Where's the Justice? EMC Mortgage Servicing Madness turns Homeowner to Activism

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American Consumers vs. Lawyers, Foreclosure Mills, and our Judicial System
  How EMC, FDLG and mortgage servicing madness altered my life -forever.
By Guest Blogger: Tammy Cothran ...

I am a hard working American, born and raised in this great country; a country that prides itself on having a wealth of opportunities for anyone. Yet, where I stand now, I have no control of my future because of the illegal and fraudulent ways of others. Abusive and illegal practices that the government seems to have knowledge of yet chooses to ignore.

I have posted my story on several internet blogs, have gathered endless amounts off information, and after finding countless others with similar stories as mine, I have renewed faith in "help thy neighbor" and began voicing my concerns and outrage over what's happening to innocent homeowners. I have been to our state's capital to tell my story to a senator, a house representative, and Governor Charlie Crist. I speak on the telephone with others and exchange information and ideas. I complain! I complain! I complain! I have become an activist fighting to stop abusive, illegal and fraudulent practices leveled at the American public.

My name is Tammy Cothran, and this is my view on the mortgage and foreclosure crises -and how it has changed my life, forever; 

For most consumers The 'American Dream' has now become the 'American Nightmare'.  It is no secret that the housing bubble era, going back to as early as 2000, grew significantly in just few years. This growth was fueled by investors who were looking for a place to put their cash they had pulled from the declining stock market. Many began investing in the popular mortgage backed securities, also known as toxic loans. Therefore, lenders loosened their standards to appeal to a wider array of consumers. They began to lower their qualifications for obtaining a mortgage by allowing those with less than perfect credit to obtain one. The lenders became very creative with their services by adding such enticing proposals that included offers to obtain a mortgage with little or no money down, time constrained fixed rate loans (usually 5 to 10 years), lower interest rates, two or three mortgages per property, and not requiring borrowers to verify their incomes (a.k.a. "No Doc Loans").

This trend worked its way to the real estate agents, the mortgage brokers and lenders, and the real estate appraisers in 2005. One entity had to feed off the other to become successful, even if only for a temporary self-sufficient elation. Although most believed this bubble would last for a few years, very few thought through the ramifications in the event of an early burst. Yet the knowledgeable Wall Street players, large lending institutes, and lawyers were already planning for the inevitable. They knew the housing market would crash, they just did not know when that crash would happen. Many believed, as in years past, the housing market would remain on an incline for several more years. That is, a few more years for investors and the like to grow their riches from unsuspecting consumers.

Real estate agents were offering incentives to buyers. Appraisers were over stating the value of a home. Mortgage brokers were becoming extremely creative in configuring loan packages. And lenders were qualifying borrowers with little or no credit, money, or suitable employment, hence the subprime loan. Homes were not on the market long enough for the ink on the sales flyer to dry when they were being sold. Consumers were purchasing three and four properties, most were unfinished homes, in the hope of 'flipping' each one for a huge profit. After all, with the price of homes rising on a daily basis, how could you go wrong with buying a home with just a few dollars as an Earnest Money Deposit and putting it right back on the market within a few days at a higher price then you purchased it?

What many did not know or realize was with each mortgage loan that was acquired; those loans were put in a 'pool' (let me point out that most of the small lending companies are now closed down, whether their demise was caused by illegal activity or simply closing their doors with no advanced warning, not even to their employees) and sold to investors from around the world. The investor(s) may have been large corporations or your next door neighbor. It is difficult to find the person or company that may own your loan. Of course, the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) states that they were regulating all of the pooled loans, yet nobody seems to know just who it is that own these loans. (This also raises the question as to who has and where is my personal identification information.) As these were immediately sold, usually prior to your signing of the closing documents, the servicing of the loan was assigned to a mortgage servicer. In our case, it was EMC Mortgage Servicing - owned by Bear Stearns.

This circle kept going around and around until the day the government chose to bail out Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers. Only to be followed by another bailout of AIG. This $700 billion bailout has grown, at the latter part of 2008, to an estimated $8.5 trillion. Why would the government want to bailout two of the largest lending associated companies? Because Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke convinced the Senate Banking Committee that if the bailout did not happen quickly, within hours, the United States of America would no longer have a profiting financial economy. It was stated that if the committee did not agree to the bailout of Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns, we, as Americans, would no longer have a financial stake in the world. In essence, they were, in my opinion, trying a scare tactic with the government. And it worked. Bear Stearns was rescued by the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve then agreed to a 'stock swap' with JP Morgan Chase for a mere $2 a share when just less than a couple of weeks prior, Bear Stearns stock was exchanging for more than $171 a share.

The intention of the government bailout was to help stimulate the economy and avoid the collapse of the housing bubble. This was also promised as a preventative measure aimed towards preventing the severe destruction of the consumer's personal credit. One problem; it backfired on the government and the law makers. It appears to have only helped the large banking institutions by way of allowing their executives to pocket a more lucrative rate of pay and did little to nothing to prevent harm to the consumers. The local, state, and federal governments are inundated with powerful lobbyists targeting Senators, House Representative, and those at our State's and Nation's Capitals. There are many lobbyists readily available to pitch their 'reasons' to our law makers as to why the bailout was crucial and why they should not be held accountable for the amount they received. These lobbyists are also extremely powerful in ways that allow our elected officials to put the consumers on the end of a rope with not even a knot to hold on to through their contributions to the law maker's campaigns.

Who is speaking for all the wronged consumers?

Florida's law makers recently brought to the table a bill that would reverse the judicial allowances of foreclosure. At this present time, Florida is a judicial state. Meaning, if you are facing a foreclosure, you, as a consumer, have the constitutional right to a fair hearing and/or trial within our court system to state your case concerning the reason why foreclosure should not take place. By changing this law to a non-judicial state, it would change the constitutional right of the consumer. The bill would essentially allow foreclosure mills, lawyers, and lending institutions the right to foreclose on your property without allowing you your right to due legal process. How can this happen? Why would they want to take our constitutional rights away from us?

