Home Loans and Support

The HAMPster Wheel Game

Discussion in 'Chase Mortgage - Tell Us Your Chase Story' started by TomEason, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. TomEason

    TomEason LoanSafe Guide Staff Member

    The purpose of this thread is to share tips on how to play well and win!

    How to Play The HAMPster Wheel Game

    Here's how a borrower plays. The homeowner has already decided to walk, but wants to stay rent/mortgage free for as long as possible. So the homeowner, even knowingly not qualified, submits the HAMP RMA package to the loan servicer. It’s important to note that the homeowner doesn’t need to get permission from the loan servicer to submit the mod app. Some members espouse sending an incomplete package because of the increased delay factor. However, be that as it may, the loan servicer will take some time to conclude the homeowner does not qualify and issue a denial letter. During the time the loan mod application is under review, the loan servicer is not supposed to initiate foreclosure proceedings, per MHA guidelines.

    When the HAMP mod is denied, the homeowner can then, either re-submit a new one, or apply for a HAFA Short Sale, which is another MHA program. This will buy even more time. A skilled player wins by putting the loan servicer on that wheel, and by staying in the home for a long time, sometimes for a couple years. This would indeed be a game well played!

    And for bonus points, here's an added strategy. When the foreclosure sale appears imminent, the homeowner moves into new living accommodations, rents their home, and collects rent. This rental income stream can be prolonged by using trustee sale delay tactics, which is another topic.

    The Rules

    The fun part of this game is that the homeowner gets to make up, or change the rules, at will while the game is in process. And best of all, there’s no requirement for the homeowner to ever explain the rules to the loan servicer. HAVE FUN!
  2. acesfull

    acesfull LoanSafe Member

    let the games begin.

    Without a principle reduction from my lender, I will have to walk.

    So I must sharpen my skills at The Hampster Wheel Game.

  3. SoUnderwater

    SoUnderwater LoanSafe Member

    The frustrating part is that some of us do not want to play the game, we desperately want to save our homes. According to your post, we would be considered pretty good "game players". We are 19 months behind on our mortgage and still in our home, and just found out Monday that we were declined for HAMP. We had been told for the past month that we were approved, BOA even put our insurance into escrow as part of the loan modification... then Monday we hear we are denied. Our goal is not to keep stretching things out, but to find a resolution.

    I understand your post. But right now, when we are trying to save our home, not take advantage of a broken system, it bothers me to read.
  4. SurfwhenUcan

    SurfwhenUcan LoanSafe Member

    Hi Everybody,

    I posted on another thread in reply to Acesfull but Tom asked me to re-post on his Hampster Game threads, so here you go - Enjoy!

    Yes, I agree with J and T - essentially you keep the lender scratching their head trying to figure you out. I've done it before several times. Career high was stalling B of A on a foreclosure in Redlands for 28 months. If you do it right, you can sit back and watch a lender chase it's tail indefinitely. It's fun. The best part of your case is you have not yet had dealings with them. That means you are truly at the proverbial Square One.

    For anyone who's interested, here's the Reader's Digest version on a couple tricks:
    Get a HAMP submission together - as far as income, claim whatever income you would need to qualify for HAMP (this means figure out what a 2% payment on your loan amount would be for 30 yrs, then divide that by .31 - this is the income figure you claim, maybe add a couple hundred or so to it, then offset that with expenses totaling $150 less than your income figure). I don't care what you say to them, make them believe it enough to get a submission in.

    NOTE: adding straw renters to pad income is always good for a laugh at their expense - don't worry about it being accepted - they'll kick out the income when they don't see matching deposits in your bank statements. But get them scratching their heads about it by sending in a handwritten "lease agreement"

    Send in an incomplete package - if they ask for 3 bank statments, send two or send someone else's paystub instead of yours. If they ask for a missing bank statement, send it in but missing one page.

    Mock up some kind of "employer letter" claiming income (good) or some P&L claiming self employment (better) showing your "income" - it's hard to tell anyone what to do here because income is backed up not only by what you say, but by your mortgage payment amount, payment history, credit profile, debt profile, bank statements, your original mortgage application, etc. They look at it all to get a perception of you. so one person's good story might not even get the time of day for someone else.

    The submission should give them something to chew on for a couple months. Keep going back and forth with them and wait until they come back with a definitive answer of NO on your income.
    Call back the following week and tell them "I had a dramatic change in income" - make up some story

    Submit some other stuff to "back it up" but get it under review again - They spend a month or two recalculating and happily send out another denial.

