I wanted to share my recent experiences getting a loan modification, in case anyone else may be considering this, just so you know what to expect if you go this route. I'm also hoping someone out there can help me figure out if there is some way to recover from the damage this has done to my credit. Right now I can't even rent a house because of this!
I've been very ill most of this year, in June I had to go on medical leave and lost 40% of my pay as a result. That, and medical bills, made it almost impossible for me to pay my mortgage payment in July. I've owned my home for 14 years and this was the first time I had ever been 30 days late, but it was that, or not pay my utilities or feed my kids, I had no choice.
In August I called HUD to see if there was some program out there that could help me. I just needed help with my July mortgage payment, but I was also trying to find a way to sell my home, it just had too many things that needed to be fixed before I could do so, and I had already spent every dollar I had trying to do so, and for about a year, was doing most of the work myself (which is a good part of the reason why i ended up getting so sick).
HUD suggested a loan modification or forebearance amongst other things, so i looked on Rocket Mortgage's website to see if they offered that, and find out if I qualified. It sounded like I did, so I called, explained my situation, and was told to fill out the "application for success" to see what they could do for me. I did this early August, and it took about three weeks before I heard back. They basically just told me that I'd have to make both July and August's payment by the end of September, which I knew I wasn't going to be able to do. I called them and asked them if this was all they were going to be able to do to help me, I was then told that I needed to provide additional information to be considered for any other program, so I did, and waited another three weeks to get a response.
It was the end of August when I got my second response, and this time they offered a loan modification, which lowered my payment by $50 a month, and didn't require me to make the next payment until Nov 1st. They also were going to forgive July - Oct. I was obviously happy when I saw this, it was much more than I had asked for, and while I could have paid Aug - Oct, having that money helped me get caught up on everything else I had fallen behind on.
Last week I got an offer on my house (finally!) which was contigent upon me moving out by the end of this month. Since then I have been trying to see if I could get a VA loan, and/or rent a home, but when I applied to the first rental home I found, I was denied! Come to find out Rocket Mortgage has been reporting that I haven't paid my mortgage for the last five months, even though I did make my payment for November as the modification required!
I called them to find out why they were doing this, and they told me that Nov and Dec would be changed once I finished the three month trial period, but the other months would remain. The only month that I legitmately should have been dinged on was July, but Aug - Oct was based on their plan! On their website it says that my credit report may indicate that I'm under a loan modification agreement, but it never stated that it'll report I haven't been paying. I called them and asked them about this, and told them that if they didn't remove this from my credit report, or send me a letter indicating that they would upon sale of my home, that I wouldn't be able to sell my house and would likely have to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to surrender my home (which I should have done initially and spared myself all this grief). The lady I spoke with told me there was nothing they could do though, that they were legally bound to report this. I don't get it, and I'm going to try to dispute it if I can find someone who can help me figure out how to do that.
Had they told me this would happen I never would have done this. I have a security clearance and stuff like this will put me a risk of losing it. I told them that too, but again, they didn't care. What kills me about this is that I could have just filed Chapter 13 and surrendered my home in the first place, leaving them to deal with this nightmare, but instead I tried to take responsibility for my debt and handle it myself. I got into over $50K worth of debt trying to fix this house so I could sell it, and eventually got extremely ill as I was spending any time I had not at my regular job working on this house. The stress and lack of sleep took it's toll on me. I did all of this but it makes not the slightest bit of difference to them, they'll get their money back from the FHA if I have to surrender the house, so they don't really care.
I'm not sure how other banks handle this, but I wanted to make sure I shared my experiences to help others who may be considering this their selves. Even if you make a payment while you're waiting, they're going to report that you haven't unless you pay off the full balance owed, which kind of defeats the purpose of you asking for help in the first place.
Has anyone else had this happen, and if so, were you able to get the late's off of your credit report?