A lot of email over my story on how Countrywide is trying to modify troubled mortgages. Most was negative, some positive,and one made me laugh out loud. (FYI: Bank of America now owns Countrywide)
First, the folks who have not had much luck with Countrywide.
Michael N. says he lost his job and is burning through his savings (and, ironically, even selling BofA stock) to make his mortgage payments:
"I WANT to stay in my home, and the biggest way for me to get into more trouble right now would be to try to sell my home in the market that Countrywide helped to destroy. The home retention rep I spoke with a month ago suggested I send a letter describing my situation and ask for help. I took time from job hunting to put together the best case I could, and when I called back, the lady in the next cubicle suggested that I try to cut back on expenses and get a job. Wow! I hadn't thought about that!
"It seems I'm not in enough trouble yet to warrant any help. The only conclusion I could draw was to stop making payments and hope the housing industry gets worse…you know, actually become a part of the problem. My proactive efforts to be a part of the solution didn't fit their template, and it will not be long now before I'm looking for a place to protect my wife and four children. We have not slept for months and the only thing holding us together is the daily efforts to find work and create income.
'This is my fault. I'm not blaming anyone but me. I am asking for help and by the tone of the interview, I am just the person Steve (Bailey, or Countrywide) is looking to help."
From Joel T:
"I had to laugh at the Countrywide story. I've been working with Countrywide for 8 months trying to modify a loan. In brief, I'm going through a divorce. The property located in San Joaquin County , CA (hardest hit by real estate collapse). In brief, my ex wife is on the loan with $791k due. Countrywide did an appraisal for $450k in October.
The loan modification offer from Countrywide was for $791k with interest only loan for 3 years. I was willing to pay up to assume $600,000 which I thought was a fair but they would rather foreclose on the property. I'm not on this loan so I have no legal obligation to repay. I just can't figure out what the investors are looking. If you have someone who's willing to start paying interest on $600k, why wouldn't they take that?"
From Cherryl A:
"And you're still buying into it CNBC too funny! Appropriately named funny business...I rent a room from a 70 year old man who has not been able to make his Countrywide payment since July because: 1. the house was overvalued by fraudulent lending and appraisal practices thus the payment was ridiculously high and 2. he lost his job in January. He has tried asking Countrywide if they will modify his mortgage to pay $900 per month which he can come up with out of his Social Security income, not the over-inflated amortized $1200 per month. Countrywide refuses to work with him and say they will foreclose. He pays his HOA dues to the condo association on time and continues to pay his second mortgage on time in hopes that showing in good faith that he is willing to pay some but cannot afford all due to the loss of job.
"Why is it that this same condo will eventually go up into foreclosure auction for probably less than $100,000 (purchased for $200,000) and Countrywide will be sitting at the lender's pre-qualification tables at the foreclosure auction, which they are doing now in robust?...My landlord served his country in the armed forces ages ago, had a credit score of well over 700 before the whole realty scam began...His misfortune: believing the fraudulent mortgage broker, the lender (Countrywide) and real estate agent as well as FL media who told him that if he didn't buy right then, he would never afford to buy in South Florida ever, because homes would become untouchable. So he bought the condo. Over the past four months he has faxed to Countrywide request after request to lower his payment and made call after call. Not one loan modification document has been sent to him to find out if a resolution could be reached. He did all the proactive paper work and contacted his lender like all that media hype says to do. He showed them evidence of his limited but ongoing Social Security Income. Countrywide continues to either ignore him, talk down to him or talk to him from their pre-programmed Loan Servicing Department Script 101 from "India" telling him there is nothing they can do, or they tell him point blank they are going to foreclosure and there is nothing they will do. Where is this individual supposed to turn?"
"I'm helping a friend try to modify her mortgage with Countrywide. (Countrywide holds her loan - they're not just servicing it.) If only what we're going through anything close to what CW presented on your clip this morning on CNBC. My friend is not upside down on her loan and her property. She has good equity in the house...We started this process 2 weeks ago. Her mortgage statement provided an 800# for those who were having difficulty with their loans. The first person we spoke with - while very helpful - was trying to get my friend to refinance at a cost in fees of $8,000 for a $375,000 loan!! Ridiculous...But when I said we were trying to get the loan modified, not refinanced, she said it needed to be turned down at the refi level before we could move to modify. I got her to turn my friend down for refi - and she gave us the modification number.
"The gal at the modification number said my friend qualified for modification because her interest rate jumped from 6.5% to 8% to 8.75% Dec.1st. (Are you kidding me - 8.75%!!I ) She wanted my friend's financial info - but said she couldn't do anything about a modification until Dec. 1st when Countrywide was mandated by BofA to begin modification process...What was even more annoying - my friend provided her cell phone number for contact info for follow-up or if they got disconnected. Somehow the number was "leaked" and other agents from Countrywide called my friend trying to get her to refinance."
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