Friday, May 31, 2013

UPDATE: Mortgage Relief - Hope Loan Port Hands Jail Keys to Inmates

Mortgage Relief - Hope Loan Port Hands Jail Keys to Inmates - UPDATE

McGrath & Spielberger works with borrowers to save their homes.

UPDATE: I thought I would share an update that further exemplifies the significance of the problems that the situation described below creates. In one of our currently pending cases with Bank of America in North Carolina - a foreclosure matter in which our client is seeking mortgage relief / loss mitigation - BOA demanded additional documents and imposed a strict (but arbitrary) deadline. Guess what? BOA did not unlock the Hope Loan Port file, thus Bank of America prevented us from providing the very documents BOA was demanding by way of the system that BOA forces us to use. The exclamation of concern I shared with the Bank of America "Single Point of Contact" (the third or fourth "single" point of contact in this case) went completely ignored.

So, you might be thinking, "Well surely the borrower would not be penalized due to delays caused by BOA itself, right?" Wrong. Unfortunately, completely wrong. Unless we are able to find away around this problem created by BOA and its control of the Hope Loan Port system, the loss mitigation request will be denied by Bank of America for "Failure to provide requested documentation." Since we almost always find away around, over, under, or through the unnecessary and sometimes mind-boggling obstacles that are thrown in our way by lenders/loan servicers like Bank of America, Bayview Loan Servicing, Suntrust, Wells Fargo, etc., I suspect we'll find away around this one. But we shouldn't have to, that's the point. Would any single one of you be okay with being pushed further toward losing your home due to this kind of nonsense?

It's never wise or fair to grant one side unilateral power and control, and it's also completely contrary to the core principles we have fought for centuries to establish and maintain in this country.

 Original post below

Certain mortgage loan servicers, like Bank of America, force us to use a "neutral" online platform to submit mortgage loan relief and loss mitigation applications. This platform is known as Hope LoanPort (although it does not own the rights to that URL, apparently). The primary problem is that one cannot upload documents into this system unless the bank / mortgage loan servicer allows it.

Hope LoanPort documents screen - click to enlarge

Hope LoanPort documents

For example, let's say that you need to update your hardship affidavit because you have suffered an additional hardship or your circumstances have changed. You can't do it unless BOA allows you to; you are locked out at the bank's whim. Just what we need, right, handing the keys to the jail to the very inmates we are trying to reform? After all, the large banks have always proved themselves to be model corporate citizens which can be trusted to do the right thing. (Or, perhaps not.)






Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BOA Mortgage Relief: Inaccurate Dating of Legal Documents

Bank of America Mortgage Relief: Inaccurate Dating of Legal Documents

Bank of America's practice in mortgage loan relief / loss mitigation matters is to send documents out with inaccurate dates, often leading to unfair "deadlines".

As an attorney who represents many homeowners and other mortgage loan borrowers in mortgage relief, mortgage dispute, and foreclosure cases, I of course have to be very aware of relevant deadlines, whether imposed by courts, mortgage lenders, loan servicers, or anyone else. It's well-established that a document should accurately reflect the date that the document is sent out, with perhaps a 24 hour grace period for non-legal documents. BOA - Mayan CalendarWhy, then, are almost all documents we receive in the mail from Bank of America (including documents sent via overnight mail, and including binding legal agreements with formal deadlines) sent out at least 7 to 10 days after the date on the document?

When this happens once in a while, and for items not sent overnight mail, you figure that it could be a normal delivery delay. However, after years of this, it's very clear that BOA's system is intended to send key documents out well after the date on the document. Why do I say it's intentional? Because any such "problem" is not difficult to fix, so a repeating pattern for years is a clear indication of intent. I would also point out that this is generally not the case with other lenders/loan servicers.

If you are wondering why this matters, consider this actual scenario:

  1. After being given the run-around for years, the borrowers are offered a trial modification, which they accept.

  2. Borrowers successfully complete the 3 month trial modification period and are waiting for the permanent modification offer, which does not arrive when expected. Borrowers are concerned, as the month is half over and the assumption is that some payment will be due at the end of the month, but the amount and terms are unknown, since the trial period is over.

