To whom it may concern,
We are writing concerning our hardship with our mortgage. In 2003 we purchased a new home at 1075 Dahlia Ct, Tracy, CA. In October 2005, we refinanced our loan thru World Savings. World Savings offered us a great offer for a “4 option pick a pay” loan, in which we had the option of paying a low interest only payment, or, interest and principle. At the time I was making great money, and the low starting interest seemed like a viable option for us.
Everything was fine. No problem with making our mortgage payment but then Cancer hit.
A word no one wants to hear. In May 2006 I was diagnosed with squamish cell carcinoma throat cancer. I did not smoke or drink. The treatment plan was put into place and I would be forced to go on disability for one year. During this time, we had to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to protect our home and autos. We used our life savings to continue making the interest only payment on the house, which started out around 2500.00 per month. We would eventually fall behind on the mortgage, however, World Savings would work with us on repaying the late mortgage and waiving late fees to help us.
Sometime in late 2007 World Savings was taken over by Wachovia. I had gone back to work full time, however in a diminished capacity as the radiation and chemo had take it’s toll on my body. My income suffered due to this, and I was making about half of what I was making prior to getting sick. 2008 arrived and we started to fall behind again on the mortgage due to the pay decrease. Wachovia was very unsympathetic. All they wanted was their money. We fell two months behind in July 2008. In August we received a letter from Wachovia demanding full payment of 7000.00 for late fees and the late mortgage payments. We called them. They refused to negotiate with us. They refused partial payment and started pre-foreclosure processing. We tried twice to open a loan modification with customer service, then mitigation, and both times were turned down.
Sometime in or around October, we had thought we had done all we could to save our home. I made one last call and was told “we have just opened a new modification dept.” and they wanted me to fax in a hardship letter. I was told it would take several weeks to receive an answer.
What happened over the next four months was at the very least almost comical. I would call them almost every day to find out some information. I NEVER received any phone calls or letters from them advising me of the status, or any requests for documents. All the calls were initiated by me. Finally one day in early November 2008, I called in and was told to fax over pay stubs for the recent 30 day period. I faxed them immediately and rec’d confirmation that the fax was rec’d by Wachovia. Several days go by. I called them again and they told me that no fax was received , and that I must fax them again. So, I again faxed them in and rec’d confirmation that the fax was received on their end.
I waited a few days and called again. I was told they did not have the requested pay stubs and had closed the file. Of course I am furious at this. I continue to call the loan mitigation department. I am given a Supervisor to talk to. The supervisor was not available and I left a message. NO return call. The next day I left two messages. NO return call. The next day I talked to the actual processor that was working on my original file. She did some investigation and lo and behold, she found my two original faxes that were sent in earlier.
It was now the first week of November. The processor Danielle, told me should we reopen the file and send it to the underwriter. I was promised a call back in a “few days”. I did not get a return call. So again I made another call. All I could ever get from them was that the modification was in process.
This goes on for a few weeks. NO information other than being told that the modification was still being reviewed. Finally, on my next call I was given good news. Told that my modification was approved and to fax over a new set of 30 day pay stubs. Of course I did it the exact moment after the request. And again it was rec’d by Wachovia.
A couple of weeks go by. No contact from the bank. I call in every other day and keep getting told it is in review.
Now it is mid-December. I don’t know why it’s taking so long. The bank had run my credit report on October 31st. I can’t get any answers from the bank and can’t get any supervisor on the phone to help me.
I remember what happened next very vividly. On December 17th I made my routine follow up phone call. I am told that my file was closed on NOVEMBER 17th because I did not supply them with my PAY STUBS. The exact same thing had happened again. I could not believe it. Now I am mad. I don’t usually scream and yell when a problem arises, however this time was different. I was of course cut off several times and hung up on before I reached an operator that took the time to listen to my entire story.
I was eventually directed to the loan processor Danielle. She promised to re-open the file if I could fax over pay stubs AGAIN! This time I made sure they rec’d them while I was on the phone with them.
Finally some resolution I had hoped.
Now we are in January. The long process and worrying over whether my house was going to be taken away had taken it’s toll. It was the holiday, and I assumed it would take some time to finalize the process. I quit making my daily call to the bank and waited a couple of weeks.
Finally, not hearing anything from the bank I decide to call in. It’s January 12th and I make the call. I am told everything was approved. Thank God. The processor tells me to finalize the deal I had to fax over my recent 30 day pay stubs again. Ok so you can guess what I am thinking. They could not lose my fax again could they? Wrong. I call in a few days later and am told my file was closed because I did not fax over the pay stubs.
I finally reach a supervisor and re-tell my entire story. She finds the fax and reopens the file. A few days later I FINALLY receive a call from Danielle.
Your modification has been approved and here are your options.
The bank would do a forbearance on the late fees and missed payments, and would apply them to the end of the loan. My interest rate and payment options would remain the same. I would start making payments again on March 1st 2008.
The bank would have a 3 year payment plan. They would start out at 2% payment of the new balance, forebear the missed payments and fees, this for the first year. I would not be charged for the negative interest accruing during this period. The second year, the payment would go to 4% and then the next year 6%. The interest rate, loan amount etc would remain the same, however, my payment would go up substantially.
NO reduction in house value to current market value. NO adjustment on interest rate. No real help at all.
I want to stay in my house. My three children have grown up in this house. This is our home. We watched it get built from the ground up. We have made many improvements on our home and invested a lot of money in landscaping and inside projects prior to getting sick.
I did not choose Cancer. Cancer chose me. I have fully recovered.
I have read and heard all the news reports of banks being helped out by government bailout money. I have read the FHA hope for homeowners guidelines and I fit into every category and requirement.
Why is the bank not helping me? My house is now valued around 280k. I owe 611k. Where is my family’s help.
Back to the modification. I feel cornered and helpless. I choose the first option that I was given. I was told it would take several weeks to get the papers to me to sign and my first payment is due in March.
Now it is late January. We get a call (can you believe that they actually called me?) and am told by Danielle that they could not get my modification approved unless I started my payments FEBRUARY 1st! I am literally given a weeks notice.
Finally on February 3rd we received the mod papers to sign and send back.