Journalism in the Public Interest

Mortgage Investors Join Outcry Against Banks

The investors who own mortgages are starting to threaten legal action over the way banks and mortgage servicers operate, saying the servicers are looking out for themselves, not their clients.


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Homeowners, and at times the government, have long complained that banks and other companies that service mortgages aren’t good at their job of collecting monthly payments, modifying loans and processing foreclosures. Now, a new cast of characters are piling on the criticism: the servicer’s own clients, the investors that actually own the mortgages.

Servicers handle the day-to-day of working with homeowners on behalf of the investors, who bought bundled mortgages from Wall Street. But investors are now threatening servicers with legal action. Just like homeowners, investors are frustrated by the poor job in modifying loans that servicers have been doing. They also say servicers are looking out for themselves, not investors’ interests as their contracts typically require.

Investor Bill Frey, who runs the securities firm Greenwich Financial Services, says servicers view investors as “a Thanksgiving turkey to be carved up and shared amongst themselves.”

Investors can range from foreign governments and hedge funds to college endowments and pension funds. During the housing bubble, they gobbled up AAA-rated bonds created by pools of mortgages. Now that defaults and foreclosure are mounting, investors argue that flaws in how loans are serviced are costing them billions of dollars.

They say servicers have often dragged out foreclosures to rack up fees and refused to reduce second mortgages to make modifications sustainable. Investors often prefer modifications to foreclosures. But for modifications that won’t ultimately prevent a homeowner from defaulting, investors still prefer quick foreclosures so they can recoup their money and move on.

“Terminal indecision is not good,” says Frey. “If it can be fixed, fix it. If it can’t, nix it.”

Servicers have been slow to modify mortgages—something we’ve written about many times — and when they do modify loans, homeowners are still saddled with other debt from second mortgages and home equity lines. Even after modifications under the government’s program, homeowners typically still must spend almost two-thirds of their income to pay off their mortgage and other loans, like credit cards or second mortgages.

The current mortgage paperwork scandal adds more fuel to the fire as major servicers have halted foreclosures because of potential paperwork irregularities around the country. Concerns are also growing that banks may not have properly transferred loans into the mortgage pools in the first place. “This deficient approach undermines the integrity and the operational framework of the housing finance and mortgage system as it exists today,” the Association of Mortgage Investors wrote in a press release.

(For more on the growing scandal, check out our recent explanation of the main players involved.)

The Mortgage Bankers Association, which represents most major servicers, did not respond to ProPublica’s request for comment.

Investors from across the country have been coordinating legal strategies for over a year ago, with the effort ramping up in early spring, according to Frey. Since then, more and more investors have formed a loose consortium, gaining momentum “like a snowball going downhill,” he says. In the last month alone, the group added other investors that own an additional $100 billion in mortgage bonds.

They have not filed any suits yet, Frey says, because the group is first trying to grow even more. Also, since each investor group has different, nonmortgage business with the banks, some investors have conflicting interests in how to proceed, he says. The consortium now represents investors that own more than $600 billion in mortgage securities, which is around a third of the entire mortgage securitization market. The group includes 65 major mortgage investors; Bloomberg reported that large investment companies including Black Rock, PIMCO and Fortress are part of the effort, as are the quasi-governmental Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Banks, which both own private securitized loans.

Coordinating investors is no easy task, since the mortgage bonds were sliced and diced to be sold off to investors around the world. To assert legal rights, investors must coordinate to prove that they collectively represent a certain percentage of each mortgage pool, or in some cases, a certain percentage of each slice of each mortgage pool. (The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg both describe how Texas-based attorney Talcott Franklin is coordinating a clearinghouse to keep track of the various investments.)

Once investors have standing in each pool, they have the legal right to pressure servicers and trustees to improve or face litigation. The group says they have the legal authority to act in over 2,300 deals.

Investors say servicers must reduce or cancel second mortgages entirely before adjusting the primary loan, since that follows the legal pecking order of how loans should be paid off. But investors say servicers have are dragging their feet in reducing second mortgages to protect their own books, since the largest servicers — Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — also own almost 60 percent of the $1 trillion second lien market.

A Congressional Oversight Panel concluded in April that there is “tension” between Treasury’s goal of supporting reductions to second mortgages and Treasury’s interest in ensuring that writing down second liens doesn’t severely weaken banks’ balance sheets. The panel wrote than when a servicer owns the second lien, the “inexorable conflict of interest” will more likely lead to modifications on the first loan, “as it benefits the bank at the expense of the mortgage-backed security investors.”

We’ve previously reported that mortgages servicers frequently tell homeowners that investors are the roadblock to loan modifications, even though few mortgage deals actually restrict modifications.

Servicers are also supposed to act like watchdogs and report back to investors when they identify loans they suspect didn’t meet the lending standards promised when the bonds were initially sold to investors. If the banks did misrepresent the quality of the loans initially, the banks would have to buy back the invalid mortgages from the investors. But in many cases, the servicers are subsidiaries of the banks that sold the bonds, which investors say helps explain why servicers have been dragging their feet. Bloomberg noted an analyst’s report that said mortgage repurchases could total over $179 billion.

According to an investor letter cited in the Wall Street Journal, in some mortgage pools that have high default rates, the banks have not repurchased any loans when the servicers are subsidiaries of the banks that sold the bonds.

