In Case You Thought the Mortgage Mod Process Had Improved

While I was clearing out some old news items to make way for my website’s more up-to-date and topical News page, I ran across this February 2011 clip from MSNBC’s now-defunct The Dylan Ratigan Show.

Listening to Ratigan and his guests describe the way banks were scamming homeowners with HAMP trial modifications, it struck me that I’m reading about some of the same practices from commenters to my blog posts in 2015.

This PBS NewsHour segment I dug up from October 2010 also tells a story familiar to my readers, including homeowners’ reports of spending endless hours on the phone, sending paperwork over and over, dual-tracking and multiple (and often unresponsive) assigned contact people.

“You get put under a lot of stress, trying to get help. And it’s not there.”

Wow! The more things change, the more the big banks have been screwing over honest, hard-working people for years with the collusion of the Obama administration, Congress, the courts and every regulatory agency that’s supposed to look out for consumers.

And, while we’re on the subject, this headline from intrepid (and prescient) blogger Martin Andelman might just be my favorite:

THE JURY IS IN: Obama’s Foreclosure Program Run by Morons… and Trial Modifications are the Biggest Loan Mod Scam Ever

If I knew then what I know now – and what Martin Andelman correctly predicted – I would have saved myself a whole lot of work and anguish and walked away with a bigger bank account and a smaller waistline. (That stress eating while sending out your 90th set of loan mod docs really adds up!)

Well, the morons are still in charge and thanks to the way campaigns are financed now, they will continue to be. And trial mortgage loan modifications are still a big scam.

I’ve found a few other information gems I had forgotten about – including updated facts and figures from sites I haven’t looked at in years – that I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks.

5 thoughts on “In Case You Thought the Mortgage Mod Process Had Improved

  1. HI. I just got a phone call that my loan modification was denied because my loan was over $729,000 (it is 900,000 and Wells, Fargo knew this back in April when they asked me to submit papers). Then, I got a letter today that I was denied because I did not submit a profit and loss statement for my real estate company.. …I don’t have a real estate company and never got anything in writing/or called about this.

    We have a sheriff sale on 9/1 !!! They will not do anything about it. I wrote to the CEO, the head of mortgage etc. No response.

    Wells, Fargo should be totally investigated.

    The worse part is that we have horses (a farm) and to liquidate in a week is impossible. I have lost a lot of weight doing endless paperwork……….

    Thank you for your web-site. I wish everyone on here would complain. I have 12
    CFP complaints in already.

    Thank you,


    • Sorry for what you’re going through, Maryalice. Wells Fargo does just seem to make up whatever seems to support whatever excuse they’re using on any given day to decline to re-structure loans. I’ll bet if pressed, the “home preservation” person you’re working with will blame “the investor” for arbitrarily saying loans over $729,000 aren’t eligible. (And even if the HAMP or other guidelines don’t specify that limit, it won’t matter to Wells Fargo or any of the agencies that are supposed to protect consumers from fraud. So maddening.)
      You mentioned on FB that you used to be in the banking industry – if someone familiar with the business can’t get through what should be a straight-forward financial review, I don’t know how the millions of less informed people are supposed to. That’s what makes it painfully clear that we’re not supposed to – the banks are going to engineer these foreclosures no matter what and there doesn’t seem to be any person or agency that can or will stop them.
      I feel for you and your horses – I’m a horse owner myself, though they’re boarded out. When I was fighting my foreclosure a huge source of stress was worrying about what would happen to my dogs and cats, including a geriatric German Shepherd who would not have happily made a move. One benefit of the bank’s delay-and-deny game was that the process dragged on until after that dog’s death.
      Good wishes to you. I hope you find someone to help you win your fight.

  2. Well Fargo

    In 2005, after the death of my husband, I approached Wachovia Mortgage, in order
    to reduce my monthly expenses to a more manageable amount.

    In Superior Escrow’s Closing Statement, over $100,179.83 had been added to the
    cost of that loan, and no one from Wells Fargo had ever been able to show who
    received those funds.

    In the process of closing escrow on the 2005 Refinance, it was noted that the
    property taxes were in default. However the Loan History Statement, showed that
    the taxes had been paid, and on which dates they had been paid. However, Wells
    Fargo has been unable or unwilling to show who received those funds. Or why
    those deductions from my Impound Account have never been returned to the Impound Account, that was set up to pay those property taxes.

    In 2009, Wells Fargo duped me into a Loan Modification, which I did not request,
    with the promise of a $52,627.49 principal reduction. Then in the Loan
    Modification agreement document, (which I was given barely one week to sign and
    return under threat of the Loan Modification would be void), I believe Wells
    Fargo intentionally, deliberately and premediatatedly extended the length of the
    loan by fourteen year, four months, with the first five years of which I would
    pay them back, in interest only, which amounted to over $42,000.00. Wells
    Fargo’s Loan Modification (to modify as in minor change, effectively extended my
    30 year loan, to a loan of forty-four-years and four-months, a length of time
    never spelled out in the modification agreement. Wells Fargo simple sugstituted
    a 4 for a 3 on the year of maturity of the loan. Even more bizarre was that this Loan Modification offer wasn’t even signed by an officer of Wells Fargo. A name and position were printed below the line, the thee was no signature on the top of the line, where the approval for the ooffer would exist.

    At one point of this Loan Modification, I had paid Wells Fargo over $149,000.00
    toward interest on this Loan, yet I had reduced the principal balance by less
    than $1,057.00.