    Play this game as long as you can until it's time to switch gears and list your house for short sale

    List the house for Short Sale, and submit a Short Sale package (essentially the same as Mod package but showing you can't afford the house and containing a listing agreement)

    (Do the following at your own peril) I have seen homeowners postpone sales (if it gets that far) by using a straw buyer to submit an offer. This is not playing fair (as well as not legal), requires some balls, needs a Realtor involved, isn't for the faint at heart and isn't foolproof. However, I'm just throwing it out there. This is done more often than most people think. Of course, I wouldn't ever do this myself, I've only heard about it ; )

    If you have done things right, the bank should suspend any foreclosure proceedings for a number of months while they wring their hands and hope for a Short Sale, which would be better than a FC for them.

    Along the way, you need to be peppering them with calls - for status updates etc. and making the reps notate your file each time. When they ask for stuff, wait 9 business days and fax it in, then blow up their phone with calls asking about status and "did they get it?!!".

    All this activity calling and notating your account gives the impression that you are desperate to keep the home. That's the key. You need to appear desperate. The lenders have learned desperate people have a unique tendency to magically produce some dough at critical junctures. This is because most individuals are not individuals at all but members of a village. The individual may not have money, but the village does. I see people on this site do it all the time. The lender (especially AHSMI) will smell blood in the water and circle you for a while, trying to figure out how to get at the stash of $$ they are convinced you are hiding and hoping you cough something up.

    I wouldn't call this a primer on stalling a bank. It's way over-simplified but it should give you a pretty good idea what's involved. Do all the tricks work every time? No

    Anyway, follow this strategy, then call us back in 2013 when they finally foreclose and tell us how much you saved by living rent free. : )
  5. Leilah

    Leilah LoanSafe Member

    Great thread. At what point after missing the first payment do you suggest submitting the HAMP package?
  6. TomEason

    TomEason LoanSafe Guide Staff Member


    Can you kindly refrain from posting stuff on The HAMPster Wheel Game thread? This thread was created for those members who've already decided to go to FC, and want fun ideas on how to live mortgage free for as long as possible. And for those who want to contribute more ideas on how to play.

    You've got an entire thread devoted to the REST Report. Thanks!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  7. LoanModHelpCenter.com

    LoanModHelpCenter.com Michael Nazarinia Modification Expert 855-678-6690

    Oh dude, lol i had no idea that was the entire game... DELL1 calls the hampster wheel game the road to trying to obtain a loan modification. I thought it was a double game. Done
  8. SurfwhenUcan

    SurfwhenUcan LoanSafe Member

    Sounderwater, I sympathize with your plight but it appears your perspective, which is a common one, is creating some confusion for you. Many people think that modification was designed as a solution to their hardship, meaning payment reductions are meant to help you. And who wouldn't want a payment reduction? This view is wrong. Modifications are designed to benefit your lender with continued income. Nothing more. If in the process it staves off foreclosure, so much the better. But really that's not the primary concern of the lender.

    In the banks eyes, if you are struggling with your payments because your business is losing money, there are other options for you that can prevent loss of your home. You could suspend operations and find other work (or not, if your household can manage with just your husband's income), or develop new revenue streams with the business, but your business losing money is not the bank's problem. This is not me talking, it's the bank. And it's exactly how they think. It is the nature of a creditor to think this way. Otherwise they're not a creditor, they're a charity.

    I don't know your situation but if your payment is not over 31% of your gross income, you are going to have a very tough time. I've done it, but that file was denied 3 times and ended in a lawsuit (with the homeowner on pretty good footing because the agreement was signed by both parties). Bad things happen to good people and this appears to be your case but I hope that you find a way to resolve your situation. Charlie's giving you some pretty good advice.
  9. TomEason

    TomEason LoanSafe Guide Staff Member

    Thanks Charlie, appreciate it! .........................
  10. SoUnderwater

    SoUnderwater LoanSafe Member

    SurfwhenUcan, Thank you for comments. I think I am too closely connected to the situation to look at it from a rational point of view. I am strictly running on emotions at this point. But, I truly appreciate the perspective that you have offered. Somehow, hearing things you don't want to hear is better if they are said in a nice way :)

    On a side note, we did suspend business operations. We have made lots of changes so we could resume the loan as is, but do not have the $30k to bring the loan current (that is past due payments + fees).

    Thank you again.
  11. DELL1

    DELL1 LoanSafe Member

    actually, there plenty of fun for everyone.

    the HAMPster Wheel itself is a creation of the banks and the Obama Administration where as discussed before, the homeowner runs in circles chasing the elusive cheese (mod). It's designed to keep them running (occupying the property, taking care of it, getting money and spirit ****ed out of you till the executioners sword, (foreclosure) comes down on your head. You can be in the wheel, chasing the cheese and still be playing if you realize you are living rent free and are saving your cash or USING IT to fight off the executioner.

