Does this scenario sound familiar? You're having trouble paying your mortgage because your payment adjusted upwards, your income adjusted downwards, or you had a major illness or other emergency. You apply to your mortgage servicer for help through the HAMP program, sending in your bank statements and pay stubs, and after reviewing your application your lender okays you for a trial payment plan. Your new payment is reduced to 31% of your income, yay! You make the trial payments as agreed for one, two, three months. Four, five, six, seven, eight months....

Featured Home Equity Loan Provider
    • No Appraisal
    • No Out of Pocket Costs
    • Quotes from Top Lenders
    • Lower Your Mortgage Payment - Save Here!

You call your mortgage servicer and are told they didn't receive everything they asked for -- even though two days before they said that they had...You wish you had some of whatever they are smoking down there to relieve your stress. But you don't, so you refax and resend the same documents over and over and they continue to end up in some Great Circular File in the Sky....the months go on. When they call you are tempted to put your dog on the line, but you resist...

You begin receiving calls and notices from the foreclosure department, asking for arrearages, even though you are in a trial modification. When you explain this you are then told not to worry (but the calls and notices persist). You are tempted to try out the Swahili swear words you recently learned from one of your kid's friends, but you resist...

Your car dies, and when you try to replace it you discover you can't get a loan because of the bad credit caused by your mortgage servicer reporting you "late" on your mortgage. You consider dropping your house keys in a nice steaming cow pie and mailing the whole mess to your lender, but you resist...

Last call!

You are pulling out your hair when you get a call -- Your request for a loan modification was denied and oh, by the way, can you send us a check for $27,254? Today? Because that's the difference between the trial payment and your regular payment over the sixteen months it took us to decline your request. And if you can't send it in we can file your foreclosure notice this week, because all the while we've been messing around with your modification request we've been proceeding rather efficiently with your foreclosure. Yes, it's funny how that works.

Don't get mad, get even

A California man who went through pretty much the above-described scenario won a judgment in small claims court against Bank of America over a failed loan modification. After being solicited by the bank for a HAMP modification, David Graham supplied all requested data and sat back to wait to learn if he qualified. THREE YEARS later, he was turned down and told that he faced immediate foreclosure if he didn't pony up the difference between what he paid and what was owed under the original terms of his mortgage. He sued the bank for that precise amount, saying they strung him along in violation of HAMP's requirements, leaving him vulnerable to losing his home. He won.