The banking industry is proclaiming that by allowing the large amount of homes on the market that are in foreclosure, for which most have been abandoned, is stalling the economy. If the courts could allow a foreclosure to take place without giving the consumer and/or homeowner their rights to fight the foreclosure, this would allow the empty homes to be sold, therefore, stimulating the economy. There is a catch to this; the consumer would still have the right to their day in court, for a fee of course. Makes sense, right? Of course it does. However, like most others in the same situation as myself, my problem is not the issue of the abandoned homes; it is the issue of MY constitutional rights. Our nation's constitution was written for the people to protect the people. Not the greedy CEO's and government officials of our land.

President Obama has tried to help by initiating programs to help the consumers who are at risk of default or are already in default. These programs, again, funneled money to the banking industries. They were given extra money, on top of the money already received through the bailout in 2008, to assist homeowners with revised loans, forbearance agreements, and several other options. The problem with these programs are the mortgage servicing companies, who have had the loans from the time of the closing, are not legally allowed to lend money or renegotiate loan terms due to the Truth in Lending laws. Then why were they given extra money? No one seems to be able to answer this question. Consumers are eagerly submitting, at the request of the servicers, document after document after document to the servicers in hopes of having to ward off a foreclosure and to keep their credit scores within a good range. The homeowner is doing what they feel is the correct moral and ethical thing to do; avoiding a dire situation with proactive initiatives.

How many times should you have to submit your papers only to be told they (the servicer/lender) did not receive them or they are working on the modification or some other reason why the servicer is stalling?

There are millions of scared homeowners that keep sending and calling and sending and calling, in hopes that their loans can be adjusted, if only for a short amount of time - time that would allow them to stay in their homes, and not on the streets, until they are able to reformulate their own finances. This eventually ends in heartbreak and frustration on the homeowner's part. They are eventually told, after many months, they don't qualify for a program for one reason or another. They are now back to square one; scared, mad, mentally frustrated, and physically drained with no hope within the near future. By now, most simply do give up and leave their property that they have worked hard for and are proud of.

This is when most people would simply give up. They walk away from their homes and allow that home to sit empty until it goes on the auction block. They picked up what was left of their sane lives and moved on. They moved on to what was to be a fresh start, no matter what the past had delivered to them. And, they thought they prevailed. Within a couple of years, these unsuspecting previous homeowners are sought out by the original lender and the process starts all over again. Yes, it is true. The original lender can, and will, hold you to the loan amount in which they approved for your home purchase. And you are liable for it. Remember, the foreclosure mills and servicing companies have no real stake in your loan since they do not have the original documents.

Most people mistakenly judge those of us who are in foreclosure as being lazy, buying more than we could handle, or simply feel as though we should no longer pay on a house that has declined considerably in value. However, these people don't know our story. Yes, mine is a story. It started as a situation and has become a way of life for us. I do not doubt that there are some that bought more than they could pay for, lied on loan applications, or simply did get lazy and gave up. And there are those that truly have been hit with a hard situation - loss of a job, health reasons, etc. But, my husband and I are not one of those consumers.

At the closing table in December 2006, we were informed that EMC Mortgage Servicing was the company in which we were to make all mortgage payments to. We hadn't even made our first payment when I noticed that EMC had billed us for escrow payments (homeowners insurance and property taxes). I knew this was inaccurate as we had not established an escrow account and our paperwork documented that. When I called to inform them of the incorrect bill, I was shocked to learn that I was liable for the billed charges until the matter could be corrected. And that of course could take 60 - 90 days. The overcharged amount was nearly $500. I was told by EMC the closing documents they received didn't show we were set up on a non-escrow loan. This was quickly corrected after sending documents to them four times. All was well until January 2008. I, again, noticed we were being charged for escrow. I called EMC several times each month after that to rectify this charge. I was promised a call from a representative when the situation was corrected and also promised that my mortgage payments would be applied correctly. So, all was well until six days prior to Christmas 2008 (11 months after the discovery). We were served with foreclosure papers.

I called EMC the following day and spoke with their insurance department. They finally explained what happened. And remarkably, they informed me that although I did not cause this situation, unfortunately, we would have to pay the price for it! Wow, what a shock. Luckily I was given permission to record this conversation. They suggested a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure or a short sale. In doing either we would have been given a tax form 1099 for the balance of the debt that was forgiven. And all the while, the lender can claim that unpaid balance on an insurance policy. Isn't that 'double dipping'?

We were sent a forbearance agreement. At our lawyer's advice, we declined to accept it due to an unexplainable 'balloon payment' requiring us to pay nearly $5,000 in six months. EMC would call us daily to harass us about the forbearance. Those calls finally stopped and they declined our payment and sent it back to us.

This is when my investigating skills were sharpened. I have looked deep into the mortgage crisis only to be astounded by what I learned and the lack of remedy for it.  In the process of my personal investigations, I began to become angrier than I had ever been. I realized that we were jilted by the American Dream and the greed of the industry. These feelings quickly turned into a 'don't mess with me' attitude.

We filed for a dismissal due to the fact that (and this is tied to the securities bundles) we were being sued by a bank that was in no way associated with our loan. Our original loan was approved by a company that is no longer in business, we have been sending our payments to EMC Mortgage Servicing, the legal papers are being sent by Florida Default Law Group, but we are being sued by Wells Fargo Bank.

Where, when, and how did Wells Fargo Bank obtain the rights to our home?

These 'legal' documents were, and still are, being produced by a foreclosure mill; one of Florida's largest mills, Florida Default Law Group.

