I've been on here since I really was heavy into a lot of problems with my mortgage. This isn't so much how I fought back, but just my story in general.
I have a mortgage with PHH/Cendant Mortgage. I started getting behind on my loan right after I moved in, in 2007, due to my husband's reduction in salary. We managed to stay ahead of the foreclosure devil for a while, even had a sale date once, and managed to get back on track by getting a loan, but then about a year later, ended up right back there again. This time, it drug on for about 18 months. I tried and tried to get a loan mod, but there was always something they didn't receive, I didn't receive, blah, blah... After being behind so much, there was no way we could come up with what we were behind. I have to admit, I had let things just slide, as I didn't have anyway to get out, and I hadn't received any notices after a year and a half (although I knew someday they'd come knocking). I'd just given up on getting any help from them or getting a modification.
In July 2010, PHH filed a foreclosure notice, and being that we are in a non-judicial state, there was a sale date right away of Sept. 2010. I was calling and calling trying to get a fire back under them to try to get me some help. They resent the packet, and I filed it out and started waiting again. I called every few days to see how things were going, and of course, they were requesting additional this and that. About a week before the sale date, I called to check, and found out that they had automatically postponed the sale date a month to Oct. 2010. So that was some relief, a bit of breathing room. However, a week before that sale date, and I was no where closer to getting the mod. I had been asking for weeks for another postponement, due to the fact that we were under HAMP consideration. I was told repeatedly that I should not worry, because it wouldn't ever come to a sale date, because even if we were turned down for the HAMP, there were so many in house modifications that could be done, no foreclosure would happen. Obviously, I continued to worry, since it was MY butt on the line, not their's. But, they take their time, so I waited. The two days before the foreclosure sale, I was on the phone almost non-stop. The day before the sale, I found out we had been denied the second postponement for some reason.
I asked and was told that if the FC did go through, that if there was not a buyer, that then we could call back, we would still be the owner's, and we could start negotiations with PHH again for a modification. So, sale day, I went early and waited until it was time for our houose, and luckily no one was there for our house. I was elated!! I called back, and was told that since it had been "sold", I now had to deal with the REO Dept. (Real Estate Owned Dept.) This is when I found out what I had been told earlier was not true, basically the house had reverted back to Fannie Mae, and we were NOT still the owners. Panic!!! We had 30 days to get out.
Two days after the sale, in a blur, I received a call from a lady at PHH Mortgage, and she told me that she was happy to let me know that we had been approved for the HAMP Trial Modification Program and our payment was $xxx for three months. I thought she'd lost her marbles...I told her, but our house was sold at foreclosure two days ago. She acknowledged that fact and said that she had just not received the paperwork in time, and that we were indeed approved and that as soon as I got my first trial payment in, they would start the paperwork to rescind the foreclosure. I was so happy! I didn't even know this could be done...payment was off by Western Union in less than 24 hours!
Permanent modification paperwork arrived and was returned on time in Nov. 2010. The foreclosure was rescinded after our first payment was made, and the home was put back in our names within a couple of months. We made all of our trial payments not only on time, but early, to the extent that we didn't even need to make a payment the last month, as we were actually like 4 weeks ahead. I was so nervous about that, thinking that if I skipped a payment, they would somehow use it against me to pull out the permanent mod from under us. But after being reassured by like 4 people, I did "skip" making a payment in January 2011 (as it was actually sent in back in Dec. 2010). So, our permanent mod start date was Feb. 2011.
It is now a year later, and we have made all of our payments on time. We received our first incentive payment in the form of a $1000 principal reduction in Jan. 2012. It is the first of 5, assuming we stay current on our loan.
I just wanted to post for people who are looking for any proof that permanent modifications exist and a little bit of info on what to expect. If I have any advice, that I think might have helped my situation, I'd say maybe it was that I paid my trial payments early. Maybe that helped get us the permanent mod so quickly? I know most people wait like a year or more just to get through the trial modification program. So...no giving up, if I can get a mod even after they took my house in a non-judicial, non-recourse state, then anything can happen!