I may have mentioned this once or twice in the past two years, but right now I'm putting this in the blog in hopes that if someone does a search on the topic, and they're in a similar situation, they'll find this and know that they are not alone. Or... that someone who works at Bank of America finds it, and they know how much I think they stink. On ice.
The backstory is that in November 2008 I submitted a request to Countrywide, my mortgage holder, to do a home loan re-modification with them. They responded immediately, and had me fill out a bunch of stuff, get it notarized, and submit it. I received documentation saying that I was all set to start paying the new payments, for February 2009. I will not outline the details of the modification, the terms as it were, and the new payment amount on my mortgage. Suffice to say, it was reduced to a really comfortable level, and it was even a little lower than it needed to be, so I started making my payments for February 2009.
Bank of America bought Countrywide, and my loan. And this is where the fun begins.
In March, I got my statement, and the new terms were not on the statement. So I called them. "Oh Mrs. G, these things sometimes take a month to show up in the system. Just keep making your adjusted payment. No Worries."
Okay, BOA employee. I will!
April came, same thing. I called, and they told me something different. "Well, it looks like here that a supervisor did not finalize your modification. I will escalate this to a supervisor to have it fixed. You'll see the change in next month's statement. Just make your adjusted payment."
May came, same thing. I called and the man told me "you were never approved. Your form is null and void because the notary wrote on your document in a space other than what she should have."
"Um, maybe someone should have told me that a couple months ago?" I said to the dude. I had a copy of the document at my desk, and I looked at it. My notary had signed the document, and at the end of her signature she put the date that her notary license expired.
"How does this nullify the document?" I asked the dude. He told me that the signature was all that was needed. By writing her license expiration date, she voided the document. He said that her notary embosser stamp is supposed to have the date on it. I told him that was ridiculous and was going to call the notary to ask her why she did it.
"It is required," she told me. "I have to put down when my notary expires. I've had the same seal embosser for 25 years. It doesn't have the date that the notary expires on it. If it did, I'd have to get a new one every time it expires. So there is supposed to be a line on the form that says what the date of my expiration is, and there was no such line on this form, so I always write it at the end of my signature. They are full of crap."
I called back, talked to a new person who said "No, the notary didn't do anything wrong... you're all set. These things take time. There are millions of people who are in the process of this re-modification, so just please be patient. It will all work out okay."
At this point, it sounds to me like no one over there has any clue at all what they are doing. No one knows the details, no one knows the why/who/whatever. And now I am getting the feeling that they are making it up as they go along.
June, same thing. Only this time the girl tells me that someone didn't "finalize" my modification. So she was escalating it to her manager and someone would call me back. No one ever called me back.
So month after month this goes on. I got a Fedex Packet in the mail offering me enrollment in the Making Home Affordable plan. Now, I'm already in the plan. But they're sending me more enrollment paperwork. I called and asked what the deal was. The girl seemed confused -- read all the notes on my account back to 2008.
"I'm already in the plan, right?"
"So I don't need this plan that you're sending me, because I'm already in the plan."
"So what you're telling me is that you are declining enrollment in the plan at this time."
"Not the original plan but in this packet that you're sending me now."
I got another FedEx letter a couple days later informing me that I've declined the plan. I called up and said "Just so we're clear on this, I declined the packet that was sent to me this week, because I'm on the plan already. I'm not declining the plan, version 1.0. I declined the offer of the plan, version 2.0. I'm in the plan."
"So when are you people going to make it so that I'm in the plan and it shows on the website and the terms and conditions and whatnot are all set?"
"These things take time..."
Month after month after month this went on. A year passes. Another summer. More phone calls. In August I called while my mother was sitting at the dining table and she got to listen to me go through the song and dance of the dog and pony show yet again. The girl assured me that the systems were almost all caught up and my September statement would be reflecting the correct terms and conditions.
No. She lied.
September, October, November 2010 pass. I gave up calling after September. Screw them. I'm done. I'll just send in my payment until they contact me.
Well, they contacted me yesterday.
"Mrs. G, you are six months past due for a total of $16,000 plus. We are activating accelerated foreclosure on you at this time."
