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Harassed by HAMP?


Bank of America left a flurry of voicemail messages over the weekend.

*Beep* Rebekah, this is Bank of America calling about the HAMP program…
*Beep* Hi, this is Bank of America. We’re calling about the paperwork…
*Beep* Rebekah, please return our call at 877…

If Bank of America were an ex-boyfriend, I’d have a restraining order by now.

On Saturday, after the third phone call, I finally picked up.

“Hello Rebekah. This is Carol from Bank of America. I’d like to walk you through the application package we mailed to you last week. Have you had a chance to complete it and mail it to us?”

‘Carol’ kept me on the phone for nearly 30 minutes explaining what I had to do to get approved for the program. I find it incredibly odd that two years after my first application, they are ‘coming to my rescue’.

Did they come to my rescue when I lost my job? Did they help when I had to take a job making more than 30% less? How about when my husband lost his job and our mortgage payment was 115% of our income?

Not a peep.

The came to ‘save’ me now…two years later. Two years of not one late payment despite everything.

To add insult to injury, I received another copy of the package yesterday as a ‘back-up copy’ in case the first copy didn’t get to me.

I don’t understand why B of A is suddenly taking an interest in me – and only after I got my head above water.

I didn’t think it was possible to lose more respect for Bank of America.

Turns out…

It is.

Is Bank of America saving me? Or am I saving them?


  • Reply Jen |

    I remember reading something about the Fed’l Gov’t putting pressure on banks to actually do something with HAMP. Banks had been stalling the process since it wasn’t in their financial interests. That might be why suddenly BoA is doing something.

  • Reply emmi |

    Clearly someone is putting the heat on them. So I guess I’ll go with C: Both. If the numbers work in your favor, take advantage and forget that you are helping them back.

    Banks are really proving that they will only do, to the letter, exactly what is required through regulation. They cannot be trusted to act even in a rational economic manner if left to themselves. It’s pathetic, really. They will turn around and whine about the least bit of regulation, as if we are all idiots and can’t remember the last decade already.

  • Reply Vicki |

    You are saving them. Simple as that. The only reason why I bank with them is because my ex-husband destroyed my credit and it was the only bank that would take me due to that I had a joint account in long standing with my great aunt for many years. As soon as I find a bank I actually like, I will stay with them.

  • Reply Jenn |

    I had the same experience… my income was cut in half, I lost my job and found another one, but at half the pay of my old one. Countrywide wouldn’t work with us and thank you Lord Jesus, we sold our home in time, but one payment was late. They wouldn’t help at all and not only wouldn’t help, but took our credit score way down b/c of the late payment… so consider yourself lucky they are helping you out. By the way—LOVE your Blog!!!

  • Reply Dream Mom |

    I wouldn’t care for that. For me, businesses are like people, I only do business or be friends with people who are respectful. The good ones, stay with you and help you when you are down, not when everything is just great.

  • Reply Janelle |

    Yes they are losers. I hate B of A. BUT, go through with the mod. We just finished ours – final papers sent in and everything – and it is changing things for the better. Who can back out of a 2.4% APR? Seriously take them for all they will give ya!

  • Reply RB |

    I am starting to believe BofA is a scam. I keep getting phone messages from BofA Home Loans. The message claims it is not a sales call and I should call them back. I have not returned their calls because I have no current relationship with BofA Home Loans and I do not wish to refinance. Maybe I should answer once just to get them to go away. There has been nothing in the mail, so I have no idea what they might want.

  • Reply Lauren |

    That’s crazy that all of you guys have problems wiht BoA. I work at a credit union and this is the fifth time I heard bad things about BoA within a week. I have a checking account with them, but it’s a student account. I think it becomes a regular account in April of next year. I might be shopping for another account because I don’t want to deal with their fees. I closed my savings with them a few years ago because they were charging me a fee. As a recent college grad, I don’t have a lot of money. I can’t afford to get hit with bank fees. I’m considering opening a checking account with my credit union when my account expires. It’s less of a hassle and less fees.

  • Reply Dan |

    I think it is exactly as you make it out: now that you finances appear to be in good order they are more than happy to loan you money. Has your credit rating increased nicely in the last 2 years as well? It’s always been my impression that banks never want to loan you money when you need them.

  • Reply Claire in CA, USA |

    We have our mortgage with them, but no problems, and we’ve been with them for years. Of course, I’ve never had to call them. When we re-fied last year, I went through a broker, and promptly ended up back with BofA.

    I am a notary, doing loan signings, and I recently did a modification signing with a couple who had almost the identical experience. They tried for close to a year to get a modification, continually called BofA and never got calls back. Then one day, the call came that their docs were ready, and that a notary would be there to sign with them at xyz time. Bizarre.

    Just a FYI: Be sure to return TWO signed copies of the docs and keep one. The family I did the signing with had just read that another family sent back only one, and the loan didn’t go through, but they weren’t told for awhile. They ended up losing their home.

  • Reply DeWayne Bridges |

    Interesting, How helpful the Bank can be when they feel that it is to their advantage to do so.