  3. Calls have to be made to Bank of America to ask "What is going on?"

  4. Bank of America finally sends a permanent modification offer. The date on the documents is 12 days earlier than when the documents were sent out (provable by the tracking data).

  5. By the time the borrowers receive the permanent modification contract offer via overnight mail - 12 days after the date on the documents - the deadline for accepting the offer is only days away. Borrowers have almost no time to consider the offer and have it reviewed by an attorney, and are thus feel forced to accept at risk of again facing foreclosure.

The Federal Government monitors certain deadlines imposed on mortgage lenders and mortgage loan servicers. What Bank of America has done is created a paper trail which shows, on its face, that documents were sent in a timely fashion and that the borrowers had plenty of time to respond. Ok, well, fine, we can prove the actual timeline - but to whom? A huge misconception is that there are courts out there, just waiting for wronged borrowers to walk in the door, for free, and get these kind of situations resolved easily and quickly. This simply isn't true.

I ask you, dear readers . . . do any of you use this business practice, dating documents and then not sending them out for weeks?I bet you don't - both because it's wrong and because it would cause your customers to lose faith in you. For me, it would also be an ethical violation which would cost me my law licenses. For Bank of America, it's standard practice.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Mortgage Relief - Hope Loan Port Hands Jail Keys to Inmates

Mortgage Relief - Hope Loan Port Hands Jail Keys to Inmates

 McGrath & Spielberger works with borrowers to save their homes.

Certain mortgage loan servicers, like Bank of America, force us to use a "neutral" online platform to submit mortgage loan relief and loss mitigation applications. This platform is known as Hope LoanPort (although it does not own the rights to that URL, apparently). The primary problem is that one cannot upload documents into this system unless the bank / mortgage loan servicer allows it. 

Hope LoanPort documents screen - click to enlarge

Hope LoanPort documents

For example, let's say that you need to update your hardship affidavit because you have suffered an additional hardship or your circumstances have changed. You can't do it unless BOA allows you to; you are locked out at the bank's whim. Just what we need, right, handing the keys to the jail to the very inmates we are trying to reform After all, the large banks have always proved themselves to be model corporate citizens which can be trusted to do the right thing. (Or, perhaps not.)      




Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Does Your Mortgage Loan Servicer Participate in Loss Mitigation?

 Does your mortgage loan servicer participate in the Home Affordable Modification Program?

Here is a list of the mortgage loan servicers (not mortgage lenders) who participate in the Federal Government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), according to the Federal Governement itself (as of April 30, 2013). Please note this list does not include lenders and/or servicers which may participate in other government programs (such as HARP),  be obligated to provide mortgage relief pursuant to other agreements or court orders (such as the National Mortgage Settlement), or provide loan modifications by way of internal/private programs. 

