Monday, November 22, 2010


I WON MY CASE!!!!!  It's time to talk settlement :D  HUD is handling the talks with my initial input.  Then, it's off to state and federal courts for the other cases.

Have heart, everyone.  It may take time, but it does happen!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Haven't heard from HUD since the investigator came to pick up my binder.  He did say that he is working on a few different cases and that he needed to speak with a few people from Nationstar, including the woman who made the inflammatory comment that I couldn't make my house payment on disability income [which was bs since I'd been making more than double the amount for three years prior on disability income]!

I am utterly burned out by this case and all that surrounds it.  I keep paying my payment every month and am flabbergasted that Nationstar has STILL not provided me with a closing statement, nor have they provided me with any type of completed, corrected documents.  They have not called me and any calls to them are not returned.

I soooooo enjoy big business and, even more, people who blame the current administration for the foreclosure crisis' continuing problem.  Really?  Are their eyes closed?  I wish my blog was read by more people but, even more, that the information contained within was more readily available and more publicized.  But, historically, the banking industry has controlled much of everything in the world, including wars.

Hopeful that this will all be over soon. I'm ready for peace.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This is a site full of info on how to protect yourself from fraud, news regarding those arrested and/or convicted of fraud, forms to report fraud, and more.  Take a look around and see what this site has for you!

Countrywide's Foreclosure Scam: It's Not the Only Lender Ripping Off Homeowners

By Alain Sherter | Jun 8, 2010

Bank of America’s (BAC) move to settle federal charges that its Countrywide unit gouged homeowners facing foreclosure should mark the beginning, not the end, of a full-blown government crackdown on mortgage lenders. That’s because the practices Countrywide is accused of — which range from raising the cost of property inspections, to lying to borrowers about how much they owed, to charging $300 to mow the lawn — are endemic among loan servicers.

“The Countrywide settlement exposes a widespread and longstanding industry practice,” Diane Thompson, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center, told me in an email message. “The settlement offers some real hope of reining in the worst abuses in bankruptcy court — by requiring Countrywide to verify the amount owed and make sure they are charging reasonable rates — and should help reaffirm what is, I believe, already the law: You can’t put people in foreclosure who aren’t in default, and you shouldn’t overcharge homeowners in default for bogus servicers.”
Homeowners’ chief complaints in trying to stave off foreclosure run the gamut:

  • Charging fees for services not performed, or fines not actually due. Sometimes, lenders make extra cash by charging imaginary fees that are totally unwarranted. Mortgage documents and mathematical calculations can be complicated, so many consumers are unable to figure out when they’re being bilked. At the mercy of mortgage companies, they often overpay, even while facing foreclosure and bankruptcy.
  • Overstating the balance owed on a home loan. University research into recent foreclosure data found that almost half of the loans analyzed in the study included inflated balances or vague, unspecified charges. In more than 90 percent of the cases, homeowners disagreed with mortgage company calculations, believing that they were both inaccurate and too high.
  • Accumulating various fees or charges that are intentionally erroneous. Most of the fees mentioned in the study were relatively small, but they added up to gigantic amounts of extra profit for those companies who collect them. If a lender has, for example, 200,000 customers across the U.S. and overcharges each of them by $100, it adds up to additional revenue of $20 million — for basically doing nothing.
  • Failing to follow basic industry regulations. Investigators have found that some mortgage lenders are so negligent or sloppy, they don’t even comply with the most fundamental rules and regulations. A lender is required, for example, to show documented proof that they’re the actual mortgage holder before attempting to collect payments from a homeowner.
  • B of A will pay $108 million to settle the FTC suit, without admitting any fault. That’s a fairly trivial penalty given the scale of the offense.        “The size of the judgment is justified in light of Countrywide’s callous conduct, which took advantage of consumers         already at the end of their financial rope,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said.
Despite the small fine, however, the agreement gives regulators leverage to identify similar violations at other lenders and servicers. And Countrywide isn’t an aberration. In February, just to cite one example, customers of OneWest Bank (aka IndyMac) sued the California company for allegedly pushing them into foreclosure by illegally raising their mortgage payments after they’d declared bankruptcy.
As the FTC noted in announcing the settlement, it files such complaints when it has “reason to believe” that the law is being broken. That’s a fairly low legal standard for pursuing a case, since a court doesn’t need to find a lender guilty of anything to stop it from cheating borrowers. And yet such orders have the full force of law of behind them.
To their credit, the feds have launched a task force — — aimed at rooting out predatory lending, foreclosure scams and other crimes. They also created a unit within the Justice Department to promote fair lending. Some states are also moving to protect homeowners. California lawmakers have proposed a bill that prohibits lenders and loan servicers from foreclosing until after a borrower has been rejected for loan modification.
The problem is the magnitude of the crisis, which dwarfs the government’s response. Although foreclosures appear to have plateaued, the number of borrowers at risk of losing their homes remains at levels unseen since the Great Depression — in April, one out of every 387 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing, while banks repossessed more than 92,000 properties. A related issue is that lenders still routinely ignore federal guidelines for people seeking mortgage relief under the government’s flagship Home Affordable Modification Program. Nearly 40,000 borrowers complained about loan servicers failing to comply with HAMP, according to a recent report.
Meanwhile, the Countrywide settlement covers a whopping 200,000 customers. The obvious question: How many additional homeowners are getting ripped off by other lenders?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Consistency and Follow-Through

