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Posts Tagged ‘HAMP’

Firms Will Be Embarrassed

Posted by CM on November 29, 2009

Yes, you read the heading correctly.  It seems that Obama and Geithner can’t seem to get our beloved mortgage servicers to effectively modify delinquent home loans.  That is one heck of a surprise!  We all know from experience that mortgage servicers will stop at nothing to get a foreclosure processed. 

On Monday, Obama will initiate a new campaign aimed at embarrassing mortgage firms (I hope mortgage servicers are included) into creating permanent modifications that reduce monthly payments.  Unfortunately, reducing principal balances was not mentioned in the article

Those servicers who have not made enough permanent modifications will be called out and embarrassed.  Recall that Geithner’s entire idea with his monthly mortgage servicer performance reports was to embarrass those firms that haven’t made many modifications.  That hasn’t worked very well and now it seems Geithner and his team is trying another embarrassment model for the servicers.  I don’t know about you, but when all the administration can think of is different ways to embarrass mortgage servicers, I don’t hold out much hope for this new campaign. 

A guess a bit of a change to HAMP is that the puny incentives ($1000 per modification) will not be paid until the modification is permanent and monthly payments are reduced.  To date, only 2,000 out of 500,000 or 0.4% of loans have been permanent modifications1.  If that is the only plan for pushing servicers in the right direction, I fear that that will only push servicers right out of HAMP all together.    

The word inside the Treasury Dept. is that HAMP is not really working but no one seems poised to create a new plan.  I have 2 ideas, 1. Reduce Principal Amounts and 2. One Year Freeze on all Foreclosures. 

Luckily the Senate is getting restless and they are pretending like they will create a National Foreclosure Prevention Program (like Philadelphia’s) where every delinquent home owner gets to have a court-supervised mediation1. Or they want bankruptcy judges to amend mortgages1.

It all boils down to the fact that servicers have zero incentive to modify loans and have more incentives to do a trial modification while still collecting delinquent fees. 

“I don’t think [mortgage servicers] ever intended on doing permanent loan modifications1.” Margery Golant 

Source:
1. U.S. Will Push Mortgage Firms to Reduce More Loan Payments. Peter S. Goodman. NY Times. 11/29/09.
URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/29/business/economy/29modify.html

 

For more about the run around between mortgage servicers and their customer’s regarding modifications see Goodman’s related article:
Winning Lower Payments Takes Patience and Luck.  11/29/09
URL:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/29/business/economy/29modifyside.html

Posted in Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, Mortgage Servicers, New York Times, PHH Mortgage, Treasury, white house | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Servicer Report through October 2009

Posted by CM on November 25, 2009

As always, here is your monthly Mortgage Servicer Performance Report through October 2009 from the Treasury Dept.

The pretty graphs show that housing inventory is increasing while mortgage rates, home prices and home sales are all dropping. 

PHH Mortgage is still not listed as a participant in this program.  According to some, PHH Mortgage is one of the tenth largest mortgage servicers.  Why aren’t they participating? If they are, why aren’t they visible on this report? 

See the report here

Posted in Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage, Short-sales, Treasury | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Modifications and Foreclosures in the News Again

Posted by CM on November 12, 2009

Ok, we have lots of news on the modification/foreclosure realm today. 

First, I came across this article yesterday about mortgage modification programs.  Alan Zibel for the AP wrote that Obama’s HAMP plan has started reaching “1 in 5 homeowners.”(1)  But, as we know, most servicers keep up with the foreclosure process while doing a modification.  Also, judging by your comments, modifications seem to result in foreclosures later.  I thought another section of this article was more important to our issues.  Zibel touched on a class action lawsuit in Minnesota filed by homeowners that said HAMP “failed to give proper notice when they were rejected [for modifications] or the right to appeal [the rejections].”(1)  The Judge rejected the suit and said, “the federal government has never made loan modifications an entitlement.”(1) 

What Judge Montgomery said basically sums up exactly what we are up against in the legal court and the court of public opinion.  When I first starting complaining about PHH Mortgage, I was told, “you agreed to pay for your house didn’t you?”  I said yes, but, shouldn’t I have some sort of consumer protections if something happens and I cannot pay for my house anymore?  The premise for my petition letters came from the above conversation.  As you see, we are facing a steep battle from people who think if we signed the loan papers, we should pay and that is it. 