Investors say this is all no small matter. Since the country’s mortgage market is heavily dependent on government support right now, they insist servicers make good on their contracts before start buying loans and supporting the mortgage market again.

WOW! Now I have more insight as to why BoA has been dragging their feet concerning my modification…And before anyone starts whining how I am irresponsible I am…Please STFU!!!!!
I took out 30 yr. fixed conventional 20% dn. Laid off sep. 2009 for first time in my life. I HAVE stayed current (and will continue to do so) normal thinking was 3-month emergency reserves…Due to upcoming surgery I am expected to have 2 yrs!?!?
Since end of March all I’ve asked is for a consideration…received since sending in ALL required paperwork “under review, deed in lieu, cancelled and in escalation”. All the while my credit file has been pulled for last 3 mos. I sent in a “Qualified written request” as to who might “own’ my loan last month ( before robo-signing etc. came to light) only to get a letter stating a credit block put on my account????? BoA already ruining my credit without giving me any answer concerning mod and me never being late or missing a payment. All I am asking is a reduction in interest rate and an extension of terms NOT principle reduction…I am quite sure investors would be happy to oblige…why would they not??? More money in long run for them…I’ll never see any equity in my home in my lifetime…prices being almost 60% less than what I paid for 39 months ago. Anyone would have walked away a long time ago from this situation…hell the banks do all the time.
This is my HOME…not an investment. BoA needs to do the right thing.
As of now they are doing nothing right…for the investors,economy or the homeowners who ARE RESPONSIBLE!!!

ProPublica, your organization has been doing an extraordinary job of reporting all sides of this issue. You HAVE been FAIR, UNBIASED, and ACCURATE…what else could people ask for? It is simply up to the individual to discern. Your charts with the figures concerning the mods alone tell the story (as a friend brought to my attention earlier).
Please keep up the good work…when the dust settles I promise to send a donation to at least cover the costs of a subscription. All of your articles are excellent. Mahalo!

The federal government needs to reinstate homes into bankruptcy law.  Then a judge can rule on deeds that have not been properly filed per state laws.  The judge may also set up reduced interest, strike second mortgage, etc. 

I would also add in what is a more complex commercial and tax law changes but one that may help stabilize the marketplace.  That is to convert mortgages in default to leases.  The home would be lost to the owners but they would be allowed leases (market rates, with rights to purchase).  Investors would have cash stream and some tax benefits all while preserving the value of the asset. 

Both these should help improve the market.


I will definitely not get all over your case.  We were lucky and survived a year of being laid off, our mortgage is current and yet BOA still cannot tell us who the Holder of Due Course is on the Note.  MERS’s tracking system doesn’t even have a complete history of loan originators or servicers, so you know there is some serious paperwork missing there.

I used to be of the opinion that if people would just do what they promised, the world would be OK.  I now don’t give a flying fig what the banks say we should and shouldn’t do—they’ve been playing Monopoly investment with funny money and their own set of rules.

I hope the government learned its lesson from the “stimulus” and doesn’t try and bail out this castle of cards the mortgage industry has built for itself.  Let the lofty turrets fall from the weight of their own greed.

The banks received the bail out to stabilize the economy. In the agreement banks signed they agreed to help homeowners modifying loans.

After they received billions they gave themselves bonuses, refused to modify mortgages forged documents and rushed to foreclose on properties by fraud. Even on homes that had no mortgage.

Finally the truth came out of fraudulent foreclosures.
I wonder when our Congress will realize that Banks never had any intention of helping homeowners modifying mortgages. The Banksters did not read the applications for modifications either. Maybe where we sent it they did not even speak English. They were paid to shred the modification papers.

I strongly believe when you faxed something to the banks regarding modification documents, the other end of the line of the fax the bankers had a shredder so your documents directly just ran right into a shredder.

Then these bankers told Congress that the people not sending documents. They lied and our representatives believed it.  What now? We are screwed. Bof A already lifted some foreclosure halt. Back in business. Bof A say in two weeks they have all this straighten out.

Bof A telling everybody that in 2weeks they can straighten out 3 years work load of documents. These bankers really insult my intelligence.

Investors trusted banks to look after their interests and now they’re pissed because they—banks—looked after their own interests instead? 

Walking around naked in a strip joint might also get you molested.

Diane- It’s good to hear of a positive outcome from anyone concerning these matters. I know it wasn’t easy for you folks…but I’m glad you’ve at least got your nose above water. Crazy the paperwork and how they feel they can damage your credit by making an inquiry!
I have a good friend here who is vice-president of a local bank…he related to me how the big banks have just screwed them because of some of the things that big banks have done…and the little banks have to pay when they have been doing things the right way. Case in point…this man has known me for almost 10 yrs. knows the pickle I am in now trying for a mod…has all my financial info in case I am unable to make payments to BoA…If that has chance of happening…he will provide lifeline. Why? Because he knows me and he knows what I am about. Only wish I would have gone with him at closing…but he couldn’t pay the points ...I would be with American Savings instead of BoA.

Seriously, all of us need to inform (call/write) until we are blue in the face and suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome. Our State AG’s and representatives. I know that most everyone feels they are problem too….but if we persist at least it might stay on their minds. At least they can’t say they weren’t informed when this gets REAL CRAZY!