    If you get the cheese, great. If you don't, keep the cash, thanks for playing. I did'nt want that s***box anyways!

    what tomeason has done is layed out the HAMPster Wheel Game for Masters. Here, you turn into the master puppeteer and use the corrupt system to further your own interest. Just like the system is doing to everyone else in the WHEEL.

    Have fun, play smart, and always find a way to keep your sense of humor no matter how the cheese gets sliced.

  12. luckylady

    luckylady LoanSafe Member

    I don't like the hamster wheel game. I don't think it is right for banks to play the game with us and I don't think it is right for us to play the game with them.
    If you have a hardship and cannot afford to pay your mortgage than it is honest to keep trying to work on a solution to save your home as long as you can do so honestly. However if you falsify, lie, or intentionally deceive your servicer I believe it is wrong.
    I mean no disrepect and I apologize for interrupting the game but I think the country we live in is filled with too much dishonesty. Just because the banks are lying does not justify us lying.
    Two wrongs don't make a right.
  13. LoanModHelpCenter.com

    LoanModHelpCenter.com Michael Nazarinia Modification Expert 855-678-6690

    Yea, do not lie to the banks.

    The banks got their bailout time you get yours!!!

    Let the game roll on.
  14. TomEason

    TomEason LoanSafe Guide Staff Member

    My goodness lady, what ever happened to your personality and sense of humor? If you don't like the game, why are you posting on this thread? You can't really believe the members here having fun with this are gonna stop because of your opinion. And by the way, it's the HAMPster Wheel with a P, get it?
  15. espo1357

    espo1357 LoanSafe Member


    She is probably a shill for the bank or a person who thinks everyone is honest. Well, get screwed over like most of us have, and maybe your perspective will change.

    I have had at least 5 friends from elementary school stick me for over 20k the last five years, had a real estate agent feed me lies when I bought my home (that's my fault, a naive first time homeowner), been downsized three times in the last five years, and a few other things. That's life and I can accept that. But, its hard to accept getting screwed over by people time and time again.

    I am not looking forward to making the same mistakes again, which is a major reason I never get out of the house after 8 pm because trouble is lurking...

    back to the HAMPster Wheel Game...

    I think that post get the award for the best post on this forum, ever, because its so true and its funny as hell.

    Good work tomeason!
  16. luckylady

    luckylady LoanSafe Member

    Tomeason, Call it a senor moment. I can't get the image of FreedomWon's hamster wheel avatar out of my head. I definitely understand the HAMPster wheel very well though. I do have a personality and sense of humor too. Sometimes it is hard to understand the difference between seriousness and joking in text.

    Espo, I am not a shill for a bank but I feel like an ATM because my kids are always trying to withdraw money from me, lol, and believe me I have been screwed over many times in life but I am still a believer in people and believe there are honest people out there even though I know that not everyone is honest.
    1 person likes this.
  17. TomEason

    TomEason LoanSafe Guide Staff Member

    Thanks espo!
    Although I couldn't help myself, after I posted, I almost felt I'd been a little harsh. But I started this thread specifically as a place where some frustrated folks could have a little fun - we need and deserve it!
  18. luckylady

    luckylady LoanSafe Member

    Tomeason, I spelled wrong. I meant *senior moment*.

    Espo, I also wanted to say I am sorry for all that has happened to you. The positive of it is that we learn and hopefully the same bad things do not happen to us over and over.

    Sorry Tomeason...I actually kind of missed that this game is not about ethics, morals, or honesty. It is about avoiding foreclosure for as long as you can! I would try to keep a roof over my families head anyway I could. Continue the game. My bad.
  19. TomEason

    TomEason LoanSafe Guide Staff Member

    IMO, the optimum time would be a few days before the deadline date to bring the loan current listed in the lender's Letter of Intent to Accelerate. Why? Because HAMP guidelines state the loan servicer should not commence foreclosure proceedings while the borrow is "under review" for an MHA (HAMP) loan mod. Make sure you provide enough time for the docs to get uploaded into the system. And as Surf suggests, follow up by phone or "blow up their phone with calls asking about status and "did they get it?!!" I gotta tell you every time I read through Surf's post, I burst out laughing. Some great ideas plus it's written in such a humorous way! LOL
  20. TomEason

    TomEason LoanSafe Guide Staff Member

    No problem; I'm glad that you can see it's all meant in fun, to raise our spirits and elevate our moods a little.
    1 person likes this.

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