When I began working for Oracle in 1999, I became a member of Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU). Max already was, as he had started working for Oracle in 1998. When we got married, we merged our accounts. For 12 years, we were members in good standing. We had paid off two car loans through them, and we have a “home equity line” (equity – hahaha) otherwise known as a second mortgage.
Our first mortgage is through Bank of America, but Fannie Mae owns the loan.
When we discovered that Max would lose his job, we talked to one of my uncles who is a real estate lawyer. He advised us to apply for loan modification, of course.
We started with B of A. However, we were given three different people to talk to, none of them ever answered the phone or called back, and we kept getting Fed Ex packages of the same paperwork.
Frustrated, we moved on to Fannie Mae. We had to deal with one person, who sent us one set of forms, and was available to answer our questions. Within two months, we had an answer: Due to our financial situation, Fannie Mae would grant us forbearance until December, then we’d apply again for a modification.
We continued to get Fed Ex envelopes from B of A, some of which contained foreclosure notices. Even though Fannie Mae had communicated to B of A’s loan modification department, and they knew we were in forbearance, the mortgage department still sends out the Fed Ex envelopes. It’s automated. We were told not to worry about them. Nonetheless, whenever I received one, I’d call the number on the package (usually the same person) and just check in.
When October rolled around, I called up B of A and Fannie Mae. B of A told me I had to reapply for the loan modification. Fannie Mae asked me for some pay stubs from Max’s new job, and, the day before Thanksgiving, we were told we had been approved. Once again, it took some time for B of A to catch up. We’ve just now received paperwork from them telling us that our modification has been approved.
But you know, I expect that kind of behavior from Bank of America.
Back to DCU. In addition to our second mortgage, we had a Visa through them. We used the Visa to charge Cassie’s adoption. It was a fine idea when we thought Max would be making his normal salary, and I would continue to pick up work here and there.
We completed the loan modification paperwork for DCU in April. (They wanted some of the same information that Fannie Mae wanted, but not all of it, and they wanted it in a different format.) In June, we heard back that they needed more information. At the end of July, I called them to tell them about Max’s new job. I was told to send in pay stubs. At the end of September, we were told the modification had gone through, but Max needed his own account. Max created a new account immediately. In November, I contacted DCU again, asking about the modification. We got some paperwork, but were then told that it was the wrong paperwork, and they’d have to resend. Finally in January, I got ahold of the woman I’d been working with. She said she’d been emailing me the paperwork, but I hadn’t received anything. It turns out, the attached PDF files were password protected, so the virus scanner on the email server couldn’t scan them, so they were never delivered.
I’m just thinking out loud here, but if you’re sending someone important documents via email and she doesn’t email you back, wouldn’t you call that person?
So, I got the new paperwork, we signed it, and we got our modification.
Fannie Mae 2 months. Digital Federal Credit Union 9 months.
We got two collections calls from B of A during this time period. Once we got the forbearance and modification, we never heard from them. (Well, aside from all the Fed Ex envelopes.)
During the 9 months that we were trying to work with DCU, I received collections calls at least once a week, sometimes twice a week. Each time, they were from a different person. Each time, I had to go through the whole story with them. Most of the time, the people on the other end were sympathetic. One man, William, was the biggest asshole I had to deal with during this entire humiliating time. I hope he has a cancer scare and his insurance won’t let him have his regular doctor so he has to go to the stuck up doctor with the really thick accent who’s only in the office on alternate Tuesdays and whose staff loses his labs two or three times. I don’t want him to actually have cancer. I just want him to have to deal with assholes like him.
When Max started working again, I told DCU we could pay $X. They wanted $4X. I said no. They kicked us to a collection agency. The collection agency called. And this is actually rather amusing so I’m putting it in its own little post…