The mother of all HAMP Horror Stories as told recently on the FDL News Desk reveals the agony and frustration of dealing with banks that are unwilling, unable, unsure, unscrupulous or just plain unqualified to provide help for Miami homeowners.
As our Miami foreclosure defense lawyers report frequently on our Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog, saddling the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) with its clunky name may have foreshadowed the ineffectiveness of the federal program meant to assist homeowners. Far too few homeowners have been helped and the government recently determined the contracts it made banks sign will only permit it to intervene should banks become too overzealous in approving modifications.
The case the News Desk profiled is held out to be the pinnacle of absurdity. But, in fact, it is typical.
The California pool builder purchased a $900,000 home in 2007. When the bubble popped, his income plummeted by 80 percent. He called Citi Mortgage in early 2009 when HAMP was announced. The bank said they wouldn’t help him because he hadn’t missed any payments and was showing no signs of default.
Months later, the bank called unsolicited and gave him a trial modification with a 2 percent interest rate for 5 years, drastically lowering his payment to $2,170. He was told if he made the payments for 90 days and sent in his application with a qualifying income, he would be given a permanent modification.
When he didn’t hear anything during the fourth month, he called and said Citi told him they were backed up. This went on for a year until he got a call saying he was 12 months behind on his mortgage and owed $15,000. After being transferred, another department told him he had been dropped from the program (but not why, which is a violation of HAMP).
The bank gave him 30 days to pay or lose his home.
With each passing week, with each passing month, with each new story, it becomes more and more evident that seeking the advice of a qualified attorney is the best bet when it comes to fighting for your rights. That’s what this homeowner did. Check back here next week for the rest of the story.
If you need help with foreclosure issues in Miami or the surrounding areas, including short sales, deficiency judgments, strategic defaults or other help for Miami homeowners, contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991.