Another day brings yet another desperate homeowner asking -"How can mortgage servicing companies get away with what they are doing? And why doesn't anyone care?"
I noted in today's SunSentinel's Editorial Blog -Talk Back South Florida --stories continue to pour in from homeowners desperate to find help and guidance when dealing with abusive or negligent mortgage servicing companies.
We feel that by writing about these corporate wrongs -it may help to right a few.
Here's Tammy's story -in her own words;
Amidst the foreclosure fiascos that are happening within our country and especially with Florida being one of the highest foreclosure states, how can our judicial system not understand and see what these mortgage servicing, debt collection - lawyer based companies - and lenders are doing to the hard working consumers that are vital to keeping our economy stimulated? And why are they not doing anything about it?
How many people have to be put in the streets before the government will do anything about this? When you have thousands and thousands of consumers that are being victimized, most in the same way, by a company, is that not enough to alert someone?
EMC Mortgage Servicing placed an escrow account on our non-escrow-ed mortgage. Not once - twice! Not only do I have one of their representatives on a recorded conversation with me stating that this foreclosure was in no way our fault, they also sent me the documentation that they had showing them that we did indeed have insurance. Yet, EMC chose to pay our insurance and charge us for their mistake. I noticed, the second time, right away. I immediately called EMC to get this taken care of, and every few weeks after that. It took them 11 months to figure out how they made the mistake. But, they didn't figure it out until I spent over 3 hours on the phone with their insurance department AFTER they served us with foreclosure papers. I tried for 11 months to have this escrow situation looked into. They did NOTHING!!! Except hand us foreclosure papers just a few days prior to Christmas. Not to mention that for those 11 months, I would make my regular monthly payments and explain to them that the payments were to be applied our mortgage payments, NOT the escrow account. Guess what? They applied the payments where ever they wanted. So, they actually started foreclosure proceedings on us when we weren't in default.
Oh yes, let's not forget their forbearance agreement that they urged me to sign (notice I said me - not us - as we were told that only one of us needed to sign this agreement). You know, the elevated monthly payments for 6 - 8 months, then applying for a loan modification, and finally 'possibly' they would be able to modify our loan however, they, of course, wouldn't agree if the modification could happen. Did I mention that within their forbearance agreement, we would have to pay EMC a balloon payment of $5,000? Well, I guess they forgot to explain that one to us during our many phone conversations.
I hired a lawyer and we submitted a notice to dismiss on the grounds that, somehow, Wells Fargo Bank entered into this foreclosure. What? Are you kidding me? Where & When did they take stock in my mortgage? I acquired the loan with SouthStar Funding in December 2006 and was told at the closing table that EMC would be servicing our mortgage. EMC is who we dealt with up until Florida Default Law Group sent us the foreclosure papers.
Since losing my job, I am now doing all of the research on my own. I can no longer afford a lawyer. And, we make just a mere $200 too much for legal aid. Yes, you read it correctly. Just a small $200 a month, gross, too much. I have contacted many lawyers throughout Florida in hopes that someone would be able to help us. I don't want it for free, just a little help. I have done so much of the research that my lawyer told me that I know more about foreclosures than some lawyers do.
This foreclosure has consumed my every being. My every breath that I breathe, my every waking minute of the day, all day, every day. I am scared to leave my home in fear that when I return all of our personal items will be on the street or worse yet, in a dumpster and taken away. I have, and still do, go through my depression times. I am mentally and physically wore out. Oh but, I will not quit fighting. It's not as though we quit making our payments. We didn't! THEY messed up our account, not us.
I have submitted my complaint to just about every government agency. More than once. I even fax my story to The White House nearly on a daily basis. Still nothing. The only response that I have gotten is, "We're sorry, but we don't have the jurisdiction to help you in this matter." Excuse me? Who does? So, I submit my complaint again. I figure they will either get tired of getting it everyday and actually look at it, or they will have someone to contact me to guide me in the right direction.
It's not enough for EMC to have destroyed our once 800+ credit score. Our credit cards have been shut off, our insurance premiums escalated, and we now have NO credit. We drive a 1993 (16 years old) full size Chevy van and a 1999 Buick LeSabre. Both vehicles have over 150,000 miles each. I am not ashamed to drive either vehicle. If one breaks down, we are then without a vehicle. We won't even qualify for a loan.
I guess this really hit me when I had to fly to Ohio as my dad took ill and was hospitalized. I had to borrow the money for that. When my dad passed away 3 weeks later, my husband was unable to attend. At a time when I, and my family, needed him most, he couldn't make the trip. Not because of his job, but because, as stated earlier, our credit cards were cut off. We had no way of purchasing a plane ticket and he couldn't drive the 16 hours to Ohio in fear that something would go wrong with the car on the way and have no way to pay for repairs. I guess all I have to say to EMC is Thank You for destroying us.
For anyone who is being victimized by EMC, or any other lender or mortgage servicing company, please, COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN, AND COMPLAIN AGAIN. Keep complaining until your story is heard. Then, complain some more. Just because they are big companies gives them no right to harass us and turn our lives upside down. We are hard working Americans and we need to be heard. I am even considering going to Washington D.C. and telling my story. I just need to know how and who to speak to. And, I am open for any legal help that someone may be able to forward to me.
How many families have to be a victim of this crime before the government steps in and investigates? What is their magical number of victims?