December 15, 2009, 10:25 am: The situation was going downhill and I needed an advocate, fast. If credit counseling was required, so be it. I would make an appointment today. Back to the makinghomeaffordable.gov to download a pdf of credit counseling services. Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling in Marmora, NJ was on the list and close, but they would only help if I was past due. Not good. I started calling and soon found the agencies were all swamped. The first available appointment I could get anywhere was Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 9 am, with the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley in Camden, NJ. I took it.
December 15, 2009, 10:34 am: I called Chase (866) 550-5705, the number for Making Homes Affordable. Spoke with Stewart who advised “all systems are down”; call back in an hour.
December 15, 2009, 11:45 am: I called Chase (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Jillian. I asked for a copy of the denial letter dated 6/30/09. Jillian could not provide this but she offered to read the content to me and said I was ineligible as the “L.T.V. was less than 80%”. As she read the notes to me she freely admitted she did not understand them. Jillian confirmed Chase had received my new application for a home loan modification on 12/11/09 and that it was with the technical team who was looking to see if all of the required information was there. “This can take a few days or up to two weeks”.
I pressed for more information and was transferred to Mary in Imminent Default. Mary said Chase required a one-line statement that I do not pay condo or homeowner association fees and that line 6 on my tax request form needed completion; she could accept a verbal approval on that but I was to fax the “missing” document and be sure to note my loan number on the document. I again requested a copy of my 6/30/09 denial letter; Mary said she could see an 8/25/09 letter but no 6/30/09 letter – she would send an e-mail to request a copy be re-sent to me. Mary indicated that loan modification reviews were taking 30-60 days and I should follow up every 7-10 business days. We ended the call. I then faxed (866) 282-5682 a one-page document indicating I did not pay condo or homeowners association fees on my home.
December 16, 2009, 11:54 am: I called Chase (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Tony who confirmed Chase had all the necessary documents including the verbal tax form release and the fax about no condo fees. Tony then transferred me to Imminent Default. I spoke with Sandra and again requested a copy of the 6/30/09 or 8/25/09 denial letter. I asked Sandra to read the letters to me and she said I was ineligible due to L.T.V., my “loan to value was too much” and I had “too much” cash reserves (more than three months). Sandra said she’d send the letter again; it should take 7-10 days.
December 16, 2009: Since letters were on my mind, I wrote some. I wrote to Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, JP Morgan Chase, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Senator Robert Menendez, Congressman Frank LoBiondo, Alan J. Heavens, real estate columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and I wrote one to Wall Street Journal reporter Ruth Simon.