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.

Mortgage Servicers Beware … The People are Coming for You

One of my favorite bloggers and foreclosure fighters, Martin Andelman, serves notice that with passage of California’s Homeowners’ Bill of Rights, the tide is starting to shift against the foreclosure-fraud-factory banks. I sure hope he’s right.

Here are some excerpts from his recent post titled “Attention Mortgage Servicers… Heed these words now, because it’s much later than you think.

Here he’s following foreclosure and mortgage-servicing fraud to its inevitable end:

“About three years ago, I spoke at a conference held by the American Bar Association in Park City, Utah.  I was there to speak about the foreclosure crisis, loan modifications and, of course, homeowners, who at the time were being treated in practically the same way that Tutsis were treated by Hutus in 1994.  In the audience were at least a couple hundred banking lawyers.

“What I said that day, however, was that our housing markets would most assuredly continue their free fall and that foreclosures, as a result, had nowhere to go but up… and up… and up.  I also explained that it was not the fault of homeowners that they would increasingly be falling into foreclosure, that it was not a case of mass-irresponsibility on the part of borrowers.  Rather, as I told the audience, it was the result of the credit markets being entirely broken and home values falling fast as a result.  Negative equity, I asserted, would be the primary driver of foreclosures.

I also explained that the way homeowners were being handled in the loan modification process, servicers were pushing the pendulum too far in one direction, and that it would eventually swing back the other way with even greater force… and knock them off their feet.

“In fact, at the end of history’s similar stories, the people either storm the Bastille or shoot the Romanovs as we all wonder what happened to Anastasia.”

And this bit should concern every politician, federal and state, running for office in 2012. Many many of them were complicit in allowing the big, rich banks to run roughshod over ordinary homeowners. Let’s face it, the banksters can (and do) contribute millions to fund political campaigns.

“The biggest change that servicers are feeling is the one that can’t be seen or even easily written down.  I imagine it’s similar to how homeowners felt when they discovered that their government didn’t give a Fudgsicle® whether they lost their house… or why they lost their house.”

And a little free advice to these big banks, the executives of which seem to have forgotten little items like customer service, professionalism, ethics, competence”

“Of course, there is a profitable way out, servicers.  I have the answer to this spreading virus that threatens to destabilize your collective collections mentality.  Change.  You can do it, there’s always been more than one way to skin this cat.  In fact, you already do it when you deal with your commercial customers.

“Treat [homeowners] like customers who, like the rest of the world, are caught up in a global recession so debilitating that no one dare to discuss it until after November.  Communicate effectively, educate, be reasonably transparent… don’t lie… and no one will want to sue you.  It may sound foreign to many in the industry at first, but it’s actually how most businesses have been avoiding bankruptcy and/or prison sentences for hundreds of years.”