Friday, July 19, 2013

NationStar Mortgage Modification - We Love Guessing Games!

NationStar Mortgage Modification - We Love Guessing Games! (even if the borrowers don't)

Nationstar Loan Modification Maze

As an attorney who represents many homeowners and other mortgage loan borrowers in mortgage relief, mortgage dispute, and foreclosure cases, especially in North Carolina (but also in Florida and Tennessee), I am (unfortunately) accustomed to the silly, illogical, and even illegal actions by mortgage loan servicers, mortgage lenders, and loan holders. One of the typical issues is that, even when a servicer/lender complies enough with government backed modification programs like HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) or FHLMC (Freddie Mac) Standard Modification Program to offer a modification, the offer is confusing, incomplete, or even misleading. Some of the issues I've seen include these, for examples.

  • modification offer states a payment amount of $2,000 on page 1, but $2,250 on page 2;

  • modification offer contains conflicting deadlines and due dates, leaving the borrower unsure which date is the true deadline;

  • modification offer states that foreclosure will continue but also states that foreclosure will not continue;

  • modification offer leaves out basic information such as what modifications are actually being made.

Mortgage Loan Modification

Someone not familiar with the wreck of a system that is the mortgage relief industry would just think (understandably): "Ok, well that stinks, but for the most part you can just call and get some clarification, right?"  Well, yes and no . . . you can call, and you might get some clarification, but that verbal guidance does you absolutely no good if the bank later determines you acted incorrectly. Bank of America is not going to care that its employee - Latisha, ID #47892 - told you with absolute certainty that the correct amount is $2,000.00 if it later decides, unilaterally, that the correct amount was $2,250.00, it's just going to reject you from the modification program and move to foreclose. Also, the time it takes to get even a potentially correct clarification eats away at your deadline (assuming you were even told what the deadline is) to execute the modification agreement and make your first payment.

The NationStar modification offer I'm looking at does not state how to make payment, what format payment must be made in, or where to send payment.  I mean, really, a company dealing with money doesn't tell people trying to pay how to do so? Isn't this just basic stuff that a company dealing with billions of dollars would sort of know to communicate to people? I'm sure this is an "innocent mistake", since Nationstar has never been thought to have mislead anyone . . . oh, wait, nevermind

So, Nationstar, let's play a guessing game! Let's guess where to send the money and whether it should be in a certified check, a check over the phone, a wire transfer, an electronic funds transfer, or perhaps a sack of gold coins. Seems that Nationstar has been learning from Bank of America, and that can't be good thing, given BOA's typical practices. You would think, with all the money that Nationstar has made collecting debts and the profit is has reaped due to this financial crisis, it could afford to do things correctly. Well, actually, Nationstar can afford it, knows how to make money, does this kind of thing as its core business . . . makes one start to wonder how innocent of a mistake it is after all, hmm?


Guess I'll be making some calls to Nationstar today, which means unnecessary work (on my end and theirs), continued worry for my client, another delay caused by the mortgage loan servicer/lender, etc. I've done this long enough that I'm not surprised, but I remain disappointed.