* Here is the letter that I've sent Countrywide. I'm posting it publicly in case it can help anyone else.
January 7, 2009
Office of the President
Attn: Adrienne Ely
400 Countrywide Way
Simi Valley, CA 93065
Re: Angela Hunt & Matthew Hunt Loan # [redacted]
Short Sale of [redacted] – Hardship Letter
Dear Ms. Ely:
On November 17th, 2008, we received an offer on our house at [redacted], that was for less than the total amount of our loan with Countrywide. As it was the first and only serious offer we had received after being on the market since August, 2008, we accepted it, and, as requested by your company, sent a hardship letter and all other required paperwork on December 2nd to the Short Sale Department explaining our financial situation and requesting a referral for review and approval of the Short Sale.
On Monday, January 5th, 2009, over a month later, my real estate agent informed me that Countrywide had contacted her, informing her that I had to call Countrywide’s Short Sale department and request a referral for a Short Sale. This caused me serious concern, as we have been in escrow for over a month, and my understanding was that the Short Sale review and approval process had been underway since the first week of December.
When I called Customer Service, the representative—who, incidentally, refused to give me her name—told me that not only was there no record of our request for a Short Sale in the system, but there was no record of a real estate agent having ever contacted them regarding the Short Sale of our property. Our real estate agent has detailed records of phone calls made, and documents mailed and faxed over the last six weeks which clearly refute this.
The representative said that, basically, our file had been “lost”, and we needed to begin the process all over again. She told me that a negotiator would contact me within 72 hours, which also caused me concern: over the past year, I have been promised multiple times that a negotiator would be contacting me “within 72 hours” to discuss our loan, and I have never, in any of those instances, been contacted. I informed the representative of this, and she told me that despite what I may have been told in the past, no negotiator has ever been assigned to our loan...which at least explains why no one ever contacted us.
Here, in brief, is my situation. At the beginning of 2008, I was unexpectedly unemployed for four months, which led to my husband’s and my falling behind on our loan payments. I was able to find a new job, but it pays substantially less than my previous job, which makes it impossible to pay our monthly mortgage payments and still afford even the basics for survival, like utilities, food, and health care for our four year-old daughter. We initially tried to rework our loan with the Loss Mitigation department of your company, but were offered new terms that were actually worse than the oppressive terms we were trying to renegotiate. A short time later, the national financial and mortgage crisis erupted, and it became clear that—given the new, worse terms given by the Loan Mitigation department of your company—Countrywide was forcing us to either Short Sell our home or go into foreclosure. We decided to put our house on the market, knowing that it would probably not sell for the full amount of the loan, but that if we could manage to sell it, we would at least be able to pay off a portion of the amount we owed, as opposed to a foreclosure, which results in a total loss for everyone.
For over a year now, I have been trying to deal with your Loan Mitigation, Customer Service, and Short Sale departments. Every time I have asked for their assistance to reach the best possible solution to my current situation, I have been told that there is no record of any prior communication, and that I need to resubmit extensive paperwork, and that “this time”, someone will contact me. Each time, no one has contacted me, the paperwork I sent in has been “lost”, and all records of my communication have also been “lost”. I have already gone through this process four times now with the same result each time.
Additionally, I am now five months pregnant with our second child, and dealing with the ongoing promises and failures of the departments and personnel within your company is causing me greatly increased distress and aggravation, which could potentially negatively impact my health and the health of my unborn child. The Short Sale review process is supposed to take 30 days, and it has now been 35 days, and is putting at serious risk the planned closure of escrow, and all of the arrangements that my family—not to mention the buyer’s family—have made over the last 2 months. And to add one more insult to this entire process, my real estate agent contacted your company this morning and was told that, despite what she had been told just two days prior, our file—miraculously “found”—was suddenly “under review.”
In order to assure that this review process is completed promptly, and that all files and records are not “lost” yet again, I request and require that Countrywide immediately supply me with the following:
The life of our loan history
Copy of Note
Copy of the Deed of Trust
Copy of the Title
All Assignments of the Deed of Trust
Right of Rescission
Lender Final HUD-1 from closing
Copy of Initial Loan Application and Final Lender Loan Application
All Disclosures and all Loan Documents from our file
Copy of Appraisal
I also request and require that I be given the name and direct contact information of a specific representative within the Short Sale department who can directly facilitate the review and approval of our Short Sale, as the past year’s repeated behavior of lost and missing files and records indicates to me that no one has taken any responsibility for our file in any way at this time.
I am greatly disappointed in Countrywide in general and its customer service in specific. The stress of this situation has made my pregnancy more difficult, and I fear that our buyer will walk away from the deal because of Countrywide’s poor handling of our request and our file, and that all parties—myself and my husband, the buyer and his family, and Countrywide—will be left in a far worse position due to the incompetence of the Countrywide representatives’ handling of this process.
Angela N. Hunt
cc: Raquel Robinson, Office of the President
Linda Turner, Supervisor Office of the President
Mary Archer, Legal
Daniel Whitehead, Executive Relations Coordinator
Joe Riggio, Senior Vice President
Angela De Aro, Vice President
Melissa Guerra, 1st Vice President
Rina Jariwala, Vice President, Operations