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.