This news story
gladdened my weary heart.
January 2008 through September 2008 were the nine months of unsuccessful attempts to contact and discuss with Chase Home Finance an alternative for my loan payments. The first five months were an exercise in frustration and confusion as to how I could fax and/or mail my documents daily without even one set of them arriving at their intended destination.
Might there be some sort of Bermuda Triangle for mortgage assistance applications? Everyone whose journey takes them over this route seems to have their paperwork befall the same fate!
It took quite a while for me to fix, on the behalf of Chase Home Finance, all the apparent problems with the US Postal service, Fed Ex, DHL, and the breakdown of electronic facsimile transmissions to all known fax numbers at Chase Home Finance.
You'll all be relieved to know that my paperwork finally arrived on the desk of either Erik, Mannie, Jeff, and/or Peter at CHF's First Contact Team. Let's shout out a weak hoorah.
I explained, reexplained, and once again explained that I had a limited amount of savings remaining that would allow me to continue fulfilling all my financial responsibilities. I was fiscally responsible. I'd never paid a single bill late. I had a near perfect credit rating. I did not want to shirk my obligations. I wanted some breathing room in so I could recover from the reduction in my income.
The answers over the next few months: "Oh, you must be at least one, but preferably three months behind in you payments. You are paying in full each month, so what's the problem? We have a lot of customers who are behind, so your account is not a priority. You should qualify for something. You don't qualify for anything. We will review your paperwork. You do not make enough money. Can you stop paying something else besides this mortgage? You spend too much on your other things? How exactly are you making ends meet with your income to debt ratio?"
And then, the grand finale: "Sorry, Wells Fargo won't let us modify your loan. Plus, you have to be 90 days behind before anyone will even look at your file."
Me: "Um, who's Wells Fargo? Who can I talk to at Wells Fargo? And, why or how do they have any authority in this matter with a loan I signed with DHI Mortgage and is serviced by Chase Home Finance?"
Them: "Sorry. I don't have access to that information."
Me: "Well, neither do I. So, who does?"
Them: "Sorry. I don't have access to that information."
Me: "Well, this past seven months of dealing with your department has been a barrel of laughs. Thanks for the fun times and great memories."
Thereby ensued the remaining two months of exhausting my paltry savings as I gasped along paying the untenable mortgage, a practice which had a rapidly approaching end point. Looking back, I should have stopped paying long before that, putting the money towards other survival needs. I reconsidered the instructions to stop remitting payment, allow a 90 day default, and begin my attempts at some manner of resolution again. Ah well...........experience can be a mean and punitive educator.
I closed out my savings account in October 2008 and paid that month's mortgage payment in full.
November came and went, knots in my stomach, sick with disgust at myself. I defined myself as a deadbeat financial failure, an irresponsible, spend-thrift woman, an oft repeated refrain by many who do not fully understand the entirety of the foreclosure crisis (ie: the monetary benefits to financial institutions when mortgages default.)
All of a sudden, the elusive employees of Chase Home Finance's First Contact Department seemed much more interested in talking to me! But, alas, when they heard that I had exhausted my savings and had only my reduced income from my full-time job, they seemed to quickly instruct me to figure out a way to bring in more money because, despite implementing increasingly draconian frugality measures, the funds coming in couldn't support the current expenses. "Yeah......Genius, thanks for that flash of brilliance."
I called on day 91, Feb 1st, 2009, to initiate the humiliating process of begging for some manageable solution.
Then, on February 17, 2009, an evening knock on the door. I knew in my bones this was a process servicer. It took seven months of unsuccessful negotiations, three months of non-payment per instructions, and seventeen days of waiting for another go around to come to this point.
And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons.
Hamlet, 1. 1
"That it should come to this!".
Hamlet quote (Act I, Scene II).
And, after freaking out.
After hysterical tears.
After wailing and renting of clothing.
After consulting with a few well advertised foreclosure defense attorneys who wanted $3,500-$5,000 retainers or $340/hour.
I read the summons.
I searched for Wells Fargo's name.
Yoooooo Hoooooooo! Wells Fargo! Where arrrrrrrrrrrrre you?
Nope. Not the Plaintiff.
Nope. Not one peep in the Lis Pendens.
Nope. Not mentioned in the Foreclosure Complaint.
Nope. Not on the mortgage.
Nope. Not on the copy of the note.
Nope. No allonge or endorsment.
Nope. No Wells Fargo.
And............. that's when I started getting a little suspicious that there might just be something wrong here. Something more than meets the eye.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Hamlet, 1. 4
To relieve your building suspense, here's the answer; not that it makes any sense.
Wells Fargo is................are you ready for this?
Ta Da.................Wells Fargo is the...................
This took months of research to sleuth out...........
May I introduce to you Wells Fargo...............
Master Servicer and Securities Administrator of the mortgage backed security into which my highly over-appraised mortgage was added, as one of the true AAA rated mortgages to show to the bond raters and.............um................shall we say.........encourage them to rate the entire trash heap of mostly junk mortgages as a reliable investment to be sold as a "sure thing" by smooth talking snake oil salesmen to some sucker in charge of institutional investing for some city's bond fund, pension fund, 401K fund for teachers, small European village's fund to safely invest their excess tax revenues, or a humanitarian non-profit doing good works around the world.
This helps explain the financial gibberish above.
Warning: Contains Profanity.
A wonderful radio program which explains it all, listen or read the transcript. NPR #355 This American Life: The Giant Pool of Money
P.S. Here's the story linked above
which brought my mind back to those events. If you believe in the healing qualities of a good laugh, read the story and my comment posted below the story on October 14.