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March 6th, 2009 (Modified on January 30th, 2013)

Update1: Clark Howard Simplifies “Making Home Affordable” Plan

by

 

Update1 (02/02/10): This post has received a lot of comments from readers who are frustrated over the lack of communication between borrower and servicers. The Treasury recently made some mandatory changes to HAMP that are designed to improve servicer-borrower communications.

Click here to read our post titled “Changes to HAMP: Docs Required Upfront,” and share your experience by leaving us a comment.

Original post (published on 03/06/09): With all the executive summaries, Q&As, fact sheets, and guidelines, it’s easy for borrowers to get lost when dissecting all the text that has accompanied the president’s Housing Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP) in order to see if they qualify.

Clark Howard has gone the opposite route, dividing the qualifications for the “Making Home Affordable” plan into two categories:  late borrowers, and current borrowers:

If you can not afford payments and can not refinance for whatever reason, you will have the opportunity to have your loan temporarily reduced to 31% of your monthly income. This applies to homes valued at up to $759,750 in most areas of the country. Your interest rate may drop to as low as 2% for the next 5 years!

Under the second scenario, those who are current on a mortgage held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will also be allowed to refinance — as long as they’re not more than 5% upside down in their home. (Note: This does not include a second mortgage). The new loan you’ll get will likely be re-written to an interest rate of around 5.125%.

And you may also be eligible for assistance even if your loan is not with Fannie or Freddie. That’s up to your individual lender, so get in touch with them to find out if you qualify.

Another aspect of the mounting housing plan that could impact late borrowers is the mortgage cramdown. Pending a vote in the Senate, the cramdown would allow bankruptcy judges to reduce a borrower’s mortgage debt.

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103 Responses to “Update1: Clark Howard Simplifies “Making Home Affordable” Plan”

  1. Jim Says: March 7th, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    I found two things I think you’ll find valuable in doing the eligibility calculation. I found a site where you can plug in your mortgage info and some other numbers and you get a result as to which plan you qualify for or don’t qualify for and what incentives you might get. There was a ton of crap websites and the Treasury guidelines are helpful but I think a little ambiguous, at best.

    I found out I’m not eligible for either program, because I’m not at risk and have more than 20% equity in my house but for other people who want to see if they are eligible, this could be useful:

    http://www.homeaffordplan.com

  2. Tim Manni Says: March 9th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Jim,

    Thanks a bunch for sharing that info. How did you find that site? Are there any sites like this one that are sponsored by the White House — if not there probably should be. Thanks again, I’ll definitely be checking that site out.

    -Tim

  3. Burbank Real Estate Report » Blog Archive » Will the Making Home Affordable Program help Burbank home owners? Says: March 11th, 2009 at 12:52 am

    [...] Clark Howard Simplifies “Making Home Affordable” Plan (hsh.com) [...]

  4. John Williams Says: March 16th, 2009 at 3:23 am

    Hi Everyone,

    The homeaffordableplan link above is spam, so don’t bother, god I hate those. Took some research but try these websites. Together they seem to cover it all.

    If your loan is held by Freddie or Fannie, you might qualify for a refi or loan mod.
    First, find out if your loan is held by Fannie or Freddie. Contact them here to find out. They give you the phone number to call Fannie and Freddie directly to see if your loan is held by one:
    http://www.financialstability.gov.

    For an idea whether you even qualify, even if your loan is held by Fannie or Freddie, you can calculate your eligibility here:
    http://www.making-home-affordable.com

    I’d also call HUD. I don’t have their number but you go to:
    http://www.hud.gov

    And last but not least is MortgageBreakDown, in my opinion one of the best new mortgage sites for independant information available. Easy to read, navigate and contains solid information:
    http://www.mortgagebreakdown

  5. Imee Says: March 19th, 2009 at 6:45 am

    I think I’ll have to write my own blog about the Making Home Affordable program someday soon. On one hand I really think the country needs it badly, since so many people are losing their homes or near foreclosure. However, on the other hand I’m not completely convinced on how it will work and if it will work. I hope it does, though.

  6. Tim Manni Says: March 19th, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Hello Imee,

    I think most people will agree with you. We are all balancing the fact that something must be done to improve the housing market, but is what Washington plans to do going to be the right or effective thing to do? So far the Fed’s plan to purchase billions in Fannie and Freddie mortgage-backed securities has worked the best. It has put a steady downward pressure on rates.

    Good luck with the blog if you decide to start one,
    Tim

  7. gillian g Says: March 24th, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    This site is unusually helpful on the topic of loan modifications, since other information online (in many cases direct from the U.S. Treasury and related websites) is on-point but still either biased towards hyper-technical readings of the Plan or a watered-down version intended for an uneducated public. I also found a site HomeAffordPlan.com which seems to bridge the gap! The calculator on HomeAffordPlan.com is superior to the Treasury Dept’s calculator on their new consumer website.

    1) The government calculator does not give an analysis based on the persons specific financial situation. The calculator at homeaffordplan does, and does so for free without asking for identifying information.

    2) The government calculator does not mention the incentives available to the borrower of the $1500 payment and a $5000 reduction in principal.

    3) homeaffordplan results alert users if they will be required to undergo credit counseling in order to participate in the program.

  8. Imee Says: March 31st, 2009 at 3:49 am

    What I like about the Making Home Affordable plan is that it not only helps, it’s easy to understand. Even without Clark Howard’s approach, I already found the program simple and possibly highly effective. I hope it does work out–people can’t lose their homes especially during the recession.

  9. Tim Manni Says: March 31st, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Imee,

    Good to hear from you again. I agree, and millions of other Americans do too — we would all love for this program to help curb the current housing crisis. But your words “possibly highly effective” say it all. We’ll have to wait and see if it can help as many Americans as they say.

    Thanks for your comment,
    Tim

  10. Loan Mods Says: April 11th, 2009 at 3:28 am

    I have read a few of your posts and they are all interesting and informative…keep up the good work.

  11. …and I have inherited his townhouse. « Visionary Realty News Says: May 30th, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    [...] Clark Howard Simplifies “Making Home Affordable” Plan (hsh.com) [...]

  12. karma Says: June 6th, 2009 at 5:50 am

    great work. I think these plans are great service for people during recession.

  13. Tim Manni Says: June 8th, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks Karma

  14. Wm. Cenis Says: June 9th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Making Home Affordable, apparently another govt. scam. I first called my mortgage co. – Bank of America – on 3/12. Was told I qualified, but they weren’t set up for the program yet. Was told to call back in two weeks. Now, 3 MONTHS and 6 PHONE CALLS later, I’m still being told Bank of America still not set up for program, and to call back again. Meanwhile, the financial hole I’m in is getting deeper and deeper. I’ve never been late with a payment, but if I don’t get the promised help soon I’ll have to walk away from my home. My wife and I are 69 years old and only income is soc. sec. Our bills and credit card debt are piling up. Can’t hold on much longer. HELP!

