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Obama mortgage relief help

Original post made by Henry on Jul 29, 2009

I was wondering if someone out there can give me some advice or direction with regard to my issue. I have a home and like most others my home has lost value and also my job has changed and therefore I am making a lot less than I was when I purchased my home so therefore I am having a very difficult time making my payment and my home is now worth less than my loan balance. My loan is with Bank of America. In April when President Obama announced his Mortgage Relief Program I contacted Bank of America and they said that I met all of the criteria for the program and I even received a letter from them stating that I would be contacted soon and my loan would be redone so that it would be more manageable. I have heard nothing from them and have been calling them everyday since the beginning of May and get the same answer. "Mr. Obama wants 7 - 9 million homeowners to take advantage of this program but thus far only 300K have been able to us it because none of the lenders have the infrastructure to support the program and we were surprised by his announcement". As I mentioned, I have been calling every other day and have written a letter to my representative Mr. McNerney but thus far no progress and my existing loan expires in January at which time it will float up with the interest rate fluctuations. Does anyone have any advise which they feel could help me as I am having difficulty making my payments and want to stay in my home?

Comments (30)

Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2009 at 11:31 am

Your position is regrettable but why did you take an adjustable loan while betting on the market to continue to increase? That is gambling. Should you walk from the home and let the bank take it you would have cancellation of debt which would be subsidized by the rest of the taxpayers. How is that fair to those of us who live within our means and are not motivated by greed to purchase what we cannot afford?
Sorry to be blunt but gambling losses should not be paid for by the taxpayers.

Posted by Henry, a resident of Dublin
on Jul 29, 2009 at 12:21 pm


I am 26 years old and bought the place new when I was 19. I worked two jobs for the down payment and to qualify which I was happy to do. I wanted to finish my college education and i did not qualify for student loans so the only option I had was to pull money out of my house to use for school and did the 5 year interest only because it would lower my payment a bit and I thought this would make it easier going to school fulltime and also working fulltime. Remember this was a few years back when the world was normal.

After I did this and was going to school the market collapsed and the recession started or maybe it is really a depression I do not know. Regardless, my employer reduced my and everyone elses pay between 30 and 45% thus moving me down significantly. I have never missed a payment and took another job to make sure that I made my payments and have still not missed one. I have been taking 15 -17 units and will graduate in December and at the same time have been working 70 hours per week. I do not want to walk away or quit as I made a committment to make the payments and I view it as an obligation so want to make the payments and keep the house. My only real interest is redoing the loan so that I am not at the mercy of hyperinflation which I believe will come in the next year or so. I think the easiest thing to do it quit and I do not want to do that.

Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2009 at 12:41 pm

You have obviously worked hard to get this house and your education but the fact remains that a 5 year interest only loan is GAMBLING on the market to continue to go up. This is not the first time there has been a huge loss in market value. What did you think you would do at the end of the five years? Around the time you were born the cost of a first mortgage was 15% and houses were dropping in value like rocks. This cycle repeats constantly. A person who takes an adjustable loan or an interest only loan is a gambler, no other way to put it.

Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jul 29, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Let me preface this by saying that I'm not in finance or banking, so what follows are just some of ideas that you may, or may not have, thought of:

I went online to see if there was anymore info on what's being called the "Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan". Here's the link, fyi: Web Link May not be any more info than you already have.

I also found this link from the CA HUD website about the plan: Web Link There's a "Homeownwer's Help Hotline" for urgent help, as well as a link for a free HUD approved housing counselor. Maybe one of those contacts can shake BofA loose.

Are you dealing with someone local at BofA? It might be useful to take all your paperwork down to the branch and work with a manager face-to-face; at least that way they can't ignore you. If you need to continue over the phone, tell whoever answers that you are not getting a callback, and ask to speak with a supervisor, or someone who can speak directly and specifically to your loan. Keep calling as often as it takes to get the right person involved.

As far as our representatives, I've always felt that Senator Feinstein is more responsive. A straightforward way would be to call her SF office. Here's the link: Web Link

And if all that fails, I might even contact one of the TV watchdogs. Off the top of my head, the only one I can think of is "5 on your side".

Best of luck to you in your efforts!!! I hope it work all works out for you. Come back and let us know.

Ignore Resident. He/She is obviously one of those people who have to be nasty to others in order to make themself feel superior. Unfortunately, they're usually too blind to see that they are just being an a$$.