As the court date got closer and my endless hours on the computer were coming together, I filed for two things from EMC Mortgage Servicing and Florida Default Law Group. The most important thing I wanted to see was the Original Blue Inked Signature Note for which FDLG states they have possession of. Well sort of: they did ask the courts to re-instate the note as the original note was not in their possession due to loss or misplacement. Huh? How can you threaten to take our home when you have NO rights to it? You do not have the original paperwork nor do you have anything showing that WE owe YOU. I also requested a complete and true copy of our account history. I got a copy of 'something', I just am not sure it is true and correct. As a matter of fact, I am not sure an accountant could decipher what it is.

Luckily the judge sided with us, temporarily, concerning the original documentation.

Could it have been due to the fact that I 'accidentally' stated during the hearing the conversation that I have recorded? Maybe - maybe not. There is a chance that the judge truly will not be bullied by the foreclosure mills and the lending institutions, and will adhere to the laws of our land.

The judge informed FDLG that they must produce the original paperwork in his office within 15 days. That was July 2009. To date we have not heard a thing concerning our case, but we have had daily collections calls - sometimes more than once daily - from the servicers in an attempt to bully us with harsh tactics and fraudulent documents. These customer service reps truly need a lesson in the power of positive and friendly speaking. Don't threaten me, please - that only make me more determined to not succumb to your tactics.

I have spent the last year and half, almost on a daily basis, researching and gathering my own ammunition for when that day will come that we must stand in front of a judge and state our case as to why/how EMC or FDLG has produced fraudulent documents and foreclosed on us illegally. After all, we were current in our payments. So why did EMC decide to foreclose on us?

I have realized that lenders and servicers make more money by causing loans to go into default. There are legal fees, late fees, administration fees, fees for this, and fees for that. Therefore, the servicers make more money from you (for their pockets) if you are in default than from those that make their payments on time.

There are several ways we can break free from the wrongful stigma and undue stress caused by this foreclosure. We could walk away with our heads down and be defeated, we could file bankruptcy, or we could easily give in to them and do as they say. But why should we? After all, we didn't cause it. I live on principles and have always fought for the principle as I see to be correct. I can not, and will not, allow someone to destroy me for the lack of their legal, ethical, or moral standards, or to simply line their already bulging pockets. Yes, this fight comes at a price. We live in fear of them coming into our home and putting our belongings in a dumpster when we are not here. We have fought amongst ourselves, blamed each other for what happened, questioned our personal integrity, spent many sleepless nights by tossing and turning, and suffered the destruction of our once exceptionally great credit rating. Our health has declined due to the stress of this.

But I will not give in to their threats. I have found fraud laced throughout their documents. Oh, but this is the new trend of these foreclosure mills and unethical lawyers. It doesn't take much time to do a simple research on the internet to show the ways in which these companies are operating. The key is to stay one step ahead of them. And I am doing just that. I have an entourage of online and internet blog site buddies. We must help one another and look after one another. After all, no one else is.

Complaining to our government fell on deaf ears. I didn't complain just one or two times, I complained all the time (so much so that it literally consumed my every breath). Local, state, federal, and any other office I could find. I faxed the White House daily for nearly 5 weeks. Finally I received a response - they sent my story to another agency. That turned out to be a bust. So, I complained again and again. Why? Because if I don't do it - who will? I have to fight the good fight, the legal fight, and continue to fight for my rights and the rights of others.

Ever wonder why we now live in a world where Certified Fraud Examiners are making a lucrative living? What has happened to the laws of our land, our morals, and our ethics? Have we become such an arrogant society that we must literally cut the throat of our neighbor to have one thing more than him? Is it okay to steal from someone to better yourself? Oh how the questions could continue.

The tides are turning. The lending/servicing companies, their lawyers, the foreclosure mills, and their constituents may have started with a ripple, but the consumers are now playing the game with them. There is now a surge of honest Americans that will no longer allow these people to drown them with their ways. They are allowing their voices to be heard with a loud roar.

As I said in the beginning, I am a hard working American, born and raised in this great country; a country of which boasts with opportunities for anyone. Yet, it's been a horrible wake-up call to learn that innocent lives are being turned-upside down due to the illegal and fraudulent ways of others. I speak on the telephone with others and exchange information and ideas. I complain! I complain! I complain! I have become an activist who wants to find effective change. And I hope you do too.

Tammy Cothran

For more info about mortgage servicing complaints see earlier blogs.

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Tammy, I'm in the fight also. I live in Georgia and I've been fighting with One West Bank formerly Indymac Bank that took me on a roller coaster ride for a modification only to deny me in the end and give me a modification to increase my mortgage payment. Yes, I said increase. because of their accounting error that they refused to fix. In the end I've been told that my Investor does not participate with the HAMP program. My home has decreased in value and like you said no one listens. I'm a part of Atlanta Fighting Foreclosure Coalition and have spoken at the Capital and on some local underground radio stations so I'm still fighting too. You just encouraged me so much, I've only been doing this for less than a year. You really are a trooper and true inspiration. I pray for your strength to keep going.
Adriane in Atlanta

Wow! Thank you so much Adriane for the inspirational comment. I always felt as though I was fighting this battle on my own, but have recently realized that we the people will NO longer accept 'their' terms and we are fighting back.

That is what this all about. As I stated - no one is listening to us therefore, we WILL make sure that they hear us!

Hang in there, you are fighting a good fight - not only for you personally, but for everyone else who is not.

Denise can give you my email if you wish. I, too, have considered starting a local group for those that are in the same situation as you and I.

Remember, keep telling your story to everyone. And if they don't want to listen, tell it to them more than once!!

Keep in touch.

Again, thank you for your great comment. I am glad to help anyone I can.



Thanks for your insights into causes of the recession, for sharing your incredible story, and for fighting the oppressors. I'll print and re-read it with a highlighter.