Sunday I worked through the night on my binder.  I am supposed to get together with the HUD investigator sometime this week and hand it off to him and I want to assure that the binder is pristine.  Quite frankly, despite the fact that I know that it is well-prepared, I am stressed out.  What made it worse was that someone close to me was browsing through the binder while I was printing some supporting documents and began peppering me with questions.  I don't know if the person is just slow or I wasn't making myself clear but then, how difficult is it to comprehend the following:  "I have not yet received the corrected loan modification documents."  "I didn't just stop making payments to GMAC.  I had a true hardship and made attempts to make a partial payment for one month but was refused.  The next month GMAC refused, and then the next month.  After three months of missed payments, I received a notice of foreclosure." ?  So, all day I have been more and more stressed and, now, am working on my second all-nighter in a row. Thankfully, I know that, despite my stress level, my past actions of consistency and follow-through will tide me over until I'm feeling normal again. 

There is a difference between consistency and follow-through, in case you're scratching your head in wonder.  Documenting your calls and placing your paperwork in a binder on a regular basis is consistency.  Follow-through is making that phone call tomorrow to the loan servicer or escrow account manager; leaving a message if need be, and then calling again the next day if they don't return your call.


  • grab a pencil and paper
  • draw a line down the middle
    • consistency/follow-through
  • list the things in your life that you do well under each [are you a promise keeper? that is follow-through!] 
  • on the other side of the paper, make the same columns
  • list ONE or TWO things that you would like to improve upon in your life
  • keep that list with you and/or in a place where you can see it every morning before you start your day [bathroom mirror is great!]
Give yourself some positive reinforcement.  This is a difficult time in your life!  The self-assessment of your positives is your daily "pat on the back."  The second list is a reminder to yourself that you have a goal.  Soon, although you won't actually have that piece of paper in front of you 24/7, your subconscious will be processing your goal and devising ways to help you reach it.

Peace, all.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Document and You Win!

I left off by telling you to document, document, document!  But, what's the point in having documents if you can't find them?  One of the biggest problems I had in the beginning was finding all of the important papers the mortgage company needed for my loan modification application.  This included [for me]:  proof of income in the form of last year's federal tax forms and a paycheck stub, a letter from me stating my hardship, a copy of the bill from the roofers, and a myriad of other things [many which had been destroyed by water damage to a file cabinet].

Where are your taxes?  Are they buried away in a file cabinet?  Or, shoved in a dresser drawer?  What about 2008?  It is not uncommon in this economy for banks, mortgage lenders - even potential employers - to request two prior years' income tax records.  So, maybe now would be a good time to clean out your clutter. 

A good rule of thumb is to keep seven years of tax records.  To be safe, I keep ten years worth of taxes because it costs $57.00 for each year requested! [see: how to get a copy of a prior year tax form] When you think about the money you could save as opposed to the amount of space a few tax forms would fill ... well, it just makes cents!

After you've organized your filing cabinet, find yourself one of your old [or your child's] school 3-ring binders and invest in a 3 hole punch [if you don't have one already].  The Dollar Store has them for - you guessed it -$1.00!

