This post is very personal, but I’m so frustrated that I’ll sacrifice any shame or embarrassment in hopes of obtaining closure.
Every day, from Monday through Friday, I receive at least two calls from Chase’s loss and mitigation department. The house in question is where I called home for three years until I filed for divorce two years ago. It was entered into foreclosure this June after a year and a half of trying to negotiate and work with Chase. I’m not upset about the foreclosure. I’m upset because I’m ready for the bleeding to stop. Foreclose, already! It’s been four months since they let me know it was in foreclosure and that a sale date would be coming soon. When they call, I say, “Hello, this is Jillian. Do you have anything new to tell me?” They immediately hang up on me. And we do the same dance the next time they call. Sometimes I don’t answer, because I’m busy at work or because I don’t feel like talking to them. I’ve learned if they have something important or some information that will move my case forward, they will leave a message.
July 2007, or thereabouts, I was devastated when an offer my then-husband and I made on a house wasn’t accepted. We had been married two months, I was tired of apartment living, and rent for a house was about the same as a mortgage, so we began the quest to buy a home.
A few weeks after we had been declined that first offer, we found another cute home in our price range — the home that would become ours. During the loan-application process, I fully realized the loan acceptance would have to be based on my income and credit alone. It was a convoluted process for various reasons, but long story, short, we almost didn’t get the loan because my income was too low to carry a house note. In hindsight, I wish we would have accepted that reality and continued to pay rent for our residence, whether it be an apartment or a house. Instead, my mother-in-law agreed to co-sign on the loan. Paperwork was completed and the house was ours, in my and my mother-in-law’s names.
Life moved along, I made the house a home, and loved that 1,200 square feet of space so much.
Fast forward to January 2009. I began to discover financial discrepancies in my marriage. Those issues were addressed and worked through. Later that year, I discovered our house was in foreclosure. The delinquent mortgage notices had been hidden from me. Again, issues were addressed, and we were able to restructure the mortgage.
October 2010, due to some more financial hardships and personal issues that had been hidden from me, I filed for divorce. But what to do with the house? It was a tricky situation since my mother-in-law also was on the loan. I couldn’t afford it on my own, and I couldn’t request her son to move out given that she too owned the home.
I moved out and he stayed in the house. After establishing that we couldn’t afford the house separately, upon advice from Chase, I let the house fall into foreclosure so that we could then file for a short sale. If the house didn’t sell through a short sale, then we would be eligible for deed in lieu of foreclosure. Basically, it’s like a foreclosure, but more gentle on you and your credit, because it shows you were negotiable and willing to work with the mortgage company.
During all of this, my ex-husband remained in the house, which was fine by me. It beat the house being vacant. The house was for sale in spring-early summer 2011 under the short-sale guidelines. We received no bites. We rolled into the deed in lieu process, and in July, the Chase representative said it was about to clear and that the house had to be vacant. My ex-husband moved out.
I went on, thinking, “Finally, all will be resolved.” One morning in early August, I had just parked for work when the Chase representative called again. She said they were canceling the deed in lieu request because of title issues. We searched and searched and found a lien that had been released. I tried to call the Chase representative back to explain what we found and to find out more information. No answer, no return calls.
Which prompted this letter on October 26, 2011:
Dear Chase Homeowner Assistance Department:
A year ago almost to the date, I wrote you a hardship letter (which is included in this packet) explaining why I could not pay the mortgage for the property in question. You acknowledged my hardship, and we began the process of short sale, which led to deed in lieu of foreclosure. I am writing this letter to urge you to proceed with the deed in lieu of foreclosure procedure so that we can put this matter to rest and I can move on with my life. I have tried to negotiate with you and have provided all materials that you have requested. However, you have left me hanging for three months not sure of what’s going on or what to do. I am trying to work with you. Please work with me in return.
I have not heard one word from you since on or around August 2, 2011, nor have I received any material in the mail. However, I have tried, and my ex-husband … , has as well, to reach you by phone. I have called and left messages for Megan Robine, who was working on the deed in lieu of foreclosure process. She called on or about August 2 to explain there was a snag in the process. She said there was a lien against my ex-husband … and the process could go forward until that was taken care of. … and I have both searched state and local courts. …. It is my understanding, based on what Megan said, that if we found that and it was paid, we were to fax it to her and the process of deed in lieu of foreclosure, may start over, but continue nonetheless. But I have heard nothing. … was living in the house up until August when the deed in lieu almost cleared. We were told the property had to be vacant when the title went into your hands, so he prepared and moved out. The house has been vacant since.
This week on October 25, 2011, I called Chase and talked to Craig at Chase in Phoenix, explaining I had stopped hearing from anyone at Chase and that I wanted to know the status of my mortgage issue. He said it appeared the deed in lieu process had been closed on August 2, on about the same day Megan called me about the lien. He said I should apply for the short sale again. The house was on the market for three months with no offers made. …
Craig said it seems my case is in a state of limbo, which appears to be true. … I have played by the rules and done everything you’ve requested. I believe I’ve met your requirements and deserve for Chase to continue on with the deed in lieu of foreclosure procedure. If there is something that is preventing Chase from dealing with my case, I urge you to call me and let me know exactly what I need to provide you.
More phone calls and conflicting messages ensued …
On January, 18, 2012, I sent another letter. In February, I sent in proper applications again, because the paperwork I sent in January got filed in the wrong place, Ashley Curry at Chase told me.
From January to May, I received letters from Chase regarding the identity of my dedicated customer assistance specialist. On February 7, 2012, the letter was from Erik Carr. Demarcus Harris then became my assistance specialist, which was stated in a letter dated February 13, 2012.
A letter dated April 11, 2012, stated my request for deed in lieu was under review. In April, I also spoke to Joshua Norman from Chase in the title/legal department. He said he had the information they needed for review and that the deed in lieu process was close to coming to a close. From February to April, Mr. Harris would call me to check in and tell me they were working on things.
The first of June, I received a letter dated May 30, 2012, from Mr. Norman stating Chase was canceling my deed in lieu request because I didn’t respond to their requests for documents or information. If it weren’t for the pain meds I had just been given after my foot injury (remember … metal framing of glass storm door, achilles tendon, OUCH), I would have busted through the roof. I hadn’t provided documents or information?!!! … after Mr. Norman told me in April that they had what they needed and now we were just playing a waiting game.
I then received a letter dated May 31, 2012, stating Wendy Norris as my new customer assistance specialist. The cycle started again. I called her, she looked up my records, told me there was a title issue but couldn’t or wouldn’t elaborate. She said she would get back in touch with me. She didn’t. I left some messages. Then I threw up my hands.
I talked to a few attorneys. They weren’t interested in taking on my case to help me get closure with Chase. The house was entered into foreclosure later in June. And I get daily calls from Chase. The amount of back payments has totaled so high that even if I wanted to keep the house, I couldn’t. What kills me most in all of this is that I’m a person of integrity. I pay my bills. I’m responsible. I’m in a bind that I can’t figure out how to loosen.