  15. Tim Manni Says: June 9th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Wm.,

    While the program isn’t a scam, banks have seemingly shown little interest in participating. “Foot dragging” has been a real problem in the industry. I know it’s a hollow assurance, but you’re not alone. What caused you and your wife to begin going under in the first place? The rising number of defaults sweeping the country are from once qualified “prime” borrowers who have been swept up in unemployment and falling home prices.

    Be persistent, keep calling, keep emailing, and don’t give up.
    Best of Luck,
    Tim

  16. kevin Says: June 25th, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Hi,

    We have just added your latest post “Clark Howard Simplifies “Making Home Affordable” Plan” to our Directory of Home Loan . You can check the inclusion of the post here . We are delighted to invite you to submit all your future posts to the directory and get a huge base of visitors to your website.

    Warm Regards

    Homeloa-n.info Team

    http://www.homeloa-n.info

  17. Tim Manni Says: June 26th, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Kevin,

    Thanks, we’ll be looking into it.

    -Tim

  18. T Pitts Says: July 22nd, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    WM. Ceins & who ever else cares to read this post,

    I disagree with Tim. BoA (especially if you were previously with Country Wide) IS just one of many lenders ‘dragging their feet.’ They won’t, however, crack under the pressure of being called multiple times! That is a waste of your time that will likely result in your rage. They are all following the same runaround crap that you have been put through. This ‘call your lender directly’ bologna is a crock! It is a business. Plain and simple! If they have loan professionals and attorneys on their side, shouldn’t you at least have an attorney check out the new mod papers you are about to sign, IF you even get that far?! That is how many people ended up in the position they are in with these crappy loans! Some are in this position b/c of financial loss/difficulties, but who can say that a lower interest rate wouldn’t help?!
    The lenders are using a government program that helps THEM not the borrower. What? How can that be? Well, THINK people! Besides the fact that it is a voluntary program, it states in the ‘rules’ that the lenders can only modify a loan if it helps and protects them and their investors!!!! Hmm, the government protecting lenders…?! No Way! It is unheard of! HA! Again, I say, THINK! If you want it done right, no matter your situation, use an attorney. One that is legit-Research them! It isn’t the government’s job to do it for you! An attorney HAS to do the best they can for YOU and not the lenders; as it is spelled out in plain English in the coveted Making Home Affordable Plan that has helped 1, count it, ONE family since starting it’s ‘efforts’ to help those in crisis… even though it’s stipulations negate any chance for most borrowers in distress to get the help! Wonderful, huh.
    Sorry about the rant, but, please! There are too many smart people out there for this to still be a problem. You think you can take on the lender for a modification on your own?! You may as well fight a divorce or a criminal case while you are at it. Do you really think that with all the crap lenders have pulled that this is going to be any better? You have NOBODY protecting you from getting into one of these famous predatory loans that are still being formed daily! Be smart and protect your self! Find a legit Attorney and check out their history, bar exam, etc… Then, suck it up and PAY THE MAN (or woman) you expect to be paid for your work right? Well, me to, and so do the lawyers! This is how the U.S. of A. works folks! The only problem with paying for a service is if you don’t get the service! THAT is a scam! Not a legit Mod Co or Lawyer asking to be paid to help you.

  19. T Pitts Says: July 22nd, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Oh, and no, I am not an attorney… I DO work for a Loan Mod Company that is contracted by one, and we have some AMAZING results! We guarantee our work and have yet to disappoint any of our clients. Our fee is made in payments too, b/c… I dunno, we’re human! We know that the folks we are talking to aren’t in the position to pay it all at once.
    There is to much on the line for us to do shady work. For example, getting disbarred, shut down and ‘put away’, so on and so forth.
    Good luck to all those who are in need of help! I sincerely hope that you find it! I just cannot understand why there are so many who refuse to believe the facts. If you HAVE gotten a mod from the lender you are with, CONGRATS! I hope you are pleased with your results b/c you can’t modify or re-fi again for a year.

  20. Bernie Coulson Says: July 28th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    If you have any reasonable equity in your home DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. I lost my job in January and we burned through all our 6 months of savings. We started the Two Step process last April. We qualified and completed Step Two by making three trial payments on the modified amount. We signed documents agreeing to everything stipulated by the program in early June.
    Two weeks ago, we were told that our modification had been declined because of the fact that we had some reasonable equity in our home.
    The whole process is a waste of time and is just a “feel good” process for the Buffoons in DC.

  21. Jill D Says: July 31st, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Bernie: Same exact thing happened to us. After making our third trial pmnt w/ BoA under Making Home Affordable at $1000/mo savings we received our finalModification Agreement via Fed Ex today stating we did not qualify for MHA,but we did qualify for a new payment of $350 more than our original payment! Geeeez no thank you! See you later house and your $260K negative equity! None of this makes sense. We’re agreeing to pay our balance at a lower rate and longer term, but they rather foreclose and lose over $260k in a bank sale. I don’t get it!

  22. Tim Manni Says: August 3rd, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Bernie,

    We’re sorry for your difficulties. It seems like it was one big waste of time. So your mod was declined because you have even some equity in your home?

    What are your options now?

    -Tim

  23. brenda Says: August 17th, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    bank of america did a modification for us all they did was add on the late and missed payments to our exsisting loan which increased our monthly pament and if we dont pay by the end of the month they will start foreclosure I want to know how they are allowed to get away with with it after they said they would modify it. The houses where i live are selling for 55,000 therefore my house is worth nothing . They prefer to sell my house than to work with me

  24. Tim Manni Says: August 18th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Hello Brenda,

    Thanks for commenting, sorry to hear of your frustrations.

    First off, increased monthly payments are a very common outcome for loan modifications. At the end of the year last year, one in four modified loans resulted in a increased monthly payment. So, BofA practices weren’t illegal or deceptive, however frustrating. As you stated, BofA has allowed you to continue with your loan on the premise that you repay your late and missed payments. Despite falling delinquent, the bank has allowed you to stay longer than if they hadn’t modified.

    Lastly, we don’t think your home is worth “nothing.” Granted home prices have fallen, and in some areas a lot, but homes have value beyond selling for a profit. We hope you’re able to make your payments so you can stay in your home.

    Good luck,
    Tim

  25. Karen Says: August 24th, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I have a question: I was told by my lender that I qualified for a refi. They then sent me paperwork for the loand mod. I called and they told me I didn’t qualify for the refi. Then, I read the apaperwork they provided me and as part of the mod. I am to send them my next 3 mortgage payments at a reduced rate for a “tiral period”. Okay. Then I read further along and they state that they will be reporting me asd delinquent on my mortgage to the three credit companies! I have never been late on my mortgage payments! Are they allowed to do this? I am livid!