Whenever you get a notice/statement/ruling/etc. make use of your 3-hole punch and put the communication in the binder according to date.  Record what you received and how you responded [whether you made a call, sent an email], and make sure to mark the time and date this was done.

As you create your timeline, keep a small amount of space between each date that you enter.  [I enter my info on my computer, so I hit enter 5 times.] That way, in the future, if anything happens related to that particular date, you can go back and make a notation.  For example:

Today I was entering data into my timeline and realized that, despite six emails and numerous phone calls, I still have not received a document that was promised to me back on May 7th.  So, I went back to that date [I have printed off a hard copy for the binder] and wrote, HAVE NOT RECEIVED AS OF 6/28/10.  Priceless.  And, invaluable in court proceedings!

Over time, documenting what you say and hear will become second nature.  More importantly, it will allow you to take control of a stressful situation in a way that "big business" doesn't understand and that is, consistency.  Be consistent with your timeline and documentation and commit to follow through.  If you truly meet loan modification guidelines and you make your trial payments on time, you win!

Friday, June 25, 2010

It Starts .............

My first set of financial documents - the ones requested by my mortgage company and its law firm - was completed and sent in September, 2008.  It included my previous year federal taxes, a pay stub, the completed hardship documents, and proof of the robbery, roof replacement, boiler replacement, gas leak, and all other relevant information related to my case.

This is now one of the critical components to my HUD case - the fact that I have proof that I provided all of the documents to my mortgage company - upon the date requested.

Whether you are just beginning a loan modification or are in the middle, do your best to keep track of the date/time of all documents and when they are sent.  If you can, when sending by snail mail, get a return receipt so that you have a signature proving it was received.  If by email, get a confirmation that it was received.  If by fax, hold on to that confirmation page - staple it together with the originals!!

Foreclosure magistrates are well aware that there is "something" going on with mortgage companies and, if you get to the point of foreclosure, will be more than willing to work with you in mediation to come to a resolution if you can prove that you have been jerked around by the mortgage company :)  Also, by keeping those documents, you will be able to get yourself in on the class action against the mortgage companies in the future.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Initial Plea to The Mortgage Company [9/08]

[Attorneys for Mortgage Company]
120 East Fourth Street, 8th Floor
Cincinnati, OH  45202-4007
To Whom It May Concern:

A.L. requested that I include a hardship letter with my financial analysis information.  Following is my letter with supporting documentation:

I wasn’t quite sure to begin considering that my hardship first began in October of 2007.  It was then that I was first notified of personal identity/information theft.  This theft occurred sometime during August of 2007 and was part of a mass theft via an employee of the company Certegy.  Certegy handles online billing for my bank, The ____ Bank.  At the time I was notified, it was not known if any loss had occurred.  However, I found out at a later date that losses had, in fact, occurred.  They were documented by my former bank, now known as the _____ Bank and Trust Company.  [This account has been closed due to the identity theft activity.]
As time passed and I dealt with the aftermath of the identity theft, my chronic illnesses [systemic lupus erythematosus and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome] became active and I ended up hospitalized for almost the entire month of September. 

In October I welcomed a homeless family to stay with me for six months because the woman was a state tested nursing assistant and I was in a weakened state and needed care.  Unfortunately, I did not consider her husband and three small children.  By January the husband had run up the cable bill by ordering pay-per-view shows without permission, the children were damaging the house [e.g., flushing toys down the toilet], and running up the water, phone, electric, and natural gas bills. 
Several times there were shut off notices received but I managed to pay the bills.  However, it got to the point where I was forced to evict the family because the stress of the family living in the house was negatively affecting my health instead of positively [the original reason for them moving in].  They never paid to live in the home.  Rather, I covered all expenses for them to help take care of me while I got better.

After they moved out, unusual things started happening like I would leave the house for a doctor’s appointment, come home, and furniture would be moved around.  This happened seven or eight times.  I changed the entry and deadbolt locks.  Not long after, I went to lunch and two hours later came back home to find that I couldn’t fit my key in any of the locks.  They had been jammed and had to be replaced.  I had to file a police report.  This was not the last incident.

