Friday, July 27, 2012

BofA Loan Modification Jerkaround Stories Continue To Pile Up; Payments Made Too Early, 35 Cent Short Land Befuddled Homeowner In Trouble

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

  • It might make financial sense for Lisa Fiorilli to just walk away from her home in Manayunk — a tidy, three-story rowhouse on one of the neighborhood's familiar, hilly streets that rise up from Main Street and the canal.

    But Fiorilli, facing foreclosure after a two-year bureaucratic tangle with Bank of America over a mortgage modification, would rather stay and fight — even if her home is now worth less, as she says bank officials have suggested, than what she owes on it.

    Fiorilli's saga — backed up by a thick file of documents and call logs — is a story of a mortgage accommodation dangled and apparently snatched away for flimsy reasons, such as a phone payment that came in 35 cents short, and another payment that came in two weeks early. That's no misprint: early, not late.
  • So what went wrong? Fiorilli has gotten multiple answers.

    She says she dutifully made her monthly [loan modification] payments starting in March 2010, paying by phone to ensure she knew the right amount. When she got a letter denying her a permanent modification six months later, it said she failed because of "trial plan default."

    Baffled, she finally got a bank rep to compare the bank's records against her own statements, revealing the 35-cent shortfall. Fiorilli says he encouraged an appeal.

    Every time she called, she says, she got a different answer. Sometimes she was told she'd finally been approved. Others times, she was told she'd been declined. Her pleas to speak with an executive with actual decision-making authority were ignored.

    Then, this spring, she got another denial letter. This one said that her initial appeal was valid, but that now she didn't qualify because of the financial formula.

    When she called this time around to question the decision, asking pointedly whether "anybody should lose their house over 35 cents," a new bank rep denied that the tiny shortfall was the reason for the initial denial.

    Instead, she blamed it on the fact that Fiorilli's first payment came in March 2010, before her modification was due to begin April 1. Funny, since Fiorilli has two Bank of America letters dated in early March 2010 urging her to make her first payment immediately.

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