As Communications Director of Homeowners of Texas, I share your grief and your fight. HOT is a nonprofit consumer advocacy working to enact legislative reforms that ensure Texas contractors, insurance companies, lenders, service providers, and taxing authorities operate on a level playing field with Texas homeowners. Are you active in any similar group in Florida?

I do believe that laws in our state are even worse than in Florida in matters concerning homeowners. An HOA recently foreclosed on the home of a soldier deployed to Iraq and sold his $300,000 home for $3,500. Texas doesn't license or regulate builders and treats builder fraud as civil contract disputes, with no way to go to court. Disputes are forced into binding arbitration.

I suggest reading two relatively short white papers that I wrote. One is on my Rapid Fire closing experience when doing a re-fi. The other ties Texas Homebuilding to the Global Recession.



I will most definetly read these articles that you have forwarded.

I do not know of any advocacy groups in my area, actually, I can not even find a good Foreclosure Defense Attorney in my area (the closest ones are in Tallahassee and that is nearly 3 hours away). All of them want you to file for bankruptcy and, as stated in my article, I will NOT do that.

This article is just a small fraction of my story (it is a mess in all aspects - he said, she said, so & so did it not us, etc). Of course I was stunned in the beginning, then embarrassed, then frightened, then mad, etc. etc. etc. I am now to the point of activism. And, I have fraud from the very beginning - the appraisal!

I read daily of NEW stories from others in this country that are going through the same situation of the fraud and abuse. These new stories are so recent and the government has been informed and shown these fraudulent ways and the abusive practices, yet the government refuses to do anything about it - so, everyday there are thousands of more innocent victims finding their way onto sites such as this to tell their stories.

The consumers have absolutely NO help from anyone other than US! That's it, just us. We have become 'a tight knit community' and we are growing in strength.

Should you need any other information (I have plenty saved on my computer), I will be more than glad to send to you. Denise can forward my email to you if you would like.

Keep up the great work that you have done!!!!



Thank you for sharing your story. Your findings have refueled some previous suspicions I had about our first mortgage servicer, Aurora Loan Services, Inc.

My husband and I purchased our home in July 2002. For 7-and-a -half years we worked hard to pay our mortgage on time, in full, every month. However, our hard work is turning into a heartbreak.

Yes, we do have two mortgages. The second (coincidentally serviced by EMC Mortgage) was taken out in August 2005 to help us finish paying off other debt so that we could make larger payments to a federal student loan servicer who refused to give us income sensitive payments. (You don't want to get me started on the headache of dealing with banks which service federal student loans.) The re-finance actually lowered our overall mortgage payments and freed up more than $750 dollars of our income. However, in February 2006, just six months after the refinance, my husband was down-sized from his job. And this was just the beginning.

In October of 2007, my husband was again laid-off when the local office he was working in (the company was a national company) could no longer hold its own ground. Two months later he obtained a new job with a great company. The pay and benefits were more tha enough to meet our needs, but then the recession hit, and the money suddenly didn't "stretch" as far as it use to. Finally, in December of 2009 my husband was laid-off again: the company began to go under. That was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Up until December 2009, we had never made a mortgage payment late, let alone miss one altogether. This is where things become strange.

In November, we were contacted by Aurora Loans about the possibility of doing a loan modification. When I look back now, this seems odd, because at that point our loan was in excellent standing. Why did they offer us a modification??

Well, when we refinanced, because we still owed so much on our student loans, we were given no better option than a five year interest only fixed rate, due to go into an ARM in September of this year. At the time we didn't worry, beacause we were planning on selling in five years anyway. However, we were not planning on 3 job layoffs in less than four years and a recession. Who did?

In early 2008, we found ourselves underwater due to the already high number of short sales in our area. So we began looking for solutions. When Aurora Loans offered us a modification, it seemed our last hope. So we signed on.

When my husband contacted Aurora Loans on December sixth with questions about the loan modification paperwork, the representative informed him that as part of the program we could opt to skip the first reduced payment. However, we had already made the payment. But that was okay, we could skip January's payment instead! After discussing the options we discovered a clause in the contract which stated that all payments must be made in full during the review process. So my husband contacted Aurora Loans and questioned that if this was stated in the contract, then how could we could skip a payment? However, he was again told that as part of the program we were allowed to skip a payment. This was repeated again when, on December 15, my husband called to inform Aurora Loans that he had lost his job. No problem, right? We could still skip January's payment, and the job loss would not change our being considered for loan modification. So we skipped January's payment, on account that we now needed to reserve as much money as we could, and continued paying the scheduled reduced payment in February.

In mid-March we received a letter from Aurora Loans stating that our mortgage was deliquent, and if we did not submit a payment totalling more than $2,000, they would begin foreclosure proceedings. WHAT??

My husband called Aurora Loans the next day and was told that the letter was an error caused by the fact that the Loan Modification department and the Billing department computer systems were not connected. He was assured that all was well, and we were still being considered for a loan modification. She said that we would continue receiving letters every two weeks, and just call them when we do to keep their info updated.

Two weeks later another letter arrived. My husband called again and this time was told that we were receiving the letters because we had missed a payment...in January. He was told that skipping a payment at the start of the modification process was, and had never been, allowed: we must have misunderstood. My husband argued that he could not have misunderstood such a thing during three different phone calls, and requested an answer for the seemingly lack of knowledge on the behalf of their customer representatives. It was implied to him that others had called with the same complaint. He was told that, although we had broken our loan modification contract, that the missed payment would be forgiven and we would still be considered for a modification.

However, my husband and I no longer felt as though we could trust what Aurora Loans representatives said. So he called again to "double-check" the info. This time we had violated our contract and were no longer being considered for loan modification. It was again implied that other customers had been given the same misinformation. The missed payment would be forgiven. However, if we did not immediately pay back the difference between the full payment and the reduced payment we were given for the loan modification , foreclosure would begin. Great! Yet another answer which was inconsistent with the answers we were given previously! What was wrong with these people?

