hmm... thoughts

A rant on the National Mortgage Settlement letter I received

You stole my house and you want me to accept $840? Here’s my rant to share what I think about that.

January 28th, 2014 UPDATE

I received a 1099-C today from Citimortgage documenting that they’ve finally written off the debt and assigning the debt amount to my SSN to pay taxes on. I assume that’s what the $300 is going to cover? Either way, glad this sad chapter is ending.

APRIL 23rd, 2013 UPDATE

Over the weekend we received a check for $300. So a bank stole my house, humiliated me in front of my neighbors, killed the value of homes in my area, then tried to collect damages from me… and that’s worth $300. You’ve got to be freaking kidding me.

Leave me a comment and let me know what I should do with this $300. I’m thinking of buying more Citibank stock.

MARCH 22nd 2013 UPDATE 

Today, we received a postcard in the mail from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency telling us we no longer had to do anything, no forms, no investigations, no risk… but to expect a check in the mail over the next 4-8 weeks. If you’re wondering if that is legit or just another scam, please read about it on the Federal Treasury website.

Original rant

<rant warning>
I got a letter today, allegedly from the Michigan attorney general encouraging me to sign on to a settlement. (148,000 other people got this, too) If I read the letter correctly, the 5 major banks are settling with foreclosure victims for whom they, the banks, willfully blocked a short sale to force them into foreclosure. Additionally, the payments are regarding litigation surrounding illegally signed documents, perhaps in lew of criminal charges. (This was one of the myriad of problems we faced.)

In our case, after stealing my home the bank then bought it from themselves and then sold it to a 3rd party, making $75,000 on the transaction, while at the same time taking a federal buyout of billions of dollars, crying to Congress that they got stuck with losses from people like me.

And now these same banks want to give me $840 as an I’m sorry– we’re not at fault — please take this money payment? As if, “Oopsies, we stole your house and turned your life upside down” is worth $840.

So, the banks get to ruin my credit score until 2016, these same banks get to charge me higher interest rates for everything from a credit card to a car loan and all the nastiness that goes with that, like getting denied credit for little things like say… my electric bill, forcing me to pay deposits.

And $840 is supposed to make up for that.

That sickens me.

I’m thankful that I was smart enough to take what was left of my IRA in 2009 and invest in these same banks. Between 2009 and 2011 my IRA made back the vast majority I lost in cash value from the house as they reaped the benefits of grand theft and federal bailouts. (Take that, suckers!)

But telling me I’m eligible for $840 in a settlement without fixing the main problems… is a slap in the face.

To summarize, Mr. Big Bank…. here’s why I think your settlement is a far cry from what is needed.

  1. You forced me to give up my house by refusing to fulfill your end of the mortgage contract and work with me on a short sale. I had multiple buyers with offers tens of thousands of dollars more than you eventually sold it for in foreclosure. Additionally, you refused to take a 1 time settlement with me for the balance of the loan at closing to avoid a short sale altogether. You weren’t going to lose a dime! But gave me no other option after months and months but to give up. How is this settlement fixing that? 
  2. Literally, at the end of the day, you stole the house from me months before the foreclosure process had run its proper course, which would have allowed even the most inept person processing your short sales the opportunity to close. You forged paperwork, you sent me documents with “sign by” dates having already expired, you then sold my house at public auction before the foreclosure process was complete… it wasn’t even yours! And how does this make up for any of that? 
  3. You had the nerve to tell me that I owed an additional $31,000 to cover the balance of a loan in full flat out denial of the fact that the house was collateral against the loan. (As clearly stipulated in the contract.) This has never made sense to me. Did you take care of that? 
  4. You then sold that bogus debt to collection companies who have harassed me illegally since 2009. Every 6-7 weeks I have to put up with phone calls and letters from another entity for a debt I do not owe and will not pay. These companies give up and then sell that “debt” to another company, who calls and harasses me. One even offered me a settlement saying if I paid $1100 now it’d erase a $31,000 debt they can’t prove that I actually owe. Are you going to take care of that? It’s driving me nuts.
  5. You ruined my credit and will continue to ruin my credit until at least 2016. Are you going to take care of that?
  6. You forced me, a person who had never missed a payment, to go through the humiliation of foreclosing on a house I loved and invested every penny in. Further, your actions cost my neighbors money as this bogus foreclosure devalued their homes, making me look like a chump. How are you going to take care of that? 

Seriously. $840.

For all I know, these banks have a deal with the attorney general of the state of Michigan which will somehow make me liable for something else by accepting a stupid $840 settlement check.

Trick me once. Shame on you. Trick me twice. Shame on me.

Never again.

So that’s what I think about the letter I got today.

