“If you are unable to pay your mortgage, contact your lender or the company that collects your mortgage payment as soon as possible. Mortgage lenders want to work with you to resolve the problem, and you may have more options if you contact them early.” (Actual text from the Federal Reserve website)
We’ve all seen and heard variations of this “don’t wait, tell us now and we’ll help” message in mailings from banks and mortgage lenders, on television and radio and even from the President himself. And a whole bunch of us actually thought if we did the right thing and asked for help, we might get to keep our homes. Unfortunately, it seems that these federal programs are a lot of talk and not much action – at least not in favor of the average person just trying to keep a roof over his head.
My particular nemesis is Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the company whose co-president says, “We look forward to continually working with all the participants in the housing finance industry to find more solutions that benefit consumers – expanding homeownership and preserving it.” Too bad Wells Fargo doesn’t d what it says it will. But it seems all the big mortgage lenders are playing the same shell game with their customers -“lost” paperwork, contradictory information, trial modifications that lead straight to foreclosure. Well, I’m not going to stand for it and quietly let Wells Fargo Home Mortgage steal my home.
I’m not some scammer trying to get out of paying a debt. I am an ordinary single woman in my late 40s, a self-employed small-business owner who fell prey to the recent economic downturn and the demise of a personal relationship. In good faith, after many mailings from Wells Fargo urging me to contact my lender well before I reached the point of default, I started the mortgage modification process late March 2010. I fully expected that, encouraged by the federal government, Wells Fargo would in good faith consider granting the aid I requested by the time the inevitable seasonal downturn in my business came about (think outdoor activities when it’s 103 degrees out and you can easily see the reason for the reduction in my income in July and August).
That hasn’t happened, and not because I didn’t comply with every single request to provide the same documents over and over and over again. I have lost count of the hours I’ve spent in the phone queue and the number of representatives I have spoken with – all but one of whom was pleasant and courteous and some of whom genuinely seemed to be trying to be helpful – all the while getting differing and confusing and contradictory information week after week.
I say “Enough!” Why are these banks treating their customers so badly? Because the big mortgage servicers think they’re too big to have to follow any of the laws of the nation, the directives from the U.S. Treasury or even the loan modification guidelines set by the loan owners, also known as “investors.”
Find facts, insights and the depressing truth about mortgage modification on my website, WellsFargoMortgageModScam.