  26. Tim Manni Says: August 24th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Karen,

    I’m confused, are you refinancing or modifying your loan? The trial period is a part of the Federal mod process, and lenders should be reporting borrowers in the trial period as current, NOT delinquent — that may be an oversight by your lender.

    Click here to read on blog post on this exact subject. Loan mods are hurting credit scores b/c lenders are reporting trial period borrowers as delinquent when they should not be.

    For a place of reference, be sure to read the FAQs on MakingHomeAffordable.gov.

    Hope this helped,
    Tim

  27. CS Says: October 20th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Making Home Affordable is one of the biggest government run scams ever foisted on the American People.

    Making Home Affordable is the proverbial throwing the bone to the dogs. There’s no meat on it but it will keep them quiet.

    Those who paid for the “elected” officials get bailed out, and the American people will be paying through their taxes for the bail outs but we get a bone in return, because there is no meat on it so we will still loose our homes with this farce of a program.

    I am speaking from experience we have and still are going round the mill with this one. Actually more like chasing our tails.

    After 6 months we have had three denials from Wells Fargo even though we totally qualify. Of course Wells Fargo says we don’t, they won’t explain why we don’t, they just say we don’t.

    The lobbyist keep growing for the lenders by the thousands even though if I recall our elected President was going to clean that up, and not employ any of them in his term. Interesting how all the ones in charge of all these matters come directly from the financial institutions that have been bailed out (maybe he lied?).

    A lawyer maybe the way to go, if you have the money iand we shouldn’t need a lawyer to get what is ours from our govrenment!

    That money is extremely hard to come by, we are going to try HUD/FHA next I expect that will be exactly like the experience with Wells Fargo since this is all set up to benefit the banks, not us anyway.

    In the long run I expect we will loose our home, empty out our IRA’s, in the process, our savings are already gone, and Wells Fargo will be happy as pie that they get to make even more money from our home, which we have been so faithful in paying every month and have keep it so nice for them.

    Wells Farge can resell it and they can buy off more of our “elected officials in the 2010 elections.
    And wow, what a deal I get to pay for that too.

    Oh yeah, we contacted our elected officials their reply, contact your lender and work with them. They are so helpful!

    And so here we stand still chewing on the bone.

  28. Tim Manni Says: October 20th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    CS,

    So sorry to hear about your troubles. Here are a couple more blog posts of ours that you may find interesting and educational:

    1. Making Home Affordable’s Impact on Foreclosure Sales
    2. Are Loan Mods Destroying the Mortgage Industry?
    3. Update2 State Housing Programs Gets A Boost

    The third one is about the latest program introduced by the White House. The new “wrinkle” in the program says that borrowers can refinance into a state housing finance agency (HFA) loan. From the Treasury’s Fact Sheet (page 2): “The program may support up to several hundred thousand new mortgages to first time homebuyers this coming year, as well as refinancing opportunities to put at-risk, but responsible and performing, borrowers into more sustainable mortgages.”

    Maybe that’s a new avenue to pursue. Check it out, let me know what you think.

    Good luck,
    Tim

  29. JKJ Says: November 23rd, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Our income has been significantly reduced since I lost my job. I am looking into Making Homes affordable and it looks like we qualify based on monthly income / mortgage, etc. The question I have is, if you have a little money in an IRA (retirement)account -and will get stiff penalities for taking it out early, can we still qualify?

  30. Tim Manni Says: November 23rd, 2009 at 11:41 am

    JKJ,

    Are you trying to modify or refinance? The qualifications are different for each. Taking money out of your retirement just to qualify for the program may not be the best move, yet I really don’t know your situation, and I’m certainly not a financial adviser.

    Try going to MakingHomeAffordable.com and check the qualification requirements for both.

    Here is the url for refi: http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/refinance_eligibility.html

    Here is the url for mods: http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/modification_eligibility.html

    The site has other info like FAQs in order to give you a better sense of what may work best for you.

    Thanks for commenting, and good luck,
    Tim

  31. Amanda Says: January 6th, 2010 at 1:42 am

    We are hoping to qualify for the loan modification. Just wonder if you can make too little..or what’s considered to little. My husband gets paid less than our mortgage payment a month, but he travels as a music minister and gets payed by churches and we get W9’s at the end of the year for those. Anyhow, I was wondering of they’ll just look at last years tax return and divide that up instead of looking at his pay stubs? And our monthly average is just a tiny bit more than our monthly expensives…
    Like I asked before..can we make too little to qualify??

  32. Tim Manni Says: January 7th, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Hey Amanda,

    First off thanks for commenting. I suggest making your way over to MakingHomeAffordable.gov. There you will be able to find all of the qualifications for the Federal mod program. The website also has a list of FAQs if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

    Best of luck,

    Tim

  33. Troy Says: January 26th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Wow I submitted my necessary paperwork to my lender on March 24, 2009 and still as of today haven’t got an answer as to whether or not I qualify. My trial period payments have been made and am paying my original loan amount until I hear back from my lender. I have heard not many are getting approved for various reasons. My question is are there any strings attached to the modification that one needs to be aware about that would be different than the conventional loan that I currently have.

  34. Tim Manni Says: January 27th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Hey Troy,

    There sure are: check out this post which addresses your very question: “Loan Modifications Are Hurting Credit Scores.”

    Good luck!

    -Tim

  35. Tom Says: January 31st, 2010 at 8:49 am

    The Making Home Affordable experience for me has been nothing but frustrating. Dealing with Bank Of America since May 2009 and I was finally “qualified” in December. Yet Bank Of America has sent no paper work or confirmation of adjusted amount or time frame. I call once a week and get a different story from everyone I speak to. I’ve begun to wonder that since I had mortgage insurance whether BOA has no interest in really helping since the bank stand to lose anything.

  36. Tim Manni Says: February 1st, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Tom,

    The good news is that changes made to HAMP last week will serve to improve upon these lack-of-communication problems you’re experiencing. We wrote a post last week that explains the changes, click here to read it.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Tim

  37. Gigi Says: February 2nd, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Hi,
    We were in the trial period for a B of A Making Home Affordable Modification since September 1st of last year. We completed almost 6 months of trial period payments (all the while dealing with issue after issue of lost paperwork). Thankfully we finally received our modification offer last week. BofA sent a notary to our house and we signed the documents. The paperwork said that the modification won’t actually be final until they sign the documents and send us back a copy. Nobody at BofA can really tell me how long it will take until everything is finalized and we are current again. I want to breath a sigh of relief but I really can’t until I am 100% sure that everything is complete. Does anybody happen to know how long this portion of the process should take?

