Long And Winding Road In Fl, Hoping Against Hope For A Second Modification From Citi

ajkuhn

LoanSafe Member
Dec 29, 2015
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#1
Here's the short version: in mid 2011 we completed an in-house modification lowering our interest rate and payments ever so slightly. A few short months later due to working a commission-based job with wildly fluctuating income and coupled with the birth and added childcare expense of my second child, we found ourselves again unable to stay afloat. This time around they were (for obvious reasons) much less willing to work with us, including sending back 2 months' worth of payments once we hit the crucial 3 month delinquent point.

After months of back and forth attempting to cure the arrearage directly with Citi, we were finally served with a lis pendens, which we responded to by hiring legal defense which set in motion an incredibly drawn out legal process. Here's where the real mistake began on our behalf, at least as I understand it- after a year we *should* (based on what I'm told) have been able to apply for a second modification. Unfortunately our lawyer had us convinced that our case was winnable since Citi seemed to have considerable difficulty producing the documentation necessary to back their case.

Somehow nearly 3 years go by with this tied up until finally a trial date is set. All during this time I'm convinced I'm both ineligible for any sort of modification and secondly that reaching out to Citi would mean an admission of fault/responsibility and would somehow invalidate my case. I can't for the life of me understand why our lawyer didn't suggest we modify and attempt to aid us in doing so.

During all this time, in fact almost at the outset of being served, I have a new job in my field of study with a stable paycheck and as of this writing have roughly doubled my income since the time of default- my wife has also received some modest raises.

Trial date comes, and a day prior all we can think to stop it is an emergency Chapter 13, since we believe we can make up the arrearages through the life of the plan, given the 5 years. After the filing, during the two week period we had to complete the filing and paperwork, we were offered to work out a modification with Citi. Since I was the only filer, we still have an opportunity for my wife to file if we want to enact the stay that way, so rather than paying a huge legal fee to complete the filing we allowed the emergency Chapter 13 to be dismissed.
Anyhow, now our case has been reactivated but it will likely be some time before a new trial date is set, given the general speed of the system here in Florida. We have filled out the appropriate modification paperwork and I'll be shipping off all necessary supporting documents tomorrow. That said, with the following in mind, is it crazy to think we could be approved for a modification? And are there any other tools at our disposal to help us get there?

Monthly mortgage payment: $980
Arrearages of roughly 4 1/4 years (plus penalty fees etc)
Gross annual household income: $95k
Principal balance roughly $150k

I'm sure there's more pertinent information that would help you help me, but I'm not well versed in these things despite having completed a mod before. As I'd mentioned my income has almost doubled since the default occurred and my wife's has grown modestly as well- will this help us or have we dragged our feet too long?

Thanks for taking the time to read- this forum is a fantastic resource and it's comforting to know we're not alone.
 
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Moe Bedard

Call 1-800-779-4547
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Aug 10, 2007
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#2
Hello,

It sounds like your lawyer is ignorant of how the loan modification process actually works and or your lawyer is lying so that he or she can extract legal fees from you for as long as possible. In my experience, many lawyers simply are not worth the money they charge. They are often motivated by greed and profits which comes before doing what is right for their clients.

Your improved current income situation should help you being that they will see that you can afford the mortgage payments if they agree to modify your loan. What they will most likely do if they see that you can make the current payments and then some is place all the money you own in back payments and fees on your mortgage balance which will cause it to be higher and may cause your monthly payments to go up as well.
 

ajkuhn

LoanSafe Member
Dec 29, 2015
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#3
Thanks so much Moe. I had the feeling our lawyer's prolonging of this process was simply to extract fees from us while knowing our case was not strong enough to prove winnable. I only hope this admission might cause Citi to consider our position and change in circumstance and agree to work with us to complete a modification. After all, the home value is still less than the principle so it would seem worth their while.
Anyhow, much appreciated- what you do with this site as a free service is truly commendable.
 
Likes: Moe Bedard

Moe Bedard

Call 1-800-779-4547
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Aug 10, 2007
26,794
455
1,000
46
Southern California
www.loansafe.org
#4
You are most welcome ! I appreciate the kind words. It is truly an honor to serve others.

I wish you a Happy New Year and successful 2016!
 

ajkuhn

LoanSafe Member
Dec 29, 2015
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#5
Update: our info has been with underwriting for some time now, meanwhile Citi appears to be moving forward with the foreclosure with a scheduled court date at the end of next month. Are there any emergency type contacts? I fear they have denied our modification but are unresponsive to us. Any contact information would be greatly appreciated!
 

Moe Bedard

Call 1-800-779-4547
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Aug 10, 2007
26,794
455
1,000
46
Southern California
www.loansafe.org
#6

ajkuhn

LoanSafe Member
Dec 29, 2015
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#7
Well- I just got off the phone with Citi since I'm trying all outlets to avoid chapter 13 and they said that our mod had actually been APPROVED as of March 23rd with trial payments starting in May. That said, they claimed the modification documents were sent to our lawyer, who never passed them along to us for some odd reason, and now we are staring down a trial at the end of this week. I have just shared this info with our lawyer and am hoping we can avoid the scheduled trial. Is it possible for them to obtain a judgement on us and STILL begin the mod after that fact and stay put? Very confused as to this timeline.