Mortgage Loan Modification

Servicer NamePhone #AddressFax #Participating MHA Loan Modification Programs
Allstate Mortgage Loans & Investments, Inc.866-351-0200P.O. 1201,
Crystal River, FL 34423
Amarillo National Bank1-806-378-8000410 S. Taylor,
Amarillo, TX 79101
1-806-356-1449Treasury FHA-HAMP
American Financial Resources Inc.1-800-316-95089 Sylvan Way,
Parsippany, NJ 07054
1-973-782-2573Treasury FHA-HAMP
AMS Servicing, LLC866-919-56083374 Walden Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14043
Aurora Financial Group, Inc.1-800-648-03459 Eves Drive
Marlton, New Jersey 08053
1-856-355-4765Treasury FHA-HAMP
Aurora Loan Services LLC800-550-0508P.O. Box 1706
2617 College Park
Scottsbluff, NE 69363-1706
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico1-787-775-1100Calle Angel Buonomo 339,
San Juan, PR 00918
1-787-706-6121Treasury FHA-HAMP
Bank of America, N.A. (includes: Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP, Home Loan Services, Inc., and Wilshire Credit Corporation 800-720-3758MHA Escalations Unit
PO Box 940070
Simi Valley, CA
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Bank United866-615-0662Attn: Modification Department
Mail Code: DO4-RESALT-560
7815 N.W. 148th Street
Miami, FL 33016
Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC800-457-5105Attn: Specialized Asset Management
4425 Ponce De Leon Blvd.,
5TH Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33146
877-360-9593 or 305-646-9943HAMP
Capital International Financial, Inc.1-305-442-1256395 Alhembra Circle,
Suite 200, Coral Gables, FL 33134
1-305-442-2516Treasury FHA-HAMP
Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC888-267-2417Attention: Home Retention
P.O. Box 54285
Irvine, CA 92619-4285
CCO Mortgage877-745-736610561 Telegraph Road
Glen Allen, VA 23059
Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union800-771-9411P.O. Box 958471
Lake Mary, Florida 32795-9814
Attn: Real Estate - HAMP Team
CitiMortgage, Inc.866-915-9417Citi Ham Trial Agreements
NTSB 1680,
680 Colwell Blvd Irving, TX 75039
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Citizens 1st National Bank800-311-7531606 S. Main Street Princeton, IL 61356815-872-0247HAMP
Community Bank & Trust Company125 N. State Street,
Clarks Summit, PA 18411
CU Mortgage Services, Inc.1-651-631-3111500 Main Street,
New Brighton, MN 55112
1-651-787-9536Treasury FHA-HAMP
CUC Mortgage Corporation800-342-4998P.O. Box 12670
Albany, NY 12212
DuPage Credit Union800-323-2611Attn: Alternative Loan Solutions
P O Box 3930
Naperville, IL 60567
Fay Servicing, LLC1-800-495-7166939 W. North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642
Fidelity Homestead Savings Bank504-569-3490201 St. Charles Ave, 20th Floor New Orleans, LA 70170504-569-3537HAMP
First Bank800-760-22651 First Missouri Center
St. Louis, MO 63141
First Federal Bank of Florida1-386-754-00904705 West US Hwy 90,
Lake City, FL 32056
1-386-754-7161Treasury FHA-HAMP
First Financial Bank, N.A.1-812-238-63111 First Financial Plaza
Terre Haute, Indiana 47807
First Mortgage Coporation1-800-395-47783230 Fallow Field Drive,
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
1-909-869-6685Treasury FHA-HAMP
Flagstar1-800-968-77005151 Corporate Drive,
Troy, MI 48098
Franklin Credit Management Corporation800-255-5897Attn: Loss Mitigation
101 Hudson Street 25th Floor
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Franklin Savings1-513-469-80004750 Ashwood Dr.,
Cincinnati, OH 45241
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Gateway Mortgage Group, LLC1-918-712-90006910 E. 14th Street,
Tulsa, OK 74112
1-918-858-8354Treasury FHA-HAMP
Glass City Federal Credit Union800-837-35951340 Arrowhead Drive
Maumee, OH 43537
GMAC Mortgage LLC800-766-46222711 North Haskell Ave, Suite 900
Dallas, TX 75204
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Great Lakes Credit Union800-442-3488HAMP
Greater Nevada Mortgage Services800-421-66744070 Silver Sage Drive, Carson City, NV 89701775-884-7041HAMP
Green Tree Servicing LLC800-643-02027360 S Kyrene Road T214
Tempe, AZ 85283
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Guaranty Bank1-800-235-4636345 Saint Peter Street,
Saint Paul, MN 55102
1-414-410-1400Treasury FHA-HAMP
Hartford Savings Bank800-844-38121400 Schauer Drive,
Hartford,WI 53027
Hillsdale County National Bank517-439-6121One South Howell Street
Hillsdale, MI 49242
HomEq Servicing877-867-7378P.O. Box 160248
Sacramento, CA 95816-0248
866- 554-5325HAMP
Homeward Residential 877-304-3100Attn: HAMP Processing
1525 S. Belt Line Road Coppell,
TX 75019
Horicon Bank920-485-3080 ext. 7310326 E Lake St. PO 126
Horicon, WI 53032
Lake City Bank888-522-2265ATTN: Candy Little
PO BOX 1387
Warsaw, IN 46581-1387
