Wednesday, December 30, 2009

IndyMac Is Evil

Over the past year, I have had to field numerous collection calls from IndyMac on my cell phone. I purposely gave my cell phone number to avoid calls on my home telephone number because my elderly mother lives with us and she doesn't need to hear the harassing phone calls ten times a day.

Well, just recently, IndyMac started calling my home number and completely out of the blue. Like I am going to find all of money that I owe them because they somehow found another number to call. I specifically told them under NO circumstances to call my home number and to remove it from the contact list. I was told my home number was removed.

Tonight, IndyMac rang my home number again. I went off on the representative. I told her in no uncertain terms to remove my home number and only contact me on my cell number. I told her a few other things, too. I did not hurl obscenities at her, but I did tell her that IndyMac is a criminal bank.

I am so sick of IndyMac/OneWest. I am sick of the calls and sick of them bleeding me dry while I am on the modification merry-go-round. I am sick of their tactics and I've had enough.

I am looking forward to Monday, January 4th when I can stand in protest outside of IndyMac/OneWest's offices. I hope there are thousands of other homeowners like me who attend and I hope it gets on the news. They need to be stopped. The evil needs to end.

Monday, December 21, 2009

January 4th 2010: National Shame On IndyMac/OneWest Bank Day

It is clear that IndyMac/OneWest has no intentions of granting anyone a permanent modification. It is clear that IndyMac/OneWest will make more money EVERY time it forecloses, thanks to a sweetheart deal with the FDIC. It is clear that our government is owned by the banks and is unresponsive to the will of the people.

We don't have to sit here and take this crap any longer. We need to stand up and demand that our voices be heard, and the first step to doing that is to attend the protest outside of IndyMac/OneWest's offices in Pasadena, CA. on January 4th 2010. More info on the protest here.

But protesting outside of IndyMac/OneWest is not enough. We need to let our government know that we don't approve of the way they've handled the foreclosure crisis and that we don't approve of all of the breaks the banks are getting while homeowners are getting thrown out of their homes.

In order to do that, I propose a massive homeowner protest all across America. On the day of the protest, every distressed homeowner needs to protest outside of their local government offices. If you live in the capital of your state, protest outside the state capital buildings. If you live in Washington, protest outside of the halls of Congress.

Under the face of such a massive public outcry, our government will have to respond. The Wall Street fat cats who were the architects of the current disaster are counting on the American people to be apathetic, to care more about who Tiger Woods is sleeping with than the provisions that are being sneaked into legislation passing through Congress. Prove them wrong. Raise your voices and be heard.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Motley Fool is more Foolish Than Ever

Ok, these arch conservative investor types need to go to hell, seriously. Even in my cold addled state, I still bristle when I think about this article.

The article states that it is a mistake to hold the bankers accountable for not doing enough modifications. Leave the banks alone, the author rails! Let them do what they do best and get tear off the scabs that are delinquent mortgage holders by foreclosing on them quickly! Read the article, I've accurately summed up this idiot's words.

First of all, let's start with "leave the banks alone" for a minute. Isn't "leaving the banks alone" what got us into this mess in the first place? Isn't the deregulation that allowed mortgages to be "securitized" and traded on the stock market the main factor in the financial pickle that we're all in? So, yeah...let's continue to leave the banks alone...that's worked out so WELL!

Secondly, let's look at what would happen if foreclosures were allowed to proceed unchecked. Housing values would continue to dive as more and more foreclosures flood the market, and with unemployment continuing to soar, there are very few buyers out there. So, homes would stand vacant and untended. Neighborhoods would deteriorate and the number of homeless would rise sharply. All of this would drive the economy into a deeper depression, which, newsflash! is good for no one, not even fat cat investor types like the author.

The author is big on letting the markets correct themselves, only this problem was not caused by free market forces. This problem was caused by governmental policies that institutionalized greed and facilitated the biggest re-distribution of wealth from the bottom to the top in United States history.

In closing, there needs to be a major economic re-balancing, and those firms that took risks that they never should have taken need to be allowed to fail. Their victims, the homeowners of America, need to have their mortgages reworked to make them sane and affordable, regardless of how they came to be, and regardless of income.

