Foreclosure? Will WAMU Get a Bag of Coal this Christmas!

We all hope the idea of loan modifications will prove to be a useful
one, but the following true story may leave us a bit skeptical: “In
response to your request to modify your loan, we are sending a
locksmith to re-key your locks and lock your your family out on the
street.” Which is more or less an overview of the nightmare this couple
faced today.

Anybody Home? Its tough enough getting down this chimney, and then theres nobody there?

Anybody Home? It's tough enough getting down this chimney, and then there's nobody there?

Is WAMU crossing onto the wrong side of the law in an effort to improve
its cash flow? A couple with two infants and a five year track record
of perfect loan payments on their home mortgage confronted with the
hard times typical in this current economic crises fell behind barely
four months on their mortgage. In the early stages of applying for a
loan modification someone, with a work order initiated by WAMU, walks
into their yard and proceeds to re-key all their locks and potentially
leaving a professional family with two infants to sleep on the street.
With their business showing signs that it should regain momentum and
they would regain a workable income, they confidently contact WAMU and
ask about the process of applying for a loan modification. The wife is
the actual borrower on the loan, but having English as a second
language, she struggles a bit with the technical terms over the phone
but gets through the interview process. The WAMU loss mitigation
representative takes down some information and income data begins the
process. The home was purchased in 2004 and the couple never even had a
single late payment since till the current economic downturn. The
representative tells them that it will take at least a month or more
before the couple will hear back. In the days that followed the phone
rang several times a day, with collection agents, most polite but some
quite nasty, asking for the wife and relentlessly demanding payment.
She tried, with her language barrier to explain patiently that she was
in the process of trying to come to a win/win resolution. A letter,
mailed by WAMU on April 10, 2009 arrives stating that “…more
information is required to process your request”. The couple
understands since they were still preparing their detailed loan
modification package, forms, tax returns, bank statement to mail to
WAMU.

The collection calls continue several times each day. Most
collection agents were comfortable with this, but others got her quite
upset. Often she had her husband drop his work to help translate and
often the couple was so upset by the less than empathetic treatment
that it was hard to get down to the real issue: Earning a living and
caring for their family so they CAN pay their bills. The couple filled
out the loan modification form and submited loan modification forms and
documents and mailed the package via certified return receipt mail on
April 23, 2009. The forms were received at the WAMU MHA Program
Fulfillment Department at their Jacksonville, FL office, and signed for
on April 28, 2009.

Feeling confident that all parties would prefer a win/win result,
the couple watched the mail anxiously but patiently since they were
told that the process may take a month or even two. Nothing arrived
from WAMU about the status of the modification. Then mid-morning on
June 25, 2009 the post man knocked on their door with eight letter —
three certified requiring a signature. The letters announced a sale
date, time and auction location for their home to be conducted at the
County Courthous on November 2, 2009. Expecting news about the
modification and shocked by this surprise occurrence, the husband calls
the bank. The bank claims that the loan modification was rejected
because it was incomplete and the bank stated that they sent a letter
notifying us on April 10, 2009 telling us that more documents were
required and since they never received them, proceeded with the
foreclosure process. The couple explained that that made no sense since
the rejection letter they referred to preceded the bank’s receipt of
the loan modification package by more than two weeks. If the package
was signed for as received by WAMU on April 28, 2009, how can they send
a letter saying the package was incomplete on April 10, 2009. This
angered the WAMU representative for some reason. But after all was
patiently explained, the representative said that it would email the
modification department to request an explanation. The rep said “Call
back tomorrow and see if they can find you package.” Feeling better
about at least a clue as to what may have happened the husband returned
to his work in the home’s downstairs office and the wife returned to
care for the kids on the second floor.

It was at that point that the nightmare began. The wife sees someone
in the backyard with a camera. The husband goes out to see what is
going on. The man in the yard with a clipboard tells the husband that
he is changing the locks on the doors. “The bank sent me, I am changing
all the locks.” The husband responds: “Who told you to do that, the man
shows him the clipboard and says, “Look for yourself, WAMU ordered it.”
The husband, horrified asks him to get off the property and the husband
takes a copy of his work order. The man is not happy to be asked to
leave. Then the husband calls the police and files a report. The
husband returns the work order to the man with the clipboard and is
forced to make calls to the bank from the street to try to stop this
man from locking his family out onto the street.

In this challenging economic environment when billions of dollars
are put into the pockets of executives manage to lose money year after
year, and 50-year old-company disappear like rainbows, do we want to
allow our system to lock hard working good families out of their homes
needlessly, disrespectfully and dis-compassionately? So who’s listening
if you are facing a nightmare such as this one. Well Santa Claus is.
Santa.net has set up a special email address to receive and publish any
similar stories you have to share. Santa wants all kids inside their
home for Christmas 2009! And he’s willing to do what he can to help.

3 Responses to “Foreclosure? Will WAMU Get a Bag of Coal this Christmas!”

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