Stop PHH Mortgage

Lets join together to save consumers from PHH Mortgage's bad business practices

Posts Tagged ‘modification’

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

Advertisements

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 »

Vulture Funds

Posted by CM on November 25, 2009

I came across this article in the NY Times on Sunday about the fate of Vulture Funds (Troubled Investments).  Here is what is going on now in Wall Street….

  1. Investors are buying discounted home loans from distressed banks.
  2. Mortgages are then refinanced through the government.
  3. Profits are made by reselling government insured loans.
  4. The newly refinanced loans are bundled into securities and sold to investors (like usual).

For those of you who like diagrams….

 graphic vulture funds2

So, evidently all of the risk for these newly refinanced loans falls on the government and then ultimately the taxpayers.  Keep in mind that “Americans are falling behind on mortgage payments in record numbers1.” 

Homeowners are involved here.  They receive a letter stating their principals have been reduced and then have to refinance to get the reduction.  The investors receive a profit when the refinances amount to more than their original $40 Million investment.   Many of the interviewees in the article expressed their concerns about this new strategy and weren’t quite clear where all of this was headed. 

From my understanding;

  • These Vulture Funds are coming from distressed banks, not necessarily from distressed loans.  Yes, the argument is that distressed banks are a victim of distressed loans, but not every single loan is in distress.
  • Principal reductions don’t seem to be targeted toward people with distressed loans or those asking for modifications.  The article didn’t make this issue clear.  It just seems that whatever loans were in the pool are the ones being refinanced.  I don’t believe investors are going around looking for homeowners to help by reducing principals.  Wall Street just doesn’t work that way.
  • This article is a clear indication that the game hasn’t changed at all.  Regulations with teeth haven’t been enacted and the rules of the game haven’t changed either.
  • All we seem to have here is either a different way to play the mortgage game or a new side game to the game that has always been played.

Come on Obama and Geithner, “Yes We Can” do something about this.

Sources:
1.  Wall Street Finds Profits by Reducing Mortgages. Louise Story. New York Times. 11/21/09.
URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/business/22loans.html

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

Calling the FBI

Posted by CM on November 25, 2009

1 in 4 UNDERWATER, You probably heard this yesterday, I sure heard it and read it in many places.  Roughly 23% of American Homeowners owe more than their house is worth1 and good luck refinancing, modifying or selling that bottomless pit.  “40% of borrowers who took out a loan in 2006 are underwater and 11% of borrowers who took out a loan in 2009 are underwater1.”  

This is a very sad and sorry state in our current homeownership world.  I can honestly say that I am not surprised.  My own home was underwater and impossible to sell and a foreclosure resulted from that.  We should expect to see another wave of foreclosure statistics just dedicated to those attributed to homes underwater.  What more is there to say on the subject?  How bad does this situation have to get before someone will do something? 

Treasury still doesn’t get it, Over the summer I wrote a lot of letters on a variety of subjects pertaining to our foreclosure crisis.  I finally got a generic letter in reply late last week.  You all have read the petition letters and I even posted one letter to Geithner on this blog.  You all know that I write about specifics (I hope you do!).  This letter is so generic and not even worth the paper it was printed on.  They didn’t even reply to any of my concerns.  The Treasury just doesn’t get it.  With our elected and government officials passing off generic form letters for replies to concerned citizens, will we ever get anything done to regulate mortgage servicers?  See the letter here

Calling the FBI, I have received some comments about people calling the FBI regarding their mortgage servicer, PHH Mortgage.  I say, Go For It!  So, all of you, think about your situation and if you think the FBI might be interested, well why don’t you call too!  I thought about my situation and I don’t think the FBI would care if PHH refused short sale offers for my house.  I could be wrong……

Sources:
1. One in Four Borrowers is Underwater. Ruth Simon and James R. Hagerty. The Wall Street Journal. 11/24/09.
URL: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125903489722661849.html?mod=rss_whats_news_us&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wsj%2Fxml%2Frss%2F3_7011+(WSJ.com%3A+What%27s+News+US)&utm_content=Google+Reader

 

Note, As a result of The National Consumer Expo, I am excited to add a new link to this blog!  Please check out the Alabama Consumer Law Blog.  The blog contains incredibly useful articles related to our fight against mortgage servicers.  I plan to learn from the blog!