Since May of 2001 I had been covered by Medicaid for the Disabled and did not have to pay for prescriptions or health care.  But on May 1st I went to refill some of my seventeen prescriptions at the pharmacy and the pharmacist told me that she could fill the prescriptions but I would have to pay for them because I had no insurance coverage.  I was confused and asked her to check again.  She assured me that there was no mistake – that the computer showed that I was not insured through Medicaid.  When I spoke with my caseworker, she stated that there had been a change in my case and I was no longer covered.

At the end of May I was sitting in my office paying bills when I noticed that my gas bill was extraordinarily high [$744.00].  Since I also smelled gas, I called the gas company to come out to do a check.  The gas company rep told me that there was a major leak at the meter, boiler, and some lines were also leaking so she would have to take the meter until all repairs were made.  No meter means no hot water! 
I contacted every resource I knew for help but it still turned out that the whole boiler and all the gas lines had to be replaced.  And, when inspecting for the job, the team determined that the roof was rotten around the chimney and was leaking badly [which had caused the boiler damage/leak], so I had to set up a schedule to have the roof replaced as well!  The boiler job couldn’t be completed until June 25, which meant that we were without hot water for more than a month.  Cold showers were not enjoyable.  My daughter and I heated water on the stove and in the microwave to bathe.  Voegli & Son [419-779-1259] handled the replacement of the boiler and gas lines.   

During a storm several large tree branches fell in my yard.  One grazed the roof but didn’t do any damage.  It happened the week before the roofers came, ironically.  On Monday, the roofers showed up and knocked the chimney down and replaced it with roof vents; some had to be modified by the boiler and gas lines .  I was busy concentrating on having the roof and my house taken care of – not thinking of the branches - hence one of my neighbors complained about them being down, even though they were down for less than ten days.  I’ve included the complaint in the attachment.  The complaint came a week after the branches were gone, by the way.

On July 29th the wheel bearings in the car I was driving [borrowed from my friend] gave out and I had to pay for the repairs.  The reason I was borrowing a car in the first place is that someone had borrowed my car for the day and wrecked it beyond repair.

Several weeks later, on August 17th, my house was robbed.  Not just tampering; all electronics including my desktop computer [I am sending this from Kinko’s; hence the delay], television, vcr, jewelry, et-al were stolen. 

So, you see, I’ve not been actively trying to miss payments.  I’ve been putting money into my home.  The boiler system and gas lines and roof replacement alone easily equal the payments that I’m behind. 

Ideally, I’d like to make September’s payment now and have GMAC waive June, July, and August’s payments.  Considering all the money that I’ve had to put into my home [due to all that wasn’t mentioned in the home inspection] I believe that is fair and equitable.  The remaining balance I would like attached to the end of the mortgage.

Upon acceptance of these terms, I will issue September’s payment right away and however/wherever GMAC or your office designates, with regular payments to follow on schedule via the GMAC website.
Thank you,


Friday, June 18, 2010

The HAMP Scam - You Can Survive It!

The newest scam mortgage lenders are perpetuating on unsuspecting buyers is costing buyers their homes. Home Affordable Modification Program, otherwise known as HAMP, is a US Treasury program designed to help at-risk homeowners.  When done properly, HAMP is a fantastic program!

Unfortunately, lenders have found a way to screw homeowners - while lining their pockets with government funds.

Each homeowner that signs up for the HAMP program generates $1000.00 for the lender. The homeowner is required to make 3 [three] trial payments to satisfy the program requirements before the loan modification is approved. During this time, Lender "loses" the homeowner's paperwork which makes it impossible for the homeowner to complete the modification within the allotted time period. Therefore, an extension is granted, which is considered a new modification -- which means another $1000.00 for the lender!!!


The lenders are not discriminating based upon gender, race, disability, et-al. They will screw anyone over.  It's like a mortgage orgy!

So, how do you avoid it?  Keep a copy of every piece of paper you send your mortgage lender and when it is sent.  By this I mean, don't send by regular mail.  Send so that someone has to sign for it!  Or, fax it and get the fax transmittal.  Or, if you are emailing paperwork, request a confirmation email and save that email.

The best way to beat the Mortgage Monsters is to DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT.  For three years I have been keeping a journal - a timeline, if you will - of every phone call to and from anyone having to do with my mortgage.  You should, too.


For more information on loan modifications, visit