Gary, and April - the analysis and targeting of potentiallly troubled mortgages is a routine business practice for most subprime servicers and has been for some time. The data gathering industry is totally out of control and anyone can buy anything about anyone, especially if they are willing to share information.
The practice of data mining and forecasting potential defaults is commonplace, and they even tout their capabilities in their promotions to their customers.
I hate to keep pointing back to something as old as the "Owl Hunting Guide," but there are reasons I said then what I'll repeat now:
2. Get off the damn phone – do everything in writing.
All joking aside - there is absolutely no advantage to you in talking to a loan servicer on the phone. Zero. Nada. Some of them even use sophisticated analytical tools to help them predict whether or not you’ll default or pay based on what you say. The fact is, conversations you have with them have NO LEGAL STANDING, so wean yourself from the phone and get used to writing letters. Time consuming, tedious, irritating and especially slow, yes. But if you want a legally defined course of events, writing is what counts. That’s why attorneys charge for letters!
If the loan servicer fails to respond to you and you have evidence (see 3.), it can be a significant part of the legal grounds to put a halt to their foreclosure schemes. This will provide an attorney with what they need to take effective action. Without it, they’re really wasting their time and your money.
Change your phone number, make it unlisted and don’t give it to anyone. Don’t print it on your checks. If they have your number and you can’t change it, learn to live behind an answering machine - they do!
If you just can’t resist falling into this trap, make sure you record the calls (be sure to
check your state laws on recording telephone conversations)
10. Never reveal personal financial or health information.
Some predatory servicing situations could be prevented if people would not reveal to the servicer that they are having temporary financial or health problems. You are under no obligation whatsoever to tell them anything, let alone why the payment was late or if you’re out of work or in bad health. (Again, you can avoid these traps by staying off the phone!)
Of course, when you miss a payment or you can’t make the next one, you may think you should tell them why. You probably think they will be sympathetic. Yes, with a responsible servicer it could be a step toward working something out, but with the serious predators all it does is trigger or speed up the process.
The other thing it does is come back to haunt you in the future when and if you have to challenge their view of something in court. They will drag out their notes and explain to the judge how you told them you were having financial difficulty at the time, etc., etc. The negative labels will be brought out and applied at every opportunity.
I realize it's too late in many cases, because as the old saying goes, you can't un-ring a bell. But you can stop pulling on the rope.
I've seen some of the "hardship questionnaires" being sent to borrowers who are hoping to get assistance with their ARM ratchet-loans. Frankly, none of the information put on those forms means a hill of beans. The ONLY thing that matters is whether or not, and how much, you can and will pay.
What they get out of finding out all the minutia of your personal life is ammunition to justify the decision of when to pull the trigger. The people manning the phones are trained in persuasion, persistence, pretense, posturing and power and skillful prevarication, NOT in helping you stay in your home. They aren't sociologists. They're not counselors. They're not financial consultants. They aren't attorneys. They are debt collectors. Most of them have only a little more than a high school education. They won't admit they made an error. They will see only what the computer tells them. They won't go hunting for mistakes and make corrections. They'll use anything you tell them to justify their position and any action they take. They will have records of their version of any communication. They will have notations, shorthand, codes, comments, etc., in the record placed by people you speak with, including outright guesses, opinions and erroneous conclusions.
Joe B - as to your question. Notes can and are routinely sold individually and within pools while a foreclosure is underway. In fact, there are companies that specialize in them. Conversely, some loans are discovered to be so toxic that they violate the terms and conditions of the offering and must be bought back by the originator.
Hope that helps.