  38. Paula Says: February 8th, 2010 at 9:00 am

    WARNING FOLKS! Making homes affprdable and dealing with BoA DON’T DO IT! THEY WILL TAKE YOUR HOUSE!REMEBER THEY ARE JOINED WITH “COUNTRYSLIDE”. I have a family member who’s being scammed my them now!

  39. steve cottrell Says: February 16th, 2010 at 12:57 am

    bank america are sum bags. the left hand has no idea what the right is doing. spent many hours on the phone trying to get the making home affordable loan. they ran me around for months. then they put me in the trial period. 5 months pass no docks. then they tell me im not in the trial. their credit dept hounds me. oh ya when i went in the trial i was current lol. then they tell i was in the trial. oh ya they forgot to tell that i was droped lol.then they come back and say my mod is with fanny in review lol. they say now i should have docks within 5 days ilmao. my senators are now helping me. good luck with that huh. filed a complaint with the feds who over see national banks. hate those [expletive] at bank america they reall suck.

  40. Tim Manni Says: February 17th, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Steve,

    Here we go, another complaint against BofA. The amount of angry BofA borrowers we get commenting on this blog is astounding — wonder if Congress is looking into this??? Well, hopefully the Treasury’s changes will help to fix some of this lack of communication.

    Best of luck Steve, keep us posted,
    Tim

  41. Michelle Says: February 26th, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    We too have BOA. This is the most unorganized group of people ever assembled in one company. You are sure to be frustrated and confused. In a nutshell, we have been dealing with the Make Your Home Affordable Program for 9 months, after completing the 3 month trial period and doing everything as instructed, we went from being less than 30 days late to 6 months late, we were eventually declined for a bougus reason and now we are facing foreclosure and our credit is destroyed. We were forced to get a lawyer. I don’t know how this is going to end but as many people out there are getting burned we better hope for a CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT! At this point I don’t know if this is total incompetence or intentional stealing. My advice is don’t apply for this program. You will be sorry.

  42. Tim Manni Says: March 1st, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Hey Michelle,

    I’d be lying if I said I haven’t heard your sentiment from other readers. There has been almost a constant stream of at least one angry reader every week that’s fed up with how disorganized BofA has been with the HAMP.

    Keep us posted, thanks,
    Tim

  43. Suzy Says: March 4th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Have you heard of American Residential Law Group? Do you know if they have complaints against them or if they are legit? We are working with them, and are not seeing the results we would like to see.

  44. Tim Manni Says: March 5th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Hey Suzy,

    Can’t say that I have. You can Google them or look them up in the Better Business Bureau.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  45. sanna Says: March 5th, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I too have BOA and have made 5 trial period payments, one rep said I was approved and that they were merely working on the final payment figure then when I called back I was told I was not approved, that they were backed up and to continue making the trial payments until I heard from them, even though online showed approved for workout when I told them that they said they didn’t know why it showed that status and that they will fix it and now online shows referred… no one can give me a straight answer everytime I call I get a different story. I keep getting notice of intent to accelerate if past due is not paid and when I ask them about that they tell me not to worry about it as long as I keep making the trial payment. I just received a letter about the debt counseling requirement so I guess I will be doing that but I just wish I knew what was really going on, I feel so lost.

  46. Casey Says: March 8th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    So, let me understand this correctly…I was not delinquent before applying to the HAMP. But after 2 months of trial payments, I am now deliquent, and if I am not approved, I will not only be deliquent, I will now have my payments increase? Is that correct?

    Is there anyway for me to get out of this program?

  47. Tim Manni Says: March 8th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Sanna,

    BofA once again! “No one can give me a straight answer everytime I call I get a different story” — we hear this time and time again. Good luck with the debt counseling, keep us posted.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Tim

  48. Tim Manni Says: March 8th, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Casey,

    First, if you want our of this program I would talk to your servicer immediately.

    Secondly, the only way you could be technically delinquent is if your lender reported it to a credit agency. Borrowers who have participated in HAMP have seen their credit scores drop b/c of this very instance. For more info, be sure to read our articles “Loan Modifications Are Hurting Credit Scores” and “Are Credit Scores Fair? Is the System Broken?

    Thanks,
    Tim

  49. Casey Says: March 8th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Why is it this is not being made more public or more prominent in the application documents? Since I wrote my comment, I’ve talked/emailed to a number of friends and family who are in the temporary modification process, and none of them understood that it meant they were deliquent. Some called their banks immediately. The banks say they are not reporting them, but if they are not approved they will owe $X amount immediately. One of them will owe $12,000 immediately (because she’s been on temporary mod for 6 or 7 months while her application is pending).

    Since most applications are not approved, and most people don’t realize this or plan/save to pay it back if they aren’t approved, they end up losing their house anyway. This is a travesty. Geitner gets on tv and says it’s providing relief to many homeowners even if they are not approved. What a load of crap. It just makes the problem worse.

    I will be calling my lender to find out if I can still pay the full payment during the trial period and have it applied correctly, and still have my application reviewed. My guess is though, they will pull my application.

  50. Tim Manni Says: March 8th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Casey,

    Good to hear from you again. If you got a chance to read our article “Loan Modifications are Hurting Credit Scores” it explains how/why HAMP borrowers may be reported as “delinquent.”

    However, I haven’t heard much about owing lenders immediately if they are not approved for the trial mod. I’ll have to examine that concept further.

    It’s a good call to contact your servicer to see what they plan on doing if your loan isn’t approved — hopefully you’ll get a straight answer — those are hard to get these days.

    Geithner is touting that “things are working” b/c they just released a new wrinkle to the HAMP program, designed to either weed out both the qualified amd under-qualified applicants. You can read more about that here.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  51. Troy Says: March 9th, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I am sorry to hear that so many people are having nightmares with the “making home affordable plan. I wrote on January 26th that I too was waiting on an answer from my lender and still today am patiently waiting. 1 year ago I entered into the program with high hopes only to be a name and a number on Wells Fargo’s computer screen. I would like to advise people of something that I have learned while going through my modification. Make the full payment to the bank during the trial period and there after till you are notified what they will be able to do for you. Making the full payment will not hurt your chances of getting qualified just if you pay under the trial payment. That way at the end of this prolonged process you can dispute the fact that the bank has reported you as “current/partial payment”. You can have the bank take that info off of your credit report whether you are approved or not. This info actually came from a banker not affiliated with the program. I realize some folks are not able to make the full payment but for those that can do it you will save a few hundred points on your credit score. Good Luck!

  52. Tim Manni Says: March 10th, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Thanks Troy! That’s some great advice. Just to clarify: when you say “make the full payments,” are you referring to the amount of the trial payments or your original loan amount?

    Thanks for this comment, it’s a great one.

    -Tim

  53. Doug Abruzzese Says: March 10th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    For over 1 year I have been trying to get a Home modification from BOA.