Gabor- You make me laugh when I put into my mind about the shredders…sad thing is once again you are most likely correct AGAIN.

GOD Bless All!

Roy That is why I wrote it. In these hard times the sad truth can make us laugh.

I asked my Congressman if I could testify on the upcoming hearing in Nov. against the Banks and their Loan Modification Scam. I did not receive an answer yet,
but I was told maybe. I was also told that those Representatives who are on the Committee they might choose their constituent.

So I am asking all of you here on Propublica if your Congressional Representative is on the Commitee, Call and ask if you could speak for all of us.

We need to let Congress know that Banks refuse to help homeowners. Someone need to speak up for the Homeowners.

Gabor, good for you about asking your Congressman if you could testify on the upcoming hearing in Nov. against the Banksters and their Loan Modification Scam.
2 thumbs up
The only power we have as people is to inform and let more and more people know about these Banksters and their business practices

Gabor - thanks for mentioning this upcoming hearing.  Somehow I missed that, and would gladly offer to testify!  Will definitely tune in to watch it on CSpan!  Please let us know if you get to testify.

I’m still getting jacked around after completing the trial mod with Chase in July, then ‘accidentally’ being terminated due to false charges of non-compliance.  They actually admitted their mistake and reinstated me, but have endured the past three months of more documentation and substantiation to the point of ridiculousness.  I finally blew my stack last week and sent a certified QWR letter to their New York office demanding production of my note.  I also hand delivered a letter addressing my complaints and demands to the local rep who has been handling my file, with cc’s to Eric Holder, state AG, Senators, Reps, SIgtarp, Jamie Dimon, etc.  Today a message was left on my machine from Jamie Dimon’s office saying they received my letter and have appointed an investigator to contact me regarding my “numerous issues”.  As one of my issues concerns property taxes, they are appointing another investigator to look into that inquiry, and indicated they will be returning the call within 24 hours.

I’m stunned, and trying not to get my hopes up, after having also just received word (prior to sending the letter) from one of the biweekly collection call reps that my house has been re-scheduled for foreclosure sale on November 3rd, despite being actively complying with every bit of their damned extend and pretend process.

They had postponed the sale once prior to the trial mod, but nothing had changed until now, nor have I been terminated from the program.  My question is what changed to make them suddenly re-schedule my property for sale again?  Could it be due to all the foreclosure moratorium threats?  Are they trying to get it into the system before they have to shut down all foreclosures?  (if that even happens)

My loan was originally with WAMU, who Chase bought out, but they maintain Wells Fargo is the investor and actually owns my loan.  Yet upon review of all my docs and the California Reconveyance paperwork, WAMU is still the named beneficiary - not Wells Fargo.  Is someone lying?  There is no assignment documentation turning it over to Wells Fargo, so I will be checking with them on that front tomorrow.

Roy - I totally understand about wanting to keep your HOME, am in the same boat. I’ve been advised to stop riding this Carousel and move on, but I just don’t want to give up my home, despite the loss in value and unlikely recovery for years.  Besides, it would cost me as much to rent and who is going to rent to me anyhow, now that my credit is in the toilet?  I wish you well, and good luck with BofA! 

Still digging to uncover the truth and praying for a miracle.

I don’t have a personal loan and no debt, but the banks still manage to drain funds from my accounts. I am moving all my money into a credit union in slow increments. And trying to invest in safe products.
I have just received notice of a class action settlement regarding allegations and charges that were filed in 2004. I looked up SEC investigations to try to understand what is going on with the retirement account in question and was amazed to see all most of the big banks listed as defendants in the suit and quite a few big, AAA rated funds.
I discovered that the primary charges that were provable were allegations of back-tracking. Most others were dismissed.

Floridians used 25% of all car purchases with equity loans to be in their Benz or BMW.

Average is 8%.

So , second mortgage forgiveness in FL. will be Not Good.

For all the homeowners that are caught up in this all I can pray is you have the sanity to get thru it all. Even if you have a way to pay your bills your screwed…Especially, when they don’t have to do proper business at any level…Judges clerks and attorneys will get by with removing court documents if you try to tell the truth!


To falist, You really want to know what is going on in FL?

I will make the same comment I’ve made on other ProPublica articles:
The psychopathology of greed along with intellectually misguided corrupt politicians got us into this mess and it will take a complete change of “economic participation attitude” to get us out.
Some believe this latest mess of “robo-signing” will be short lived and the eight largest banks will survive without a “scratch.”  I don’t believe that.  They (along with countless other smaller banks and financial houses) hold “triple whammy” paper(s)...such as 1st, 2nd mortgages and equity lines of credit on the same paper.  It will be the “dog trying to devour its (their) tail.”
Trust has been “securitized” out of the market.
Fairness was never even “in the market.”
Rules of the game have been trashed.
Economic chaos is the result.

The answer is very simple:  Ask to see the paperwork, and if they can’t produce it then don’t pay.  Period.

The banks played fast and loose with the law (and knew very well what they were doing).  Their motivation was greed, and they didn’t give a damn about anyone but themselves.

Now they are lobbying Congress for another bailout.  (ie:  They are going to STEAL your tax dollars for themselves AGAIN).


