If you are negotiating with a bank and or either of these banks to modify your loans I have some personal advice to give. This is not of course legal advice, just personal advice.
Don't trust anything they say. Get everything in writing and EVEN THEN don't assume you are dealing with a person who might stand behind what they say.
Both banks are seemingly in cohoots with one another and making out financially from this modification mess and the foreclosure crisis and they are actually probably legally obligated to make a profit for their shareholders (which I guess is in part us now). So from their perspective they will make sure that in the end they wind up with the property and they have a "sister" bank buy it at an aggreeable price to prevent a loss on paper.
We were told by our modification people at BofA that they would negotiatie with us if no one bought the house at auction.
No one showed up at the advertised time of auction or even the push off dates by BofA. So when we missed the third one we were sure that they would have no buyers, especially after the auctioneer told us that no one shows up at auctions anymore and we were the first people he had seen.
And it wasn't easy to figure out that Wells had purchased our home. It wasn't through the sheriff's dept when we called to see if anyone had actually started proceedings of eviction. They felt we had title to the house. Manny's phones calls to the courthouse and title company also confirmed that Manny was the sole owner of the home. It wasn't until Manny found a very helpful woman at the County Clerk's office that eventually we found out that Wells Fargo had filed a claim to the property.
So here are the key points anyone negotiating with these ruthless beasts needs to know:
-They are going to do what they can to make a profit on you. (Don't pay a last minute $3000 extortion fee, they told us it goes towards nothing and wont save the house really or stop the paperwork.)
-They will probably not be able to coordinate anything between the arm that conducts the modifications and the arm that auctions off the house. The lawyer side apparently has no actual contact method with the banking side that negotiates the loan. Amazingly they contacted one another immediately to stop the proceedings on the modification though when they had sold it to Wells in a shady underhanded deal that did not occur on the courthouse steps as all auctions are supposed to. Therefore don't trust communications with your bank.
-Don't let the bank lull you into believing that the whole thing will work out so long that you run out of time to declare bankruptcy. That was what got us. Within days the bank sent out a skanky realtor who bullied and lied to us to get us out immediately. They promised cash for keys on this date and then held money for 5 days following even though we had a signed contract.
Something else to consider. Manny had the kind of a loan mod going where he was promising to pay all back mortgage payments at the end of the loan and did not request anything lower than the original agreement. He turned in all the paperwork immediately and did everything they asked of him. He even promised to start payments on the first of the month as soon as he received his paperwork saying the modification was complete.
If you aren't promising to pay back the past late payments, and you are not starting ASAP, how can you assume you will make out better? You see what I am saying is this- we were the bank's best case scenario and it was still a better financial deal to play with us and keep the house in the end. Are you going to make out better? Can you devote hours a day to phone calls to try to make the deal work likeManny did? He was professional, calm and rather together. If he couldn't get a fair deal how are the myriads of people who lost their jobs, are scared out of their minds, have no money or are trying to negotiate down the mortgage going to be treated by these scoundrels? BTW I have found a lovely series of sites devoted to helping ferret out the truth in this matter. "Wells Fargo Sucks" and "Bank of America Sucks" also have our story. I also sent a comparable letter to The White House calling for an investigation into this matter. Let's ban together and protect others from losing it all. Changes are on the horizon, let's make them now.