    2 months ago I was finally told by BOA that I would receive a TRIAL Home modification payment in 6 weeks.

    Two weeks ago they told me the process takes 4 months??

    Still nothing! I’m unemployed and begging, borrowing, and stealing the almost 3K monthly payment to save my home.

    Sooner or later the Government has to catch up with BOA.

  54. Tim Manni Says: March 10th, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Well, Doug, you’re certainly not alone. A lot of readers have been asking whether or not Washington is investigating BofA. Four months to get trial payments??? That seems too long.

    Keep us posted, thanks for sharing your situation,
    Tim

  55. Dave Wolfe Says: March 10th, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Our story may bore you, since it’s so similar to your other Countrywide/BofA tales of woe. October 13, 2009 we applied for the mod through Ginny at BofA; we followed directions exactly and followed up often. Then one day we were told there was no record of our having applied for anything. I called back minutes later and was told it was “in process.”
    Through the months, the message stayed the same until finally we were told the amount of our new trial payment, and we were totally excited! The representative in the “Imminent Default” department told us we had been “pre-approved” and we could actually start making the trial payment that month (January), though it would affect our FICO score negatively. We were told who our “investor” was. We chose to wait for our trial package to arrive in 15 days. The following month, a fellow named Timothy in their “Imminent Default” department gave us the same trial payment info, and since it was taking so long, placed our case into “Escalation”. This “guaranteed” a status mail-out in 14 – 30 days. After about a month and a half (today), I called and was told that because ours was in escalation, she was able to tell us our status now: we were declined.
    God bless those of you in similar shoes. We will one day look back and be grateful we survived these days.

  56. Tim Manni Says: March 10th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Dave,

    No bore at all. “We will one day look back and be grateful we survived these days”: At least your outlook is one of optimism…many don’t even have that.

    I’m surprised the “Imminent Default” dept actually told you your credit score would drop.

    So what’s your next step? Where do you go from here?

    Keep me posted, thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  57. Troy Says: March 10th, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Tim, in response to my post yesterday I was referring to the original loan amount. By paying the original loan amount you will be able to at least have your bank review your account to see that you weren’t behind on any of your payments. That way approved or not approved your credit is still in tact. Have a good one and I will keep everyone informed on any progress that I may encounter. But I am not holding my breath.

  58. Tim Manni Says: March 11th, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Hey Troy,

    Thanks for responding to my question. OK, so by paying your original loan amount and not paying your lower, trial/modified payment, your bank can’t report you to the credit bureaus as being behind on payments, even though you’re technically in the trial phase? I got it now. However, does that create confusion for the lender who is expecting to see a different payment come? Yet again, the more they get paid the better, right?

    Thanks again Troy, best of luck,
    Tim

  59. Troy Says: March 11th, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Actually the bank can report you to the credit bureaus as current but making partial payment. I believe it is all computer generated as a trial payment which will show you as partial payment. But when the process is all over with you can call your loan servicer and have them take off the partial payment reportings. Providing you made your original loan payment during that time. Hope that all makes sense. This whole loan modification business I believe has put more stress on people than they had before entering into it. Have a good weekend.

  60. Tim Manni Says: March 12th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks for all your comments Troy, have a good weekend as well.

    **I just published a post yesterday asking readers to suggest story ideas. If you ever have a suggestion, feel free to let me know.**

    Thanks,
    Tim

  61. Amber Says: March 20th, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    My husband was our only source of income. He has been layed off and our current form of income is unemployment. He has been approved to receive benefits for 1 year if needed. I have applied for the modification with Chase. My question is can you be approved with unemployment being your only source of income. His total unemployment each moth is only $60 more than our monthly mortgage. I can not find information anywhere telling borrowers if you can make too little to qualify. Thanks for any help.

  62. Tim Manni Says: March 23rd, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Hey Amber,

    Thanks for writing in, you can check HAMP eligibility here:

    http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/modification_eligibility.html

    or here:

    http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/borrower-faqs.html

    Thanks,
    Tim

  63. Alisa Says: March 30th, 2010 at 3:27 am

    My Husband and I applied for a home modification in early Jan 2010 through Bank of America. We recently received a list of forms and documents they will need so they can process the home modification. A week later we received a form saying that they were missing some documents. It did not give details, just a number to call. I called the number today and was put on hold by 7 different people. Each time they would say I was talking to someone from the wrong department. Finally I spoke with someone who said that they had all my info and that sometimes this letter gets sent out automatically. I was a little concerned after all of that, so I decided to do more research and I found this site. I want to thank everyone for posting and have officially decided to not move forward with the program.

  64. Tim Manni Says: March 30th, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Hey Alisa,

    So glad you were able to find our site! We’re sorry you hit a wall with BofA, and we hope everything works out for you and your husband.

    Keep in touch — we want to know how you make out outside the HAMP. Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  65. Dee Vel Says: April 3rd, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    So many people are feeling the same way about this program which is supposed to help (Making Home Affordable). I really can’t trust the same banks that make a profit and get incentives for foreclosures. In most cases the people that qualify, are responsible people who make payments on time, even when struggling to do so. This program appears to be a big time set up. You really have to use your six sense here, those guideline have alot of lophole, that make it easier for the bank to eventually earn their profits through how they make them best. We are being fed to the wolfs. Bank of America makes more money through foreclosures than modifications on what used be good loans. The government seems not to care about how the Big banks are making their money, now that they made huge profits on the bailout. I can’t stand what they are doing to us. No One really cares, at least not down here.

  66. Tim Manni Says: April 5th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Dee Vel,

    Banks don’t really make much profit off of foreclosures, they tend to lose a lot of money. Furthermore, you can’t bust them either for getting paid incentives, that’s the government’s doing. Important note: they’re not getting paid incentives for foreclosing, they’re getting paid to help borrowers AVOID foreclosures. HAMP is an imperfect program to say the least. Washington has required certain lenders to modify loans based on a one-size-fits-all formula which doesn’t work. Lenders need to sit down with borrowers one on one to discuss individual needs. While that would be very time consuming, the success rate would be much better.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  67. Kristi Says: April 22nd, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    When I called BofA today I was advised that my credit would be effected if I made the reduced(trial period) payment. She actually advised me to continue making the full payment(if possible) until I receive my new loan docs. Maybe they have changed their attitude since the new rules took effect or maybe I just got someone who really wanted to be helpful. I am applying and will keep you posted on the outcome. Thanks for all the information.

  68. kris Says: April 26th, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Our loan is in the same situation as Dave Wolfe’s. BofA led us to believe that we are qualified for a mortgage that is $800 less than the current payment amount and this will be in effect for a fixed term of 30 years. They said we qualifed and to just start making trial payments for 3 months and after that, wwe should receive all our paperwork. The trial payment now is over and they told us to keep paying because there is a delay. Now going on our 6 month, BofA said there was never a work out for us and no program that we qualify for. Now they are telling us to re-apply with new financials and when we did, the representative says we dont qualify because we are $200 negative according to our debt to income ratio. Isnt that what the program is about? Help for those who are in need?

