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Dwight Snider
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We had recently returned from living in France, and the French bank was holding the money we received from the sale of our house. They weren’t doing it to calculate capital gains tax because we were legal residents of France at that time. They were doing because our agent was en vacances. And no, no one else could send us our money. Anyway, we bought an investor home in the superheated Phoenix Arizona area, and the broker switched terms from a fixed loan to an ARM subprime loan just before the deadline. We should have walked and started over, but prices were shooting up. Four years later, I saw the handwriting in our contract: The hammer was going to drop on my ARM in one year. GMAC was no help. They were about to go belly up themselves. I found a loan mod agent (An unemployed former mortgage broker, of course) who just happened to know an upper level underwriter for GMAC. He brokered a loan mod for 2% for five years, giving us a little breathing room. Then we were swamped with e-mails about loan mods, HARM, and now HARP. No bankruptcy lawyer ads, of course. I would have loved to shove it to GMAC. Credit rating be damned. After all, I wasn’t trying to borrow more money; I was trying to pay off debt. These so-called mod programs were jokes that were quickly appropriated by scam artists. The problem is that nobody knew what they were doing, and the loan originator claimed (truthfully) that they had no employees at their bank that knew how to do a loan mod. The only way out was to stop paying the loan originator and put 3 months mortgage payments in a savings account we had not been using, sort of our own escrow account. Then, GMAC was willing to dicker. The loan mod came through one month before the ARM was going to go up. It took 14 months of letters, phone calls and e-mails to get it. We had to pay fees with Western Union money orders, a real pain and totally unnecessary, since we had the cash in our “personal escrow” account, and GMAC knew it. In fact, they insisted we have it before they would negotiate. Recently, I sent e-mails to President Obama, and signed every petition to put Janet Yellen in the FED instead of Summers. Why Obama ever considered Summers is beyond me. (But then Clinton took Rubin’s advice over Reich’s, so what’s a poor boy supposed to do?) Rant over.
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Jun 10, 2014