The following day my husband made another phone call, this time to a supervisor, who told my husband the that we had missed a payment, therefore violating our loan modification contract. We would not be considered for a loan modification, and both the missed payment and the difference between the full and reduced payment were due May 31, or foreclosure was inevitable. The supervisor also refused to recognize any blame on the part of Aurora Loans.

Problem! My husband was still unemployed and our family was living off of UI benefits and public assistance. Bring our account current? Which bank should we rob first?

We were informed that nothing more could be done for us until my husband found re-employment.

It is also important to note that during this time, all records of the contact we had made with them in December, could not be found on their computer. How convenient for them.

At this point I began to question: Are Aurora Loans representatives really that poorly trained, or had the whole thing been set up to cause us to default on our mortgage loan because Aurora Loans stood to benefit more from our apparent "negligence" than they did from our making our payments on time, in full, every month?

Since then my husband has found re-employment... 100 miles north (we reside in Colorado Springs, he works in downtown Denver.) We decided to sell the house through HAFA, which we were told, by Aurora Loans we qualified for. This last Thursday we found out, via our agent, that we did not qualify for the short sale on account of our income to housing ratio being below 31%. We had been aware that HAMP, which you need to be turned down for in order to qualify for HAFA, had the income to housing ratio requirement. When we questioned Aurora Loan services if the ratio also applied to HAFA, we were told it did not. Yet another piece of misinformation they gave us.

Unfortunately, our situation will probably have to be resolved through bankruptcy. My husband is employed, but grossly underemployed now, and our mortgage is not the only debt we cannot afford to make full payments on. Unfortunately, recurrent job loss put us back into bad debt (car repairs and medical bills--we have multiple chronic illnesses in our family and a special needs child.) We could borrow the money needed to bring our mortgage current from a family member, however there is still the ARM, and we no longer trust Aurora Loans modification program, nor anything else they have to offer.

What makes me the angriest, besides their dishonesty, is the fact that, if they had told my husband on December 15 that his job loss disqualified us for a modification, we would have, despite the job loss, continued to make our full monthly payments, on time, every month. This is our home, and we need it. Our family would have helped us with any other expenses we couldn't afford.

Maybe this is a good thing. Now we can be rid of our dishonest, back-biting mortgage service company.

But still, it's OUR HOME.

I hope your situation works out for you. I'll say a prayer for you tonight.

Dear Tammy,
Thanks for sharing your story, it echos mine. Last week was my one year annivesary when my legal battle began fighting GMAC who sold my home in a foreclosure sale.

I was successfully able to keep the sale from being ratified and while it took an entire month of searching for a qualified experienced knowledgable lawyer to take my case (there are many who know nothing about stopping a sale or what exceptions to sale is). I was determined with every last ounce and fiber of my life I was going to fight back.

What the banking industry is doing is completely intentional and criminal while they are abusing their powers and preying on thousands of homeowners who are too naive or as you mentioned to beaten down to fight back. We need to educate the homeowners as to what their rights are and to equip them with the tools to fight.

I like you gave testimony in my State before 2 committees, Delegate and Congress, in support of the Foreclosure Mediation Bill that was just passed in my State of Maryland in May. And my case was just pulled to the Highest Court, Court of Appeals that will set a new precedent for this Law that is to take effect at the end of June.

My State is the first in the country to actually pass a law to shut the banks down, not one bank can go into foreclosure without proof of meeting with the homeowners and the burden is now on the banks to prove they offered viable means to help the homeowner save their home.

The banks will do everything to destroy the homeowner, it is the most evil thing I have ever seen having been subjected to their abuse of power. Every request I made with GMAC prior to the sale of my home was a PROTECTED RIGHT intended to protect the equity in my home afforded to me by the Federal Dept of HUD for a FHA loan. GMAC forfeitted my equity of over $225,000 and I felt more than violated....Rape is the word.

Like you, I got angry and the more I discovered the more I realized that lives/families/emotional and mental health/dreams and homes were being intentionally destroyed and the economy crippled by such horrendous acts. Everything you wrote about is TRUE. I have been fortunate enough to have some press coverage in my state but not one news agency would say GMAC.

When I gave testimony in Annapolis, MD, Bank of America was the actual worst bank on the list of offenders and thank God politicians were saying so. Presently my boyfriend has been lied to with lost loan modification applications, stalling, and the repetitious request for more information already provided, etc...over his loan that was previously a CountryWide loan and this has been ongoing for over a 1 1/2 years.

We need to be in touch as I have some new ideas that I believe should go to the US Congress...I'd like to compare notes with the rest of the pack across the country as I am ready to head up things in my state. I am UP IN ARMS and ready to go with everyone. Let's tackle the constitutional rights and take it organized to the TOP.

Sonja Bates
PS I am so glad I found you as those of us who are fighting are sisters for a greater good...we will lose more than our homes if our country doesnt wake up and stop the monster of sheer corruption and greed.

Hi Adriane,
I just wrote to Tammy and we all have strong common ground. I believe we should unite and go to Oprah or Larry King or Lou Dobbs with our stories. Let's try to find a way to communicate and get in touch. I believe part of the fight is to find as many other stories to bring overwhelming evidence and to file class action lawsuits. But it means we have to be heard and have to find others to join us in the fight.

If our stories can be covered with the media then we can get the message out there. We need to encourage others even those who lost their homes, as in some cases may be able to recover them if they were illegally foreclosed on. Banks must follow protocol and no one enforces it, until it is challenged in the legal system. The burden of challenge falls unfairly on the homeowner and the court system is intimidating to most.

