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Attempting a Mortgage Modification Alone Can Be Tricky

One man's recent struggle with a bank shows how complicated loan modifications really can be.

Recently a 55-years-old ex-Wachovia employee told his mortgage modification horror story to a local newspaper, which in the end may have helped him to get the fixed rate he wanted.

His story dates back to 2006 when, as a mortgage loan officer he moved for work and bought a new house. However, after being fired for not selling enough adjustable-rate loans, he found himself struggling to keep up with mortgage payments.

According to sources, in 2008 he first inquired about restructuring, but since he hadn't missed any payments yet, he was denied. However, in 2009, after starting to miss some payments he received an offer from the bank to modify his loan to lower the interest rate to a fixed 2.75 percent. In February of 2010 he signed the agreement and returned it to the bank.

However, according to the homeowner, after sending in the first agreement, he was sent anther offer letter from Wells Fargo, again offering him the same rate, only this time it would not be fixed and would increase in a few years. The man said when he tried to find out what the change was about, he was told the first one was a mistake and it should have never been offered to him.

According to sources, the homeowner continued making his monthly agreements under the first offer he signed, but that the money was not being reflected on his balance. In June he received a letter from Wells Fargo that he was in default, and in August he received a foreclosure notice.

In the end, the man was sent through the ringer, at one point after first being alerted to the default being told by a bank representative that he was having trouble getting answers because he didn't properly date a page in his agreement. However, after two years of struggling with the bank, he took his story to the media, which in turn called the bank's "Office of the President" to see what happened. Now, he is back to the original 2.75 percent fixed rate, and is working to get the foreclosure expunged from the public record.

This ex-bank employee's story goes to show how complicated a mortgage modification can really become. An experienced attorney can help a homeowner in examining all of his and her options.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Foreclosure battle depletes ex-Wachovia employee," Rick Rothacker, 11 Nov 2010

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