Home Loans and Support

Denied HAMP and BofA suggested Dept. of Justice Modification. Should I appeal?

Discussion in 'Bank of America Mortgage Help' started by SurfCat, May 30, 2012.

  1. SurfCat

    SurfCat LoanSafe Member

    I've been dealing with Bank of America for for about the last six months in an attempt to get a Housing Affordable Modification. This was denied by letter last week. The worst thing is that the denial was based on me not providing them with the documents that they needed. Over the last six months, however, I have provided them with every document requested. Some of these were sent to them on several occasions and receipt was acknowledged by the account manager. I kept a log of what was requested, what was sent, when I sent it, and when I spoke to the account manager regarding her receipt of the documentation.

    The denial notice indicated that I could appeal the decision within thirty days, so I called my account rep today to do so. She suggested that I apply for a Department of Justice Modification, but indicated that if I did, I would give up my right to appeal the initial denial of the HAMP mod. Further, if I appeal the denial, I would give up my right to the DOJ modification.

    From my research on this forum, my inclination now is to forego the appeal and apply for the DOJ modification. I'm concerned, though, as I have no idea what the requirements are for that program.

    If anyone has any experience with these, I would appreciate their insight on this.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Evan Bedard

    Evan Bedard Call 1-800-779-4547 Loan Safe Mortgage

    Welcome and thanks for joining the community.

    Servicers are supposed to be sending letters to eligible borrowers but many, including myself are skeptical of just how this program plays out. There have been similar settlements in the past and not nearly as many homeowners as expected received assistance under the programs.

    That is a bs reason why your were turned down for HAMP and personally I would appeal their decision as it was based off false information. Many times servicers will deny borrowers for this same reason when in fact they had all the information needed to process the account. I'm almost positive that appealing their decision for HAMP will not give up your rights to receive assistance under the settlement. Here are a few good threads below with other members discussing the settlement.

    National Mortgage Settlement

    National Mortgage Settlement Information and FAQs

    National Mortgage Settlement - My experience
  3. SurfCat

    SurfCat LoanSafe Member

    Thank you for having me and thanks for the quick reply. This whole process has been a nightmare, and I have yet to find a competent human being involved.

    I appreciate the links as well. I'll do some research before I commit to either, and post later on my progress. Thanks again.
  4. bransmom

    bransmom LoanSafe Member

    I just went through the same thing. I had a HAMP (2nd attempt) pending when BofA called to say that they were closing that application and putting my application in for the DOJ settlement. They asked for updated paystubs and a new IRS authorization. I received my modification just this week and it is conditional on me making 3 on time reduced payments. I have listed the letter they sent me on another thread here.
  5. Tiredoftherunaround

    Tiredoftherunaround LoanSafe Member

    This NMS program is sooo sketchy. There is apparently a criterea used not only to qualify, but also to determine how much you qualify for. Unfortunately there is no transparency.

    Once I get some details on my aplication I will share here at loan safe, but they just reset my 30 day timer by asking for more documentation.
  6. Evan Bedard

    Evan Bedard Call 1-800-779-4547 Loan Safe Mortgage

    Thank you for sharing this information about the settlement and it seems now a few members here have received pretty much the same letter as yourself. For Surfcat, here is a link to Bransmom's post about the settlement:

  7. SurfCat

    SurfCat LoanSafe Member

    Thanks for all of your help. Yesterday I received a letter approving my modification pursuant to the DOJ settlement. They have agreed to reduce my 600k loan balance by almost 200k and my payments have been reduced from around $3,500 per month to around $2500. My interest rate has been reduced to 2.25%. They also will forgive all late fees, interest, and advances paid on my behalf.
  8. Preparingfordefault

    Preparingfordefault LoanSafe Member

    Congrats Surfcat! That's terrific news!!! These approvals are keeping my own hopes up! I read the boards daily to see if any new approvals or denials come in and what the terms look like... thanks so much for sharing!! Just curious does your payment include your real estate taxes and home owners insurance?
  9. gray555

    gray555 LoanSafe Member

    did you have to do anything after your initial denial? We received a denial letter two weeks ago but the reason stated was our payment is considered affordable. I had been told by my rep I would receive a denial letter under HAMP first in order for her to put us in the DOJ program. However, our denial letter mentions the DOJ program - I am sooooooo confused. And there was no mention of any time to appeal - here's an excerp from the letters we received - any help/info appreciated.

    Here's my story ...
    Received letter and calls from BofA rep about two months ago saying they are moving my loan for review for new doj program and requested additional docs - taxes, pays tubs, current utility bill and hoa verification. After sending docs twice, got another call from her requesting current bank statement. During that call she said not to panic that I would be receiving a letter from BofA denying me for modification because they were moving me for consideration under the doj settlement. My rep was going on vacation but said her teammates would finish the paperwork. She also said it would take approximately 30 days for review by the doj and that I would know before she would whether we qualified because notice would not come from her but from the underwriter for the doj. Well I never got anything so I called when she returned from vacation and left her a voicemail. A week later on 7/16 I received a letter from her (my rep) on BofA letterhead saying "thank you for beginning the home loan modification process and providing your complete financial information. We are now reviewing your loan for modification options including the new modification program introduced as a result of the US Dept of Justice .... This modification could offer you significant principal reduction and low payments... The evaluation process takes approximately 30 days". TWO days later on 7/18 I receive the following DENIAL letter "we have reviewed your home for eligibility in the new principal forgiveness modification program ... Your home is not eligible for the following reason(s): we are unable to offer you a modification because your current monthly housing expense, which includes your loan's monthly principal and interest payments, plus property taxes, hazard insurance, and homeowners dues (if any) are considered to be affordable under this program. We want to work with you to help you avoid foreclosure. Depending on y,our situation we may have other modification options for you. If you ave already been evaluated for these programs you may have to show a change in your circumstances in order to qualify. If modification is not an option, these other alternatives to foreclosure may be available to you: short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure. ... We are now returning your loan to normal collection activity, which could include referral to foreclosure and foreclosure sale..."

