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SALT LAKE CITY -- On Sunday Edition with Bruce Lindsay we discussed the problems people are having with loan modifications. Layton Mayor Steve Curtis fought for nearly a year to sort out the mess that resulted when he applied for a trial loan modification and Bank of America wrongly foreclosed.
Here are some other horror stories people shared with us through e-mail and on Facebook.
Comment on Facebook and let us hear your stories, both of success and disaster.
"I've been going through this mess for over two year. I hate CitiMortgage with a passion." -Caytlin McCleery "We are in a fight with a lender and it started with the Making Home Affordable Program. We have had to go with a lawyer to get them even play by the law." -Dave Peterson "I paid $3,000 for a loan modification and they sold the house out from under us!" -Trina Thomson Kilgore "Almost exactly the same thing happened to us in dealing with Citi mortgage. While applying for a loan modification, other departments of Citimortgage were countinuing with the foreclosure process. It was very scary to believe those in the Loss Mitigation department to ignore all the certified notices we received. Eventually we got a modification, more than a year after applying, but it was an extremely stressful and scary time in our lives. I hope you can let the mayor know that there are others out there going through the same thing he has gone through; that he's not alone. We also had to pay all those legal fees and charges along the way. It's very upsetting." -Tammi Velasquez
"I am currently going through the same problem. I applied for a loan modification and was told all is going well. However just yesterday, Feb 26th, a notice has been taped to my door stating that my home has been sold to Fannie Mae and I have 5 days to vacate." - Henrie Hunter "All in all, the time spent was well over a year's worth of frustration and ruined credit; ruined credit for no reason after 35 years of exemplary credit. It makes no sense. There were programs designed to help, but it all became a nightmare when dealing with BOA. I've never once worried that someone could take my home if I were paying monthly on it, and was current, but came to find out that BOA could, just because they are a big company, and they can get away with it. I am still in fear with BOA having the modification, that year's down the road something in the "fine print" will come up, and our home will foreclose, or be theirs. They honestly scare the crap out of me.
"If we could refi with someone else we would, but they have ruined our credit because of the modification, and jacked up the price of our loan to where we will never get out of it. It seems as though they get you coming and going. Not sure what all those Government plans were about, obviously they haven't benefitted those of us who really needed them." -Donna Brooks "Thanks so much for sharing about wrongful foreclosures. My husband and I felt like you were sharing our story. We have done all we can to get our bank to work with us. Seems one end of the country is not communicating with the other end. One person tells us to do such and such and it will prevent us from foreclosure. We continue to get letters. When I call the bank they tell us we are not on the list. Then the West end of the country says they will take our home. East end says no. Just a nightmare.
"We cannot afford a lawyer and don't know where to turn anymore. I got a hold of this company that claimed they could get us a loan modification. Turns out they were a scam. We lost money. We are going through AAA Fair credit a home counselor to see what we can do. In the mean time we are in the same mess as the article and Sunday edition. My husband and I are so upset over all this. The bank's not being honest with us. We may just walk away. Lawyers I talk with promise me this and that. Then I have to pay more money out. At least Fair Credit is a free service. We have been battling this since last June. I do everything that is asked and still not getting the answers. One minute they tell us we qualify for a loan modification then they have us go through now our second trial period.
"All I see is us getting more behind and in return the banks know this so they will eventually take our house. Just so heart breaking. I could go on forever. I'm going to keep fighting. Only so much my husband and I can do. Thanks for sharing. At least we are not alone in this mess." -Hayley Huefner The overlying message is: you're not alone, and there may be comfort in that, but that doesn't necessarily make it easier to deal with. In the end, there are still bills to pay and a house to fight to keep.
While there is no guarantee to successfully completing a loan modification and avoiding foreclosure, here are several steps to help you through the process.
- Do not try it on your own. Advocate Marco Fields (TEEMSUtah.org) recommends contacting a HUD certified counselor. "They understand the ins and outs; and if you have an opportunity for success they are the ones that are going to get it," she says.
- Figure out who owns your loan. Several people we talked to said they ran into problems because the bank did not have the note.
- Keep ALL paperwork. Many homeowners have complained about banks losing paperwork.
- Expect a lengthy trial period. "The reality is that Bank of America now has 50,000 full time employees just handling this crisis in their foreclosure division. It's a lot of employees and they get 100,000 phone calls a day, so unless you can get into those escalation processes it really is hard to go anything less than 8-9 months before you know what your final outcome is," Fields says.