Should homeowners skip payments?
When the economy slowed, so did Ohio homeowner Mike Elewski’s family owned business. Seeing the problem coming, he called his mortgage holder, Wells Fargo to ask for a loan modification to avoid oncoming problems and was informed they could only help if he was behind on his mortgage and Elewski claims they told him to miss payments so he could receive help.
Wells Fargo denies the claims, but most of us in the real estate industry have heard first hand this same advice coming from various banks- don’t pay and we can help.
Will $2 fix this? Huh, buddy?
Now, Elewski’s home is in foreclosure and in a judge ordered mediation session at which time he was offered a loan modification of $2 off his monthly mortgage payment leaving foreclosure eminent.
How homeowners are seeking resolve
Responsible homeowners being advised by banks to skip payments is akin to the welfare system advising someone to sell their car before they can qualify because their assets are too great. It creates a system of ridiculous demands on people who are trying to avoid destitution.
Homeowners file complaints with their attorneys general to no avail. Wells Fargo seems impervious to bad public relations as more homeowners tell their stories to news outlets as often their only recourse. One shouldn’t have to go to any of those lengths, nor should they have to go on a hunger strike to get Wells Fargo to discuss a reasonable modification or find loopholes to foreclose on Wells Fargo branches.
How to fix this problem
It’s not a government program that will prop this situation up, it’s only banks that can fix their problems and for years, that problem has been refusal to communicate effectively or at all. If the government is thirsty to regulate something or put a program into place, let it be regulation of effective bank communication.