HOPE Program Hopeless

Abandon all Hope all Ye That Enter Here - Dante

The New York Times calls the new program HOPE a lead balloon:

Under the program, the government will insure up to $300 billion in new, more affordable loans for troubled borrowers. For the insurance to kick in, however, lenders must first voluntarily refinance the delinquent mortgages by reducing the loan balances to 90 percent of the home’s current market value.

In exchange, lenders would avoid the expense of foreclosure and uncertainty about being repaid. The government would stem the social and economic damage of more foreclosures, at presumably little risk to taxpayers.

There’s just one problem. At a Congressional hearing in September, lenders were lukewarm about participating in the new program — reluctant, it seems, to take the loss that comes with reducing loan balances.

The lenders, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and CitiMortgage, a unit of Citigroup, all said they were taking other steps to help troubled borrowers, like reducing a loan’s interest rate or extending its term. That’s helpful, but the industry’s efforts don’t go far enough: defaults and foreclosures continue to outstrip efforts to rework bad loans.

As home prices fall, the most effective modification is to reduce the loan balance; otherwise, borrowers are in the position of repaying a loan higher than the value of the property. That burden can become unbearable when combined with unemployment or reduced work hours or unexpected expenses like medical bills

The new Bail out? The key phrase is may encourage. There is no law to require renegotiation of a mortgage or most importantly allow bankruptcy judges to restructure the debt on a primary residence.

Americans For Fairness in Lending has some more analysis and here is another article pointing out the flaws in HOPE for Homeowners Act of 2008.

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Bank Of America Hope complaint

As stated above this program is a total failure. I would like to know when Bank Of America accepted the billions from the government where did the money go..definitely not helping the consumer.

I was asking to lower my rate to the current 4.25% that is being offered. I was on the phone with a rep from BOA who told me not to pay my mortgage, until I heard from someone at the company. I did not pay for 2 months & received a foreclosure notice from BOA. I was pretty pissed, so I called them & was treated very poorly like I was a bum. I tried to explain that the rep told me not to pay & she said that it was his advice, but should not have been said. I had asked to talk to the person handling my claim & was told that you could not speak to him. I would be contacted if more information was needed..if not by mail.

I received a form letter that is probably being sent out to thousands of people rejecting them w/ no reason or information. This is a travesty and just another Obama move that was temporarily satisfying, but implementation & oversight does not exist.

I would still like to know where the billions went????

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Hi Gary

We're an economics blog, so your complaint just is public for all who visit the site to read.

But...we believe you! We're heard many reports that the Hope program is this type of run around misinformation. It seems Banks can make more money in fees by foreclosing.

All I can say is consider posting far and wide, call your Congress rep. and to join forces with others who are receiving this treatment.

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BOA-Hope

Our future and credit is in complete chaos because of bank of america. They approached us with that HOPE program and we paid a reduced amount for about 4-5 months then they said we did not qualify (no reason given) and are currently calling us asking when we can make our payment of 10,900.00 that is "currently overdue". Reporting 5 months late mtg. payments to our credit.

Does anyone know of some type of action that can be taken? An agency or person that can help?

Thanks

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Hope programe

We have been trying to get our loan modified since last 2 and 1/2 years. No luck yet...Paid $2500 to attornies, mothing happened. After trying for twoand 1/2 years, and draining out our savings, now we are one month behind and BOA calls us every other day to pay the payment. Hope team is still telling us that our file is under review.........