Oh hell to the mother effing no you are not.
I lost my shit with this kid. I absolutely lost it with him. I told him to go through and read every blessed word on my account. I told him how my payments were supposed to be a certain amount over a new term, and I always send in 200 dollars MORE than I need to. By my calculations, I am paid ahead by at least a month at this point. I told him I wanted his manager, that person's supervisor, or the CEO of the stupid bank on the phone right then and there or the end of the universe would be instigated.
"I have been so patient with you people. Right now is the day when MY ass comes down there to kick YOUR ass. Not yours personally, but you know what I mean."
He ended up transferring me to his supervisor. And I was promptly disconnected.
I called back, I got a lady on the phone who could not even find my account. I got disconnected. I called back. I got a different lady, who ended up sending me to the Modification department to talk to them. The guy I talked to said that when I declined that second offer for the re-modification, I canceled my re-modification that was put into play for early 2009.
"How is that possible?" I asked, exhausted and frustrated at this point. "My mortgage statement says "you are in the Making Home Affordable plan" and your website says "You are in the Making Home Affordable plan. How on earth was it canceled when your documentation says it is not?
He basically tells me that I need to reapply. That I am not in the program.
"So, you want me to reapply to a plan that I'm supposed to be in, that I got an offer to apply for after getting in the program, and you say that when I declined the second offer I got kicked out of the first."
"Fine. Whatever. Whatever it takes, send me the damn paperwork." At this point, I'll do anything.
Doug got home last night and said "We're not reapplying for anything. We're calling a lawyer."
We have a meeting scheduled Monday afternoon with a local lawyer. I talked to his office this morning and they are going to help us the best they can. Which hopefully will be to:
a) get my loan put into the terms we want it in, the one from the re-modification, that should have been instituted February 2009
b) get our credit bureau history cleaned up
c) sue them for damages. Normally, I wouldn't care and would only want points a and b satisfied, but I actually want monetary compensation for the amount of time, the stress, the aggravation, and the overall satisfaction of them ruining two years of my life.
How have they ruined two years of my life?
a) stressing the hell out of me month after month.
b) by ruining my credit rating, I could not apply for student loans for Jessica to go to college. I had to ask my in-laws to co-sign on the loan for her. It was either that or tell her "Honey, you ain't going to school."
c) three of my credit cards were closed by the issuers, even though I had little or no balance with them. Closed them outright. I asked them why and they said "Bank of America is reporting you as six months past due..." So, thank you. I can't apply for more credit, I can't buy a new couch (which I need) from anyone. I can't do anything.
They have ruined everything for me.
Now, hindsight being 20/20, I never ever ever should have entered into this program. Or, I should have not listened to the BOA employees who told me to pay the lower amount. I should have paid the original mortgage amount. Two years later, it wouldn't be two years later, I would have found someone to remortgage with, and get away from BOA. I knew the minute that they bought my mortgage that things were going to suck and lo and behold, my instincts were right.
On top of all this, I got another call from BOA this afternoon informing me that I was past due and foreclosure was imminent. The guy I talked to got to hear the whole story again, and I told him I want a printout of everything on my account. Every call, every word, every everything. If I need a court order, I'll get one. I told him I'm suing BOA. I told him that I won't be talking to them again, that I won't pick up the phone, that I will be turning everything over to my lawyer.
I then told him that the modification department guy told me I have to re-apply.
"No you don't," he said. "You are in the program. It says right here..."
So again, evidence that no one at BOA knows an ass from an elbow. The kid told me not to re-apply again, that I am in the program. I told him I was just going to have my lawyer handle it from here-on-in. Done.
And, at this point, as much as I love this house, as much as I love it here, they can have it. They can have the damn thing I do not care anymore. I hate everything and everyone. I feel like the fight has gone out of me, that I'm just over it. Whatever. I'll start packing now.
Doug is ready to rain hellfire on people, so I'll be happy to let him and I'll take a step back. But right now, I guess I owe myself a thanks for even thinking for a remote second that a government program was going to help me. Making Home Affordable has made home ruined. I'm done.