MODESTO (CBS13) — Ed Keene was fed up.
He said after eight months of submitting the same packet of documents, Ocwen Loan Services was still insisting it didn’t have his documents.
To make matters worse, he said, Ocwen never gives him the same contact person twice — making it even harder to sort out who received his paperwork and who didn’t.
But what about the California Homeowner Bill of Rights?
It was time to Call Kurtis.
Struggling to make his mortgage payments, Keene saw a glimmer of hope in the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which could lower his monthly payments.
“It looks like I should qualify,” he told CBS13.
He claimed he’s sent this complete packet of paperwork to his mortgage servicer Ocwen six times in the past eight months, but he said the company can’t find it all.
“Everything’s here, I checked every document off,” he said. “They just drag this out and drag it out and drag it out until you either give up or you let the home be foreclosed on.”
“I see [Ocwen] as being somewhat of a bully,” he said.
Consumer and real estate attorney Mitch Abdallah isn’t sure about Keene’s case with Ocwen, but said the lost paperwork move is an old trick many banks are still using against homeowners to slow down the process.
The California Homeowner Bill of Rights, which went into effect in January, requires banks to give homeowners a single employee responsible for handling their account.
“That’s a pure violation of the act,” Abdallah said.
If the company doesn’t play by the rules, it could be sued for damages, he said.
After Call Kurtis got involved, and Keene resubmitted another form, Ocwen finally confirmed it collected everything to start reviewing his loan application.
“Our processes regarding ‘single point of contact’ are in compliance with the California Homeowner Bill of Rights law,” company spokesman Richard Gillespie said.
But Keene wants others to know what he said Ocwen put him through.
“Time is on their side,” he said.
The Homeowner Bill of Rights also says a homeowner can’t be foreclosed upon during the loan modification process, which Keene has now begun.
FULL STATEMENT FROM OCWEN
Ocwen respects the privacy of all of our customers and as a result, we will not publicly discuss the specific details of any customer case. We can say that in this particular situation, a relationship manager has been in place since December of 2012 and at this time, Ocwen has not received what is needed to execute a workout despite multiple attempts and contacts. We encourage our customers to take advantage of our telephone appointment option, which enables homeowners to arrange, in advance, a specific time to speak with a relationship manager who will address all questions.
Putting in place sustainable loan modifications is one of our highest priorities. Ocwen was one of the first servicers to offer loan modification programs during the outset of the mortgage downturn, a full year before government programs became available. To date, together we have helped save homes for over 280,000 struggling families including 24,000 during the first three months of 2013. Our interests are aligned with the interest of homeowners in that we all benefit when we can find solutions that help more people remain in their homes. Our processes regarding “single point of contact” are in compliance with the California Homeowner Bill of Rights law and with standards that have been put in place across the industry.
Ocwen works closely with many independent, non-profit consumer groups throughout the country as an industry leader in foreclosure prevention. We would be glad to provide contact information for these groups upon your request. As for the Better Business Bureau, while we do not agree with the methodology used in calculating their rating, we are very much involved and committed to working through all customer issues and working toward a positive customer experience.