The Truth About IndyMac/OneWest

I have a cold today and my thinking is muzzy, so this post may not be as coherent as it might normally be.

The news on my modification fight is that not much has changed. NACA still reports that IndyMac has not responded to my submission as of yet. IndyMac loan resolutions employee Mike claims that IndyMac has requested updated financials through the NACA website. NACA customer service claims otherwise.

So, basically, I am still in loan modification limbo, and IndyMac still collects a payment every month (to keep me from slipping into foreclosure) although I remain 90 days behind. I don't know how long I can keep this up as it is draining me dry.

Today, I did some reading and I found out more information about IndyMac/OneWest that is very interesting and enlightening. According to this article, OneWest never plans to do any modifications whatsoever because when OneWest acquired IndyMac from the FDIC early this year, the deal included a provision that the government would subsidize losses from foreclosures to the tune of 80-90% of the original loan amount. So, this means that even if OneWest forecloses on a home and can't recoup the value of the loan in the foreclosure sale, the government will kick in and pay 80-90% of the value, on top of what OneWest receives from the foreclosure sale. This provision all but ensures that any IndyMac mortgage will end up in foreclosure because if OneWest were to modify, it would lose out on the chance to profit.

It is no wonder, then, that all through-out this year as I have been struggling to get a modification that I have met with such resistance. Indymac/OneWest has no reason to modify. They profit from foreclosure, they profit from kicking people out of their homes, they profit from the misery they inflict on others. They have no shame and they're no better than wartime profiteers. We're in an economic war right now, and these criminals are preying on the weak.

In my earlier post, I indicated that I am ready to take the fight to the next level. Well, it appears that I am going to have little choice. So, I am going to be searching for an attorney to represent me and I am going to go after IndyMac/OneWest full bore. If I need to stop making payment so I can pay attorney fees, so be it.

Furthermore, I understand there is going to be a protest outside OneWest's Pasadena offices on January 4th. If you live in the Southern California area and you are a victim of the beast with no heart, then I urge you to attend. Together we can make a difference!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lehman Brothers & My Mortgage

The other day I found out something very interesting about my mortgage. The "investor" is a securitized Lehman Brothers trust. The servicer of that trust, Aurora Loan Services, LLC, was a wholy owned subsidiary of Lehman Brothers that somehow managed to survive the bankruptcy in tact.

What does this mean? It means that the Lehman Trust and Aurora Loan Services benefited from the government bailout and because they benefited, they MUST modify my loan pursuant to HAMP.

This entire year of hell could have been avoided had IndyMac/OneWest done the right thing. But, no, they insist on playing games. Well, I have news for them. I am newly energized and up for the fight.

If it takes allowing my home to fall into foreclosure so I can contest in in court, then so be it. I am through playing their little games and I am through waiting.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It Sucks To Be Poor

I'm going to deviate a little bit from the main subject of this blog, tonight because this must be said. Something happened tonight that made me realize that I am now poor, one of the countless millions teetering on the edge of total economic collapse.

This realization is hard to take for someone who used to live a fairly decent life before the economic meltdown. I used to be able to pay all of my bills and I had decent credit. I never worried about how I was going to pay my bills. Then, after my husband lost his job and my small business took a big hit in the economic meltdown of 2008, we found we had to prioritize our bills. The endless juggling match of delaying payment on one bill so you can pay another more important bill begins and as a result my decent credit history turned into an abysmal one.

As a result of attempting to pay my most important bill, my mortgage payment, I had to stop paying on my credit card bills, and I could not afford to pay for the registration on my car. Soon after that, the car insurance had to go, because we could not afford to keep up the payments. It was either the car insurance or the mortgage payment, utilities, and food.

In California, it is mandatory for every vehicle owner to maintain liability insurance. In order to better enforce this law, when your insurance lapses, those kind folks at the insurance company notify the Department of Motor Vehicles and your registration is suspended until you can provide proof of insurance.

