Have you ever played Monopoly with a person who did not play by the rules even if you did? They passed go, collected their payday and never got the go to jail card. That is exactly what is happening when lenders and servicers are not playing HAMP by the rules even when homeowners are.
Lenders collect their trial payments many times for several months keeping homeowners in HAMP limbo only to deny them, move forward to foreclose, refuse to explain why and refuse to play by the required rules of the program. The program itself can be great for many people once you are able to navigate through the process. The California Democratic Congressional Delegation urges bank investigations and has posted several examples of the HAMP red-tape and these examples reflect some of the recurring problems a large majority of homeowners are desperately trying to navigate.
A servicer's attorney recently told me that their client did not have to follow the HAMP rules because they were merely guidelines not law. That statement although not a big surprise was not only disheartening, it was scandalous. There was a time when people could trust their banker to do the right thing, we are currently not living in those times. Even the Fannies and Freddies of the world which this program was originally made for are rushing foreclosures through, many times refusing to postpone the foreclosure sales even in the midst of the HAMP program, without blinking an eye. I do believe that you as a homeowner can fight to save your home, but you must take matters into your own hands, and truly advocate for yourself to see it through to success. This means involving whoever you have to to get the job done.
"The Game" is what most HAMP applicants experience. The red tape the servicers put them through when applying for the Home Affordable Modification Program is enough to drive people to give up hope and walk away from their homes.
We have Robo-signers, shoddy foreclosure processing, and the huge problem that has been overlooked by many, which are servicers acting in "bad faith" to American homeowners.
"Houston: we have a problem." The mishandling of the United States Treasury Department's HAMP Program is not a small one, it is widespread and people are losing homes, neighborhoods are losing value, and cities are losing revenue because of it.
Since servicers do not feel there is a law in place that makes them follow the requirements of the program, they seem to disregard that they signed the servicer's participation agreement. This is a contract with the United States where we the people are the intended beneficiaries of the HAMP program, as in a recent case, Marquez vs. Wells Fargo in San Diego, CA. US District Court Judge M. J. Lorenz ruled in favor of the homeowner stating that homeowners are the intended beneficiaries of the program. Homeowners need the required HAMP guidelines to be enforced.
There are countless people who have lost and continue to lose their homes due to the mishandling of their files by their servicer/lender, mistakes, misinformation, and the refusal to postpone foreclosure sales while in the HAMP process. For a homeowner to be successful it is important to be a squeaky wheel and escalate to management and other entities when necessary. Remember that you MUST know your full financial picture and how your income and expenses fall into the HAMP guidelines. The more you know about the rules and how they apply to you the more you can push back when you are given incorrect answers or information.
You MUST keep track of everything you send in, the dates you sent them, dates you speak to people, their department, full name and times in a conversation log. This will come in handy in your battle to save your home.
When you are informed and prepared you can move forward and escalate your case to fight for your home with confidence.
Put on your boxing gloves and question authority. You can do it!!
For a comprehensive HAMP income and expense analysis that will help you apply with confidence, please visit http://www.theloanmodguru.com.