</rant warning>


By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

39 replies on “A rant on the National Mortgage Settlement letter I received”

Right on!!!! I am so tired of people blaming the home owners who make attempts to settle on their house and then they are looked at as “bad” homeowners when the banks won’t work with them. After the mess we went through, we were fortunate to FINALLY have the bank allow a short sale but only after Todd harassed them so that they would listen to us. It took almost two years for them to close on our home. I had a former neighbor tell me off on FB because she decided that we should suck it up and “pay for it”. Sorry, we didn’t have 70,000 sitting around to cover the loss on the value. Silly us for asking for a short sale so it would be done the “right” way.

We lost our house in January of 2010, Wells Fargo/HUD wouldn’t work with us. In fact, they never cashed our checks we paid them for. I was relieved when it was over, but the pain it caused lives on as we rent. I am hoping to see this letter this week.

So very well expressed, Adam. I understand a measure of what you went through and the frustration and humiliation of the process. Fortunately, we did finally close a short sale. Sadly, and despite paperwork indicating an acceptance of the short sale offer as full payment, we continue to get monthly statements and bills for the balance. Meanwhile, bank gets paid and issued tarp fees to cover the balance. Agents get paid. Buyer gets a great deal. And I lose everything we put in expecting we were building our future. Messed up!

You, my friend, are amazing. My husband and I enjoyed your rant, as we went though the same thing. 🙂 Thanks for the smile on your rant of the letter!

I couldn’t say it better, it was pyramid scam and we where the pyramid coming down. I worked for 31 years on a home that was stolen from me, like a thief in the night. What a plot, when it was happening I tried everything even hiring a crooked law firm, joke. Your story is identical to mine. I wish I had known the plot.

Wow, this sums up my experience to a T. I remember feeling guilty like it was somehow my fault that I lost my job and could no longer make mortgage payments on a house that lost half of it’s value. That is what the banks wanted me to feel! On a positive note, my credit has bounced back pretty nicely now (we lost our house in 2009).

Regarding your March 2013 update: I thin kyou are confusion the NATIONAL MORTGAGE SETTLEMENT with the INDEPENDENT FORECLOSURE REVIEW. The postcard you received was from the IFR while the promise of at least 840 is from NMS.

Hi, I just received my $300 check in the mail about 20 minutes ago and went online to research then I found your blog.I was surprised to receive $300 instead of the $840 they told us last year. I was very upset until I read Jebby22’s comment. I called the National Mortgage Settlement help line and before anything else there is a recording saying that they have nothing to do with the Independent Foreclosure Review and that NMS’s checks have not been mailed yet. I didn’t even know that there were two processes going on.

Went thru a similar situation. Tried for 3 yrs to get a modification only for them to keep closing the file. We finally decided on a short sale only to find out they did not do their part. How can u order an appraisal but not upload it into the investor system? Our short sale was never processed after sitting for 2 mths. Citimortgage caused us so much humiliation and heartache. Unless I’m getting the $125,000 it’s insulting. Adam, you hit the nail on the head…smh

We lost our home in 2009 and were told that we’d get the $840-no, we’d get ATLEAST $840 or more depending on the number of respondents. Apparently they don’t have to even give us that since we also got the pitiful $300 check instead. It just keeps getting worse.

By signing the check, you’re not losing your right to pursue further legal action. That’s expressly written into the agreement.

Stated on the paper with the insulting check:
The payment amount is final.
There is no process to appeal the payment.
However, it does also state: By cashing or depositing the check, you do not waive legal claims against your servicer and you may pursue additional actions related to your foreclosure.
Like everyone else on here I find my payment of $300 insulting. Even worse, since I deposited my check last week, I have been harassed by Bank of America. After depositing the check my bank account has been froze a total of 3 times due to “suspicious activity.” Not only have they humiliated me once, but trying to use your debit card knowing there are funds in your checking account and being denied infront many people SEVERAL times is completely over the line. I have contacted an attorney to take on my case for legal action. So BOA users beware, if you decide to deposit this check in your account you are asking for trouble.

You got a check for $300 from the Independent Foreclosure Review… which is a different process than the National Mortgage Settlement. (The $840 you may still receive.)

See the links in my post above. Just like everything else to do with banks, it’s confusing and highway robbery.

I suspect both checks come with strings attached not yet disclosed.

I read your story, and it made me feel better to know we are not alone. The stories are not exactly alike, but when you take into account all the things the banks have done. We cashed our check today, after having it for 2 weeks sitting on our counter. We choose to have it cashed because our eldest daughter is graduating this month. She is adopted with numerous emotional problems from abuse and neglect. I’m so proud of her graduating (when Walled Lake, MI schools told us it would never happen) that we are throwing a party and I bought her a nice dress for prom, so $300 is a help. Not like having our home back at all of course. I’m hoping we dont have the problems I’ve heard of recently with cashing it.