Second, Foreclosures dip in October.  I didn’t even have to read the article to know exactly what they are talking about, because of HAMP, modifications are being started and foreclosures are being stalled.  That is all, foreclosures will rise again, I promise.  Anyway…Foreclosures dipped, but filings were “up 19% [from last year]” and “1 in every 385 homes received a [default] notice this month.”(2)  Wow, that is great news!  Those numbers sure do make me feel better, don’t they make you feel better?  Those numbers are crazy.  1 out of 385 is not a good statistic whatsoever.  Give me a break. 

The top ten foreclosure states in order from top to bottom are…..Nevada, California, Florida, Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, and Utah.(2)

Third, here is the MHA (Making Home Affordable) Mortgage Servicer Report through October 2009.  Enjoy.  What can I tell you about it?  It has 5 pages instead of 2.  There are more graphs showing downward trends with home prices and upward trends of housing inventory.  Fancy Fancy!  Other than that, PHH Mortgage is still not listed on there although it does say that servicers servicing Fannie loans are eligible to participate.  Here’s to crossing our fingers that PHH will one day participate. 

Last but not least, the best editorial I have read in a while came from the NY Times today.  More Foreclosures to Come.  Need I say more?  The editorial called for real modifications with principal loan reductions.  We have heard this before, yes, from the National Consumer Law Center.  The editorial goes on to say that, “another 2.4 million homes will be lost [to foreclosure] in 2010 and home prices will be reduced by 10%.”(3)  Recall above that I said most modifications will end in foreclosure, well the editorial said that, “most troubled borrowers will ultimately not qualify for help, and bad loans will be in foreclosure.”(3) 

The editorial continues, HAMP “has been flawed from the start and has no teeth to compel lenders to participate.”(3) 

Finally, “American Homeowners need an antiforeclosure plan that works.”(3) 

Sources:
1. Housing Plan Reaches 1 in 5 Borrowers. Alan Zibel. Associated Press. 11/10/09.
URL: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_FORECLOSURE_AID?SITE=FLROC&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

2. Foreclosures Dip in October. J.W. Elphinstone. Associated Press. 11/11/09.
URL: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_FORECLOSURE_RATES?SITE=MATAU&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

3. More Foreclosures to Come. NY Times Editorial. 11/12/09.
URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/opinion/12thu2.html

Posted in Congressional regulation, Court Filings, Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, Mortgage Servicers, New York Times, PHH Mortgage, Treasury | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Servicer Report through September 2009

Posted by CM on November 3, 2009

Sorry that I am late about posting this report.  It’s just me being “cynical sally” in thinking that this report really doesn’t mean much of anything at all. 

This is the Making Home Affordable Servicer Performance Report through September 2009.  PHH Mortgage is not listed on this report and has never been listen on this report.  The tiny writing at the bottom lists all the GSE (Government Sponsored Enterprise, which I believe are loans bought by Fannie or Freddie) servicers and PHH is not listed. 

I am fearful that if you are working with PHH on doing a HAMP modification that you are really not doing a HAMP modification. 

See the servicer report here

Posted in Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage, Treasury | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

A Foreclosure Tsunami Part 1

Posted by CM on September 22, 2009

Hi folks, I’m back from vacation!  I just finished reading Ms. Diane E. Thompson’s written testimony to the U.S. Senate regarding HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program).  HAMP is a program started by the Obama administration as part of their Making Home Affordable programTHIS IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION: 75% of ALL mortgages in the U.S. are eligible for HAMP!  That said, finding a mortgage servicer who actually participates and handles the program correctly is another story all together.  As usual, the mortgage servicers aren’t really providing the necessary relief for homeowners under HAMP as this testimony highlights and as we already know from our experiences. 

