As it has been amply documented in the press, many of the lenders who originated your loans years ago have filed for bankruptcy and have not properly assigned the right to collect payments from you in a legal way; in fact, many of them are currently being investigated for fraud by all 50 States Attorney General’s Offices, with a settlement expected any day now. The foregoing has been compounded by the lenders/servicers abusive and deceptive administration of the so-called HAMP program, a fact also amply documented in major newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal. The majority of the cases offered trial periods under HAMP, for example, have been extended over the mandated 3 -month trial period payment, to up to 12 months, and in the majority of the cases, the borrowers have been denied a permanent loan modification and put back into foreclosure. The statistics are well-documented and indicate a denial rate of over 51% of all HAMP loan modifications processed.
In other cases, servicers have been documented to have consistently mishandled documentation, requesting the same set of documents several times, and in some cases, denying loan modifications to borrowers when our office, or the borrower, has evidence of receipt by the servicer. A typical loan modification process may take between 6 months to a year before being assigned a negotiator. In the meantime, servicers may be changed and the borrower has to start all over again. A standard favorite line for assignment of blame has been to blame the attorneys’ office for not timely forwarding documentation to the servicer, even when we have evidence of receipt thereof. Yet, in other cases, some of our clients and borrowers in general, have been offered and approved for trial loan modification processes after being previously denied, also a violation of HAMP guidelines.
In summary, as it is evident by published statistics, the HAMP program has been a failure in its implementation, and have resulted in inconsistent, deceptive and abusive practices in most cases, all of which have resulted in several Class Actions both in Florida and elsewhere. To date, no consistent effort for principal reductions have been entertained of offered to borrowers, while real estate properties continue to depreciate, as measure by the most recent Case-Shiller Index reading (February 2011)(i.e., another 20% decline in value is expected).
Having said that, do not be discouraged and do not give up!