Liberty Bank and Trust Co1-800-883-39436600 Plaza Drive,
Suite 601, New Orleans, LA 70127
Litton Loan Servicing800-247-97274828 Loop Central Drive
Houston, TX 77081
Los Alamos National Bank800-684-5262PO Box 60
Los Alamos NM 87544
M&T Bank1-800-724-16331100 Wehrle Drive
Williamsville, NY 14221
1-716-630-4900Treasury FHA-HAMP
Magna Bank1-800-553-05586655 Poplar Ave #201,
Germantown, TN 38138
Marix Servicing, LLC866-406-27491925 W. Pinnacle Peak Road
Phoeniz, AZ 85027
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Marsh Associates, Inc.1-800-553-05582448 Park Road,
Charlotte, NC 28203
Midland Mortgage Compnay1-800-552-3000999 NW Grand Blvd,
Oklahoma City, OK
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Midwest Community Bank1-815-235-6137510 Polk Crest Drive, Freeport, IL 610321-815-235-1855HAMP
Mission Federal Credit Union800-500-6328 x2074Attn: Loss Mitigation
PO Box 919023
San Diego, CA 92121
Mortgage Center, LLC866-856-375020300 Civic Center Dr, # 403
Southfield, MI 48076
National City Bank800-523-86543232 Newmark Drive
Miamisburg, OH 45342
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Nationstar Mortgage LLC888-850-9398Attn: HAMP
350 Highland Drive
Lewisville, TX 75067
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Navy Federal Credit Union1-888-842-63283820 Follin Lane S.E
Vienna, VA 22180
Ocwen Financial Corporation, Inc.800-746-29361661 Worthington Rd Ste 100
West Palm Beach, FL 33409
Treasury FHA-HAMP
OneWest Bank800-781-7399Indymac - 1, 2900 Esperanza Crossing
Austin, TX 78758
ORNL Federal Credit Union800-676-5328Attn: Mortgage Modification Dept
221 S. Rutgers Avenue Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Pathfinder Bank1-315-343-0057214 West First Street, Oswego, NY 131261-315-207-8035HAMP
PennyMac Loan Services, LLC866-601-35186101 Condor Drive
Moorpark, CA 93021
Treasury FHA-HAMP
PNC Bank, National Association800-523-86543232 Newmark Drive
Miamisburg, OH 45342
Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union800-627-3328P.O. Box 1950
West Layette IN 47996-1950
Q lending, Inc.517-439-61211 Corporate Drive,
Suite 360
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
Quantum Servicing Corporation813-371-02706302 E. MLK Blvd.,
Suite 300
Tampa, FL 33619
RBC Bank (USA)1-866-777-21793201 Beechleaf Court
Raleigh, NC 27604
1-877-530-0765Treasury FHA-HAMP
Residential Credit Solutions800-737-1192P.O. Box 163289
Fort Worth, TX 76161-3289
Treasury FHA-HAMP
RG Mortgage Corporation888-264-4674PO Box 362394
San Juan, PR. 00936-2394
RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation877-426-8805P.O. Box 19409
Charlotte, NC 28219-9409
Saxon Mortgage Services800-594-8422Saxon Attention: Home Preservation HMP Documentation Department 4708 Mercantile Drive
North Fort Worth, TX 76137
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Schmidt Mortgage Company1-800-686-360020545 Center Ridge Rd. 250,
Rocky River, OH 44116
1-440-895-2181Treasury FHA-HAMP
Schools Financial Credit Union800-962-0990C/O Real Estate Department 1485 Response Rd Suite 126
Sacramento CA, 95815
Select Portfolio Servicing888-818-6032PO BOX:65250
Salt Lake City, UT 84165-0250
3815 S. West Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Servis One Inc.,dba BSI Financial Services, Inc866-209-4178Attn: HAMP Department
P.O. Box 517, 314 S. Franklin Street,
Titusville, PA 16354
Treasury FHA-HAMP
ShoreBank800-905-7725Attn: Kenisha Davis
3401 South King Drive,
Chicago, IL 60466
Silver State Schools Credit Union800-357-96541 Corporate Drive Suite 360
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC800-315-47578742 Lucent Blvd., Suite 300, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129720-241-7526HAMP
Sterling Savings Bank800-772-7791Attn: Tram Le
111 N. Wall,
Spokane, WA 99201
Stockman Bank of Montana1-406-234-8420700 Main Street,
Miles City, MT 59301
1-406-234-8419Treasury FHA-HAMP
Technology Credit Union800-553-0880Attn: LAD
2010 N First Street
San Jose, CA 95131
The Golden 1 Credit Union800-553-08808945 Cal Center Drive
Sacramento, CA 95826
U.S. Bank National Association866-932-0462P.O. BOX 20005
OWENSBORO, KY 42304-0005
United Bank1-715-835-68653625 Gateway Dr.
Eau Claire, WI 54701
United Bank Mortgage Corporation800-968-1990900 East Paris SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546616-559-4631HAM
Vantium Capital, Inc.866-660-58046500 International Parkway Suite 1500
Plano, TX 75093
Vist Financial Corp.1240 Broadcasting Rd.
Wyomissing, PA 19605
Wealthbridge Mortgage Corp.866-702-486515455 NW Greenbrier Pkwy, Ste 111, Beaverton, OR 97006503-597-7518HAMP
Wells Fargo Bank, NA (includes: Wachovia Bank, NA and Wachovia Mortgage, FSB)800-678-7986HAMP Application Documents
1000 Blue Gentian Road
Suite 300 X9999-01N
Eagan MN 55121