If you drive your car with suspended registration and no insurance, you risk getting your car impounded if you get pulled over. To avoid this possibility, my husband and I drive as little as we can. Our luck ended tonight after we were returning from an unavoidable trip to the vet. One of my dogs had an abscessed tooth and her face had swollen up. As we were returning from the vet's office, with our dog in the car, we got pulled over. Luckily, the deputy was a nice guy and, let us go with the advice that we should try to drive as little as possible until we could get the car insured and registered. We missed getting our car impounded only by the kindness of one deputy. I doubt that our luck will hold a second time.

We are now facing the almost insurmountable task of finding at least $500 to cover the registration and insurance on our car, while still coming up with the mortgage payment that we can't afford. There is nothing left to cut as our budget is as tight as it can get. We barely make it through each month, always having to juggle the bills to get them paid, and we just don't have $500 extra dollars.

This would not be an issue if we weren't poor. When you're poor, you don't have the luxury of having a peace of mind that all of your needs and your bills are taken care of. There's always some bill that you have to set aside in order to cover your other expenses. But now, we're backed into a corner and there's no way out. The registration must be paid and we must get insurance. How we're going to manage it, I don't know.

This is the problem that millions of other Americans are facing tonight. And if you think you are immune and that poverty only happens to those who make poor decisions, then think again. Your job could be on the line next, and where will you be when you have to decide what bill to pay?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No News Yet

Well, it has been more than a month since NACA submitted the loan modification request to OneWest/IndyMac. There has been no news whatsoever. A call to the Loan Resolutions Department at IndyMac yielded no information other than I should contact NACA.

After spending two hours on hold, I finally spoke to a NACA representative, Devorah, who was singularly unhelpful. She simply told me what I already knew: that the servicer hadn't responded yet, and what I wanted to know was if NACA had followed up with them at all. All I got in return was attitude. I might as well have been speaking with a bank representative. She told me that I was not the only one, (No! Really??? I'm shocked!) and that I needed to keep making these unaffordable payments, and IF I didn't hear anything back by December 15th, then I could call them back.

I'm sorry, but that woman had no right to speak to me that way. I do realize that I am not the "only one" but I only have one house I am trying desperately to save, and it is damned well personal for me, so yes, I want some answers, and I want a timetable. I want to know the organization that I turned to for help because I was getting nowhere dealing with IndyMac on my own, is actually doing something for me.

This whole thing has been a never-ending nightmare and I am so close to losing it. It seems that the banks have all the power and we have none. They can modify or not, all on their whim. This needs to stop and they need to made to modify every toxic loan!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

NACA: My Last Hope

Since I've been denied by my servicer when I tried applying for a modification on my own, I have now enlisted the aid of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (or NACA for short.)

NACA's CEO is Bruce Marks, and he is known for taking the fight directly to the bank CEO's and their make them realize how personal losing your home is and the costs to neighborhoods all across America that rampant foreclosures cause. He styles himself the "banking terrorist" because he will resort to rather interesting tactics to make his point. He will organize a group of homeowners and NACA representatives and dump a truckload of furniture on a bank CEO's lawn. He will organize protests outside the school where the CEO's kids attend. He is ruthless, and as far as I am concerned, the banks have it coming.

NACA has contracts with the major servicers, including IndyMac. I have a running appointment with one of the NACA counselors as I get my documentation together. I am hopeful that something can be done, even if the only thing that can be done right now is a forebearance to allow my husband and I to get back on our feet, and then do the restructure.

NACA works a little differently than HAMP or other modification programs. They start with figuring out how much of a house payment you can afford. There is no set interest rate that it has to be, or loan amount that it has to be. The only question is how much you can afford, after deducting all of your living expenses. Then NACA takes that number and says to the bank, find a way to get the payment down to that number. Whatever is done is a permanent change. No re-sets, no adjustments. The restructure is permanent.

If you're facing foreclosure, contact NACA as soon as possible. The sooner you start the process, the easier it will be for you. Go to

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Modification Denied: Can't Find Out Exact Reasons Why

I'm angry and this is going to be an angry post. I have reason to be angry and frustrated since it seems that there is nowhere I can turn to for help.