Many don't even know that their protected rights were violated as banks refuse to acknowlege that options exist. And many aren't aware that mortgage servicers can't approve or give loan modifications. Time to stop and expose lies and dirty banking industry practices.

Looking forward to hearing from everyone,
Hugs to all those out there who feel hopeless and alone, keep the faith and fight for the righteous and those who can't because they are too weak,
Sonja Bates

Hi Christie,
The details of your story sound so familiar. I took my complaint to my state Dept of Labor Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) which every state has to investigate GMAC.

My written complaint required immediate action to be taken by a Financial Examiner. By making a written complaint along with documentation, including all your phone records highlighting the numerous times and dates you called prove your communication with your bank/loan servicer. The bank must answer to all your allegations/complaints and show their documented responses that is supposed to a combination of either verbal recordings and written notes on conversations by phone.

By making my complaint against GMAC I was able to find some of the proof of my conversation buried in their 4 page response to the DLLR and it was included as evidence in my case against my lender. You can do the same and so can Tammy and everyone else.

Banks have to make an accounting to the state they are licensed in, this was the first move I made prior to finding a lawyer. If you have all the paperwork and dates when you sent in your loan modification paperwork, you also have other defenses or evidence of their misconduct.

I hope we all can be in touch.
Sonja Bates in MD

Wow Tammy,
I have been a Charlotte, NC Realtor for over 10 years, yes things were good at times. Not all of us were bad or unethical. I remember when I first was licensed and a mortgage broker tried to get me into some deal where he would get a kickback. I RAN and he is under house arrest today. Now since the big bail out, I have heard this same story over and over but reading yours in print really hit home to me. I think as we have the freedom of speech in America, we should all shout this problem out and find a solution to this big mess. What is going on STILL is not right. Yes, I can help with a short sale and took all the education classes (CDPE etc)on it but who does that benefit?

I just got off the phone with yet another old friend in the same situation with a mortgage servicing company (EMC)that is tacking on another 20k for their fees. I almost feel enabling to negotiate with the servicing companies when they are in fact not doing the right thing but just creating a bigger mess!

Great Post and keep on blogging, shouting, and spreading the word!


I have a lengthy and similar story. I have chosen to countersue for wrongful foreclosure. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has had success, or even attempted to sue EMC.


I have been fighting the same battle and I'm mentally exhausted! I originally started the modification process in June 2009. I have sent documents EVERY month since. I received a letter from EMC Mortgage a couple of weeks ago saying I had breached my contract because I had not sent in the documents requested. I received papers from an attorney trying to collect on their behalf, so I called EMC and they told me that if I sent in the documents requested, they would start the modification process over again. And that they were doing me a favor by accepting my application (for the second time). Really? Seriously?!? How generous of you, to do that for me!!! I'm calling them back on Monday, to make sure they have received my documents for the 100th time, and if they don't have my documents, I will be purchasing me a ticket to Colorado, so that I can hand deliver them, where I will proceed to put someone in a headlock until my documents are in that DAMN COMPUTER!!!! I'm BEYOND mad...!!!

Thank you for this story. We have been running around in circles with EMC for more than 2 years with forebearance agreements and promised "Loan Modifications" to come. Over and over we have made "trial payments", "down payments", etc... along with all documentation they have required only to have them take our money and never follow through with their promises of a new and fair payment plan. We have no clue where our payments were posted to. Furthermore, EMC has never provided us with a detailed payment history. I believe they are clueless. We are frustrated to say the least.

As of last month, EMC sold our loan servicing to another company and they proceeded with sending our home to foreclosure sale based on fraudulent financial information transferred from EMC to our new servicer. This was after we made a phone call prior to the sale date of our home to the new servicing company inquiring if they were going to follow through with the sale since they were the new servicers of our loan. A representative in their loss mitigation department told us there was no sale date posted in their computer and to get back with them with financial information to work out a loan modification. We did so....only 3 days too late! Our home went to sale! I'm not sure if they flat out lied to us or if their computers weren't up to date but this is not right!

We have since written a letter to the attorneys who represent these firms to state our case. EMC kept our loan in default on purpose to make more money on multiple types of fees, late penalties, etc... There are MANY horror stories of this happening all over the internet. We intend to fight for our home until the end! My first phone call in the A.M. is to an attorney who handles wrongful foreclosures.

Thanks and keep the word out!

I had a life altering accident and my husband has been without work for 8 months now.This is a nightmare that can't be happening to me. EMC Mortgage has been giving me the run around since August, 2009. I actually had someone from their office tell me unless I got behind in payments they wouldn't help me. What a fool I am. I just received a notification sent regular mail that they intend to foreclose in 32 days unless I can get approved for a modification. I called them and they said it was just a computer generated letter and not to worry about it. Ha! Four complete packages later, over 100 phone calls and many sleepless nights, don't know where to turn to. Can anyone advise or help me?

I have been going thru the same thing and it is emotionally traumatic and hard to trust anyone. They are regulated by Office of Thrift Supervision (supposed to respond by July) and filed complaint with HUD (since August still waiting for paperwork. Everhome never gave me full credit ... took over mortgage May 2006.

Jan. 2010 balance was 4238 - have paid 4800. Everhome put 2000 to principal; rest to escrow (statements I never see). RESPA is legal request and HUD tells me they don't have to answer while house in foreclosure. Court has no foreclosure docs., and Everhome refuses to tell me where payments are as they have since they took over. My tax/insurance is 3100. (they want 5400.) -- won't cancel PMI, late fees when not late -- claimed to put 1300 in my escrow and said never want my escrow to be below 1300 (last 3 years of loan crooks). After that claim escrow was -1500 (taxes went up by 220. year; they went up over 100. mo.) after I asked for modification after being laid off.

