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    Need advice fast

    Hello,
    This is my first post and I need some advice fast! I apologize for the length in advance. We filed a chapter 13 in June. Since then we have been going back and forth with the trustee and the attorney and the mortgage companies attorney. We filed solely because of the MANY things our former mortgage company has done to steal my home. They have been trying since 2012 when we refinanced and realized we were on a fixed income. Or maybe it was b/c I got my loan officer in a lot of trouble, I am not sure which one or both. They accounts in my name that we knew nothing about, stopped my automatic payments on 3 different occasions w/o notification, actually sold my house (to themselves) w/o notification (which was overturned) for approximately $125,000 Less than it was valued at. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

    I could go on for 5 pages. Longer story short we filed for bk in June to prevent them from once again selling my home. So far it has been a nightmare. My insurance has doubled for my home and autos, and anyone else who can run credit Or knows of the bankruptcy has increased payments or has made my life hell. For example the bank who holds our second mortgage (who was not included in the bankruptcy) made it so the only way I can pay them is to call every month to their bankruptcy dept and make a payment over the phone. They took the wrong amount out in July. The amt was $2.09 short. They called me 8 times and threatened to turn me into the credit bureau. I filed formal complaints But that did nothing. Then they would not accept my payment the next month for over a month which then made 2 payments short. My attorney did nothing, the trustee did nothing, no one even cared. I finally got it settled after calling (about the 10th time) in tears and someone took pity on me and got it settled. I have NO way to check this account. I do not get statements I can’t access it online, no way for me to check it. They say all correspondence has to go to my attorney. He says he doesn’t get anything and so that is that. Truly, NO ONE CARES.

    My latest and ongoing issue is still with the mortgage company. They have doubled my escrow By charging me for it and then billing for it on top, they have assessed 850 for “fees” two months in a row and are charging me an extra $55 every month for who knows what. My attorney asked about these fees and they said they could charge that so they did.

    ( “I also note that you have taken issue with our attorney fees. Please be advised that these fees are set, and in compliance, with Freddie. I doubt the court will find them unreasonable given these are the standard fees set by Freddie“). My attorney responded.

    (Will your client entertain a loan mod? I have resolved these type issues in other cases, by working with the creditor’s attorney to get a loan mod going.

    I’ll re-consider my objection to the attorney fees, but I’m not sure Judge ?? is bound by Freddie Mac“.) ***{judges name taken out for privacy}

    To me this sounds like the good ole boys club.

    What do I do? NO ONE CARES! The trustee is now saying that we have to pay an extra $700/month for the bankruptcy to go forward or else he will dismiss it. That is double the amount we were paying before the bankruptcy for all the bills included in it. No one listens to me. I guess I am not very good at being heard but I keep trying. Isn’t that the definition of crazy? Lol

    My attorney says he can see where they have made errors, but can’t get the Complete paperwork From the other Attorney to look into it. He said it will cost me more if he fights with the mortgage company for all that has happened. We have paid him thousands of dollars already and part of his fees are included in the bankruptcy. I need advice fast. I thought bankruptcy was suppose to make things more manageable with a plan. Everyone keeps changing the plan and honestly I am getting more worried by the minute that they are going to take all of our assets, which is a lot more than what we owe. It feels as if I have a target on my back. When does it end? I am at such a loss of what to do or where to turn to for help. Can someone please offer me some advice. I know that in the past I have not handled things very well but I am doing my best to make things work. We are trying again to get a loan mod but prior to the bankruptcy they only approved a short sale or deed in leu.
    Last edited by justbroke; 11-19-2020, 11:45 AM. Reason: [moderator broke up some paragraphs only.]

    #2
    First, welcome to BKForum. I just put some paragraph breaks in a few places to break up your text. I didn't edit any part of what you wrote. It's a lot to digest, but here are the highlights.

    Originally posted by Targetonback View Post
    Longer story short we filed for bk in June to prevent them from once again selling my home. So far it has been a nightmare.
    Are you talking about a foreclosure? A bank can't sell your home at all. Only the court can direct a home to be sold as part of a foreclosure on a mortgage or an alternate process for a deed of trust. It reads as though they didn't follow some process for a foreclosure and the foreclosure was reversed.

    Originally posted by Targetonback View Post
    For example the bank who holds our second mortgage (who was not included in the bankruptcy) made it so the only way I can pay them is to call every month to their bankruptcy dept and make a payment over the phone. They took the wrong amount out in July.
    Technically, every credit is included in bankruptcy. I'm guessing that you mean that you were paying this creditor directly and not "through" the Trustee based on your Chapter 13 Plan. The problem with this, is that the creditor is no longer bound by the Chapter 13 "automatic stay" and can treat you as if you had not filed. This is why some debtors choose to pay through the Trustee to keep that protection. (I may have made a generalization, but for Florida Chapter 13 plans, paying outside the plan means you lose the protections of the automatic stay... and for good reason.)