So a few years back during the height of the housing collapse our mortgage provider was taken over by the federal government. They “gave” our mortgage to Bank of America, which turned into a nightmare. We had a fixed rate mortgage, escrow, and PMI insurence. A month after the mortgage was moved they lost the payment, turned out they applied it to the wrong loan number because of a system “glitch” it what it says in the paperwork. It was never applied to our loan, no matter how many time we called.

About a month later we recieved notice our payment was going up $400 a month because our city taxes Doubled. I called the city (Walled Lake MI, and the lady told me I was the 3rd person to call that month), and discovered this wasn’t true. Bank of America has put our entire years tax bill as each summer (whole amount) and winter (whole amount). So we contacted BoA thinking it was just a easy to fix mistake, who then told us that our mortgage payment was going up actually $932 a month the following month because State Farm no longer carried our insurance they swore they never received documents from State Farm for our homeowners (this was in addition to our city taxes, they refused to fix even with proof from the city) However they had paid State Farm for the homeowners renewal They then tacked on their own policy which was several thousand dollars. Ok….. talked to State Farm who told us (and at this point our lawyer) that BoA was talking out there butts. They faxed us the paperwork, they faxed it to BoA, and I PHSYCALLY SENT IT TO THEM CERTIFIED. I also dropped it off at there local mortgage banking location, like we were told on the phone.

What happens, we are told that they never got it. Over the next few months we drained our savings fighting BoA and paying the mortgage. Finally we reached our breaking point, when we were told we didn’t qualify for any federal help. We had contacted several lawyers, all finally told us the same thing (as did a Judge who is a friend) that we should just give up. It wasn’t worth wasting away slowly in our home fighting to pay the utilities, draining our retirment. We didn’t live in a large house (1200 square feet basic middle class here or pay too much for the house $130,000 in 2003 off an all sports lake, 60 years old). We then set up a short sale, however BoA pulled out about an hour prior to closing (seriously its all in the documentation). Our short sale amount was over 60% the value of the mortgage. It was the going rate for similar homes.

Well our check came and we got…. $300 bucks. That was enough to cover the moving truck… or the lawyers first 2 hours. Because BoA never sold our home, its still just sitting there. Once, so happy so full of life (I have 5 children, 3 adopted who were so grateful to come to a real home). It wasn’t much, we were in the process of fixing it up, thats why we got it for such a great price. Surrounded by large new homes, we had just put in a new kitchen granite, cabinets (I love cooking from scratch and live in my kitchen as my husband says). I feel so defeated, we went after BoA and even when we’d win in court they would appeal. I feel insulated they took our home because they couldnt get things straight (or knew what they were doing and saw a chance for a quick buck). We were hoping at least for something more… I’m not sure what but on the letter it states we cannot appeal the amount, that the procedures that cost us our home were not taken into consideration. I feel broken hearted, all those sleepless nights, all those stressed out days.

I wanted to share our story with you because I feel like you understand. You know what it feels like and how hard it is. I found your story searching Google for similar things because while I don’t feel hope over the situation anymore, knowing others went through the same thing makes us feel not as alone.

I don’t understand why they keep saying “a minimum of $840” when $1.5 billion divided by 750,000 is $2000. Plus, from what I’ve read, only about 52% (give or take a few percentage points) of the claims filed that could have filed. Is part of the settlement money set aside for other purposes? Are some states only allowed to dole out so much? Will some states’ residents get more than others? After losing our house to foreclosure after we thought we had a modification agreement in place, this doesn’t really amount to much. It doesn’t get our home back. It doesn’t get us our dog back (had to re-home him when we couldn’t find a rental that would take large dogs). It surely doesn’t restore our credit! I personally think that should have been part of the settlement–take the dang foreclosure off our credit report! Especially since we complied with all of the terms of the agreement up until they foreclosed anyway. Banks are getting out of this deal with profits and bonuses for their execs. We’re all screwed by a flawed system.

I agree. We are all screwed by a flawed system. Since the bank lobby owns the courts & legislators… there’s no one to stand up for consumers.

As far as what happened to all the money? You realize the lawyers got 30% off the top, right? And then they hired a company to issue checks, so that was probably another 10-20% of the money.

Basically, everyone will get the minimum, get charged taxes on it, and we’ll probably later get sued for accepting it.

To add insult to injury, the back of their checks make you show positive ID to prove you are who you say you are. If only they’d done that in the first place so many of us wouldn’t have lost our homes.

Well after we lost ours for all the same reasons… Blah blah its sickening 18 months after they took the house and we relocated they sent us a letter asking if we wanted to RENT the house back from the new bank holder. Hahahahaha. Ummm NO

You’re blog has been very helpful. After reading it I found out that
the Independent Foreclosure review sent a check out on April 19, 2013 to
my old address. Let’s see I was foreclosed on in 2009, so how am I
still living in the same house???? When I spoke with the customer
service rep, she could not tell me if the check was returned, or cashed,
she did tell me she could send me a change of address form in 7 to 10
business days. One more word WOW!!!!!


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