Disclaimer: These results should not be taken as a guarantee, as each case is unique. We have helped over 7,000 homeowners. Here is one of their stories.
Karen Reyes had a problem with the mortgage on her Florida home. (That's not her real name, but a pseudonym to protect our client's real identity.) Mrs. Reyes had fallen behind on her mortgage payments after the death of her husband and the bank wanted to foreclose.
She retained the services of Amerihope Alliance Legal Services to help her keep her home. In March of 2016 we submitted a complete Request for Modification Assistance (RMA) to Ditech, her loan servicer.
In May Ditech approved a trial modification plan, which was supposed to begin June 1, 2016.
People who apply for a loan modification are often denied, especially if they apply on their own, but Mrs. Reyes had the help of experienced professionals on her side and got the results she wanted.
Getting approved for an affordable trial modification is the hardest part for most distressed homeowners, and Mrs. Reyes already had that problem taken care of. All she needed to do was make the trial modification payments on time and she shouldn't have any mortgage problems to worry about for several decades. Nothing could go wrong now. Or could it?
Problems Getting Trial Modification Plan Paperwork
Ditech claims that it mailed the trial modification plan paperwork to Mrs. Reyes in April, but she never received it. Nonetheless, in good faith she made the first trial modification payment for $1,419.00.
Then servicing rights to the loan were transferred to Bank of America, N.A. (BANA), which had originated the loan. Mrs. Reyes made her second trial modification to BANA, but they applied the payment to the loan, which was over 20 months past due, and not to the trial modification plan like they should have!
What the H, Bank of America?
Sending Notice of Error Letter To Bank of America
Our firm urged Ditech to get a copy of the trial modification plan to Bank of America, but Ditech said it couldn't locate it, so we sent a notice of error letter to Bank of America's attorney stating:
“If Ditech caused my client to begin making trial modification payments and then transferred the loan, and in addition, BANA continued accepting trial modification payments, then my client's trial modification payments should be honored and a potential final modification be subsequently approved upon my client making a third and final payment. Therefore, the error on my client's loan caused for no fault of her own should be corrected immediately pursuant to 12 C.F.R….”
Then we let them know that we weren't just asking nicely, and that we would be holding them accountable:
“In the event that this matter is not resolved within the next thirty (30) days, I will consider submitting a formal complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against BANA and take any necessary court action to bring to light BANA and Ditech's practices.”
Bank of America promptly responded back to us confirming that Ditech had indeed offered a loan modification and stating that as long as the terms of the trial mod were met, the loan would be permanently modified. Our notice of error letter really got their attention. The speed with which Bank of America responded inspired this message in an internal memo between our paralegals:
“Wow!! I guess our Notice of Error Letter to BANA with the threat of filing a CFPB complaint had effect!!”
In the end Mrs. Reyes got the results she wanted, but there were challenges along the way that could have derailed her and forced her to give up her home in a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure agreement.
We don't let any bank play us or our clients like fools, and you shouldn't let them do it to you. You have rights and avenues to hold your bank accountable, but you have to know what they are and how to use them to get what you want.
It can be difficult for the average homeowner who has no experience with loan modifications.
That's why it's recommended that you consult with an experienced attorney if you want to get a loan modification or find another way to avoid foreclosure.
Image courtesy of ratch0013 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net