    Originally posted by Targetonback View Post
    I finally got it settled after calling (about the 10th time) in tears and someone took pity on me and got it settled. I have NO way to check this account. I do not get statements I can’t access it online, no way for me to check it. They say all correspondence has to go to my attorney. He says he doesn’t get anything and so that is that. Truly, NO ONE CARES.
    It's not that no one cares, it's that paying "outside" the plan means that you are at the mercy of the creditor under normal "non-bankruptcy" terms. It is what I mentioned in the paragraph above. The fact is that the account is included in your bankruptcy so they will not send statements or allow you to pay online. This is specifically to avoid any issues related to the automatic stay. You may want to ask that creditor if your attorney can provide them with permission to continue to bill you and allow online access. Some people were successful when providing such a letter absolving the creditor of any issues related to collection of a debt.

    Originally posted by Targetonback View Post
    My latest and ongoing issue is still with the mortgage company. They have doubled my escrow By charging me for it and then billing for it on top, they have assessed 850 for “fees” two months in a row and are charging me an extra $55 every month for who knows what. My attorney asked about these fees and they said they could charge that so they did.
    Are you paying them outside the plan as well? Do you known why your escrow increased and was there a shortage from the prior year/quarter? Did your homeowner's insurance or your property taxes increase? Those could cause both a shortage (requiring catchup) and an increase in the rate of collection.

    Originally posted by Targetonback View Post
    “I also note that you have taken issue with our attorney fees. Please be advised that these fees are set, and in compliance, with Freddie. I doubt the court will find them unreasonable given these are the standard fees set by Freddie“. My attorney responded.
    A secured creditor can charge any fee that is in the Promissory Note and/or Deed of Mortgage/Trust which was signed. Most of those, especially the GSE/FNMA/FHLMC have very specific provisions.

    From FHMLC (Freddie Mac) Standard Promissory Note...

    If the Note Holder has required me to pay immediately in full as described above, the Note Holder will have the right to be paid back by me for all of its costs and expenses in enforcing this Note to the extent not prohibited by applicable law. Those expenses include, for example, reasonable attorneys’ fees.
    Originally posted by Targetonback View Post
    To me this sounds like the good ole boys club.
    It reads more like negotiating a way forward. Attorneys almost always work to mitigate the expense of trial for their clients. The average bankruptcy attorney for a consumer runs about $250/hour while a corporate bankruptcy attorney could be $500+ per hour.

    Originally posted by Targetonback View Post
    What do I do? NO ONE CARES! The trustee is now saying that we have to pay an extra $700/month for the bankruptcy to go forward or else he will dismiss it. That is double the amount we were paying before the bankruptcy for all the bills included in it. No one listens to me. I guess I am not very good at being heard but I keep trying. Isn’t that the definition of crazy?
    Chapter 13 plans can be a complex negotiation. A Chapter 13 Plan is a type of contract and the terms bind everyone to the terms once that plan is confirmed. Every Chapter 13 Plan allows for modification and every Trustee will worry about escrows and especially adjustable rate mortgages. When the amounts paid to a mortgage creditor change, the Trustee is obligated, by the plan, to pay the creditor.

    Originally posted by Targetonback View Post
    My attorney says he can see where they have made errors, but can’t get the Complete paperwork From the other Attorney to look into it. He said it will cost me more if he fights with the mortgage company for all that has happened. We have paid him thousands of dollars already and part of his fees are included in the bankruptcy.
    I wrote about the costs in the above paragraph. When it comes to escrow accounts and adjustable-rate mortgages, it is what it is. Unless you find a material error in the calculation of the escrow account, there's nothing to do. Even if you did, the recourse is through the creditor (mortgage bank). Bringing it into court can be expensive... and the Trustee doesn't want anything to do with it.

    Originally posted by Targetonback View Post
    I need advice fast. I thought bankruptcy was suppose to make things more manageable with a plan. Everyone keeps changing the plan and honestly I am getting more worried by the minute that they are going to take all of our assets, which is a lot more than what we owe.
    There's no way for me to tell the core issue. It reads as though a wrongful foreclosure was initiated and completed. You fought that foreclosure and it was overturned, but you still ended up filing bankruptcy. Why did you file bankruptcy if there were not any issues with the terms of the mortgage (and promissory note)?

    If you voluntarily filed Chapter 13 to cure an issue with the mortgage, then you may find the terms in the Chapter 13 infeasible. If you had no arrears prior to filing, did not suffer a loss of income, or otherwise didn't need to file Chapter 13, I question why you filed.

    Here's what happened in my Chapter 13. I did not have anything in escrow before filing. When I filed, I was in arrears but since I didn't have escrow payments the bank added an escrow shortage, and the new escrow payment, along with a catchup payment. The new payment was over $5,000/month. That was quite nearly double what it was before I filed (before escrow). It took me 20 months into my Chapter 13 to decide that it wasn't worth saving that property. While I could afford the $7,000/month Trustee payment, it wasn't in my best interest to keep the property and stay in a Chapter 13.

