Homeowners Continue to Speak Out Against Mortgage Servicing Industry

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Our life experiences tailor and color our views on any particular subject.  It's these experiences, especially the traumatic or life-altering ones, that prompt many of us to speak out about them.  By sharing our personal stories, we shed light on the real problem.  We humanize it and expose the effects it has on our lives.   

Coleen Martinez is one of these people.  In response to the pending foreclosure of her home, she could have stayed quiet and swallowed the pain and injustice she had been handed.  Instead, she launched a website in an effort to join others struggling to make a difference in the largely unregulated world of mortgage servicing. Read Coleen's story below;

Guest Blogger: Coleen Martinez

I have always been a nonbeliever in the status-quo.  So when my husband and I failed in the sale of our first house, I just didn't accept the failure.

My husband and I thought we were doing everything right.  We rented throughout college.  We waited until my husband got a Ph.D. before we entered "the real world."  We watched House Hunters on HGTV and other similar shows.  We were convinced that we knew how to buy a house and when needed, how to sell a house.

So when the time came to sell our first house, we were unable to sell it for our loan payout amount.  We had so much confidence that if we did all the things we had seen on TV that we would have a quick sale.  We painted rooms, we de-cluttered, we added furniture to define rooms, we cleaned before each showing, we staged the house, and we even provided cookies and water for each showing.

After 2 weeks on the market we got an offer for roughly $20,000.00 below our loan payout amount.  We knew we were in trouble then.  But by this time we had already passed the point of no return.  My husband had already accepted his new job.  We had to leave; otherwise he would have lost his job. 

We kept up appearances with the house and paid over $200.00 a month to water the grass and landscape.  As the summer dragged on, the house remained unsold.  We had no choice; we had to stop paying the mortgage and ask for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or a short sale from PHH Mortgage.  We have spent one year trying to get PHH Mortgage to help us.  Our house will be sold in a foreclosure auction on August 31, 2009. 

I cried many times because of this situation.  We thought we had done everything right and we still found ourselves with everyone else in Foreclosure Land.  We had become delinquents.  And then we saw the stock market bust.  We saw Lehman Brothers fail and saw AIG get bailed out.  Then we saw all of Wall Street get a bail-out because they bought bad mortgages.  What we didn't see then and what we don't see now are any people on Main Street getting a bail-out.   

Well, this bail-out situation was simply unacceptable to me.  If one should get help, we all should get help.  I started writing Senators, Congressmen(women) and Candidate Obama about our personal situation.  At first, my representatives pretended to be interested and then eventually said that they couldn't help.  I've received that message a lot. 

At the beginning of 2009, I started Googling PHH Mortgage and found hundreds of complaints with a variety of subjects.  I knew at that moment that I was not alone and something had to be done to stop PHH Mortgage. 

I started blogging about my efforts with PHH Mortgage so I could remember action steps that I had taken and so I could keep track of articles related to PHH Mortgage.  I was surprised one day when I noticed my stats and saw that 20 people had visited my blog!  I had not told anyone about this blog so I was shocked that anyone had even found it.  

After I noticed that people were reading my blog, I was inspired to do more.  I recently opened my net more and am now attempting to create a community of disgruntled customers of mortgage servicers.  I believe that our strength against the mortgage industry will rely on the number of participants that we have participating in actions related to the cause.  You know the saying, "we have strength in numbers."  When we all unite to promote mortgage servicer regulation, our voices will be loud and clear.  I have seen 'green shoots' of progress but we need to do more.

Coleen Martinez 

You can support Coleen's efforts by visiting her blog here

The total lack of regulations and oversight in the mortgage servicing industry breeds fraud and corruption.  It seems the companies that handle our mortgage payments have in many cases single-handedly turned the American dream of homeownership into a personal nightmare for many unsuspecting homeowners. 

Since fair play, economic recovery and the greater good aren't reasons enough to deter fraud or abusive practices within the mortgage servicing industry, it's time we implement rules, regulations and oversight that will.  

Here's a link to a petition containing comments and sound reasons why all borrowers should have a right to receive a monthly mortgage statement -something the mortgage servicers continue to deny many of their customers.To not provide a statement to borrowers should in itself raise questions about why a servicer would want to keep a borrower in the dark about their account. A monthly statement can deter fraud and expose accounting errors before they grow too big to reverse.



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