File complaints with FL-BBB and scan and email everything to them. They lie about everything. In MD there is new law that they have to work with you. Everhome can't be trusted. I send all my payments via Western Union and have not missed a payment this year (last year to pay and 700. should go to principal). How can they file false documentation to the Court and no one confirm? I have been in my house for about 30 years and Everhell has been terrible in their attacks. I have received no mail from them since July (foreclosure notice - stating I still owe 2200 - no escrow statements explaining where the rest of my payments disappeared to. Everyone you talk to says something different - my taxes and insurance were due to be paid and I was to pay them myself. I emailed all of my documents to HUD, but they have not helped me at all. Last week my daughter came home and Everhome had someone out to take pictures, another time they claimed they sent someone here to see if I lived here - Waterfield never did these things -- charge for each one -- but no correspondence.

Call HUD, OTS, senators, FDIC, news people, governors, lawyers.

FIGHT THESE PEOPLE AS I HAVE BEEN DOING SINCE 2006. They don't like emails as this is documentation and they sent me letter that I was rude they don't want me calling (while they try to steal my house and they don't want me to respond or know what is happening; have always been able to get balance over phone but they stopped that a couple of years ago). I filed complaint with BBB and they sent corr. I had never seen, never sent me anything showing all payments from my original mortgage company and my real escrow balance -- never since May 2006 have I ever received proper escrow statements. They even had the nerve to tell me everything was resolved and they answe4red all my questions. In my legal RESPA request they told me the matter was closed, and still refuse to give me the documents I have been asking for. ...keep telling me if I put things in writing they will respond -- right, matter is closed, kept late fees when not late, and every month they hold my escrow (never seen what they pay, total for a year, new balance -- just tell me balance is -1500 (220. increase).


Now, when I have a problem, I am expecting to be mistreated, cheated, lied to and on, stolen from -- and I am more emotional because of this attack from Everhome. How can HUD tell me I can't get response since my house is in foreclosure, but I called Upper Marlboro, MD, courthouse last week and they don't have foreclosure papers -- I need the documentation from Everhome to correct my balance. In 2007, one document showed 227. (deducting late fees(to my escrow while another showed 277. -- my concerns are ignored as this is a big difference -- balances same and late fees never adjusted or corrected.

I am also one whom finally settled with my bank.It was a four year fight.Me the homeowner finally prevailed at getting the still unclear entity to forgive close to $500,000. bucks. It took four painful years of my life. The main reason I prevailed is that I am not just a homeowner but i used to be a loan officer. WOw what a fight. They of course settled without any admit ion of any wrong doing or guilt.
But the truth will set you free. Im thinking of writing a book to help people. Buts its been so painful.
Nick at mortgagetime@gmail.com

i'm another person who is being robbed by EMC mortage they don't even have a phone number where you can speak to someone personally.i communicate with them through emails and when i asked them about a refi or modification they just tell me they are a company that doesn't do any of that and that they don't partake in any of the government programme.this just sucks seeing that i'm stuck with them and no assistance at all. i think the government needs to get involve and deal with emc and them not trying to help us...btw good one tammy, keep up the good work,

My wife and i have been fighting Aurora Loan Services for three years now, trying to get help from these scavengers.they put us in so called HAMP program and tried to foreclose while we are in .They put us in three month trial payment plan, we have now made nine payments,and get letter from Aurora,saying congratulations we are putting you in new payment plan only this time your payment is three-hundred more dollars than your first plan was. All you have to do is go on the internet and look up Aurora Loan Services and you will see what i mean.They put you in trial payments so they can put your trial payment in esgrow account,that way they can keep that money and also get paid by our government when they foreclose,why else would they want a house that is only worth half of what you paid for it.I Will be ,so happy when one day i look on line and see where the government has finally done something about Aurora and their corrupt ways.

Wow! Sonja I've been trying to find the full article on your story but couldn't access the story on the Daily Record without a password. Change the name on Adrien's story and it is mine. My primary lender is Chase. They securitized the loan, passed it around and they have ended up as the current servicer on the original loan. In an attempt to modify an ARM loan that came up for a reset, we would reach an agreement, pay the amount to modify/reset the loan and before the check was barely processed, the loan was being serviced by another company. We were then charged late fees and a 'corporate transfer fee' of some sort because they didn't recognize the agreement made by the previous servicer. We got hit with a late mortgage payment when we were not late because of a transfer of servicer. Baloney on that, and on the extra fees and charges. They tried to rush through a foreclosure because we tried standing up for our rights. We finally got things settled down and reached another agreement which included the addition of more fees and charges on the back of our loan. We ultimately had to sign another modification agreement after the loan got transfered to another servicer but they have never sent back the signed copy on their side. The loan was bounced several times before coming back to Chase. Smells really fishy. The water is calm for now...and we are not under threat of foreclosure on our home because we paid our way out of foreclosure and their shenanigans. Problem is, after dealing with a series of servicers, we have no money left to hire an attorney. I've filed a case in the Harford County Courts, pro se, which should be a clear cut Mers and securitization issue with a rental property. I figure I'll get my court experience with that one. Judges hate pro se. I lost my first battle to stop the foreclosure on a Rule technicality. I'll be stronger on the Motion to Vacate. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. The typical response by attorneys is, if you have a debt, file bankruptcy if you can't pay it. Attorney's haven't grasped the issue yet. WE NEED TO START A LIST OF THOSE WHO DO 'GET IT' IN MD AND CAN ARGUE THE ISSUES. They only get on the list if they have successfully argued a HAMP, MERS, produce the Note or Securitizaton issue and they would get a star by their name if they managed to get a borrower's Deed of Trust voided, and got the Borrower's Deed and Home back free and clear from a lender's clutches. You were a front runner in getting Maryland law focused on the mortgage consumer's rights which have been violated for to long. Thank You.