Well, IndyMac/OneWest, being the complete jerks that they are, denied my HAMP modification, and in their denial, the reasons were in so many words "you don't qualify" but no particulars as to why exactly I don't qualify. I've emailed Brandon Latman, the jerk who sent me the denial letter, to find out why, and no surprise, he hasn't emailed me back.

I also have tried to get an answer from loan resolutions as to why, but they can't or won't tell me. I am so sick of this bank. I am sick of all banks. They're nothing but leeches who loaned out money to folks they probably shouldn't have lent to in the first place, and now they're crying foul to the government who runs to give them help, no questions asked. But when a lowly homeowner needs help, there's all sorts of requirements and documentation you must provide before even being considered for help.

The answer to this crisis is a do over for homeowners. A nationwide loan modification program, regardless of bank or investor, where the investors and banks are forced to take the losses as we have had to eat our equity. Everyone's loan get's dropped to the value of their house, interest rate dropped to 2%, and extended out to a 40 year term. Everyone. I don't even care if the rich get to take part, too.

None of this stupid, "voluntary" crap. Of course the lenders and servicers are not willing to modify. Why should they, when they make a ton of money off foreclosure? Why should they take a loss on their balance sheet when if foreclosed on, they can show an asset valued at whatever the loan amount is? There's no incentive for them to do the right thing. The only way is to FORCE them.

Well, I am done ranting. I don't feel much better, but at least I got that off my chest!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Introduction: This Is going To Be Long

Well, I suppose I should start from the beginning. Back in December of 2008, IndyMac added an escrow account to pay for my property taxes. Yes, I had not paid them for the year, but that was because my husband had lost his job and we had been struggling to make our mortgage payments on top of all our other bills.

We were current, and would have stayed current, but for the addition of the escrow account, and I explained this to IndyMac even before the payments were increased. I told them I could not afford the new payment under any circumstances, and was there anything available to help...would they be willing to forebear the escrow amount for at least 6 months, etc. They refused to do a thing.

I'm not going to say that the property taxes should not have been paid, but when you have to choose between paying for the mortgage, utilities, and food, or paying the property taxes, well, which would you choose? In California, the property taxes would not have been an issue anyway, unless they'd gone unpaid for five years, so it's not like the investors' interests were in jeopardy.

Anyway, we fell behind, because while I had the money for my old payment, I could not afford the additional $350 tacked on by the escrow account. I've been able to keep my house out of foreclosure by scraping together payments, one or two at a time, but at a huge cost. There are some months when I don't know how we manage to find the money to buy groceries, and all the while my husband and I are looking for work. (I operate a tiny home business that has also suffered due to the recession.)

In the meantime, we have also been trying to get a loan modification worked out with them. Unfortunately, they don't want to cooperate. My first application took them well over 90 days and a complaint to the OTS to learn was denied based upon a lack of income. It seems they did not even bother to take into account my year to date profit and loss statement because even though I submitted bank statements to back up the numbers, it wasn't verified enough for them, according to some new requirements of which they never bothered to inform me.

I have just applied for a loan modification for a second time, and this time I'd like them to try and tell me they don't have enough documentation. I submitted every last bank statement for this year, two years tax returns, verification letters, and contribution letters from my retired mother who lives in the house with me and my husband, and a contribution letter from my husband as well. I submitted to them a modification proposal that is in line with the Obama plan.

I know they're going to end up denying this one again, for one trumped up reason or another, because that's the way they work. They are profiting hugely on keeping people just on the brink of foreclosure for as long as possible because once the foreclosure happens, they get huge fees.

IndyMac, now owned by OneWest got a a sweetheart deal when they purchased it from the FDIC in March, and are now reaping a 182 million dollar profit. Meanwhile, struggling homeowners are losing sleep and eventually their homes because this evil cesspool of a bank is playing a shell game with modifications.

Laws in California, where I live, and one of the hardest hit states for foreclosures, impose tough sanctions on banks who foreclose without having a "modification program" in place. The law does not specify what the modification program needs to consist of, just that a modification program is in place. So, IndyMac, in order to be able to do business as usual, is going through the motions of evaluating loans for modifications when they never actually intend to offer any.