Customer Service Correspondence
PO Box 10335
MAC: X2302-017
Des Moines, IA 50306
Treasury FHA-HAMP
Weststar Mortgage, Inc.1-703-497-39953350 Commission Ct,
Woodbridge, VA 22192
1-703-643-1002Treasury FHA-HAMP
Yadkin Valley Bank336-258-6252PO Box 96
Pfafftown, NC 27040

McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC is a private law firm which provides assistance to those involved in mortgage disputes, including borrowers in need of mortgage relief services such as mortgage loan modification, foreclosure negotiation, refinancing, and deed-in-lieu or other negotiated settlement resolutions.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mortgage Settlement: BOA Loses First Settlement Check, Maybe Second as Well

Mortgage Settlement: BOA Loses First Settlement Check, Maybe Second as Well

Every time I think I've seen it all on behalf of my mortgage relief, mortgage dispute, and foreclosure clients, a lender pulls another rabbit out of its magic tragic hat. If these mistakes didn't have such serious consequences for homeowners (and, indirectly, taxpayers / the rest of us), they would be almost funny in a pathetic way. 

BOA-Promise Not to Lose Settlement Check More Than Twice

We have been working to resolve a mortgage matter in this case for over a year with Bank of America. The clients - normal, nice, family folks - had to move out of state for employment, leaving their (former) primary residence behind here in Charlotte. As part of the resolution, the homeowners were required to make a cash contribution, and submit it along with the written agreement. That certified bank check (ironically, drawn on Bank of America and made out to Bank of America) was sent to the proper address, along with the executed agreement, by certified mail in January, 2013, and in a timely fashion.

BOA then informed us it did not have the settlement check, but it had the executed agreement. The check was in the same envelope, and the envelope was not tampered with. Hmmmm . .. well, ok, it was a check drawn on BOA, written to BOA, purchased at a BOA branch - surely BOA could take some reasonable measure to expedite a replacement check and/or other resolution, right? The BOA representative promised to look into this after we provided all relevant information and get back to us. Did he? No. Did he respond to our follow up phone calls? No. Did we leave voice mails on his voice mail box? Yes. Did we call others at BOA about this? Yes. Turns out, supposedly, this person "no longer worked in that department" - but of course still had an active voice mail box in his voice, with his name, in that department, for weeks following his supposed removal. I wonder how many hundreds of distressed homeowners left him messages over those weeks, with no response?

