I just joined Loansafe 2 days ago. I am so grateful that I stumbled on this forum because it provided me with the necessary info to take the appropriate steps to finally resolve our loan modification.
My husband started the process back in 7/09 when he called to see if we could do a refinance. However, in Texas, because we have a pool loan, the refinance could only be done by rolling in the pool loan with the home loan. Since property values had decreased so much, they wouldn't refinance because then the 2 loans were worth more than the property.
My husband then proceeded to ask about other options since we were current at the time, but could foresee some trouble ahead. The nice rep on the phone offered the Obama plan and took all the info and determined that we were pre-approved. He said to skip July's payment and put us on a trial period payment plan just like everyone else while the paperwork went to underwriting.
Over the last several months, there were many times we were asked to re-fax the same info to so and so and then told that everything was moving along as planned. Periodically, we would check in and the same answer was always given: "It's in underwriting and you should receive your paperwork any time now."
Then, around the middle of November, we received a letter stating that we were in default on our loan and must pay $15,000+ by 12/25/09 or the loan would be accelerated. We immediately called to find out what this all meant since we had been paying the modified amount every month on time or early. We were told by another friendly rep that this was normal and not to worry because the monthly payments were in a hold account and to just ignore the letter. Again, he assured us that everything looked good and it was just a matter of time before the underwriter was done with the paperwork.
However, on 12/7/09 we received a letter from Citi stating that we had been denied. We called to find out what happened and the rep said she didn't quite know why, but that it looked like it was denied due to my husband's retirement 401K, which should not be included by the way. Later on, we called back again to see if a different rep could supply a more explicit answer and this time our rep said the same thing, but that she showed the loan was already under review for reconsideration.
Still not happy with this result, I began scouring the internet for help and answers. I came across this forum and read every single post related to Citi all night 12/7/09. I found some very valuable contact numbers related to the Executive Response Unit and info from others about contacting congressmen and government officials.
So, on 12/8/09, we called back to speak with someone in the Executive Response Unit. This person said that she couldn't see why were denied and opened a case to be reviewed and stated that we would be contacted within 24 hours.
In the meantime, I composed a letter explaining our frustration with the system and expressed our need for help. We faxed and emailed this letter to the Attorney General, our state congresspeople, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and several individuals at Citi that we had contact info for.
Around 2:00 today, I bugged my husband about calling Citi one more time to see if any more info had come down the line. Reluctantly, he called and talked to a rep who initially told us all the same info, but then told us to hold on a minute. She literally came back on the line within 1 minute, unlike the usual 20 minutes hold we experience, and said that we were approved for the Obama plan, that the payments had already been processed, and we were good to go. My husband asked her to repeat this all again as he just couldn't believe it.
After hanging up with this rep, we received a phone call about 10 minutes later. We though it would just be another rep. However, this person was calling to notify us about the change and to let us know that our loan would be modified immediately and that we now had a new rate of 2% for the life of the loan. She then stated that we must have spoken with someone high up. My husband asked, "why?" She said because she only handles presidential escalations. He said, "You mean like the President of Citi?" She said, "No, sir, the US President." She said that she would personally be handling our loan modification and gave us her full name, contact number, and assured us that all paperwork would be sent out shortly and that she had already notified underwriting to take care of it.
Could this really be? We have agonized over this process for the last 6 months. All it took was reading some info on this forum and faxing our story to our government leaders and just like that we are approved in a matter of hours.
I feel like we never would have known how to proceed without the info we found on this forum. Thank you so much for sharing so much with your members free of charge. I hope others can utilize our strategy and find some success as well.