My Mortgage Modification Nightmare
DATE: April 2, 2010
ACTION: Letter from Wells Fargo – first print contact from the company regarding my mortgage modification request
SUMMARY: Received letter dated March 29 acknowledging my inquiry and asking for the following information:
1) Hardship Letter
2) Bank Statements
3) 3 X Pay Stubs
I was somewhat puzzled because I had attached a Hardship Affidavit Explanation document as specified on page 1 of the RMA. I also needed to know how many bank statements, as that wasn’t specified in the request.
The letter was unsigned and provided the contact number (800) 416-1472.
DATE: April 5, 2010
ACTION: Called Wells Fargo 800-416-1472 and spoke to Mandy (one of the customer service people who answer queue calls.)
"I wish for once that Wells Fargo would tell me the TRUTH.
'We're never going to approve a loan modification for you because we really don't care about the middle class and we look forward to foreclosing on your home and forcing you out of everything you've worked so hard to earn.'"
One Lie After Another
SUMMARY: Following up on the letter dated March 29, 2010 and a phone message from April 2 from Robert, I called Wells Fargo and was told they needed additional information, as follows:
1) Three most recent pay stubs. This was the first of probably 20 times I explained to Wells Fargo personnel that I do not receive a pay stub. Per information on the MakingHomeAffordable.gov website, I sent 2009 tax return instead as proof of income.
2) Simple profit-and-loss statement for my business (following discussion about why I didn’t have pay stubs and that I was self-employed.
3) My business tax return, 1120-S for 2009
4) An updated financial worksheet (there was some confusion about whether she meant the RMA form referenced in the previous entry. She, and several subsequent Wells Fargo representatives I spoke to didn’t seem to be at all familiar with this form.) Mandy specifically said I needed to report household expenses, namely food, and transportation costs, namely gasoline and auto insurance, even though there was no space on the RMA financial worksheet to put this information and the pdf didn’t allow addition of information beyond what was pre-programmed to be filled in. I printed the form as I had previously completed it, hand wrote in the information requested and then copied it to send.
5) A signed “Hardship Letter.” This was my first exposure to this term, but as best I could tell it was the additional information requested on the RMA form Hardship Affidavit section for “Explanation.” I described the memo I had previously sent and she said I should just make another copy and be sure to sign and date it and all other correspondence.
There was no verbal request for bank statements of any kind.
Mandy suggested I fax the above information, but for the first of very, very many times I explained to her that I do not have a fax machine in my home office and it would be more than an hour’s drive round-trip to reach a business from which I could pay to fax the paperwork. Therefore, I specified that I would be mailing the information and she stated that would be fine. I mailed the information, first class, that same day.
DATE: April 5, 2010
ACTION: Mailed requested information to Wells Fargo.
SUMMARY: Sent the following information via first class mail:
1) Simple profit-and-loss statement for my business, signed and dated
2) My business tax return, 1120-S for 2009, signed and dated
3) An updated financial worksheet, signed and dated
4) A signed Hardship Letter, signed and dated
DATE: April 6, 2010
ACTION: My request was “removed” from the retention review and moved onto the “short sale” list
SUMMARY: Per Eric on April 15, apparently someone at Wells Fargo made a note in my file that they had been unable to contact me for needed information and canceled my review for retention of my home. Even though I had spoken to Mandy just the day before and each of these conversations is logged in detail by the representative speaking to a client (they can be heard typing as I talk and sometimes ask me to hold while they catch up their notes), somebody decided for some reason that I was not complying with Wells Fargo’s request.
DATE: April 7, 2010
ACTION: Wells Fargo sent letter denying my request
SUMMARY: I received a letter dated April 7, 2010, stating it was the “Final decision on your mortgage loan request,” incorrectly stating “This decision was made because you did not provide us with all of the information needed within the time frame required per your trial modification period workout plan.”
I knew right away this letter was bogus because 1) I had provided Wells Fargo with all the information I had ever been requested and 2) I had never been assigned a trial modification period workout plan.
DATE: April 14, 2010
ACTION: Wells Fargo generated two letters to me about short sales, which I had and have never suggested I was interested in any correspondence or conversation with WFHM employees.
SUMMARY: One letter is headed: "Notice of short sale option" and could, I suspect, just be something the computer spits out at some point for everyone who has indicated interest in mortgage mods. The second, headed "Realtor short sale guide" seems to be something that is written for realtors; therefore, I have no idea why it was sent to me.
DATE: April 15, 2010
ACTION: Called Wells Fargo 800-416-1472 and spoke to Eric (customer service queue)
SUMMARY: I asked for clarification of the abovementioned letter, explaining that I had sent all requested information on the day it was requested and that, as far as I knew, I had never been assigned a trial modification time limit for anything. He stated that when the information requested on April 5 didn’t show up in my file on April 6, someone had changed the status of my request. He said he would be sure my request went back into the review process. He also cautioned me when mailing information to sign and date every document, even if they weren’t designed with a space for that information, and to put my loan number on every document because “the investor” requires that. And he stated that documents such as the “hardship letter” must be updated every 30 days to meet the requirements of “the investor.” (This information didn’t show up anywhere on the Wells Fargo site nor on the MakingHomeAffordable.com web forms.)
DATE: April 19, 2010
ACTION: Re-sent the entire documentation packet to Wells Fargo via USPS Certified Mail.
SUMMARY: Just to be sure that all my documentation was complete, had the dates updated and had signatures, I submitted an entire packet including all the items that were in my initial mailing plus a new copy of each of the additional items that had been requested to date. I also submitted a checklist to "idiot proof" the mailing as much as possible. I'm still trying to come up with a format for the hardship letter that they recognize as a hardship letter. I dug and dug through the Wells Fargo website to figure out what they want in this. I drilled down until I found something called a “Hardship Packet,” that seemed to include forms intended for borrowers who were already behind in their mortgage payments. I modified them slightly and just didn’t answer the questions that
referred to delinquent payments. The link to this payment was later moved and relabeled “Home Preservation Program Packet.” It is located at http://financial.wellsfargo.com/consumer/cards/nowline/paymenthelp/hardship.packet.pdf As you can see, it is reached in quite obscure fashion by navigating through pages related to consumer credit cards instead of being easily accessed on pages related to mortgage issues.
DATE: April 20, 2010
ACTION:Wells Fargo generated a letter telling me that in order to process my request for "MODIFICATION" (not sure why that hwas the only word in all caps!) they needed a financial worksheet.
SUMMARY: At this point, I think they're referring to page 2 of the RMA, which is a financial worksheet.
DATE: April 20, 2010
ACTION: Called Wells Fargo 800-416-1472 and spoke to Anna (queue)
SUMMARY: Responding to a phone message telling me Wells Fargo needed more information, I called and was told that the only document missing from my review packet was a financial worksheet. (Yet another conversation about the RMA form with an employee who seemed to have no clue to what I was referring.)
I made yet another copy of the RMA form, signed and updated the date, and mailed it to Wells Fargo via first class mail the same day.
DATE: April 27, 2010
ACTION: phone call from Wells Fargo customer service representative Kristin
SUMMARY: Kristin who asked many questions about my expenses and confirmed that the figures I had provided on the previous financial worksheet were “within acceptable range.” She also confirmed that all the necessary documents had been received and were up to date and said my review was nearing the end.