Stop paying your mortgage.  And if there’s another bailout—you should probably consider not paying your taxes either.


Oct. 19, 2010, 12:49 p.m.

Peter is correct.  The American people are being treated like serfs, who can be squeezed for more labor whenever the noble lords need more money for their lavish projects.

To continue to pay is to voluntarily submit to serfdom.


There was no “quid pro quo” regarding the use of “TARP” funds.  With TARP, the federal government was simply buying time.  For the financial markets to function normally, it was imperative that the parties and counter-parties have confidence in one another.  Boosting capital reserves was a way to accomplish this in short order.  Money is fungible.  What the TARP recipients did (or did not) do with their TARP funds will remain the stuff of urban legend for all eternity.

From the very beginning of the government’s “rescue” of the financial system and economy, its real policy has been “extend and pretend.”  The government has been tyring desperately to “re-flate” the economy as rapidly and as extensively as possible.  So far, it just hasn’t worked.

TO James. and everybody else to see and ask where is the money? Where is the help? I have the copy signed by Chase.      JP Morgan Chase Contract.
On July 31st 2009 JP Morgan Chase signed a Commitment to Purchase Financial Instrument and Servicer Participation Agreement for the Home Affordable Modification Program under the Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. (the contract) The other party to the contract was the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) a federally chartered corporation and financial agent of the United States. Pursuant to the contract JP Morgan Chase agreed to be bound by the terms and conditions therein relative to mortgage loans particularly with respect to loan modifications and other foreclosure prevention services. Pursuant to Page 3 of the contract, JP Morgan Chase was to receive $ 2,699.720.000.00 in exchange for its participation in the subject program. On Page 2 JP Morgan Chase specifically agreed to comply with all program guidelines and procedures established by the Department of Treasury.
2A …..Servicer shall use reasonable efforts to remove all prohibitions or impediments to its authority, and use reasonable efforts to obtain all third party consents and waivers that are required, by contract or law, in order to effectuate any modification of a mortgage loan under the program.  Program Eligibility Requirements
Congress passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and become effective on October 3rd 2008.  One of its stated purpose was to preserve home ownership. 12 U.S.C. 5201 (2) (B)  The Act Provided that, in exercising its authority there under, the Treasury Department shall take into consideration “ the need to help families keep their homes and to stabilize communities. 12 U.S.C. 5213(3)


  12 USC Sec. 5213                             02/01/2010






  Sec. 5213. Considerations


    In exercising the authorities granted in this chapter, the
  Secretary shall take into consideration -
      (1) protecting the interests of taxpayers by maximizing overall returns and minimizing the impact on the national debt;
(2) providing stability and preventing disruption to financial markets in order to limit the impact on the economy and protect American jobs, savings, and retirement security;
  (3) the need to help families keep their homes and to stabilize communities;

To Jean and to all of you who are in mortgage modification hell, do NOT abandon your homes/property.  The worst thing you can do is to leave.  You have rights, the deed is in your name, they cannot simply take your home away, like a car, and if your property is vacant the mortgage companies can accelerate the foreclosure process which is exactly what you do not want.  Until someone bodily throws you out, which they will not do, DO NOT LEAVE, ever.  Live their free until the last moment if the worst case scenario happens.  It should not though.

I do modifications for a living and my bank negotiator, the best in the business, get them done.  Your comments are right on, the banks have no incentive to provide modifications as that cuts their servicing fees and it IS all about THEIR money, not yours, not the investors, not your home, not you, not your town or our country.  If you keep their greed in mind you will understand where they are coming from.  We specialize in those stuck in their “three month trial period” and we have unique access to resources that make these mods permanent.  I do not mean to sound like a commercial, but the average homeowner cannot get these done because they do not have the access, nor can they get the access to ensure completion. 

Here are some tips though:  Keep pristine records.  Including date, time, name, ID # if you can get it of person you spoke with and as much of the exact conversation as you can write.  Next, keep a copy of the payment check you write/send before sending as they will try to say they “lost it” frequently.  Most importantly, never send a money order as they are NOT real funds, this is crucial.  All of this documentation may be needed later.  Do not miss a trial payment as they will try to throw you out of whatever program you are in, particularly Making Home Affordable/HAMP.  Always try to escalate your calls to a manager as the collection people who answer the phones uses scripts and are not there to help you. 

If you are lucky enough to get a mod, you are not done.  You must ensure that your payments are being applied so you can see the principle go down.  Next you must insist they update your credit to go back to the first payment if not before.  Keep pulling your credit report and stay after them to ensure it is done as they will not do it even though they are supposed to.  Also, even if you are permanently modded you may not be.  I mean, you have to periodically check to ensure the agreement is in place as one of our client’s had a permanent mod agreement and several months later had an auction date which the bank did no notify them about.  It is only because we watch the auction listings did we see it and fix the problem.  This occurred because their third trial payment was due two weeks after a new person took over their account and this person decided they would not pay it.  The reactivated foreclosure proceedings with a button push.  When payment was received, the previous account handler, doing their job, sent them final paperwork, modifying them, and did not know the other person recoded them in the banks system otherwise.  Bank systems are not designed to talk to each other so the confusion can be maintained at the hands of the corporate level people.

I hope this helps.  If you need more assistance I am happy to do so!

