Feldman Law Center -Â News by Feldman Law Center -Â According to a story in The Ventura County Star, Indy Mac (now named OneWest Bank after its seizure by FDIC last July and its subsequent sale to private investors) doesnâ€™t seem to enjoy dealing directly with their borrowers. If the events leading to the foreclosure of Josie Loweâ€™s home in Simi Valley, California are any indication, Indy Mac at some point will ignore the fact that a struggling homeowner is still making payments, stop all communication, and foreclose on a home without warning.
Â Ms. Loweâ€™s experience in trying to do her own loan modification follows what is becoming a familiar pattern among do it yourselfers. What starts off as a request by the homeowner for a loan modification is countered by the lender with a payment plan to catch up on missed payments. A lender will often propose a payment plan, which starts immediately, while the loan modification process gets started.Â Instead of reducing monthly payments, the homeowner is required to make larger payments to catch up on missed payments. In Ms. Loweâ€™s case the payment plan, on which she made monthly payments totaling $21,000 carried an additional bomb that was waiting to explode in the form of a balloon payment in the amount of $11,473.
Not to worry, the bank told her that a loan modification would take care of the shortfall. On top of that, she felt she was honoring her side of the deal by making regular monthly payments. In February, almost fourteen months after starting the loan modification process, Indy Mac told her she didnâ€™t qualify for a loan modification. The reason for her disqualification was that Lowe had failed the FDIC loan modification model twice, said an Indy Mac/OneWest spokesperson. â€œTo qualify for a loan modification, the homeowner has to be able to pay a minimum amount of the interest due on the loan, and Lowe couldnâ€™t make that minimum payment,â€ she said. Of course, the minimum interest payment on a modified loan is set by the lender so it wasnâ€™t that she could make a minimum payment, she couldnâ€™t make their minimum payment for a modification.
Even after disqualification, Ms. Lowe was told to continue making payments as there was still a â€œchanceâ€ that she could get her loan modified. It wasnâ€™t until the bank returned two of her payments that she thought there might be something amiss. Calling Indy Mac to inquire about the returned payments, Ms. Lowe found out exactly how big her problem was; she, along with her blind mother and young son were getting evicted due to their home being foreclosed. She had made her call to Indy Mac on May 11th. The auction date was set for the next day, less than 24 hours from getting the news on the foreclosure.Â Â
She has now retained an attorney to determine whether the auction sale can be reversed so that she can stay in her home with her mother and son. Her attorney said of the case, Itâ€™s â€œfraudulentâ€, and added, â€œIt may be through sheer negligence; perhaps one hand didnâ€™t know what the other was doing within the large corporation as it went through takeover and sale in the months that Lowe was trying to work out a loan modificationâ€¦ Still, that is no excuse for what has happenedâ€
These cases that fall in the cracks, get turned down for specious reasons, or completely blow up due to lenderâ€™s incompetence seem to be on the increase as loan modifications flood the desks of processors. Like many other similar victims, Ms. Lowe could have avoided this mess by starting the process with an attorney to guide the negotiations and call out the lenderâ€™s misrepresentations during the modification process. In this case, she probably could have avoided the payment plan completely, had a much better chance at qualifying for a modification with an attorney negotiating on her behalf, and would not be in the fight of her life trying to save her home.Â Â
About Feldman Law Center
The Feldman Law Center specializes in negotiating with lenders on the behalf of homeowners to make their mortgage payments affordable again. During the current housing down-turn, the loan modifications we have negotiated have helped over 500 families lower their monthly payments and avoid losing their homes to foreclosure. We understand that each family has different needs as they enter with us into their loan modification process. For that reason, we approach each loan modification as a unique opportunity to provide a solution specifically built for each homeownerâ€™s situation.
Our attorney driven process is designed to gain optimal results on each loan modification we negotiate on behalf of our clients. Combine that with a staff that arrives each day with dedication and compassion for our clients and you have a team that is second to none. Our state of the art technology systems assure the best in customer service while also allowing us to stay ahead of the ever changing rules and guidelines that govern loan modifications.
The people at The Feldman Law Center understand that the dreams of home ownership and being part of a community must be protected one family at a time. We also understand that the threat of losing those dreams can put enormous pressure on families like yours. If you are struggling with your monthly payments and worried about the threat of foreclosure, we can help. Find out how a loan modification can help you and your family. Call The Feldman Law Center today at 800-588-0425 or visit us online at www.feldmanlawcenter.com