sell, or what ever you can. DON'T do the Modification. It's not worth your soul."
Jknippel wrote that her loan was with Bank of America. When she was finally turned down for her loan modification, she wrote asking for help. I directed her to my post, Loan Modification Hell: New Solutions To Avoid Losing Your Home, and suggested she file a complaint with the OCC's HelpWithMyBank.gov.
Some time went by. Here's where she picks up the story:
"Ok. I did it. I filed the complaint to the OCC...What next? I agree this information is not being addressed. Where is the media? The government? The banks really control everything and you can bet this is why we are not hearing about it more on it. The mainstream people I have told my story to are astounded. Even someone in my local state's AG's office is dealing with the same issue with BofA. It's been a year for that person as well. Now you tell me, how fair is this? I'm due to make another payment today and it just kills me to think I'm wasting my money in more ways than one. Like how am i going to get through another week with $20 to my name....My dear grandmother who passed away this March told me stories of the great depression. I have to tell you she was a very strong soul. All I can think is that we can make it and someday we will be telling this story to my family on how we struggled to get by day to day. Isn't that something to look forward to??? I don't think so. My hope is we CAN stick together and help each other out in these tough times as my grandmothers generation did in the past. Write to the OCC. File the complaint. Be a pest. Call the bank as much as possible the squeaky wheel gets the grease (as grandma used to say). United we stand! Thanks for your blog site. At least I feel like someone is listing."
And then, a few days later, she wrote:
"Looks like things might be moving after all according to the bank now I'm in a different dept. I called three times in the last two days just to get an update and got the usual runaround. Then after the third time today I was transferred to the executive dept of the president of the bank and was told that they now have my complaint on file from the OCC and my loan will be assigned an advocate in the next 10-15 days, maybe sooner. They show the signed notarized docs were received and were moved on to the investor and they are unsure why it has taken two months for them to complete the process (more like 9 months total). Interesting isn't it. I will let you know what happens next. I would recommend filing a complaint. This all happened 48 hours after filing with OCC."
And shortly thereafter, another update from Jknippel:
"Update: Finally Done! Ok. I have to tell you I complained to the OCC and no kidding, within 15 days of doing so we finally received OUR singed copy of the final modification agreement! The terms are not ideal but you can't beat the interest rate. Nine months and finally it happened. I was really not sure of it. We had signed and sent our part back 2 months ago and then when we complained to the OCC. I was encouraged but skeptical. I called the bank 10 days ago and was told that my modification was now handled by the president's special office and they had my complaint on file from the OCC but that it would be 15 days or so to have an advocate to be assigned to me. Well when I called the other day I had a new name and number of the "new" advocate. I left them a message and today in the mail I got the FedEx package.
"File a complaint with the OCC and your local AG's office and be a pest! Keep strong. Ilyce Glink: Thank you for this site and all of your help suggestions!"
Folks, I'll say it again - file a complaint with the OCC's HelpWithMyBank.gov if you don't like the terms of the loan modification you're offered. You should also file if you haven't heard anything for months and months. Keep your case number handy and start using it when you contact your bank. Use the tools you have and hopefully something good will happen.

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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.