Andrea, thank you for the insight…only wish there were more like you.
Today…after finally having my file get into hands of person in the office of the CEO and Pres. of BoA (due to my Senator’s intervention). I am told I need to resubmit docs that I just sent 2 weeks ago. Told they are unable to send paperwork to my physical address via FedEx (this as I’m watching FedEx delivery being made across the street…I have to have mail delivered to PO because our development needs to be 50% occupied before Post Office will deliver…even tho they are 1/2 mile away). BoA had no problem delivering original docs FedEx back 6 mos. ago to my home (the ones they ignored for 6 mos.). When will the madness end? Extend and pretend at its finest. Glad to know our tax dollars are once again being used for the good of the PEOPLE!


Oct. 20, 2010, 12:26 a.m.

Hi I too have a company for Loan modifications and all i can tell you is this, Don’t give up, keep copies of everything, every phone call, every fax every document you sent, when, what fax number, and which department you sent it   If they denied you the modification ask the reason why in writing , if the tell you that you felt the NVP test ask for copy of their calculations, and inputs, if they tell you that the investor did not approved the Modification ask for name of investor (you have the right to know)
Property rights are being violated in this countryby these Banksters, Property rights are the core of American capitalism and the core of American freedom, now more than ever property rights appear to be in question, thanks to these Bankters, their business practices and their fraudclosures !

125000 + Fraudclosures in September that is a record high.These Banksters are getting worse not better and they are trying not implement the HAMP which was created by Obama to save 4 million households but the banksters find any excuse they can not to give you the loan modification, DONT GIVE UP, Keep Fighting them and write your Representatives, congress, file complaints etc

acmodspecialists-I have been trying for mod with BoA for over 7 months now. I sent in a QWR last month before all the robo-signing came to light…mainly just to know who did actually own my note. All that has come of it is a letter from BoA stating they have put a credit block on my account. they have also made inquiries for last 4 months with credit agencies…all the while not doing anything towards a mod. I know Fannie Mae is owner…but how do I go about finding who is the actual invester? Also does anyone know of info concerning a REST report? As I understand it is extremely helpful in gauging info towards eligibility for mod. Anyone????


Oct. 20, 2010, 3:40 a.m.

Roy tomorrow i will post a link here for you on how and where you can find the investors in the internet I hope that will help

In regards to the REST report just go to Google and type what is a rest report or get a rest report and you will find many companies that can do it or get it for you

acmodspecialists- Thank you Brother or Sister….we truly need more people like yourself who are willing to help others…especially in these dire times. GOD Bless!

It’s heartening to see that on sites like this, transparency is the name of the game…not like the financial institutions who work hard at keeping the waters’ muddied.

Linda Venturella

Oct. 20, 2010, 10:39 a.m.

Each and every time I think that I have covered all of my bases with trying to get a final loan mod. through my servicer, PHH mortgage I find another rotten egg. Under the guidelines of HAMP I am now understanding that if an eligable borrower makes his or her reduced payments for three or four months during a trial period, (and here is thekiller part) They also must submit to the servicer certain required documentation before the mod. becomes permanent. HMMMMMM….. I thought only bookies and loan sharks did this sort of thing. This is a little ass backwards wouldn’t you say? Sounds more and more like the government is complicate in this scheme right here. Though we had our suspicions, this just verifies it.I understand that there are class action law suits pending against some of the big banks right now. BOA are filing motions to dismiss in several of the cases arguing that a homeowner’s trial period plan is not a binding agreement “because it fails to specify the key terms of the perm mod.,therefore, it is “nothing more than an agreement to agree at some future date.” BOA is also saying, more broadly, that individuals are not allows to sue under Making Home Affordabe.HMMMMMMMMMM….. Tell us all some more BS.Could the government make it any better for the banks/servicers? It is just getting harder and harder by the day for these banks and servicers to plug the holes in their pirate ship. What has been done here to the people is just a national monumental disgrace. I blame everyone from the top of government down. Mostly I blame the judicial branch, The judges are supposed to be the gate keepers. They are our last hope in salvaging what is for many of us all we have left. The judges are filthier than the banksters in my opinion. Dirty politics, plain and simple.These judges have known about the blatant, in yoiur face, spit on us, fraud in the origination of the loan documents for years now and have turned a blind eye to it. These judges, our elected officials, are working to help the rich bankers and Wall Street and themselves get richer. One thing I know is They will all be voted out on their ears by me on election day!!!!!

I just saw the movie, “Inside Job”.  This is an absolute MUST SEE movie for anyone interested in the financial crisis, or the housing meltdown! 

It lays out, in a very clear way, how this whole mess came about, exposes many of the key players, and highlights the close ties between Washington and Wall Street, including Bernanke and Geithner.

Certainly anyone who doubts that this crisis was a direct product of excessive greed on the part of Wall Street, and deliberate lack of oversight in Washington, needs to take a look.

I have had my home almost 10 yrs. I was laid off in 2008 and managed to keep up until Feb 2009 when I had run out of savings and finally got a job making less than half of what I made before. I have been trying to get a mod from Chase for 18 months! Submitted documents at least 8 times, as I was told this document or that document was “expired”.  Been told my file is in “QA” and been “perfected” more times than I can count.  Never received a temp mod, even tough I have been told a few times that I was going to receive one.  One person at Chase would say one thing and the next phone call I had with someone would contradict the previous conversation.  They have absolutely NO clue.  The last packet I sent in to them I even gave them a solution…reduce my 8.25% loan by a couple of points and add the arrearage to the back of the note.
I hired an attorney a couple of months ago and I am still fighting.

