In the beginning of 2008, my monthly escrow payment went from $300 a month to almost $800 a month on a miscalculation of escrow amounts from the prior year and a half by the servicer. Initially using my some savings and my tax refund to cover the difference, the $500 increase became too much.
I contacted my servicer WAMU regarding a loan modification in June 2008 in anticipation of not being able to continue much longer to make the extra $500 payment. In September 2008, I was declined a modification because I was not late on my payments.
I was told in order to get a modification I needed to be behind on my payments. Shortly after I could no longer afford to make the extra $500 payment so I fell behind and resubmitted my modification request hoping to get assistance.
I started saving the amount of the original payment before the $500 increase each month to reinstate the loan once a modification was approved. Calling week after week lead to hours of aggravation. I would get transferred from one department to another then eventually get disconnected. Never was I able to speak to anyone that could be of any assistance and finally gave up.
I did not hear back from them about anything until March of 2009. They requested new financials faxed to them within ten business days as stated in their written request. The documents were sent TWICE. Every time I called to confirm if they were received I was told I was not allowed to talk to my negotiator unless she called me. Then I get a letter dated exactly ten days after the first letter stating that I was denied for not submitting the new financials. Not ten business days, ten days.
Their original letter was dated two days before it was post marked and conveniently arrived on a Friday afternoon. That eliminated seven of the ten days they allowed. All the info was initially sent in on the following Tuesday (day 8 ). On day 10, again not ten business days, ten days, a message was left stating they still have not received the financials, so they were sent in again. It was the same run around as usual. Sounds like it is the servicers standard operating procedure.
About two weeks after receiving the decline notice, I get a letter from the FLORIDA DEFAULT LAW GROUP, the biggest foreclosure mill in FL, stating it is attempting collect the entire balance of the mortgage. It stated that WAMU is the servicer and JP MORGAN CHASE is the creditor. I found this interesting so I started doing some research.
Up until 04/19/09, the county clerk of courts showed my original mortgage document with AMNET MORTGAGE as the lender. On 04/20/09, an Assignment of Mortgage was recorded by the clerk of court naming JP MORGAN CHASE as the assignee / mortgage holder. Here is where it gets interesting. The assignment states that MERS officers acting as nominee for AMNET MORTGAGE (assignor) assigned, transferred and conveyed the mortgage to JP MORGAN CHASE. According to my research, AMNET MORTGAGE is no longer in business so how could it have officers, plus I am not even sure they are legally the current holder of the mortgage since MERS is involved. Better yet, the signing officers for MERS as nominee for AMNET MORTGAGE are Section Managers for JP MORGAN CHASE. I discovered this by googling their names. After doing further research I found these same officers of MERS were acting as nominee’s of MERS for multiple other lenders assigning mortgages over to JP MORGAN CHASE.
So my questions to you are do you think AMNET owned the mortgage before assigning it to JP MORGAN CHASE?
More importantly, is it legal for JP MORGAN CHASE to use its own employees as a MERS nominee to assign a mortgage from another lender (AMNET) to itself? In my opinion there is some major fraud going on here.
Any other insight you can offer would be appreciated.
Take a look at the letter that Florida Default Law Group sent to you and see if it contains your validation rights under the FDCPA. FDLG is a debt collector and subject to the FDCPA. A consumer has thirty-days from receipt of validation notice to request validation and FDLG is prohibited from continuing collection until providing proper validation. I would send a CMRRR to the debt collector with something to the effect of ‘‘please accept this as formal notice that I dispute the amount of the debt and am requesting verification of the debt per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act including a written itemized transaction account history of all payments and charges and evidence that your client has the right to collect on this debt by way of the original promissory note.”
The foreclosure complaint has probably already been filed. That seems to be the foreclosure mill modus operandi as if that means they have complied now with the requirements of the FDCPA.
All of the questions that you’ve raised are valid questions to ask at the litigation stage which sounds like it will be soon. Not only are there issues with the assignment, but bear in mind that the original promissory note must be endorsed concurrently along with the assignment for it to be a valid transfer.
Read: Do You Remember Your Assignment, Lost or Destroyed Note, Securitize Me & Foreclosure Defense – File An Answer!
Thanks for the questions and hope this helps,
This author is not an attorney and this information should not be considered legal advice. Please consult an attorney for legal advice.