A majority of the issues in this testimony, I have either experienced or read about before.  I will assume the same can be said for you.  What is refreshing and comforting is that at least someone in the U.S. Senate knows it too.  What remains to be seen is whether or not any changes come out of this testimony. 

For the full testimony, Click Here

Here are some excerpts I thought may be of interest to you.  If you are trying to obtain a loan modification using HAMP, please read this testimony in its entirety so that you know what your rights are in this program. 

Foreclosure and Modification Statistics

  • 13 million foreclosures are estimated between the years 2008-2014.
  • Currently, 12% of mortgages are past due and 7% are delinquent.
  • 8% of loans were modified in 2007-2008
  • In most cases, modifications reduced payments but increased the principal balance.

Summary of Loan Modifications

  • In order to avoid a foreclosure tsunami, loan modifications that lower the principal amount is the only viable option.  Even participating mortgage servicers of HAMP are still unwilling to lower the principal amount. 
  • To date, mortgage servicers under HAMP are a) not providing a sufficient number of loan modifications to homeowners, b) modifications offered do not meet the guidelines of HAMP, and c) HAMP still presents serious barriers to mass loan modifications.
  • Homeowners are often not offered a loan modification prior to foreclosure sale.  Furthermore, this testimony advocates that foreclosure proceedings be stopped while in the process of modification.    
  • The Net Present Value model (a model which determines whether the investor will make more money from a modification or foreclosure) should be made available to the public.  Plus, a second independent review and a place to complain should be available when a servicer rejects a loan modification application. 
  • Second liens should be modified with the first lien. 
  • Large servicers such as PHH Mortgage are not participating. 

Sources:
1.  Preserving Homeownership: Progress Needed to Prevent Foreclosures.  Written testimony of Diane E. Thompson, National Consumer Law Center and on behalf of National Association of Consumer Advocates.  Before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.  7/16/09.
2. National Consumer Law Center: www.consumerlaw.org
3. National Association of Consumer Advocates: www.naca.net
4. U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee: http://banking.senate.gov/public
5. Making Home Affordable: www.makinghomeaffordable.gov

Posted in Congressional regulation, Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Foreclosure Tsunami Part 3

Posted by CM on September 22, 2009

Excerpts from Diane E. Thompson’s written testimony to the U.S. Senate, Click here for full testimony

HAMP Recommendations

  • Mandate affordable payments
  • Limit fees charged
  • Permit principal reductions
  • Needs more transparency
  • Foreclosures should be stopped while in HAMP review
  • An ombudsmen should be available for homeowner complaints

HAMP Violations

  • HAMP prohibits a waiver of legal rights.  Servicers are still seeking waivers or admission of default, both prohibited under HAMP guidelines.
  • All homeowners who request HAMP review are entitled to one even if you are not in default.
  • HAMP forbids any upfront payments as a precondition to review or trial modifications.
  • HAMP requires that no foreclosures be initiated and no foreclosure sales be completed during a HAMP review
  • Homeowners encounter barriers when negotiated a modification.
  • Servicer staff have no clue about HAMP

Suggested HAMP Guidelines Adjustments

  • Homeowners need principal reductions, not forbearance.
  • An involuntary drop in income should qualify you for a second HAMP review.
  • Those in bankruptcy should have better access to HAMP.
  • Requirement for second liens to be modified simultaneously as the first.
  • Federal law should require that mortgage servicers provide homeowners with contact information for a real person with the information and authority to answer questions and fully resolve issues related to loss mitigation activities for the loan. 
  • Transparency should provide information about the loan and its servicing history.

 

Sources:
1.  Preserving Homeownership: Progress Needed to Prevent Foreclosures.  Written testimony of Diane E. Thompson, National Consumer Law Center and on behalf of National Association of Consumer Advocates.  Before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.  7/16/09.
2. National Consumer Law Center: www.consumerlaw.org
3. National Association of Consumer Advocates: www.naca.net
4. U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee: http://banking.senate.gov/public
5. Making Home Affordable: www.makinghomeaffordable.gov

Posted in Congressional regulation, Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, J.P. Morgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Mortgage Service Providers, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage, Treasury | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »