As stories of the troubled HAMP program roll in, more and more mortgage lenders are being named and shamed. Bank of America has had a number of issues, and you can add Wells Fargo to the list.
Wells Fargo put an Illinois woman though a "nightmare of harassment, frustration, and relentless stress" when she tried to apply for a mortgage modification under the Obama administrations' Home Affordable Modification Program, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court this week.
It's a familiar nightmare to many lured by HAMP's promise of reduced monthly payments. More people have been bounced from the program than have received "permanent" five-year modifications, and federal auditors say the program sometimes actually causes borrowers to lose their homes.
Therese Crowley of Deerfield, Ill., facing reduced income because of health problems and less demand for her broker services, first asked for a HAMP application in April 2009. Wells Fargo allegedly dragged its feet for four months before it sent one along, then denied the application in October and gave her bogus explanations when she called to complain.
In November, Wells Fargo told Crowley to apply again, then denied her again the following month. A week later she called the bank and spoke to a woman named Paula, who "determined that Wells Fargo had erroneously overstated Crowley's income by $2,800," the complaint alleges. "Also, the file erroneously indicated that Crowley owed $2,381.07 per month on a credit card debt which in fact had been paid off in 2002. Paula agreed that with the correct information (information that Wells Fargo had during this entire process), in her opinion Crowley qualified for a HAMP loan modification."