Posted by Henry, a resident of Dublin
on Jul 29, 2009 at 1:35 pm


thank you very much for your time and help and I will follow up. No I have not spoken with anyone in person because it is dealt with nationally. Sometimes it is someone in Miami or Philadelphia or Phoenix etc. I must say they have been helpful in giving me information but as I mentioned above I am worried about interest rate creep starting at the beginning of the year. My father is an executive with Toyota and he always told me to abide by my commitments and this I am trying to do and will.

I had not thought about Dianne Feinstein but will give her a call and see if that helps. Again, Thank you very much for your time and effort to help.

Best regards, Henry

Posted by LawStudent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Billie posted the appropriate information and the info is on FHA site as well.

Don't let what resident said bring you down!

Move forward my friend!

Your situation is NOT unique...

Posted by LawStudent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Also, if your loan is more than the value of the home, they should be able to reduce the principal as well.

Good Luck!

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jul 29, 2009 at 2:22 pm

resident = a very sad...very very sad Troll...

Posted by Henry, a resident of Dublin
on Jul 29, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Thanks to all of you.

Posted by LawStudent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2009 at 2:59 pm

If you Google the subject and "forums" there are a lot of good forums in which people share where they are at in the process, the outcome etc.

Bank Of America is supposed to be o.k. to deal with as far as re working the loan.

Your local public representative won't get involved.

Best Of Luck, as you fit their criteria for sure.

Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 29, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Obama's mortgage relief is a joke at best. Essentially its just a box to check so he can say he didn't ignore the issue. The reality is, the government doesn't want you to remain in that adjustable rate mortgage (which my understanding of the program is that it allows the bank to extend those terms and a subsidized rate) and they would rather the bank foreclose or shortsell your property and take the loss now.

The proof is in the fact that so many people are having such difficulty getting approved for these programs. Pair that with the initiative that is focused on first time home buyers (FHA loans, government rebate, etc) which is essentially trying to get those foreclosed and short sale homes off the market.

The government is trying to get at risk people out of the housing market now and get first time home buyers in to absorb the excess inventory. That way new home builders won't be continously competing against foreclosed and short sale homes.

Posted by LawStudent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2009 at 3:25 pm

"which my understanding of the program"

Parent, whit ALL DUE respect, you don't understand the program or the economics behind the situation.

Posted by Henry, a resident of Dublin
on Jul 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I have letters, emails, and also phone calls into Dianne Feinstein's office as well McNerneys office so continuing to push forward and will continue.

Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 29, 2009 at 9:18 pm

LawStudent - "which my understanding of the program"

Parent, whit ALL DUE respect, you don't understand the program or the economics behind the situation.

I concede I'm not familiar with the details of the program (although reading through it appears loan modification is one avenue and refinance another) but please explain how my assessment of the economics behind the situation are wrong?

Posted by Acorn, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2009 at 12:25 am

Contact Acorn.

Posted by Ken in South Pleasanton, a resident of Downtown
on Jul 30, 2009 at 8:27 am

The bigger picture that everyone seems to be missing is that this is an example of how a well-intended but poorly vetted, rushed-to-approval government plan fails. Substitute "Helath Care Reform" for "Mortgage Relief" and you can see that we will be in one deep hole if Obama has his way with our health care. Sorry for Henry's problems and hope that Billie's advice and direction are helpful. Resident probably hasn't helped anyone in their life but is appears ready to criticize everyone from a pedestal high above.

Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 30, 2009 at 8:38 am

I admire your honesty. You exposed your financial problem, and ask for suggestions. Ignore the critics -- you're forthright and trying to do the right thing.

You are not alone -- there are tens of thousands in the same set of circumstances. But, do not expect much help from B of A (or any other lender). For the most part, they are simply going through the motions to satisfy the current administration. There are many many people out there who were led to believe that they were going to get their loans restructured, only in the end to have their homes siezed. The banks have generally not been totally honest in their dealings with the public regarding loan restructuring programs.

One suggestion I have is to stop phoning with your requests/ information, and start sending certified letters (return receipt requested) to Bank of America's loan restructuring office -- Do it as often as you can afford it. The lender will send you registered letters, record your phone conversations, and inundate you with phone calls. However, their legal departments appear to get a little nervous when they start having it done to them. Document everything (notes and dates of phone calls, etc.)and try to move your loan restructuring process from verbal to written. Also, WRITE letters to Feinstein, Boxer, and McNerny. Who knows, copies of your letters forwarded from your representative, just might find their way to B of A's loan restructuring office.

Good luck.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 30, 2009 at 9:08 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Arroyo wrote: "For the most part, they are simply going through the motions to satisfy the current administration."

There was some article written last week or so about this. The lenders are moving slowly and are even apparently slowing down. There's no real incentive for them to restructure the loans even though they took taxpayer TARP money. I'm sorry I can't find the article again.