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Bank Of America/HOPE

Bank Of America/HOPE Management:
I am a homeowner in the Tampa, FL area who was one of the many people directly affected by the downfall of the lending/mortgage industry as I used to be employed by First Magnus Financial, a private lender who declared bankruptcy overnight leaving myself, and 5,000+ employees without a job, health insurance, and owing me over $10,000 in commission that to date has yet to be paid, yet the private owners of that company made off with millions despite the fact that their debtors haven’t been paid.
Naturally I immediately looked for a new job, but to no avail. Eventually, I was offered a position for significantly less money, going from aprox. $10,000/mo in commission plus salary, to a $35,000/annually. That said, I never complained, never asked for a handout, and never ONCE missed a mortgage payment or HOA fees (even though it was extremely difficult to manage every month). A friend who is also a CPA, suggested I speak with my bank regarding my eligibility for one of the Home Loan Modification programs being offered, as he was of the mind that I would qualify based on several factors, 1.) that I lost my job as a Territory Sales Manager at a private lender 2.) that my mortgage payment was more than 38% of my salary 3.) because he knew how hard I was trying to keep my head above water. So I looked into it, at that time, I was told he did not qualify since I had never missed a payment and was not currently delinquent. This precedent makes absolutely no sense to me as it makes it difficult for people like myself who are trying to do the right thing by honoring my commitment and paying my mortgage , every month, on time, and if I did receive some help, I could than use some of the extra money to put back into the economy. Additionally, not helping individuals like myself and rather punishes those who have diligently been paying, and discourages us from continuing to do so, since any ‘break’ you may be able to get, can only be obtained by not making payments and finally, and most non-sensical, rewards people who unfortunately, in all likelihood, will lose their home anyway which than makes our homes worth even less when houses surrounding ours are in foreclosure or are unoccupied.
Finally, I was told the Government/Banks were catching on and there was several programs that might be available to me, despite my continued perfect pay history, however, I was warned by many as to what a nightmare the process was and how poorly run; and Bank of America and the HOPE program are a prime example of that. I called right away and after several lengthy and frustrating calls, and getting different information from everyone I spoke with, I was able to begin the process. I than received a package in the mail asking for a list of documents, which I provided and sent back via Fed-Ex, I checked in several weeks later to check on the status and was told our paperwork was never received, even though I had a Fed-Ex confirmation saying it was received and a name of the person who signed for the package. So I was sent a 2nd package, and again, I filled out all the necessary paperwork and included the requested documentation. Shortly after I received a letter stating our paperwork had still not been received ,and that if it was not received, I would no longer be eligible, the letter was dated the same day as the ‘due date’ that our paperwork was supposed to be received. When I called to inquire saying I had sent in the paperwork, AGAIN, and now had TWO fed-ex confirmations and signatures I was told that once again, our paperwork had not been received. At this point I was beyond frustrated and asked to speak with a manager or someone who could help us determine how I could move forward with the process when I was doing our part, and people on your end was not only NOT doing theirs, but was showing clear signs of laziness and incompetence that would never be tolerated at either of our offices, or quite frankly any organization other than a Government sponsored one. I sent our paperwork in a 3rd time, magically this time it was received but I was told that I had not included all the documentation that was necessary, even though I included everything that was on the list. I was informed that I should have been asked for this other paperwork the first time and that was an error on their part. So I sent in the additional documentation, which was received, and was told I would hear back in a few weeks as to the final determination.
Naturally, when I called to check in I was told a decision hadn’t been made, and then I received another Fed-Ex requiring…you guessed it…more information that had not been previously requested – first I was told I only needed to provide 2008 tax filing and a letter from the 2009 extension I received, I did this , and was than told that I needed to provide 2009 tax filing, so I rushed to file (even though I had an extension), and then the new Fed-Ex stated that I did not in fact need to provide the 2009 return as long as I provided a copy of the extension letter. Additionally, in this newest Fed-Ex I received someone else’s loan paperwork complete with their name, address, loan number, et etc – which as you must know, is illegal and strictly against the Federal Privacy Act.
Again, I never expected special treatment or a handout, and quite frankly am not surprised that as of today’s date August 25, 2010, the only thing I’ve heard was that I did not qualify because the HOPE/BOA clerks didn’t process the paper trail correctly, only to be told possibly that wasn’t the final outcome, and haven’t heard back since, even though I began this process in April…and from what I hear, this experience is shared by most. So I’m curious where all this relief money is going, because clearly it is not going to the aid of people who need it, who have earned it and who desperately need help and are struggling, yet continue to do their part day after day.