Anyhow, BOA refused to stop payment on this check and replace it until 90 days had past. In the alternative, my clients could spend thousands of more dollars to buy another bank check to send to BOA  (no thanks). BOA never found the settlement check.

After approximately 95 days, a replacement settlement check - also drawn on BOA, purchased at a BOA, and made payable to BOA - was sent via certified mail to Bank of America. We have proof that the envelope which contained the 2nd settlement check was delivered to BOA on April 29, 2013, yet to this day (May 16), BOA will not return our calls on this matter, and when we do get someone on the phone, they are unable to confirm receipt of the check or locate the possible whereabouts of the check.

 BOA - Settlements by Carrier Pigeon

Bank of America, what do we need to do, have the funds delivered by singing telegram? Carrier pigeon? Seriously, BOA, I'm asking you, what DO you do with settlement checks? Do you put them in the employee break room freezer? Do you pin them to the bathroom wall? Do you make paper airplanes out of them for use at the BOA Foreclosure Olympic Games

Just amazing. If the other 99.9% of us ran our businesses this way, we'd be out of business in a month. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Foreclosure Hearing Wells Fargo Cumberland County NC May 2013

The following is a summary of a foreclosure hearing that McGrath & Spielberger assisted a borrower with, and is provided for informational purposes only.

Mortgage Loan Servicer / Foreclosing Bank: Wells Fargo

Distressed Property Address (City): Fayetteville, North Carolina

Type of Distressed Property: Former primary residence / vacant home

Date of Foreclosure Hearing: May 13, 2013        

Location of Foreclosure Hearing: Cumberland County, NC

Bank’s Trustee:  Substitute Trustee Services Inc. (This is essentially a shell company controlled by the foreclosure law firm Hutchens, Senter, Kellam & Pettit, P.A.)

Law Firm for Bank’s Trustee: Hutchens, Senter, Kellam & Pettit, P.A.

Borrower’s Attorney: Jason A. McGrath

Actions Taken by McGrath & Spielberger on Behalf of Borrower (Specifically in Relation to the Foreclosure Hearing): Motion to Continue Foreclosure Hearing filed, Attorney McGrath attended hearing for client.

Foreclosure Hearing Outcome: Borrower’s Motion to Continue, foreclosure hearing rescheduled, foreclosure sale canceled.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Florida Leads the United States in Foreclosure Activity

Florida Leads the United States in Foreclosure Activity

Recently, RealtyTrac published its March and First Quarter 2013 Foreclosure Market Report. Although it reports a general reduction in foreclosure activity nationwide, the news was not good for Florida property owners in two general areas: number of foreclosure filings and metro foreclosure rates.

Foreclosure Notice

 Number of Foreclosure Filings

There were a total of 85,671 foreclosure filings in Florida in the first quarter; one filing per 104 housing units. Florida thus has the highest ratio nationwide and nearly three times the national average of one filing per 296 housing units. The foreclosure filing rate increased seven percent from the fourth quarter of 2012 and is 17 percent higher compared to the first quarter of 2012.

Florida StateSeven of the Top Ten Metro Foreclosure Rates are in Florida

Miami has the No. 1 foreclosure category in the Country (one in every 79 housing units), followed by Orlando (No. 2 at one in every 86 housing units); Ocala (No. 3 at one in 92 housing units); Tampa (No. 5 at one in 100 housing units); Jacksonville (No. 7 at one in 105 housing units); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville (No. 8 at one in 109 housing units); Lakeland (No. 10 at one in 128 housing units).

You may review the entire report on RealtyTrac.

McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC provides assistance to borrowers in need of mortgage relief services, such as mortgage loan modification, foreclosure negotiation, refinancing, and deed-in-lieu or other negotiated settlement resolutions.