    Over the years, on numberous occassions, I have sent letters requesting, copies
    of documents regarding the alleged request for a Loan Modification. Wells Fargo
    has never been able to produce documentation of my request for a loan
    modification, as it does not, nor ever it, did exist. Wells Fargo reported to
    the Credit Reporting Agencies that they had given me a Loan Modification, Which
    preventing me from acquiring a legitimate Loan Modification.

    I have submitted to Wells Fargo, numerous letters requesting documentation,
    assistance, information or justification for several issues regarding this
    outrageous, deceitful Loan Modification; going through the offices of Ms. Leesa
    Whitt-Potter (Senior Vice President – Wells Fargo Home Lending)) and Ms. Nakia
    Steelman (Executive Resolution Specialist – Customer Care & Recovery Group), all to no avail.

    I’ve come to believe Wells Fargo’s inability to honorable provide documentation
    and information, that I feel I am legally entitled, has damaged me personally,
    physically, emotionally, spiritually, destroyed a significant relationship and
    compromised familial and social relationships.

    I’ve suffered several hysterical breakdowns, had several contemplations of
    suicide, because I could find no justice in what Wells Fargo has done to me! I
    could find no justice anywhere. I must continue to pay or I lose my property!

    I personally believe Wells Fargo’s arrogance, unethical failure to produce
    documentation, and breach of fiduciary duty makes them incapable of providing
    for the trust necessary to recieve license by the United States Federal Banking

    In the ASSURANCE agreement between Michael Heid (Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. –
    Executive Vice President) and Benjamin G. Diehl (Dupty Attorney General) for
    Edmond G. Brown Jr. Attorney General of California, it is my understanding that
    Wells Fargo agreed to provide ‘significant principal forgiveness’; however, what
    Wells Fargo gave with one hand, it retracted with the other hand.

    It is my oppinion, no one doing business with Wells Fargo under the guise of
    their Loan Modification could ever come away whole.

    Bonnie Jean Stanley

  3. The people who run Wells Fargo should NOT be fined. They should be put in prison. They receive $$$billions in bailout money at essential ZERO interest and the turned around an screwed home owners instead. Excuse after excuse spews from their forms letters. I see that Leesa Whitt Potter is often times at center of these problems. Leesa, orange really is the new black for you. You really look good in it.

  4. We originated our Wells Fargo loan, March of 2006, interest only 10/20 loan. We did everything right, purchased below appraised value, put 20% down of our own money. We were told we would be able to streamline into a fixed 30 year at any time as long as we made our payment and keep good credit scores. We have always made our payments on time for 10 years and had high 700 to 800 credit score. Starting in 2008, we attempted to refinance to a fixed mortgage rate. But with the collapse of the housing market our house was worth about half what it was in 2006, making it impossible to appraise above the owed amount. With that we couldn’t sell it and no other mortgage company would refinance us with a property worth less then we owe. That left us with only being able to work with Wells Fargo. At which point we contacted Wells Fargo in attempts to do a streamline refinance, to change, modification or to convert our mortgage to a fix rate at current rates. We have made several attempts every year since then. Right up until February and again in April of 2016, to work something out with Wells Fargo. To no withal, we have not been able to obtain a Streamline refinance, modification or refinance, all request for help have been denied on all accounts. Told over and over, are payments are current and we can afford our current mortgage payment as the reason for denials for streamline refinance and modifications. Last I checked neither were grounds to denying a streamline!
    In June 2007, I had to have major spinal surgery, resulting in the fusing of my thoracic spine from T-4 to C-1 by instrumentation. This had to be done after I obtained MRSA in my spine, which eat up and destroyed several thoracic vertebra, 2 ribs and the loss of pulmonary function in my right lung. As a result, from years of Vancomycin treatment to fight off the MRSA, my immune system has been compromised and lost its ability to fight off common colds, viruses and bacteria. Once every month I have to visit with various specialist and every 3 months I have to spend a day at the hospital to receive intercostal nerve blocks. After which, I am bed bound for days, which by itself makes it hard to hold a job and results in Ellen missing days of work to drive me and take care of our son.
    Over the last 8 years, I have held various jobs doing numerous different positions. All resulting in short term due to me getting sick or having some medical health set-backs. As result, we have had to uses various other means to maintain our bills and credit. We were never late on either mortgage payment. We have had to use credit cards and have dip into retirement on several occasions to pay bills while I am out of work. Then when I get employed we start paying everything off and catching up. My last employment started in 11/2014, at $45 an hour, $70k plus a year. As a result of the long drive and work days, I had numerous illness and pneumonia 3 times. In April 2016, I got sick again and they terminated my contract April 15, 2016.
    Do to my health I lost my job in April of 2016, coupled with our interest only mortgage maturing in June our payment jumping from $2768 to $3786. We , As much as we would love to stay in our home and retire here, our continuing financial struggles and both our health declining makes it so we cannot sustain a home mortgage of $3786 to Wells Fargo. In June, we missed our first payment to Wells Fargo and applied for modification, which Wells Fargo denied; we appealed and they denied that, saying we could afford the $3786 mortgage payment and that should come first.
    Wells Fargo pushed us into either going to foreclosure or Short sale our home. Well, short sale it is, they have accepted an offer $130,000 below what we owe on our mortgage. I feel like our house was just stolen right out from under our feet. We have lost our $120,000 down payment and another $80,000 in first year renovations.

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