By Rev. Paul N. Papas II
27 June 2011
WHERE IS THE INDEPENDENCE?
Didn’t our Forefathers establish a new country for us so we could enjoy the many freedoms memorialized in our Constitution? Weren’t we supposed to be free from oppression? Oppression, from whatever source, brings depression and despair. People don’t work well when they are oppressed, depressed, or in despair.
We recently received a letter that reflects the situation, frustration and despair so many people in this country feel with their home. The following is a condensed version the recent letter.
I love my home and I purchased my home with the intention of growing old in and serving my community from my home. My church is located nearby and I was determined once I retired to be active at my church. My finances changed when I was forced into an early retirement because the company I worked 23 years for could no longer compete in this downward economy, then my mother died, sinking me into a depression. I do not understand why the Bank was not willing to work with me with my honest intentions. I am going to share with you how they have “worked with me”. By the way my house according to local reports was rated as the best location to live in this town. As a business person I know how to look at prime commercial and residential property.
In 2009 my mortgage payments on my fixed rate loan went from $1,495 to $1,730.78 because someone incorrectly calculated my property taxes.
I applied for a loan modification and in December 4, 2009 I received a letter telling me to pay $1,314.81for the first of three trial period modification mortgage payments.
I called to ask questions about the Home Affordable Modification Program, however the calls have been programmed so you cannot reach a representative and the call would eventually just cut off.
During the week of December 20, 2009 I called the Bank who then gave me authorization for $6,204.68 payment to get caught up. $4,485.06 of that would have brought my December bill current and paid the amount due for January 1, 2010 monthly bill $1,674.63 total $6,204.68. I later discovered that the Bank did not post the payment until bill statement dated May 28, 2010 under other applied: description: Misc posting: $6,204.68. Therefore the Bank carried over the charges as delinquent until the May 28, 2010 bill statement.
I did receive two thank you letters for my participation in the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program.
I did receive a call from Diane from the Bank who had an extremely bad cold who explain they would re-write the re-modification loan basis on my financial situation and I needed to fax to her a hardship letter, 2 pay stubs, profit and loss statement, 2 years tax return, list of monthly expenses to be faxed to their number along with the a copy of the loan extensions.
Then the story gets uglier. There were numerous attempts to receive a confirmation that my documents that I faxed to the Bank where being acted upon by the Bank. There were numerous attempts to speak to someone who could make a decision and grant me the loan modification. I was battered from one person and one department to another. The short version is my loan modification was denied and my home went into foreclosure.
I finally received a letter that my mortgage is not eligible for a Home Affordable Modification Program because I did not provide them with the requested documents.
I once thought I had a life long home, now I am about to be a homeless bag lady. I don’t know what to do or who to call. I just want to hide under the sheets.
This bank, like so many have abused, intimidated, and oppressed their customers who have been trying to do the right thing and keep their homes. Yes, there are those who know the system and try to beat the system, but I’m not talking about them. If a man was to use similar or the same tactics that the above bank is using upon his wife or girlfriend the court would issue a protective order from abuse and perhaps order jail time for the abuser.
Just as a person can be treated for and be healed from a medical condition of depression or other mental illness, and an abusive person can be treated for and be healed from abusing, there is help legitimate help for homeowner such as the one who wrote us the letter. Space does not permit me to enumerate all the assistance available to a homeowner trying to do the right thing and stay in their home.
True independence is realized when we are free exercise the freedoms guaranteed to us within our Constitution and we are not abused, intimidated, or oppressed by those in authority.
Rev. Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) http://www.narrowpathministries.org and http://www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org