Why? Homeowners’ tales of getting the runaround have been well documented; lenders say borrowers are lax in submitting the proper documentation. Despite the cross-fire, the program seems to be moving in the right direction. Lenders’ claims that they are increasing efforts to help distressed borrowers are reflected in the new Treasury numbers, which show improvements for the more than two dozen lending institutions. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has launched a conversion campaign in the hope of moving hundreds of thousands of homeowners into permanent loan modifications by year-end

 

FORENSIC

AUDIT DOCUMENT CHECKLIST

 

Please provide the following documents for our Forensic Loan Audit Review Service  All of these documents should be in the package your title agency gave you when you bought your home.  The Title Agency should also have a copy in their files.  If you cannot find your copy, you should try to get a copy of all your paperwork in the Title Agency's files.  Make a copy to keep for yourself and send the copy to us.  When your audit is completed, the paperwork you send to us will be destroyed after 30 days.  If you cannot locate a copy of your original paperwork, you will need to have us prepare a demand letter to send to your lenders.  There is a nominal charge of $50.00 for this service, so it is best to do all you can to find your copies you received at the closing or ge them from your Title Agency.

1.    Mortgage Note with Endorsements, Modifications, Attachments, Riders, Addendum’s, etc. State the terms of the loan and interest rate, and changes.  (Again, if you have more than one loan, bring the NOTE for each loan.)

2.    Mortgage / Deed of Trust / Security Instrument.

3.    Second Lien Documents / Subordination Agreement(s).

4.    Mortgage Insurance Certificate.

5.    HUD1 / Settlement Sheet and Addendums from your closing. (Estimate and Final).
(If you have more than one mortgage, make sure you send a HUD-1 settlement statement for each closing.)

6.    Rescission Notice (if applicable).

7.    FEMA Standard Flood Hazard Determination.

8.    Hazard Insurance Documents (include flood, wind, other applicable policies).

9.    Final Truth in Lending Disclosure (TIL).

10.  Initial Truth in Lending Disclosure.

11.  Section 32 Disclosures.

12.  Mortgage Application (FNMA 1003) or Uniform Residential Loan Application, from your closing).

13.  Good Faith Estimate (GFE).

14.  Sales Contract with all Addendums (if applicable).

15.  Appraisal (If you have one).

16.  Survey or Platt Map.

17.  Title Commitment and / or Title Policy.

18.  All State Disclosures.

19.  Home Owners Insurance Declarations Page … the current insurance on the home.

20.  Property Tax Bill/Statement … Agree to Provide Any Document Requested by Forensic Auditors Of America:                                        Initial______Initial______                                                                                                                                                                                      


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CitiMortgage, JPMorgan Chase lead lenders

 

According to the December figures, CitiMortgage and JPMorgan Chase are among the most productive lenders, offering trial home loan modifications to 43 percent and 31 percent of eligible homeowners, respectively. Meanwhile, Bank of America — the industry’s biggest mortgage servicer — came in at just 15 percent.

Many lenders report they simply weren’t prepared for the onslaught of borrowers requesting assistance and are still catching up. “The sheer volume is something this industry has never seen before,” says Chase spokesman Tom Kelly. “We knew the program would be a big deal, but it was far bigger than we anticipated.”

In response, lenders made massive staff increases. Chase has added 5,000 employees to assist with loan defaults and home loan modifications since Jan. 1, bringing its total to 13,000 staff members, according to Kelly. CitiMortgage has added 1,400 employees to its loss mitigation staff this year, bringing the total to 4,000, said Mark Rodgers, vice president of public affairs.

But even with the staff increases, acclimating new employees takes time. “We’ve got 5,000 people in new jobs at a time when the rules for those jobs are changing,” notes Kelly, who says that Chase has further streamlined its efforts recently by outsourcing routine jobs — like document imaging — so that staff members can focus on underwriting and quality control.

Lenders cite another roadblock: a delay in guidelines from the Obama administration at the program’s onset. Lenders say they didn’t receive the parameters until mid-summer. “It was June or July before we received an explanation from the Treasury Department as to how to do these modifications,” Kelly says.

 

Sharing the blame with consumers

 

Though the finger of blame is often pointed at them, the lenders urge consumers to do their part too.

“One of the biggest challenges the financial institutions face is getting the paperwork we need from our customers,” Kelly says. “Half of our customers make the three modification payments during the trial period, but only 26 percent have submitted all of the necessary paperwork [to convert to a permanent modification]. We’ve hired literally hundreds of people as ‘document chasers’ — we’ve even hired people to knock on doors.”

And although the Treasury Department says that more than 900,000 Bank of America customers may be eligible, as many as one in three do not qualify for the Home Affordable Mortgage Program because their home is vacant, they have a debt-to-income ratio below the 31 percent requirement or they are unemployed, according to the lender.

Despite the challenges, Bank of America says it is picking up the pace. “In October, Bank of America increased the number of customers with a trial modification to nearly 137,000 — and now leads the industry in active trial modifications and offers extended,” spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens said. Like Chase, B of A has implemented a door-to-door campaign and has also established a customer assistance center in California to provide face-to-face counseling.

 

‘Moving as fast as they can’

 

From the trenches comes a similar story. Mortgage broker Sam Vail, president of IM Finance in Ann Arbor, Mich., reports a higher success rate in recent months for the loan modifications his company has been handling on behalf of its clients. “It’s definitely gotten better since [the program] was rolled out, though there’s still a lot of room for improvement,” says Vail, who in November received a permanent modification from Bank of America for his own personal home loan.

While the rescue program may be far from the instant solution that distressed borrowers may have