My husband and I tried for over one year to bring
some resolution to the mortgage mess. Aurora
Loan Services would not work with us. We tried to modify the loan, short sale and finally our custom
home of 30 years is now in foreclosure.
I have written letters to every federal agency that
I can think of for help. If you are interested in getting
in on a class action law suit go to this web site.
Aurora Loan Services must be stopped and be
held accountable for their evil deeds.

Marla Don’t feel bad I have sent in documents total of 37 times since April 2009.

I know 2 people who got modified. Original mortgage was on the first $300.000 @ 7.5% ARM interest this loan got modified by nothing else then lowering the interest rate to 4.5% . fixed for 30 years No principal or
forber reduction.

The other was $  465.000 @ 8% ARM got lowered to 4.8% fixed for 30 years.No princip. or forber.

The reason I wrote this because we can see if there would be an investigation on modification practices we can all see that none of these loan received what HAMP is. 2% Forbearance, or principal reduction. I bet all those loans that banks telling congress they modified are like these two.
I talked to Chase several 10s of times maybe even hundred. They tell you. WE DON’T REDUCE PRINCIPAL

The reason I think banks are doing this because they can borrow money at 0% from the gov. and still making a killing on these loans. In their books the loan amount is the same so the portfolio looks good.

I would like to thank everyone who commented. We are just beginning the loan mod process and had NO idea of how bad the system is. I think I may need to reconsider my options before jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Lisa - be sure to read the comments on all of the articles in this category at Propublica, as there are a lot of links, tips and useful information in them as you go through this ordeal. It’s also a great place to come and vent when you think you are going to lose your mind.  :)

Do realize if you are not already in foreclosure or very far behind in your payments, you will be VERY deep in debt by the time you get approval for a modification.  Unless of course, hell freezes over.

Seriously, I owed $10K in property taxes which began my troubles with Chase (then WAMU).  Now with nearly a year of delays on their part, I owe them (according to their records) nearly $42K!!  I don’t know where my 3 trial mod payments ever got applied, or other payments I made prior to the loan mod, that were thrown into a suspense account instead.  They factored my new mortgage payment based on the 2007 property taxes they paid on my behalf.  However, I received two automatic reassessment reductions in 2008, plus another small reduction when I won my appeal.  In total, my property taxes went from $7200 per year (what they based my mortgage payment on) to currently $4800 per year.  Did they correct the monthly mortgage payment to reflect the lowered taxes?  Hell, no.  My payment went from $1445/month to $3194/month by their numbers, using prior years tax rates, projected into the future.  To this day they have not fixed their error. 

I hoped I was going to get great results from the Park avenue analyst (The Lady with the Silky Voice) assigned from Jamie Dimon’s office.  She told me she was personally managing my case from now on, and was going to get my docs to the Underwriter asap (I’ve been supplying docs to an Underwriter ever since I completed the Trial Mod in July).  Then told me she’d be able to lift the Foreclosure sale date once they got me into a Trial mod (I repeat - I COMPLETED the Trial Mod in July).

This morning the mail arrived with a certified letter from Chase telling me I was being terminated from the Trial Mod plan for not supplying requested documentation.  I’ve been hand delivering everything to a local rep IMMEDIATELY upon request.  This is the second time I’ve gone through this. They want you to believe it is incompetence, but no one is that stupid.  This is a very deliberate tactic employed merely to stall, stall, stall, stall, stall…and they have made an art of it.

I documented yesterday’s conversation and called her this morning to get her email address in order to expedite the process.  My foreclosure sale date is 11 business days away, so time is of the essence.

The Lady with the Silky Voice very politely told me they don’t give out email addresses, because people would keep emailing after they had been terminated, blah, blah blah.  I said its a good thing the rest of the business world doesn’t take that approach.  Then, once it sunk in, I totally LOST it!  I nearly took this poor woman’s head off.  So I went into a mini rant/meltdown with her and ultimately demanded that they either postpone the foreclosure sale date by Friday of this week, or I will sue them. I totally unloaded with both barrels, because I just don’t care anymore.

As I regained some composure I apologized for yelling, and told her it wasn’t personal but the incompetence and tactics are extremely maddening and frustrating. I said it was inexcusable that the average loan mod takes over a year, when you could go out and get a mortgage within 60 days.  I told her she sounded like a very competent and compassionate individual, but then, I would expect that level of competence from someone who works on Park Avenue. (with a Silky Voice)

I also told her that while I’m sure she means well, I don’t know her from Adam, and given my experience thus far with Chase personnel, I don’t really have any reason to trust any of them anymore.  She assured me she was going to help me and would get back to me later, but there wasn’t much she could do in ONE day (true enough), and would note that I’m giving them until Friday before I pursue other avenues. 

About three hours later she called to say she had postponed the foreclosure sale, and she has ALL my documents which are now going to the Underwriter for modification approval.  She could not explain why I was told they were already at an underwriter for the past 3 months.  I asked if we were talking about a Permanent Modification, and she sidestepped the issue (very cleverly with her Silky Voice).  I told her she still hadn’t answered my question, to which she gave another answer that did not answer the question.  I see now why she’s working for Jamie Dimon.

