So, you’re behind on your mortgage. I’ve been there. Maybe you’ve even been posted for foreclosure. I’ve been there too.
Here are your options, plain and simple:
- Surrender the house. Get a new place to live you can afford. Screw the credit. Start over, life will be far better in just a few months.
- Contact the lender and do a workout in which you pay what you can now, and re-schedule the remaining payments. There are risks to this, specifically a.) you already can’t afford the place, and b.) if you get behind again, you’ll find the problem has gotten worse, not better.
- File for Chapter 13, which is just like doing a workout, except it costs about $4000 more in fees and attorney costs, and requires you relinquish control over your own finances.
- Fight back. There is no guarantee that this will work, but it might.
The rest of this blog is all about fighting back and how to do it.
Important safety note: I am not a lawyer, nor am I your (not a) lawyer. Most lawyers and most family, friends and co-workers would tell you that this is a dangerous and bad row to hoe. I do not make any suggestion or representation that this process will do anything but insure that the proceedings the lender follows in foreclosing are lawful and correct.
That having been said, check out this video from YouTube, taken from a news report:
“Ooooh!” you say. How can I do that?
Keep reading, dear one.
Especially with certain lenders (BofA, Wells) there is a high likelihood that your mortgage has passed through MERS. This, in my judgment and in the judgment of an increasing number of courts, means your lender cannot prove WHO owns your mortgage. If they can’t prove it, they can’t foreclose.
Google up some MERS if you’re curious about why that’s so.
Next, in your research process, check out this article. Hey, doesn’t that advice look awfully familiar? Yeah, it does.
Oh, now back to this “RESPA” letter that the weird dude in the vampire costume was talking about on “Fox and Friends”. That’s got to be a scam, right?
Didja click and read that? Yes, that’s on a US Government website. Kind of officially official.
RESPA, and how little its understood and enforced, will be the subject of the next SERIES of “getting back at the bank” posts.
Back to your mortgage.
IMPORTANT NOTE - what follows works BEST when you’re not delinquent, posted for foreclosure or otherwise not in good standing with your mortgage.
My very dear, charming and gorgeous friend (who’s the smartest gal in the mortgage business) makes the bare statement that there is NO mortgage loan that is entirely free of RESPA errors. Most are LITTERED with these errors.
Combine these errors with MERS issues, and you create a strong foundation from which to re-negotiate your mortgage loan.
Here is someone else’s 17 page RESPA letter to a mortgage servicer.
This letter contains the laundry list of things that the mortgage servicer could be doing wrongly. Follow it as a template. Put your own information into the appropriate spots. Send it to the mortgage servicer, the addressees at the bottom of the letter and to the attorney who’s handling the foreclosure. Send it by Priority Mail, with delivery receipt. Keep the proof of when they got it.
Within twenty days of the date they accepted your letter, the mortgage servicer MUST respond to you that they have your letter. Within sixty days of the date they accepted it, they MUST answer the questions fully.
If they do not, and if you then pursue a “private action” to enforce RESPA (requires a lawyer) you could find yourself interviewed on Fox and Friends.
More to come!