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How to Stop Foreclosures--Try A Little TV!

Foreclosed Home
Foreclosed Home

So I was going to write more today about foreclosures, given that we’ve got more numbers showing just how much worse things are getting, but then I got an email that I just had to share, well, a string of emails.

A little background: last week I did a piece for CNBC that also aired on the "Today Show", on the foreclosure crisis and highlighting a single mom from Maine named Lisa Burns. A friend of Lisa’s had actually written into my blog, telling of how he was trying to help her with a short sale of her home but had been getting no response from the lender. Lisa hasn’t made a payment since February, and her home is now worth far less than her mortgage. Let’s follow the string of emails, first from Lisa to the bank that owns her note:

Name: Lisa M Burns
E-mail: deleted by CNBC
Phone: deleted by CNBC
Best time to call: 9 to 11 a.m.

Comments:
I rec'd a Summons for foreclosure and The Bank of NY, as successor Trustee Under Novastar Mtg Funding Trust 2005-3 is listed. However, the Saxon Mtg Servicing Inc is who I remit payments. I have been attempting to work them since 3/08 and since 8/08 remitted a Short Sale. To date I have not heard anything. I am concerned that time is of the essence and want to try to expedite resolution with regards to my property. Please contact me as soon as possible to discuss my situation. It is very stressful to not have anyone contacting me regarding payments or the package that was sent. My hope is to partner with the bank to work through this process. Thank you for your time. Lisa

Lisa received the following reply:
Thank you for your recent correspondence. Please try contacting Saxon Mortgage as they are the appropriate contact for your request. They can be reached at: (682) 647-4860. Thank you for contacting The Bank of New York Mellon.

Alissa A. Reatz, Assistant Treasurer · The Bank of New York Mellon

Global Corporate Trust -- Mortgage Backed Securities

But Lisa had already tried that, so she replied:

Hi Alisa,

This has been going on for months now. I have been trying to work with the bank to no avail. The person who has now been assigned to the file has been unresponsive to the Realtor as well. I just thought maybe you folks could provide some type of direction or have someone there that this could be escalated to.

Again, thank you for your help,

Lisa

Lisa had given up and was just waiting to be kicked out of her home when we heard of her story. In our research, we called NY Mellon, who again referred us to Saxon. This is all we could get from Saxon:

“Saxon Mortgage Services is committed to helping qualified borrowers find solutions in a timely manner.”

-Saxon spokesperson

So we ran the story, and Lisa smartly forwarded the link to the "Today Show" piece to Saxon mortgage. I’m guessing you can guess what happened. This week she received the following response from her broker on the short sale. Suddenly, Saxon is willing to resolve her case:

I have received a call from Vanita Mattson of Saxon Mortgage. She is getting on this file to do whatever needs to be done to get this issue completed.

1. She will order an appraisal.

2. She will evaluate the appraisal and your offer.

3. She will send the information to Private Mortgage Insurance for their approval.

4. Once approved, it will need approval from Saxon.

5. Once Saxon approves, we will have clear to close.

I will let you know once I have more information.

Funny how they suddenly decided to respond, only after Lisa’s story went on national TV.

Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com