    A friend of ours also had BofA and she was denied because she had a surplus of $500 according to them. My friend doeesn’t see this surplus and is also frustrated as I am. How do banks figure this out? And what is this magic number that will helpo us qualify? or are they all just pulling our chains?

  69. Tim Manni Says: April 27th, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Kris,

    This runaround just sounds like a disorganized mess. I wish I had an answer for you. Keep after them, we keep hearing that it all depends on the person you talk to.

    Best of luck, thanks for sharing your situation,
    Tim

  70. David Says: April 28th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    We refinanced our mortgage Adjustable Rate Mortgage in November of 2009. As providence would have it, I lost my job almost the same day we closed on the new mortgage. We had the original mortgage for nine years with Countrywide/Bank of America, but I have been told by Bank of America representatives, my mortgage is not eligible for a loan modification because of the re-finance date being after January 1st of 2009. That statement from Bank of America was frustrating enough, but recently we received a FEDEX package that appeared to come from Bank of America with paperwork inside telling us that we are candidates for the Making Home Affordable Loan Modification and requesting that we send them our mortgage paperwork for review. Unfortunately, we didn’t investigate this request for information very thoroughly prior to mailing in our pertinant information, now I suspect that I may have been scammed because the address where we were directed to send our paperwork to is not a Bank of America address, instead it is “Home Retention Group” 9700 Bissonnet Street, Suite 1500 Houston, TX 77036. Question #1 is can you verify that this company is on the up and up? Second, I have heard some horror stories about people that have applied for this program and wound up deeper in trouble because they were instructed to not pay their mortgage, or to only pay a portion of the mortgage, meanwhile their home was heading rapidly towards foreclosure. What can we do to avoid getting put into such a vulnerable situation?

  71. Tim Manni Says: April 28th, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    David,

    Question1: I would check with the better business bureau
    #2: Have you tried researching this “Home Retention Group” 9700 Bissonnet Street, Suite 1500 Houston, TX 77036?
    -Just by what you said, it sounds very deceptive if they disguised themselves as BofA when they really weren’t. You need to get to the bottom of this quickly! Don’t send them any money, or make any payments to them. You need to contact your servicer asap!

    Keep me posted, I hope you straighten everything out,
    Tim

  72. Edna King Says: May 30th, 2010 at 6:21 am

    I tried for the modifacation program for the lower interest rate to get my home paid off of 33 years after refiancing three times to keep my nose above water. Called Chase after I was denied and was told that my income was more than 31% to get the loan. (Yes,) I work three jobs to keep my income up. I am 66 years old and would very much like to retire but, don’t see that happening in the near future. Didn’t know this, my loan is with Freddie Mac. Do you have any imformation as to what I might be able to do to lower my interest rate so, maybe I can get this home paid off since it looks like I am not going to win the lottery. Called Suntrust Bank and they said they could not do anything since applying for modifaction for one year from the date of recieving the letter. Looks like I am in a rut and can’t go anywhere. Thanks
    Edna King
    cougarwind43@aol.com

  73. Tim Manni Says: June 1st, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Hey Edna,

    Since your goal is a lower interest rate, I don’t know what your rate is, but given that the 30-year conforming just set a new record low last week, have you considered a refinance through HARP?

    Here’s where you can find some info: http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/borrower-faqs.html

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  74. Mandi Says: June 11th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Hi!

    Ok, I finally called B of A after getting a ton of mail saying we might qualify for a refi under the Making Homes Affordable program. I figured it was worth a call. We are current on payments (no late payments), have a steady income,no second mortgage, a fixed 30 year mortgage at 6.375%, but have negative equity. What they offered me seems a little to good to be true and after reading all of the negative comments, I’m a little nervous. Basically he said we would qualify for a 5.375% rate, nothing added to the loan balance, no appraisal, and just a $400 process fee. Does this seem like it might be legit.? I think we are probably upside down quite a bit. I think at most we might be out $400 (which he said was refundable if we didn’t qualify.) Am I crazy to think that might actually go smoothly and as he said? (He said that the only things that would be a problem was if we lost our job, missed a payment in the next 3 months (the amt. of time it should take for our loan to go through) or have a lien agst. our property. Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

    -Mandi

  75. Tim Manni Says: June 11th, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Hey Mandi,

    I would be careful with this. Just make sure that BofA sends you a bonafide offer in writing. The $400 fee is actually quite reasonable, and with that full percentage point reduction, you’ll make up that cost in no time. However, you have to make sure that there aren’t any more hidden costs. That’s why having their offer in writing is so important — you have to read it over carefully to understand all the terms and fees.

    Keep us posted , let me know how it goes, thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  76. Teresa Says: June 15th, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Just curious when the class action suit against BofA will begin! It’s been a year since I sent in my completed application form to BofA with all the required documentation! I call every week and get “be patient”, “these things take time”, “check back next week”, “I’ll send a email requesting a Negotiator”. Meantime, they’ve kept asking for current bank statements, which I’ve sent in now 5 times! BofA has gone way beyong “dragging their feet”! This is so clearly an act of bad faith that I’m shocked they are getting away with this! There HAS to be something we can do to make them accountable!?

  77. Tim Manni Says: June 15th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Teresa,

    Check out this post, it has more details, including dates and websites:

    http://blog.hsh.com/index.php/2010/06/refunds-coming-to-over-200000-countrywide-borrowers/

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  78. Milton Gonzalez Says: July 15th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I Have been trying to get the Making home affordable since Dec 2009. I was told that I did not qualify, then i received a Package through Bank OF America. Filled this out and I was told that i was approved but then I never received any trial payment plan. I called for weeks, then months finally i was fed up and started talking to managers and they said it was a mistake and that it was still under review.

    This is after the raised my monthly payment by six hundred dollars a month. they have make it hard for me rather then easier I was better off with out getting this MOD.

    I feels like Bank of America is trying to steal my house by trying to make me foreclose. seven months later and they do not know what is going on. some one dropped the ball. I have been out of work for almost one and half years and no one will hire me. It all started because my It department out source whole IT department. What luck I have. Bank Of America suck.

  79. Milton Gonzalez Says: July 15th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Hello Every on

    I have a number where you can complain to If Bank Of America is not helping you with the making home affordable, and it seems like they are trying to steal your home or make you go into foreclosure. I was told that if more people complain that they can start a law suit against Bank of America for us. 1-877-382-4357 Just file a complaint we need to do something to fight back and not allow the banks to get away with stealing what is ours. good luck to you all

  80. Tim Manni Says: July 19th, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Milton,

    Sorry to hear about your struggles. Your idea that your bank just wants you to foreclose may not be that far off. After reading so many similar comments, it’s hard not to think that.

    Keep us posted and thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  81. Mary Anne Says: August 3rd, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Look out for CitiMtg as well folks. After working with them and HUD for 14 months making every payment, doing everything they asked, being promised every month the paperwork was on it’s way I came home to the foreclosure notice on the door.When asked why you are given bogus excuses or flat out lies.No government agency is looking at what the banks are doing with this program. Another fox guarding the hen house program with no oversite or way to get redress for out and out theftof your home. The banks are stealing homes of middle class people that have lots of equity and with the government’s help and blessing. They are even given more money for their “inconvenience” for lending to poor risks. The longer they string you along promising a contract and modification, the farther behind you get, till you have no chance to “cure your debt” before the foreclosure sale, unless you sell everything you own in 90 days for cash or have savings which most people in this situation don’t. I called CitiMtg today in response to an automated call(you never get a live caller) from the bank and the person there told me I was in a new trial period and the underwriter who was assigned to my case would call me in 60 days not the 10 days I was promised before they began the foreclosure procedings. It’s all a lie to string you along until the sheriff’s toss you out on the curb with all your belongings. If you don’t have it in writing don’t believe it!

  82. Tim Manni Says: August 3rd, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Mary Anne,

    I would suggest talking with a real estate attorney to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of, especially if you did everything that CitiMtg asked of you.

    Keep me posted,
    Tim

  83. vince Says: September 18th, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Ok I read all the post. And yeah tim another B of A story. Me and my wife bought are house in 1997 and through countrywide were at a 7.25 intrest. In 2009 me and her were divorced i got the house. B of A had bought out country wide and with the divorce i lost her income so i asked for refinance and modification to lower the intrest rate so my monthly payment would be lower.I have my other normal expences that i need to live on electric garbage car insurance . They said cant because my gross income was to high . Gross income first off they shouldnt use your gross cause thats not what you actually have to work with. (Why) well Uncle Sam takes there cut out then medical if you have that . so after thats taking out how much do you really get . They should go with net not gross. 2nd is there a website to go to put morgage info in and have banks look at your info and hopefully get someone to take over the morgage at a lower monthly payment and intrest rate . And isnt it funny how B of A bought out counrtywide and now theres more forclosurs and they dont want to work with you to help you kepp your house . Seems to me that they did this on purpose.

  84. Tim Manni Says: September 21st, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Hey Vince,

    While I don’t know if they did it on purpose, BofA is the now the larget lender in the country and is swamped with tons of troubled loans thanks to overtaking CountryWide. I know that they do look at gross monthly income to calculate how much payment you can afford. Try looking into the HAMP or HARP programs for help (makinghomeaffordable.gov). I’m not sure of your particulars, so I can’t say why they have denied for a refi.

    Let me know how you make out, or send me some more info on your situation. Are you underwater?

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  85. Toni O'Brien Says: October 14th, 2010 at 10:38 am

    My mortgage is through BoA. I applied for Making Home Afordable on Feb 8, 2010. I was told that I would definitely qualify for a loan modification, and to be looking for my packet in the mail. I received my packet on April 14, filled everything out, sent back all the required documents, and waited….and waited. After many frustrating calls, and being transferred from one person to another, I was finally told in AUGUST, that there was a problem while scanning my documents. Apparently, they scan the documents into their computers, and shred the originals. Well….mine were shredded alright….but not scanned! So, back to square one. I re-submitted all the paperwork, only to receive a letter in September, stating that my loan is not eligible because: “We service your loan on behalf of an investor or group of investors that has not give us the contractual authority to modify your loan under the Making Home Affordale Modification Program.”

    THIS IS CRAP!!!

  86. Tim Manni Says: October 19th, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Toni,

    I don’t even know what to say in reaction to your comment…This is the same old story with these servicers. I can’t even imagine how frustrating this process must be.

    keep us posted,
    Tim

  87. Brian Hanc Says: October 19th, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I was just notified today Oct. 19th, 2010 that my loan was declined because my property was not worth the amount of the percentage to value of my loan. No joke…I have been making my modified payments for 14 months. What is my next step. BOA wants me to fill out more paperwork for their programs. Anybody have any ideas? I just fill like they are making me chase my tail…

  88. Tim Manni Says: October 20th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Brian,

    That’s ridiculous, 14 months worth of trial payments, only to be told you don’t qualify! What are BofA’s other programs? Sounds like your loan got lost in the shuffle and they just wanted you to make some form of payment for as long as possible until they got around to you. It has to be wrong on some level that they strung you along for that long. You’re supposed to be approved for the mod if you make three(!) trial payments on time, let alone 14.

    See what other programs they came back with. Yet, I bet next time you talk to them you get a different story from a different rep…that has been the nature of the comments from BofA borrowers so far.

    Keep us posted,
    Tim

  89. Sarah Says: December 1st, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Hi, I too have been on the Making Homes affordable program with B of A. What was supposed to be 3 trial payments has turned into 15 months. The MHAP sent me a letter March 3, 2010 stating I had sent in all the documents, and made all trial payments, and now I will receive documents for a permanent modification. Well, I called every two weeks and they said “yes, you are approved, we are just backed up, the final package will be sent soon”. Last month I call and a woman said my case was being closed because “it sat there too long, and was automatically closed”. Said she would send it to be reviewed because the computer still stated I was approved in March. Well, I come home Yesterday and at my doorstep is a fed ex envelope saying I am denied because of Negative NPV. I called and said I was approved in March. The rep. said it was sent out by mistake, and tons of other borrowers got the same letter. So now they want to assign a negotiator. Most of the options they give are basically to sign the deed over, or see if I qualify for another program.These people don’t know what they are doing, lost my documents 3 times, and after making payments for 15 months I am being dropped. I don’t know who to turn to, I can’t afford an attorney.

  90. Tim Manni Says: December 1st, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Sarah,

    First off, thanks for commenting. First allow me to say, “Wow,” that’s incredibly awful. Since they sent you approval documentation back in March you have your proof — I hope you still have that letter!

    That attorney may be the key to getting BofA to listen. I would see what the negotiator has to say, yet if you still have that letter you have your proof.

    Would you be interested in documenting your story to share with all of our readers?

    Please let me know and keep us posted,
    Tim

  91. Sarah Says: December 1st, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Tim, thank you for listening. I called B of A home retention line to see if anyone could give me a better answer as to why I was denied after 15 trial payments and a letter stating I was approved for a Modification. Now I am told I am denied because the investor stopped the process because it would not benefit “them”(whoever they are). The B of A rep said a letter would be mailed explaining the Negative NPV. I asked exactly what a NPV is and was told it had to do with the value of the house, not my income or ability to make the trial payments of 1265.41. I then asked for records that the reps. type each time I call. I was told to call 1-800-801-4860″Office of the President”. I called and the line was disconnected. A recording instructs me to call 1-800-669-6607. Once again I call B of A. Another rep Eric, says I cannot receive phone log records. Hmmm….ok. But, he says “we will do everything we can do to help you”. Thanks Eric, I feel much better now! He says I have “options”. I can give my not to the lender, or get in house financing(which he says would be closer to my original payment of 2,000, which is now at almost 2,600 because of late fees and shortage in escrow), or do a short sale. If I would have known this was the turn out, I could have tried selling my house before we were this deep in debt. I still don’t understand how they can send an approval letter and then deny me 9 months later.

  92. Debra Potter Says: December 17th, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    I was told I was eligible for a mod from my mortage co. PNC that would lower my interest and payment.
    When it was completed the payment was higher! After a month they offered another mod. I decided to go for it. I has been over a year now with all kinds of excuses just like the ones here.

    I was declined for the Home Affordable because of the mortgage co. guidelines, not the Home Affordable guidelines. That the mort.co. has the right to consider their guidelines as well as the gov. loans.
    They cont. to lose my file, take months they say my loan mod is in review, then charge me late fees! I tried to make three payments which they sent back.
    I do have a mortgage advocate who knows the laws who is helping me. I was honestly going through so much stress from their mistakes etc.
    As I said along with late fees they say it is going to foreclosure,charge me attorney fees then they tell me they are trying for another mod, and put the foreclosure date up!

    I cannot tell you how many late fees and attorney fees they have charged me.

    What a mess.
    thank you. debra

  93. Dave Says: January 2nd, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Mortgage Advocate?

    I need someone like this to save my house…can someone help point me in the right direction to find one?

  94. Tim Manni Says: January 4th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Dave,

    Perhaps you have a question we could help you answer…

    -Tim

  95. Maggie Says: February 5th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    After reading all the negative comments about how Bank of America has handle business regarding Making Home Affordable Program,should an Attorney represent me, as did in the purchase of the home?

  96. Tim Manni Says: February 9th, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Hey Maggie,

    It’s not a bad idea.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  97. Annie Says: February 26th, 2011 at 12:04 am

    OMG! This is all I can say! BOA stinks when it comes to dealing with the great “Making home affordable program”. We too have been waiting since Aug 2010 to get an answer on our modification application. Well, we got our answer 2 days ago and it was a big “D” for decline! The reason was, we did not submit a financial hardship. Okay, we not only sent one, but two letters stating that our income went from 2 full time incomes to 1 part time one and no unemployment benefits. Call me crazy but to us, this is a financial hardship! We are trying to appeal it but good luck to us, right? We will probably end up loosing our home we have lived in for 32 years. I cannot tell you the frustration this mtg company has put us thru in this entire process. The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing at this company. I wish all of you the best of luck if your loan is thru BOA, you will need a miracle to get it to go smoothly. Thanks for letting me vent. Best Wishes All!

  98. Donna Says: May 24th, 2011 at 6:05 am

    I applied for making homes affordable in October last year. I was approved and set in a trial period. I have made 2 payments so far. One of the reasons is my family went from a family of 6 to a family of 9. We now have 7 kids. The state gave us permanent custody of my nieces. The other reason is for the past year our rental property has not rented so we are having to supplement this income. Anyways how long does it take to determine if you are in a permanent modification. Our modification has taken our house note from 1901 to 1250. Any ideas if this will work out?

  99. Tim Manni Says: May 25th, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Hey Donna,

    Well technically, there are supposed to be three trial payments (make each one on time!). However, I’ve heard of homeowners making these trial payments for over a year. Keep after your servicer, carefully document each communication you have–who you talked to, when, for how long, what they said, etc. This is not an easy program to get a permanent mod. Be patient and persistent. Good luck! Keep us posted!

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  100. Wendy Says: January 7th, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Does anyone have knowledge of ANY BOA customer who has succeeded in getting a permanent Making Homes Affordable modification? My experience has been similar to so many I’m reading here — erroneously told I was ineligible, but with a lot of my badgering later determined eligible; lost documents; MASSIVE ineptness of BOA employees that don’t review my documents “in a timely fashion” and then demand newly updated bank statements, etc; the “shell game” when assigned loan assistance managers, the list goes on and on. After 8 months of submitting and re-submitting documents, my current account manager says “we’re so very close to submitting your file for final review”. Now I’m curious if there’s a particular debt:income range they’re allowing, as in, at what number am I just considered a lost cause, unable of sustaining even a reduced payment? I’m almost afraid I’ll be granted the temporary trial for fear that it’ll run almost endlessly followed by an ultimate Rejection in the permanent program. I’m equally afraid to take them up on the short sale option (an exceedingly trustworthy relative would ‘buy’ my house for me, assist me with payments and I could keep living there & eventually re-take ownership), but I wonder if this BOA process would be equally screwy and if we’d maybe be better off (or even able) to effectuate the transaction without them. I guess to benefit from not having a foreclosure on my credit report, I’d have to somehow come up with the money to “buy” my way out of the foreclosure from the attorney, right? Would that even erase it from my credit report as the short-sale option proports to do? Anybody have any thoughts on any of these points?

  101. Wendy Says: January 7th, 2012 at 1:16 am

    p.s. by “buy” (above), I mean cough up all the dilinquent mortgage payment plus the applicable late & attorney fees. I’m not suggesting bribing attorneys…

  102. Angela Says: January 12th, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Wendy, We went through everything you went through but were eventually approved for a mod with BOA. It is such a stressful process and if my husband wasn’t laid off at the time I don’t know how we would have had time for it. It was his full-time job for about 8 months. Our new payment is about $500 less a month but we are still struggling and was reading these posts in hopes of finding an answer to my question. Can we refinance after getting approved for a loan modification?

  103. Robert Says: March 13th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Bank go America what a joke. I had brain surgery in June 2010. I knew I was going to fall behind by September of that year. I ha originally asked for a forbearance. I received a letter from them denying the forbearance but offering the HMAP. I was told I was qualified for that but it took until Oct.24th, 2010 before I got the temporary documents. I paid the temporary payments for 6 months straight far more than the required 3 months. At the end of April 2011, I received my final permanent papers. After notarizing them I FedEx the back. In two weeks I received a FedEx letter stated I was missing a document and I no longer qualified. I knew I had sent them all because I copied the documents I sent. I called them and resent my documents notarized again. I have been waiting for the modification to close since then. I am now 14 months passed due. Now they tell me I may not get it due to being so far behind. Every doors has been closed as far as getting any help from HUD since I did have a FHA loan. It has been the worst thing I have ever gone through. No compassion from Bank of America. It seems they have the government in their back pocket. God is my only help now.

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Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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