    I can tell you personally that dealing with a home, that is in arrears, with an escrow shortage, can be challenging. The Trustee only cares that you meet the payments as defined by the plan. It's not that they don't care, since they aren't successful unless you're successful. The Trustees simply represent the creditors themselves, and they are not your friend. They go by what's in the confirmed plan.

    The bottom line is that you and your attorney can try to determine if there are any significant errors and you'll need to decide if the fees are worth it. Here's some thing you can do if you want to understand the numbers:
    • Have your attorney notify the creditor that you are okay with receiving statements
    • Have your attorney ask your creditor to send the last 6 months of statements to your attorney
    • Have your attorney ask your creditor to send the last 2 escrow calculations to your attorney
    • Review these on your own and point out things you don't understand to your attorney
    • Work with your attorney to understand what can and can't be charged (based on the Mortgage/Note)
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

    Comment


      #3
      Justbroke,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Yes we were behind and escrow was minus. The main thing is we have a lot of equity and Only owe approximately 1/3 of the value of the house between the two loans. I paid every extra penny we had for several years to try to get the first loan a, so we have paid much more than we were suppose to at this time. I know that doesn’t seem to mean a thing however.

      I really appreciate your explanation of the trustees role. He seemed fairly genuine during the initial conversation and was concerned about Protecting our assets, so I shall rethink my position about that.

      Your advice is very sound, and I will definitely look into most of it. One of the issues is that they refuse to send him the complete records. They have sent for example, only payment records, They do not have their additional fees they keep adding Nor what they have added on. My attorney continues to try to obtain these records.


      I am not disputing The fact that opposing attorneys should get something for their work. It is just that they won’t explain exactly how much and when we refused to sign a statement saying we would pay them something like $1500 in addition to what they have already charged us, they just added to the mortgage. Plus they are tacking on additional charges every month with no explanation. Also they are double charging me escrow amounts and my attorney found that in one month they “triple dipped” the entire amount. So there are definitely errors in their paperwork. They still are using my previous name which should not even be associated with this loan, since I was married for a few years before we took the loan out. Again, that is just the tip of the iceberg of the rotten things this company has done.


      You truly helped me get myself back to the ground, and I thank you very much for that. My attorney would probably thank you too. I have been getting statements from the First mortgage, just not on the second loan. The Second loan had never had a missed or late payment Until they would not take a payment from me in September. I was so upset b/c as I understand it, is that they can basically cancel the bankruptcy over ANY mistake I make. I was worried that they would blame me. Honestly, it was not my fault and I could not find anyone to help for over a month. I guess I am lucky that I had the money available still to make the two payments. This was all over a $2.09 deficiency.


      I will definitely go through the paperwork with a fine tooth comb and maybe if I S P E L L the errors out to my attorney, he will get a better grasp on the situation. The bad thing is they are giving him almost as much run around as they did me. I will try to have faith that he can handle it better than I.
      Again thank you for your help.


      Comment


        #4
        From my experience, getting to the bottom of the issue can be taxing and can cost you money. My HOA had the audacity to send my request to their attorney, when I asked for detailed paperwork. The attorney then charged their corporate fees for the research, even though Florida law prohibits that for obtaining your own records. I then complained about it, so they sent it to the attorney again, which garnered more fees. While I never technically fixed the underlying issue, I never ended up paying for the attorney fees. Let's just say the attorney fees ended up being $20K more than the "simple" $100 issue. I made a mountain from a mole-hill.

        I wrote that to tell you that trying to fix the problem, sometimes creates more problems. You can go through the court, which is what I did, but that takes time. I can't speak for your creditor and why there are issues, but be aware of the mole-hill problem that I had in the past. The problem is that if they are correct, then they likely earned all those fees.
        Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
        Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
        Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

        I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

        Comment


          #5
          I strongly, strongly suggest you try to refi out of both of these loans into one new mortgage rather than continue the fight. You're going to lose. They can charge whatever they want. More corporate advances and property preservation fees will continue until you are caught up at the end of the 13 and that's if you quit fighting them. If you challenge them, their lawyer will charge you even more fees than if you did nothing. It is important to make all post-petition mortgage payments on time. Do not be more than 30day late or short them or you'll never be able to refi out.

          They won't send complete records. All you will get is a payoff letter and payment history. Anymore than that you will have a fight.

          While in chapter 13, FHA and VA are your refi options after 1 year of on-time trustee payments. The new loan won't have the BS fees.

          Comment


            #6
            flashoflight summed that up better than I did in my former post. The fees that are allowed can be devastating and there is literally nothing (much) that you can do about it unless they agree to abate or cancel those fees.
            Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
            Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
            Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

            I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

            Comment

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