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Posts Tagged ‘Bank of America Home Loans’

Homeowners Fighting Back, and when the Judicial System actually lets them show their Evidence…Winning

December 12, 2013 1 comment

A Judge in Florida, whom I have a tremendous amount of respect for, made quite a ruling in November.  For years now homeowners have complained of rising payments on fixed-rate notes that were not explained to them by the banks other than an “escrow shortage” that couldn’t be accounted for.  For years now homeowners have claimed they were told to stop paying, by that very bank, to get a modification to fix the “escrow shortage” problem.   A modification the bank had no intention on giving, and developed internal controls to prevent.  Homeowners who claimed they tried to make the payments they contracted for and had payments sent back, all while the banksters convinced the legislative and judicial branches that those homeowners were just wanting to live “rent free” and not paying anything.  They didn’t bother to hold their returned checks in their hands like some of us have had to. 

When your payment rises over $1,000 a month and there really is no explanation for “mystery fees” or forced place insurance policies that are completely insane price-wise, then it’s time to speak up.  I’ve even seen earthquake insurance being force-placed on a North Florida panhandle resident (the USGS disagrees with that possibility however).  Finally a Judge who seems to understand that BOA deliberately inflated payments with no explanation and that force placed insurance and “mystery” fees are deliberate.  If you are in foreclosure because your payment “mysteriously” grew to where you couldn’t afford it, and then perhaps told to stop paying so a modification that would never happen would “fix” it, maybe it wasn’t a mistake.  Maybe it was a scheme to get those overpriced loans off the books that the banks should have never made in the first place and later realized such.  It’s a different world when a court of law actually allows you to present your evidence isn’t it?  When you, as a homeowner, are actually allowed due process?  Wow.  I can only imagine how much paperwork the bank threw at the homeowner to fight that in court.  Glad to see justice prevailed.  2013-11-21-085932-3

“We need you to show a hardship. However, we see you are current on your mortgage, and that shows you do not need a modification”

October 3, 2013 1 comment

Now in 2013, it is safe to look back and realize that when Bank of America took over Countrywide’s loans (allegedly) that they inherited a mess.  We realized that years later when we learned of Countrywide schemes that are now the subject of litigation.  Schemes such as the “hustle” would drown homeowners in a matter of years, while the bank made sure enough time had gone by to present a statute of limitations argument against homeowner claims.

Sickening.  We know there was fraud at the inception of these loans, and borrowers were not getting the deal they thought they were, and we know there is clearly fraud at the end, as over and over we see the wrong bank in court.  What about in between?  Have we stopped to think about what Bank of America did when they realized what they had purchased (allegedly)?

What did they do?  They had a systematic plan from the beginning. They knew that adjustable rate mortgages would go up to the point where the homeowner would need help and call to inquire about a modification.  They knew Countrywide had given plenty of those type of loans at the height of the market.

The conventional loans were a bigger problem however.  If the payment remained the same then this underwater loan with a high risk of default would stay on their books, and no one wanted that.  Too high of a risk.  So the conventional loans began to see an “escrow shortage”.  Now granted escrow accounts fluctuate, and payments go up if taxes go up or if insurance does.  How does Bank of America explain an escrow shortage of $12,000 in a little over a year?  Would taxes and insurance have risen to the point of an extra $900 a month?

We’ve seen forced placed insurance that is egregious.  I’ve personally seen earthquake insurance being escrowed against a homeowner in North Florida.  A check of the USGS will show you there are no fault lines here, however.  We’ve seen escrow shortages that truly don’t add up.  Is that how Bank of America and the other big four banks decided to get rid of the conventional loans that they really didn’t want?

They knew the adjustable rate borrowers would call, and a conventional borrower would too if escrow caused their payment to act like an adjustable rate.  And that is where both types of borrowers were given the same line:  “We need you to show a hardship.  However, we see you are current on your mortgage, and that shows you do not need a modification”.  And both borrowers would fall for it understandably.  The person who alleges in court they are the holder of the contract (mortgage) just changed the terms in a big way.  Fannie Mae’s new guidelines for servicers even show they are now aware of this.

Now take the Bank of America affidavits and do the math.  1) No intention of qualifying the majority of applications for HAMP; 2) giving incentives to employees for putting homes into foreclosure or “in-house” modifications because they were more profitable and “in-house” modifications had a higher interest rate than HAMP; 3) HAMP didn’t require a borrower to stop payment for a modification but ironically a borrower is required to be 60-days behind for the “in-house” modification that Bank of America preferred as stated by their employees.

Thus, the borrower is lured into default and into Bank of America’s trap.  The never-ending modification cycle with no intention of giving one.  To the homeowner, it is losing a home when they truly did nothing but follow the bank’s instructions, To the bank, it is an improved portfolio.  Which should our justice system protect?

Bank Induced Defaults….and What the Government Knew

July 3, 2013 20 comments

For so long, every time a homeowner was told “You need a modification.  However, we can’t help you get one because you are current on your payments.  You need to get behind payments to show us a hardship so we can modify your loan.” and the homeowner thought they were being considered for HAMP it was a lie.  HAMP didn’t require homeowners to miss payments.