It sounds like Arroyo has great advice regarding documentation.

Posted by JC, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 30, 2009 at 10:26 am

Buying a home is much like buying stocks - it's an investment and could "lose value". Many people bought stocks at a higher price and is not sitting with a large loss. These people are not getting any bail outs from tax payers. They are not calling their broker to "reduce the cost basis". So why it should be any different for you or others like you?

The truth is many people are in the same financial stability today as when they took out the loan. But due to reduced home value, they looking for excuses to get bail out help. They are just taking advantage of the system and taking advantage of honest tax payers like myself and many other hard working, responsible people.

Posted by Henry, a resident of Dublin
on Jul 30, 2009 at 10:32 am


After sending the emails, letters, and making the phone calls I spoke with someone at Bank of America regarding the idea about sending a registered letter and they told me that they did not have an address and that all loan activities due to the volume were be handled in a decentralized mode therefore they would not give me an address to direct the letter. I am going to have a letter send to their headquarters in San Francisco sending copies also to their legal department and see what happens at that point. Thank for the idea.

Posted by leveraged investment, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Unfortunately the banks are not at all motivated to help you. No doubt they were REALLY motivated to give a 19-year-old with 2 jobs a mortgage on a highly-leveraged investment.

It's a shame that it's so difficult to sue realtors and mortgage brokers for their contribution to this mess. I know people that have gotten some astronomically stupid advice from some of these greed-heads possessing barely a high-school diploma.

That said, almost all of this bad decision-making falls in your lap. Do whatever you can to make your payment and someday qualify for a better loan or suck it up and take your credit lumps.

Best of luck...

Posted by Victor, a resident of Valley Trails
on Jul 30, 2009 at 2:28 pm

If you were able to make a decision to own a house at age of 19 and persuaded the bank to loan to a college boy and later smart enough to take money out of your equity for college, you are able to get Mr. Obama and BofA work for you again. Don't give up!

Posted by Henry, a resident of Dublin
on Jul 30, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Leveraged Investment,

I would like to clarify one thing. My investment was not and is not highly leveraged. When I purchased the home I put $80,000 down of my own money on a new home in Dublin which I purchased for $320,000 so I put 25% down. I grew up in Pleasanton and started working jobs when I was 11 years old, mowing lawns, cleaning brush up, worked at a gas station when I was 16, and even spent two summers in Missouri working putting up hay so I saved my money and was no different than anyone else buying a home except that I was only 19 but almost 20 at the time.

Posted by dselestial, a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2009 at 10:21 pm

I agree with Victor. You have made an amazing accomplishment you should be proud of. My daughter also has just purchased her first home and she was 20 when she did. She receives nothing short of criticism from folks I deem too jealous to wish her well. Keep figuring stuff out. Many of the comments posted are good beginnings. Ignore the(Word removed by Pleasanton Weekly staff)
ones, they don't count, especially when you have done so well for yourself.

Keep your credit is good, and there should be some kind of answer to help you to refinance your home. Write to the Obama administration and see if they have any answers, since they are the ones behind all this finacial bailout double-speak.

Posted by dselestial, a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2009 at 10:21 pm


Posted by Henry, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 2, 2009 at 10:28 am


Thank you for your comments and yes I just mailed a letter to the White House yesterday and did on Fridy afternoon speak to someone at Dianne Feinstein's office and they said it normally will take 2 weeks for them to get back to me with a response and they hope to keep with that but said they are receiving 4 times for calls and emails than usual.

Thanks, again

Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 5, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Someone just posted the following link on another thread:
Web Link

It looks like not only Rep McNerney, but reps from BofA will be at this workshop as well. Be sure to take all your mortgage paperwork.

Heads up tho' - The thread referencing this site/workshop is all about gathering people to disrupt Rep McNerney's meetings, so you may have to cross a line of people trying to make sure that others don't get a chance to ask their questions.

Don't let them stop or intimidate you!

Posted by Henry, a resident of Dublin
on Aug 5, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Billie, thank you very much for this information and I will be there.


Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

You're welcome!

Just a thought - maybe, since it's in another community, contact Rep McNerney's office and see if you can pick up something from the Pleasanton office (a pass, invite?) that guarantees your entry into the workshop. Also just in case there are protesters and maybe they end up turning away anyone not from the Mountain House area to keep the peace.

Good luck!

Posted by Henry, a resident of Dublin
on Aug 5, 2009 at 4:13 pm


I will do so this week. I continue to call each day and made contact with Dianne Feinsteins office but they said it would be at least 2 weeks before I could expect a response of some type.

Thanks again,

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