Posted in Foreclosure, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage, Treasury | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Between Homeowners and Banks

Posted by CM on November 18, 2009

The NY Times has an article online today about Philadelphia’s “conciliation conferences.”(1)  Basically when you are about to be foreclosed on, you and your bank meet at the courthouse and work out a solution.  The article did not say whether principal amounts are reduced or how many homeowners redefault.  The article did say that monthly payments are reduced in most cases.  Well, as we know, reducing monthly payments means nothing if your principal is increased and if there is some hidden trigger that will balloon your payments all over again.  This is just more of the same bank/mortgage servicer game playing.  Until I hear that principals have been reduced, I’m not buying what their selling. 

On a related note, The Justice Department has created a “Financial Fraud Task Force.”(2)  The Treasury Dept is involved and they are going to investigate mortgage fraud among other things.  How do we sign up? 

Sources:
1. Philadelphia Gives Homeowners a Way to Stay Put. Peter Goodman. NY Times. 11/18/09.
URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/business/18philly.html

2. Administration Widening Pursuit of Financial Fraud. AP. 11/18/09
URL: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_FINANCIAL_FRAUD?SITE=NCAGW&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Posted in Foreclosure, Mortgage Servicers, New York Times, PHH Mortgage, 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 »

Huff Post

Posted by CM on November 4, 2009

AWESOME!!!  The Huffington Post has picked up our struggle!!!  Check out the article here! 

Homeowners: Hey Congress, “Get Off Your A**” by Richard Zombeck

Posted in Congressional regulation, Foreclosure, Mortgage Servicers | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

McClatchy Investigates Goldman Sachs

Posted by CM on November 3, 2009

My local paper ran some of these stories about McClatchy Newspaper’s investigation of Goldman Sachs.  I included a video from McClatchy about a couple who fought with Goldman Sachs to save their home.  The couple needed financial help after a natural disaster (fire) and could not get a hold of anyone at their mortgage servicer to help them.  Through bankruptcy court, they were able to figure out that Goldman Sachs owned the loan and the court “threatened to impose ‘significant sanctions'” on Goldman if they did not restructure the couple’s loan.  At the end of the clip, Ms. Fabos-Becker said, “It is outrageous that we can’t even know who our lenders are.” 

Video: Couple takes on Goldman

Read the article here

Mortgage Crisis Shows Why Financial Regulation is Needed

Please look at this site from McClatchy, it lists the percentage of mortgages in foreclosure in each state.  When you click further into the state, you can look at metro areas for their foreclosure stats.  Click here

Posted in Foreclosure, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

10 Easy Steps to Being a Mortgage Servicer

Posted by CM on October 29, 2009

10 Easy Steps to Being a Mortgage Servicer
with a Money Back Guarantee

  1. Become a Business
  2. Open a Line of Credit
  3. Pay $1 Million for 1,000 Loans Worth $100 Million
  4. Use your line of credit to ADVANCE each payment to the investors
  5. Accept monthly payments from the borrowers
  6. Repay your advances with borrowers’ monthly payments
  7. Make Money
  8. Pretend to help customers while you delay reporting defaults
  9. When you finally have to report a default, Foreclose….FAST
  10. Lastly, above all else, play by the CRAs’ Rules so your rating remains high

For more information and details about items 1-10 on being a mortgage servicer, click here

Posted in Foreclosure, Green Tree Servicing, Mortgage Servicers, PHH Mortgage, Short-sales | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Update: HR 3126

Posted by CM on October 16, 2009

Surprise, surprise; Barney Frank and his committee cohorts have voted 43 to 26 to approve exemptions for their bill, HR 3126; the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.  “Small” banks will be exempt from federal oversight while large banks will still be under federal oversight.  I guess when our mortgages are repackaged and sold, we should cross our fingers that the buying bank is large enough to be under federal scrutiny so we have someone to complain to when things go south.  Otherwise, we are doomed to be left out of complaining because our mortgage holder is considered “small” by Frank’s committee.

Ed Mierzwinski of the United States Public Interest Research Group summed up HR 3126 and our government perfectly when he told the NY Times that “the legislation had broad exceptions that swallow any rule it creates.” (1)

When I started this blog, I was the hopeful optimist.  Now I am the cynical pessimist.   

Source:
1. Bill Shields Most Banks From Review.  Stephen Labaton. 10/16/2009. NY Times. URL:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/business/16regulate.html

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