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March 10th, 2009

How’s Your Bank Handling the New Mortgage Programs?



Some consumers are complaining that their banks are not yet prepared to handle the president’s new mortgage-assistance programs. The Consumerist featured a story today about a frustrated Citi customer who was looking to modify their mortgage under the president’s new program; but apparently Citi said such a program “doesn’t exist”:

Last week after learning about President Obama’s mortgage assistance programs, the news said to go to mortgage company websites to learn more about how each company was handling these proposals. Last week, I visited CitiMortgage.com. I followed the links, and inserted my information. After that was completed, their service prompted me to schedule an appointment with a representative. I schedule an appointment…[and] took off work to wait for the call…

After I received no call, I began calling Citi. I was transferred to 4 agents, all of whom had no idea what I was talking about…I walked the final agent…through their website, and the agent …told me that the option doesn’t exist.

Experiences by other readers continue in the comments below the story. Readers who commented on the Consumerist’s story have also posted problems they have encountered at other banks besides Citi.

In defense of these institutions, this isn’t a “light-switch” process. It takes time, money, and talent to execute Washington’s latest homeowner-assistance programs — three things many banks are running low on.

READERSHave any of you contacted your bank trying to find out more information regarding the new mortgage programs? If so, we want to hear your story — leave us a comment.

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5 Responses to “How’s Your Bank Handling the New Mortgage Programs?”

  1. Amy Valdez Says: March 13th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Our mortgage is not held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and our mortgage servicer is not willing to work with us in a fair manner, we were loyal customers for 7 years straight, never late on a mortgage payment, when my husband became unexpectedly ill, we asked for help and they advised us to become late on payments and then we could probably get help, still no help has come… and now we’re facing foreclosure and they still aren’t following the President Obama’s guidelines of making our payment be no more than 31% of our income, they said they have nothing to do with the government and are not receiving money from the government. Who do we get help from? We have steady jobs yet we need help to stay in our home and be able to afford our mortage at a fair price. We currently have an ARM loan and a 2nd mortage as well, we don’t want to foreclose and add to the crisis, but they need to work with us or I guess we will foreclose and buy another house later. Our first mortage holder servicer is Select Portfolio Services, Inc.
    I believe I was redlined since the beginning of my home purchase in 2001.

  2. Zuni1 Says: March 16th, 2009 at 9:24 am

    I applied at B of A for a refinance. In addition to increasing my home equity by $80,000,
    the bank wanted $12,000 in points plus home owners insurance plus they wanted to hold in their
    account my house insurance and property tax. I have never paid any of those things up-front. I have
    my mortgage deducted from my bank account automatically. And I would have only saved would be $300
    per month. You can guess what I told the B of A!

  3. Tim Manni Says: March 16th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    So far it sounds like no one is having luck with any of their banks. It’s getting hard for consumers who either don’t have a mortgage owned or guaranteed through Fannie or Freddie, or one through a large institution receiving federal aid. Make sure to read over financialstability.gov for all the latest details.

  4. sharon Says: March 18th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    what about Central mortgage co. they dont service accounts in a lot of states. Amerquiuest was sold to them now I cant refinace cause they cant do business in my state

  5. Tim Manni Says: March 19th, 2009 at 11:39 am


    The poor list keeps growing. I’m predicting Washington’s estimates for the amount of Americans this program will help won’t even come close. Sorry to hear about your struggles — you’re certainly not alone.

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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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