For now, I’m happy to have the foreclosure sale postponed.  I will check with the Trustee tomorrow to make sure she was telling the truth.  This is the worst nightmare experience of my life…and I’ve had some pretty tough times before.

Good luck and I hope your experience is better than mine!  :)

Clearly, one thing all struggling homeowners must do is help to get the word out.  Tell anyone who will listen about the deliberately deceitful behavior of the banks.

Every time I go to CHASE bank I politely tell the employees what a despicable company they work for.  I start by telling them about the letter I got from CHASE requesting my death certificate, and then move on to the details of the loan modification process. 

Does anyone know Jamie Dimon’s home address?  I would like to write to him and his family. Does his wife, Judith Kent; or their 3 children Julia, Laura, and Kara Leigh have any idea how their dad has behaved?

Please don’t scold me for making this too personal.  Shaming this man into doing the right thing, might well be our only recourse.

Gabor - Thanks for sharing your wealth of information in these forums.  I pay particular attention to your posts.

Regarding the TARP guidelines, see my comments below:

Oct. 19, 3:48 p.m.

  12 USC Sec. 5213                   02/01/2010






  Sec. 5213. Considerations


  In exercising the authorities granted in this chapter, the
  Secretary shall take into consideration -
    (1) protecting the interests of taxpayers by maximizing overall returns and minimizing the impact on the national debt;
====> The reference to tax payers, is not to the homeowners in trouble, but to all tax payers. In other words minimize the impact of our troubles to the rest of the tax payers.  ... no argument with this.

(2) providing stability and preventing disruption to financial markets in order to limit the impact on the economy and protect American jobs, savings, and retirement security;
=====> This refers to the investors in the mortgage backed securities, NOT the homeowners. 

  (3) the need to help families keep their homes and to stabilize communities;
=====> This sounds great, but contradicts the details of the FDIC guidelines for the loan modification program, which mandates, on page 3,  that “the cost of a modification must be less than the cost of foreclosure”.  A struggling home owner with considerable equity in their home, will be rejected because the banks can make more money by kicking the owner to the curb!  The loan modification program was designed by the Washington arm of the bankster community. Despite it’s slick marketing, it’s intent is to help the banks, not the homeowners.

Linda Venturella

Oct. 21, 2010, 8:27 a.m.

Everybody should go to today and check out recent posts, it would be on the right side of the page in black letters. Go down to Foreclosuregate video-Bloomberg Interviw of Chris Whalen-“Foreclosure Issue is a cancer.” Click this on and watch. Things are starting to really get interesting here. Seems as the investors are now getting ready to sue the Bankster crooks. This could be just what we all needed. This is getting better and better.The mainstream media is really downplaying this whole story.

JS Do you think the banks are looking at the original mortgage, or the current mortgage value?

Because here in CA. many properties have dropped over 50 even 60 % of what they sold in 06. For example. In our street there was a new home sold in 06 for $ 1.3 mill this year the same house sold for $460.000.

Are these FDIC you are writing about?

JS sorry I meant Current Market Value

Gabor - CHASE didn’t provide the appraisal figures, but I had my own independent appraisal done, and know that we still have considerable equity.  Only one person at CHASE, “Bonnie”, was honest enough to tell me that we’d never get a permanent mod because we had equity.  She reminded me that they were a “loss mitigation” department with no interest in keeping us in our home. She explained that their only goal was to MITIGATE LOSSES, and that foreclosing was their best way to accomplish that. So much for helping homeowners in exchange for TARP money.

BTW, if you haven’t seen “INSIDE JOB” you MUST see this documentary.  I have never believed in conspiracy theories, but this entire financial mess was and still is, a grand scheme, on the part of the finance industry to line their pockets, and it includes the players in Washington, and even at some of our major teaching institutions.  I know it sounds crazy…but see the movie! Then decide.

“Trust”  Now there’s a word (concept) that I haven’t heard in a long, long time!
Reminds me of the movie, Wall Street….(a line) “Somebody’s going to pay and it ain’t going to be me!”
That is the banks/financial houses’ concept.

Just sent to HUD Secretary Donovan:

Mr. Donovan,

According to today’s article in the New York Times, you stated at a White House press conference, that “the administration was more interested in making sure that mortgage companies helped homeowners avoid foreclosure by modifying or replacing unaffordable loans.”

PLEASE, don’t minimize the fact that the banks have engaged in a consistent pattern of deliberate deceit, in dealing with modification requests.  I’ll spare you all the details here, but I can tell you from my personal experience CHASE bank has behaved in a despicable manner!  (You can find the details on, where I posted as “JS”… or contact me.)

Furthermore, the guidelines on the web site, are inaccurate, or perhaps flat-out dishonest.  The site makes it seem like the goal of the modification program is to help struggling homeowners, but the FDIC loan modification guidelines, mandates on page 3, that “the cost of the modification must be less than the estimated foreclosure cost.”  So helping homeowners is really just a coincidental benefit of helping the BANKS!  In my case, I was dismissed from my job, without cause, ending a 32 year career at Mxxx’s, but I cannot qualify for a modification because it is more profitable for CHASE to foreclose, because I have equity in my home!  DOES THIS SEEM FAIR TO YOU?

