Is your bank a lagging lender?Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Are you trying to modify or maybe refinance your home? Then you are probably feeling a lot of frustration.
Many people want help on their mortgage, but they just aren't getting any.
The problem is twofold. Number one, the federal government has set what some consider to be very strict guidelines when it comes to getting your mortgage modified.
Find more information about the mortgage help guidelines at .
And number two, even if you meet the guidelines, people say lenders are dragging their feet.
Damon Chavez never had a problem paying the mortgage on his townhome until 10 months ago when he lost one of his teaching jobs and his income was almost cut in half.
Chavez said he called Bank of America last January.
"I'm in trouble, I don't think I am going to be able to make my payments in time," Chavez said he told the bank.
Chavez wanted to modify his loan using the federal government's Making Home Affordable plan. The plan doled out $50 billion to lenders like Bank of America to help modify loans for customers like Chavez.
"I was like great, it can actually help me," Chavez said. "The government is helping us and the banks are going to help us."
But 10 months later, Chavez says his lender, Bank of America, hasn't done anything about modifying his mortgage.
"I just never heard back," Chavez said. "They just kept giving me the runaround, telling me, 'You'll hear something, don't worry.' But I never heard from them and I'm in this position now."
Chavez claims Bank of America told him he should pray or maybe get a second job to pay his mortgage.
He says they even told him they couldn't help him unless he was behind in his payments.
"I feel like I'm a responsible homeowner and I make my payments on time and I just didn't want to be late," Chavez said.
Exactly what are Bank of America and other large lenders doing with all that federal money?
The Treasury Department investigated and released a report last month indicating the largest lenders got off to a rocky start. From eligible loans, Bank of America only modified 4 percent.
In the meantime, Chavez is flat-out disgusted.
"I think every American is fed up with this and the banks are just not helping," Chavez said.
Bank of America tells me they are reviewing Chavez's situation, but for right now, they will cut his mortgage in half for the next 60 days until they can find the best solution and they will make sure his credit is protected.
They go on to say the modification process is lengthy and it is not a "one size fits all" solution, but they are getting better.
So, do you actually qualify under Obama's loan modification program?
Remember there are strict federal guidelines and here's one of the big ones.
If your mortgage payment is 31 percent or more of your monthly household income, then the government says you are a candidate for a loan modification.
However, if your mortgage is less than 31 percent of your gross monthly income, it's unlikely you will qualify for the government plan, but your lender might have a program that's available.
Statement from Bank of America:
Bank of America's efforts under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) are gaining momentum as demonstrated by our August results- doubling the number of customers with a trial modification in just one month. ?Bank of America now has more than 68,000 customers in active trial modifications under HAMP and we on track to reach 125,000 customers in active trial modifications by November 1. ? ? We remain committed to our goal of keeping as many customers in their homes as possible. ?Our efforts don't stop if we are unable to apply a HAMP solution. ?We exhaust every option, including our National Homeownership Retention program and other loan modification solutions which account for 170,000 loan modifications that we completed in the first seven months of this year.
?Customers experiencing financial difficulty can visit ? for more information.