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HOPE-less Program

Bank Of America/HOPE Management:
I am a homeowner in the Tampa, FL area who was one of the many people directly affected by the downfall of the lending/mortgage industry as I used to be employed by First Magnus Financial, a private lender who declared bankruptcy overnight leaving myself, and 5,000+ employees without a job, health insurance, and owing me over $10,000 in commission that to date has yet to be paid, yet the private owners of that company made off with millions despite the fact that their debtors haven’t been paid.
Naturally I immediately looked for a new job, but to no avail. Eventually, I was offered a position for significantly less money, going from aprox. $10,000/mo in commission plus salary, to a $35,000/annually. That said, I never complained, never asked for a handout, and never ONCE missed a mortgage payment or HOA fees (even though it was extremely difficult to manage every month). A friend who is also a CPA, suggested I speak with my bank regarding my eligibility for one of the Home Loan Modification programs being offered, as he was of the mind that I would qualify based on several factors, 1.) that I lost my job as a Territory Sales Manager at a private lender 2.) that my mortgage payment was more than 38% of my salary 3.) because he knew how hard I was trying to keep my head above water. So I looked into it, at that time, I was told he did not qualify since I had never missed a payment and was not currently delinquent. This precedent makes absolutely no sense to me as it makes it difficult for people like myself who are trying to do the right thing by honoring my commitment and paying my mortgage , every month, on time, and if I did receive some help, I could than use some of the extra money to put back into the economy. Additionally, not helping individuals like myself and rather punishes those who have diligently been paying, and discourages us from continuing to do so, since any ‘break’ you may be able to get, can only be obtained by not making payments and finally, and most non-sensical, rewards people who unfortunately, in all likelihood, will lose their home anyway which than makes our homes worth even less when houses surrounding ours are in foreclosure or are unoccupied.
Finally, I was told the Government/Banks were catching on and there was several programs that might be available to me, despite my continued perfect pay history, however, I was warned by many as to what a nightmare the process was and how poorly run; and Bank of America and the HOPE program are a prime example of that. I called right away and after several lengthy and frustrating calls, and getting different information from everyone I spoke with, I was able to begin the process. I than received a package in the mail asking for a list of documents, which I provided and sent back via Fed-Ex, I checked in several weeks later to check on the status and was told our paperwork was never received, even though I had a Fed-Ex confirmation saying it was received and a name of the person who signed for the package. So I was sent a 2nd package, and again, I filled out all the necessary paperwork and included the requested documentation. Shortly after I received a letter stating our paperwork had still not been received ,and that if it was not received, I would no longer be eligible, the letter was dated the same day as the ‘due date’ that our paperwork was supposed to be received. When I called to inquire saying I had sent in the paperwork, AGAIN, and now had TWO fed-ex confirmations and signatures I was told that once again, our paperwork had not been received. At this point I was beyond frustrated and asked to speak with a manager or someone who could help us determine how I could move forward with the process when I was doing our part, and people on your end was not only NOT doing theirs, but was showing clear signs of laziness and incompetence that would never be tolerated at either of our offices, or quite frankly any organization other than a Government sponsored one. I sent our paperwork in a 3rd time, magically this time it was received but I was told that I had not included all the documentation that was necessary, even though I included everything that was on the list. I was informed that I should have been asked for this other paperwork the first time and that was an error on their part. So I sent in the additional documentation, which was received, and was told I would hear back in a few weeks as to the final determination.
Naturally, when I called to check in I was told a decision hadn’t been made, and then I received another Fed-Ex requiring…you guessed it…more information that had not been previously requested – first I was told I only needed to provide 2008 tax filing and a letter from the 2009 extension I received, I did this , and was than told that I needed to provide 2009 tax filing, so I rushed to file (even though I had an extension), and then the new Fed-Ex stated that I did not in fact need to provide the 2009 return as long as I provided a copy of the extension letter. Additionally, in this newest Fed-Ex I received someone else’s loan paperwork complete with their name, address, loan number, et etc – which as you must know, is illegal and strictly against the Federal Privacy Act.
Again, I never expected special treatment or a handout, and quite frankly am not surprised that as of today’s date August 25, 2010, the only thing I’ve heard was that I did not qualify because the HOPE/BOA clerks didn’t process the paper trail correctly, only to be told possibly that wasn’t the final outcome, and haven’t heard back since, even though I began this process in April…and from what I hear, this experience is shared by most. So I’m curious where all this relief money is going, because clearly it is not going to the aid of people who need it, who have earned it and who desperately need help and are struggling, yet continue to do their part day after day.

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Hope program

I am experiencing the same run arounds with this program as prior posts. I lost my job in 2009 and still cannot find f/t employment. I live in Oregon, one of the highest unemployment % states. I have never missed a mortgage payment or been late. I am running out of savings and have called BofA several times asking for temporary assistance to lower my monthly payment until I secure full time work. One BofA employee also told me not to stop paying my mortgage, which of course I did not do. He said I didn't quality for the program unless I missed payments. I began filling out the paperwork last April 2010 for the HOPE program. As of last week, my file is in "review".

So I agree, where did the stimulus money go for these homeowner assistance programs.

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BoA

I went through all that myself with B of A, I am in the program but really don't want the house anymore about a year ago the furnace blew up I am a disabled combat vet and was engaged when I bought it she since left and I have no money to replace the furnace and I don't need a 5 bedroom house. My credit cards are all in default and so I am walking away from the house in June of this year. Personally I could rent cheaper and have extra money after. B of A is a crappy company that was picketed against in the 1960's and 1970's for treating folks bad and somehow they managed to grow regardless. All the banks that were given government money spent it as they wished and none of them care about people. Also remember politician = people that get paid to lie cheat steal and take bribes so of course they help banks abd auto companies.

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