From the HAMP page “Administrative Website for Servicers”, “Administered by Fannie Mae” there is a document called the “HAMP Resolution Matrix” apparently for servicers to follow.

In paragraph 26 it states:  “Homeowner Advised to Miss Payment (1) Confirm with homeowner (or homeowner advocate) that the property is the homeowner’s principal residence. (a) If no, explain that a homeowner can never be required to miss a payment however, under HAMP Tier 2 there is no risk of imminent default review when the mortgage loan is secured by a rental property. Explain the HAMP Tier 2 eligibility criteria and close case. (b) If yes, advise homeowner (or homeowner advocate) that they are NOT required to miss a payment. (Advise homeowner that they will be reviewed against imminent default criteria for principal residence.)(3) Obtain evidence that homeowner was advised to miss payment(s) including name and contact phone number of servicer’s representative.(4) Confirm with servicer. (a) If servicer acknowledges error, require servicer to communicate correct status to homeowner (or homeowner advocate). (b) If servicer denies allegation, communicate misunderstanding to homeowner (or homeowner advocate), discuss next required actions before closing case.”

https://www.hmpadmin.com/portal/programs/docs/hamp_servicer/escalated_case_docs/hampresolutionmatrix.pdf

How dare they?  “If servicer denies allegation communicate misunderstanding to homeowner…”?  Are you kidding?  Forcing a homeowner into default by misrepresenting the HAMP requirements and then dragging them through a fraudulent modification scheme to collect government funds and foreclose instead of modifying (as seen in the BOA affidavits) to profit.  And relying on the servicer to admit or deny it?  That is a “misunderstanding” to communicate to a homeowner?

NO – it is estoppel.  PERIOD.  And court decisions will show you that the court has the power to put homeowners in situations like this right back to where they were when the bank uttered those “stop payment” words.  If they are out arrearages and fees, it is their own doing.  Recently I encountered a case, not on “stop payment” grounds but on the grounds that the homeowner made the trial payments and the bank sent them back.  And the Judge didn’t like that so much, so the bank will answer for their own causing of arrearages and fees, along with sanctions and attorney’s fees because had it not been for their behavior the client would not have had to hire me.

Bank of America contracted out a lot of their HAMP work to third party vendors such as Urban Lending Solutions.  The problem?  They instructed the third party vendors on what to do to violate what they took government money to do.  Those vendors, along with Bank of America induced defaults, and then thwarted the modification process in a fraudulent scheme.   The employee affidavits show just as much.  Other banks did just the same, and the defaults were their own doing.

Let’s get real clear.  What this document labels a “misunderstanding” is no misunderstanding at all.  In law, we call it fraud.

Where is Common Sense? Where is Morality?

October 19, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s an election year.  Nothing is being done.  Example of why common sense should rule.  Bank of America: Stops paying taxes in full, and homeowner finds out about it when the payment goes up $1,000 a month.

Homeowner wants to save the home for his daughter and her husband and their four small children. Homeowner calls and asks for a modification because they can’t afford it. Homeowner has a perfect credit rating. Homeowner is told by Bank of America that if they do not stop paying they cannot show hardship for a loan modification (if you are current you can’t show that you have an inability to pay). Homeowner stops paying at Bank of America’s request. Bank of America declines the modification. Bank of America puts homeowner through two more modification rounds and forces homeowner to spend hundreds of dollars on faxes, etc. to them. Bank of America refuses to allow homeowner to resume making payments. Then Bank of America files for foreclosure. Homeowner says “why? You are the one that made me stop paying and refunded what I did pay after that.” Bank of America says “Because Freddie Mac owns the loan”. Homeowner says “but you are the Plaintiff?”. Bank of America says “we are just the servicer. Freddie Mac owns the note and mortgage.” Homeowner’s lawyer says “how can Bank of America sue and say they own a note and mortgage that they do not own?”. Courts say it doesn’t matter. Bank of America tries another modification and forces Homeowner to quit claim the deed to daughter and son-in-law who have to pay $1400 for the deed in order to be considered for the modification.

Meanwhile, Bank of America admits in an Amended Complaint in Court that they bought the loan from Countrywide FSB who merged with Bank of America in 2009. Homeowner challenges how Countrywide then assigned the note (according to court documents) in 2012 if they didn’t exist after 2009. Courts say it doesn’t matter. Bank of America says daughter and son would qualify for a modification, and we had them execute a quit claim deed for that, but the Homeowner has to qualify after all and they can’t. Sorry. Then why the $1400 for the quit claim deed? This is the worst scheme that I have ever seen.  Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are exempt from the Attorney General Settlement.  The federal government has forced these banks (and Fannie and Freddie) to lower their debt.  NO other way than to stop paying insurance and taxes and force payments up through escrow shortage and then wrongfully foreclose.  Something has to be done.

This is the way they go:  check your escrow accounts.  They stop paying taxes and insurance on purpose – they have to get the bad loans off the books.