  • Reply Lizzie |

    Be very careful with loan mods. I’m really starting to hate banks with a passion these days.

  • Reply Penny |

    I refinanced with B of A in January in order to bring my 30-year-fixed mortgage down from 6.5% to 5.375%. It was not part of HAMP but was through B of A. It was a nightmare that took three full months, and sometimes about 10 hours/week of my time to call, stay on hold, provide some other random thing they’d suddenly decided was required, and just persist.

    This happened right up until the night before closing, when they “weren’t sure” they had everything. I finally lost my temper (again, this was after three solid months of this, all of Nov., Dec., and Jan.) and said “You know what? You OWE ME this rate. I KNOW you don’t want me to have a 5.375% rate for 30 years, but as I see it, you OWE ME THIS MONEY, because you took MY TAX MONEY when I, and everyone else, bailed YOU out.” It worked.

    And then… They said they hadn’t gotten the mortgage note from the notary. I said “Then it looks like I don’t own the house and no longer owe you any money.” They magically found it, then sent more folders to my house (two of them, for two days in a row, via FedEx) saying those were the “right” mortgage notes. HOW is this legal? I had a lawyer friend of mine review ALL of them for free to ENSURE they were the same.

    Most recently, they attempted to raise the monthly payment on my 30-year-fixed rate mortgage by $17/month. I’ll spare you a review of that saga here (it’s on my blog), but in short: Watch your statements (though I recall your having had issues with strange adjustments to monthly statements from B of A in earlier posts).

    My mortgage is the only thing I have with B of A. The rest is with my credit union (Patelco in CA) and absolutely wonderful.

  • Reply John@Financial Elite |

    Something is definitely suspect. The guidlines for the Making Home Affordable programs are clearly black and white, but I am yet to see any consistency whatsoever. It’s like the banks just make up the rules as they go along or how they feel at the moment.

  • Reply Angry Citizen |

    My mother applied for HAMP via Bank Of America back in June 2009. She was repeatedly told that her application was still under review and to call back in 5 weeks.

    In January she was informed that she qualified for the three month trial period, but she never received any paper work to confirm this and her mortgage increased due to her refinanced, interest only loan through Country-Wide in 2007.

    She keeps making her payments and was informed in June 2010 that her HAMP application was closed and that she would have to reapply and BOA was sending her out a new packet via Fed-Ex which she should see in 5-7 weeks.

    In July my mother received a Notice Of Intent To Accelerate from BOA. They said her loan was in serious default (she hadn’t missed any payments) and they wanted $1801.00 by the end of July. Her monthly mortgage payment is $580.00. She also received a letter and phone calls from a collection agency working through BOA which stated she was in default and offered a lieu in deed offer.

    I contacted BOA and sent copies of all my mothers mortgage payments from January 2010 to present to their “Payment Research” Department. The rep said he made changes and allegedly removed all the erroneous late charges (Praying).

    Two weeks ago my mom finally received the new HAMP application, filled it out and sent it back to BOA. We called them on Tuesday that she needed to fax information stating why the 4506-T tax form doesn’t apply to her and also a copy of a current utility bill, which she has previously sent them. Now we wait.

    I get this foreboding feeling that behind the scenes, with this sudden escrow account they have set her up with, that in the future she will be asked to come up with some outrageous amount of money for some unknown fees or penalties and than lose her home.

    I voted for Obama and support the democrats but it seems they are no better than the republicans when it comes to fighting for the middle class. When the banks were bailed out congress and the President should of enforced that the banks actually and honestly work with home owners or face penalties and punishment. I’m tired of our corporate owned government and elected puppets!

  • Reply Mar |

    I just did a mortgage mod with my very local bank – good rating from http://www.bankrate.com – which doesn’t even HAVE an escrow department. Their reasoning is that if a borrower has the ability (income) and DESIRE to pay their mortgage, they can be trusted to also pay the taxes and insurance on their own. It took about 4 weeks from my initial phone call to complete the deal, mainly because we were waiting on the current appraisal and it took me a couple days to just sit down and sign the 5 or 6 forms (revised note, acknowledge receipt of credit report, appraisal, etc.) Seriously, if your home is not underwater, call a local bank with its own good rating and refi with them, making sure they won’t sell the loan. The mod was great for me because the rate went from 5.125% to 4.5% and the loan term remains the same so I’m not extending the debt.

    If you are being threatened with foreclosure and/or are wondering what the banks are up to, check out Karl Denninger at http://www.market-ticker.org; WARNING – there is some profanity, although the bad words show up as *s. Still, you know what he means. There are a LOT of shenanigans going on – lack of documentation that the bank doing the foreclosing even owns the mortgage, lawyers signing thousands of affidavits a month without bothering to read them, etc. Very, very interesting… and scary. Warning – he’s not a fan of the federal government, either democrats or republicans. He’s not advocating a revolution, but he’s not happy with them.

  • Reply chris |

    Wow, Beks story sounds very similar to mine. Back in April 2009 I applied and am still dangling in the wind for a mortgage mod. I finally threatened Bank of America. I got a few calls but it is still not resolved. I don’t have much hope 🙁 …

So, what do you think ?