    So. I have left multiple voicemails for my BofA rep and have received NO return calls or no other letters (the above letters both came fed-x). I am sooooooo confused - is this final denial, is this the letter she said I shouldn't panic about - is anyone receiving any communication from anyone other than their BofA rep/single point of contact. Nothing happened the way she said it would - she told me on the phone we qualified for the program and it was going to underwriting ... What happened? The reason for denial is so generic with no specific details as to our situation and how they came to ths result. There's no mention in the letter as to having 30 days to appeal even though the doj settlement docs/judgment says they are supposed to put in the denial letter thr you have 30 days to appeal and the exact numbers they used to deny you (something about NPV and income). Anyone else in this situation?

    Ps we received mod in 2009 - reduced interest to 3.25 percent, took loan out to 40 years, added all past due payments and fees back into loan balance ($65,000 worth). Current balance is $600,00 zillow value is $272,000 current payments with pmi and hoa is $2900 - prior to mod payments were $5,000 interest only. This was a horrible. Of but all we could do at the time. Now so upside down not sure what to do. Payments are "affordable" according to their letter - but only be ause of this ridiculous mod 2 years ago - will NEVER have equity or be able to sell ... And now we don't qualify for principal reduction because of this crappy previous mod ... Any suggestions?
  10. SurfCat

    SurfCat LoanSafe Member

    Its my understanding that it will include taxes and insurance. If anything changes, I'll let you know.
  11. SurfCat

    SurfCat LoanSafe Member

    We were told that our HAMP was denied due to us taking too long to provide documents even though I gave them everything they asked for within 24 hours of them asking. Most of the docs that they asked for, I had already sent in at least once. I kept a log of my conversations with the account rep, and the documents that I sent in along with dates thereof. In the written notification of the HAMP denial, they indicated that I could appeal within 30 days. I called my account rep to appeal, and she told me about the DOJ option. She stated that I had to choose between the appeal of the denial and the DOJ.

    For the DOJ, they asked for updated earnings, banking and tax information. Of course, during the application process for the DOJ, they asked for several docs that I had already sent in. It took about two months for the DOJ approval.

    During the entire process, I did not deal with a single person who seemed to have any competence whatsoever. It was very frustrating, and I'm counting my blessings that its over and that we obtained a favorable result.

    Good luck.
  12. gray555

    gray555 LoanSafe Member


    Was your payment more than 31 percent of your gross income before the mod? I think where we are having trouble because our payment is only 24 percent of our gross income - unfortunately last years bonuses are killing us on income and this year is not going to be the same.
  13. gray555

    gray555 LoanSafe Member

    Called my CRM today to try and get exact numbers they used for income because when I run the numbers based on the paystubs we provided and our current payment, our payment is more than 25% of our gross income. She pretty much told me that she would have to call me back because she couldn't get to that screen and her "coach" would have to help her figure that information out. She said I was in the foreclosure process, but a notice had not yet been sent and a date set. I told her I wanted to dispute/appeal the calculation because according to her if you don't qualify for the DOJ program, you won't qualify for anything else because it is the most lienient program available. So basically they are not going to even look at anything else to work with us. She seemed flustered and defensive (not good) ... she tried three times to tell me that I must not be running the numbers right, that it boils down to this: They take your current payment you make and compare it to your gross income and if it is not 25% or more, you are denied. I asked her what they included in the "current payment" amount and she indicated that it is whatever payment you make to BofA. I told her how could that be since my payment included PMI insurance and that I thought it wasn't supposed to be included in the calculation. She said their "program" doesn't take into consideration anything but the total payment you pay BofA, it won't let them add in or take anything out. I asked her about HOA fees, because I thought those were to be included as part of the calculation, she said "no", only the payment you make to BofA, she went over my account and said you pay XXX for principal and interest and XXX to your escrow account for a total payment of XXX, that is the figure we use. Again, I insisted that the DOJ calculation is supposed to include HOA fees and exclude PMI insurance, she said the system doesn't allow for that and that for people who don't have their taxes and insurance included in their escrow, those figures aren't calculated when they run the numbers either (for anyone like this I suggest you check their calculations -- if you're denied). She said she was going to note my dispute/appeal and would have to get back with me with numbers. I asked her if I was required to appeal in writing and she said no, the only person I can appeal to is her and that I did that by phone, that I did not need to send anything in writing. Now even I know that you should NEVER do anything by phone, so I, of course, will be writing my appeal letter tonight, but really need the numbers they used in order to argue the point. I can't believe how different she was on the phone today than the last three times I talked to her (very helpful and excited for me to participate in the program). This time she acted like she could care less and would get back to me when her "coach" had time to get with her to go over the numbers, they are very busy, it's month end and the beginning of the month and everyone is calling in their payments (her exact words) ... UGH .............. where to go from here ...............

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