Here is a copy of a letter sent to EMC's counsel.
Maybe this will inspire you to keep fighting. Look at FTCv EMC "Permanent Injunction" filed 2008 online.
In all of the cases mentioned in this blog they are violating a "Court Order"- Attorneys can be sanctioned for disobeying court orders and they can be huge.
Also watch out for rouge attorneys pretending to representing your interest. They will accept kickbacks and sell you out. The Court may get campaign contributions or kickbacks which is a common occurence in many states. You may have to go to a law library and research your case on your own. Write to your representative all of them; state, Federal, Republican and Democratic party.

On January xx, 2011 I (XXXXXXXX ) hand delivered one (2) copies of Filing of Notice of Removal of Civil Action and one (1) copy of Notice of Removal of Civil Action with attached exhibits A-E to your office located XXXXXXXX, XXXX.
I have examined the discovery documents received from EMC and have consulted with an attorney that have informed us of the enormity of the situation now going on for more than ten (10) years. There have been ethical issues with the lenders, servicers, counsel, and former counsel representing the lenders that have to be addressed including multiple class action suits. WAMU and EMC breached the mortgage agreement therefore the agreement must be voided and all payments made towards the mortgage must be applied to the principal. We are entitled for full restitution for the ten (10) years we were threatened with foreclosure and for a case and mortgage dispute that at the very least lacks merit.
We understand that EMC makes more money by keeping and servicing properties that are in default. We were not in “material default” when WAMU accelerated our loan and refuse to renew our obligation and payments in violation of court order dismissing the foreclosure in 2001 and the “Permanent Injunction” Civil no. 4:2008-cv-00338. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) versus EMC Mortgage Corporation a subsidiary of Bear Stearns.
EMC fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under TR 12(B)(6) and TR 17(A). This case contain a menagerie of problems for instance we paid in good faith fifteen (15) payments in a twelve month period past the maturity date because WAMU claimed they had to research and audit our account before allowing us to “reset “ on our loan for the remaining twenty-three (23) years according to the original mortgage agreement addendum. The fact that we paid fifteen payments past the maturity date constitutes a modification of the original agreement. Our obligation to the loan was never renewed. Discovery given to us by EMC indicate that they never researched our account. We made those fifteen (15) payments without any of the payments totaling approximately $16,000 being applied to the principal which is negative amortization according to the original agreement which is a statutory violation.
We had an pending agreement in 2003 just waiting for our signatures that was never followed-up on just prior to WAMU transferring the servicing to EMC. EMC and WAMU ruined our credit score for more than ten (10) years and have cost us potentially millions of dollars in sub-contracts through the federal government 8A set aside program for minority and women small businesses for more than eight (8) years.
A representative of WAMU submitted an “Affidavit of Lost Note” when transferring servicing from WAMU to EMC. EMC failed to amend Note and to Foreclose Mortgage on Real Estate” filed xxxx, 2007 after nearly four years of litigation and failed to name real party in interest after objections filed in the defendant’s “Answer”, Defendant’s” Request for Documents” and “Interrogatories.” EMC violated the “Permanent Injunction” and trial court’s Order compelling counsel to come forward in “writing” with the holder of the loan and the owner of the note and copy of the original mortgage agreement.
Upon my investigation it may be in the best interest of EMC Mortgage Corporation to come to a good faith offer to settle this Action. We will accept nothing less than full restitution for the ten (10) years of damages sustain from the Action (s) of those responsible predatory lending practices. In bad faith EMC has just try to wait us out hoping that we would abandon the property and under IC 32-29-7-3 and just take it over.
This will be our final offer to settle the “Action” which will end one week from the date of this letter. If we don’t hear from you within the deadline date we will be forced take whatever measures that is necessary to resolve this mortgage dispute.
If there are reservations to settle the “Action” based on my experience as a pro se or lack thereof, I will acquire the assistance of an attorney experienced in out of court settlement agreements.
I understand that you as counsel and EMC may not be in a position to negotiate on behalf of unknown investors, especially since you may not possess the original mortgage agreement, I’m preparing a pleading that may bring about court sanctions, exposure to future civil suits, and enormous negative publicity to EMC Mortgage Corporation “servicer” currently a subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase Bank and the “unknown” holder (s) or trustee of the note and the original mortgage agreement.
I trust the facts and information are satisfactory. If there are any questions or any additional information desired, please feel free to contact this office at xxx-xxx-xxxx or fax: xxx-xxx-xxxx.

I too am loosing my house soley because EMC is demanding us pay $15,000.00 in a lump sum after we were denied a modification due to a 2% difference in qualifing. Which I think they did their own figures for.
I have been trying to work with them to no avail starting in August of 2009 and now because we can't pay the lump sum they are demanding, we are in forecloser. This is the only reason we are in foreclosure!!! We have made all of our trial payments in full and on time.
Our story is just like all of yours and so long I have no energy left to tell it yet one more time. Why are the not any lawyers in Arizona that are doing anything about this issue or anyone else helping the #2 state in the nation for foreclosures?
I feel mislead, harrassed, confused and can't believe something like this goes on in the US. Land is something that this nation is built on and now they are not only selling it to other countries they are kicking the citizens who pay taxes and do the right thing!
Just unbelievable our government is not putting a stop to any and all foreclosers due to a mortgage companies actions! Very sad and so un American!

My story is the same as everyone elses here, so I won't bore you with details. The bottom line is - we have tried (and continue to try) to help ourselves, but we need help and someone out there somewhere knows how we should proceed. We've had lawyers (or I should say "cowards") that have viewed our substantial piles of paperwork and have turned tail and ran stating it was too much for them to take on. We've gotten angry, scared, taken advantage of, threatened, and manipulated. What we need to get is organized and diligent and fearless. Isn't that how things are getting done all around the world, present and past?

need assistance in who to contact for predatory lender asap

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