Perhaps this would all be fair if the government’s web site did not mislead me, encouraging me to apply for a modification, and if CHASE met the 30-days-to-trial-mod guideline, and the 3-trial-payment guideline, and didn’t act dishonestly at every step of the process, and had not gotten all that TARP money to help them with their mistakes, and wasn’t paying out record bonuses.

PLEASE DON’T GIVE THIS LIP SERVICE!!!  REAL, HONEST HARDWORKING PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING. PLEASE FORCE THE BANKS TO OFFER MODIFICATIONS.  The very worst that could happen is that some people still fail to pay, and are foreclosed at a later date.  As for me I am 100% positive that I can make modified payments…. because I have rental income that can easily be increased by giving up a large storage room, and expanding the rental to a 2-bedroom…..

Or, of course, you can just allow the CHASE bastards to throw us to the curb!


J.. S…
(xxx) xxx-xxxx

His email address is “”

PLEASE write to him!  He has the power to improve this situation.  We have to make sure he feels some pressure to do the right thing!  Who knows, Mr. Donovan might actually have a conscience!

Thanks, JS!!  I just emailed Sec. Donovan.  Now that Chase has every possible document x 12, plus a recorded Quit Claim Deed, etc., etc., etc., they’ve finally realized my loan is FHA !!!  No kidding?

Ready?  FHA just became eligible for HAMP mods in July 2010.  SO WHY DIDN’T ANYONE EVER TELL ME THAT?????  This mess has been going on since Jan. 2009 and NO ONE ever told me this.  Instead, the reps at Chase strung me along and I remain “under review with the underwriter, but everything looks good.”  So do the NE Patriots - so big deal??  Guess what the response was when I asked why I was never made aware of this latest “wrinkle?” Ready? “Oh, we didn’t know until about a week ago.  Sorry”

I just want this stupid thing done so I can move forward, pay my mortgage, and enjoy my life.  How about it, Mr. Dimon???

A major problem is that if you have lost your job and you have equity in your home….I may be wrong, but NOBODY in this environment will give you a mod.
And, that is what is happening to so many tens of thousands of individuals and their families.  No job; no prospects even after searching for endless months; savings exhausted, etc…....
Bye, Bye, Middle Class…...

Linda Venturella

Oct. 23, 2010, 12:57 p.m.

And so it begins FOX NEWS is reporting this morning people are starting to default on their mortgages all across this country. I DO BELIEVE WE HAVE SOMETHING HERE.

Linda Venturella

Oct. 23, 2010, 1:09 p.m.

President Obama did not put a nationwide moratorium on all foreclosures to hurt us. He knew this runaway train was one he could not stop. He let it play out for a reason; massive mortgage defaults were coming. It is starting right now.

Remember this when you vote. How the republicans want to help the middle class.

Linda Venturella

Oct. 23, 2010, 11:56 p.m.

@Gabor. I’m voting DEM.and i’m voting in the same judges for this election because the spotlight is   on them now. Next cycle I might change my mind on that. I will see what they do this time around. Called out my lender today PHH mortgage . In an e-mail I let them know that I want them to account for the taxpayer money ( our money) that the FED or the TREASURY gave them to keep me in my home and that they stole. I told them I am demanding a government audit to make them account for our tax money. I also told them I want my trial period payments back or I will sue them for MISREPRESENTING THE HAMP PROGRAM. They had the nerve to tell me I was denied the HAMP PROGRAM BY THE US TREAS.They were already given our money to pay our houses off with and they stole it. I suspect total ANARCHY in this country very soon. hOW MANY TIMES DID THEY THINK THEY COULD BUY AND SELL OUR HOMES? ENDLESSLY, I SUPPOSE.  I also told them to relay my message to FANNIE MAE. THESE LOUSY THEIVING CROOKS STOLE ALL OF THE TAX PAYERS MONEY AND THEN THEY WANTED TO STEAL OUR HOUSES TOO. WE WANT OUR MONEY BACK!!!!!!!!  NOW IT IS PAYBACK TIME. I do not expect to be hearing anything from PHH anytime soon. THIS IS WAR!!!! EVERYONE SHOULD CHECK OUT THIS WEBSITE I WENT ON TODAY CALLED THE SPOOF.COM. WHO’S LAUGHING NOW UP ON WALL STREET. LOOKS LIKE THE PARTY ON THE TAX-PAYERS IS COMING TO AN END.

Linda Venturella

Oct. 24, 2010, 12:05 a.m.


Linda Venturella

Oct. 24, 2010, 12:19 a.m.


This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Foreclosure Crisis

Foreclosure Crisis: Banks and Government Fail Homeowners

Banks and the government have fallen short in helping homeowners in danger of foreclosure.

The Story So Far

Systemic failures at the country’s banks and mortgage servicers have exacerbated the most severe foreclosure crisis since the Great Depression, and government efforts to limit the damage have fallen short. ProPublica created an unrivaled database of homeowners who have faced foreclosure, opened a Facebook page to encourage homeowners to share their stories, wrote profiles of some of them, and incorporated their experiences into our reporting. We also provided a comprehensive rundown of the numbers behind the crisis.

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