Saturday, July 23, 2011

Modification Woes (Some Things Are Worth Repeating)

I don't know about you, but I am on the verge of a breakdown. Why? Because I am so frustrated with the lending institutions that I have developed a drool, a twitch, and a wicked rash. I truly think the lending institutions are hindering our economic recovery. The bailout money has not translated into increased sales as far as I can see.

What I do see is a lot of bank execs with spray-on tans, new hair weaves, and fake-tooth smiles that gleam like tombstones in the California sun. Due to the drop in home values, refinancing odds are worse than the odds that Snooki will drop off the radar; and modifications are as challenging as navigating the L.A. freeways on a skateboard while wearing a blindfold.

I have observed that there is double speak in all bank dealings. Thus, I think it would be helpful to have a translation guide to understand the dubious promises being made daily by these Not-Lending institutions. Does anyone remember Jon Lovitz on Saturday Night Live ("I slept with Morgan Fairchild)? Well, Jon, I'd believe your imaginative claim before I'd believe some of the following promises (all of which I have actually heard):
For Those Just Off the Turnip Truck
* "Qualified buyers can still get a loan." (Translation: "Don't forget to rip out your kidney and staple it to your application.")
* "After you submit your loan mod package, we will reply in 30 days." (Translation: "We will mutter, ‘Hell, No, Dude' to a donut somewhere on the opposite coast, and then we will use your file as a foot stool. You have about as much chance of hearing from us as from
Amelia Earhart.")
* "We have your application in our files." (Translation: "We threw your paperwork into Modification Missy's trunk. She's on her way to Vegas, but she'll get to it soon. Oh wait, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas'...and so will Missy. She's not coming back...and neither is your file. Next!")
* "We require a complete modification or short sale package." (Translation: "We require three packages - one for the shredder, another one to be left on a desk so someone can steal your pathetic identity, and one to be erroneously sent to the Foreclosure Department.")
* "We are the fastest in turnaround when you need a modification." (Translation: "Underwriter Earl (Missy's cubicle mate) will slip into his sparkling red pumps, click his heels and say, "There's no place like home, but you sure as hell ain't keepin' yours, honey!")
* "We sympathize with your situation." (Translation: "HaHaHaHaHa. Grow a set.")
* "Your file is in the hands of experts who have experience in navigating rough waters." (Translation: "Our trained negotiators were formally pirates in the Carribbean, and your ship is about to be seized.")
* "This short sale will close about thirty days after approval." (Translation: "This short sale will close about thirty days after
Peter Minuit returns Manhattan Island to the Indians.")
What Happens in Banking Stays in Banking
* "All we need is one more document to complete the file." (Translation: "All we need is your remaining kidney. We lost the first one. It was last seen in Missy's trunk.")
* "We are here to help those who are struggling to pay their mortgages." (Translation: "Files of those who have stopped paying will be expedited because our values are backasswards. Thus, we encourage all applicants to blow their credit ratings, beg, and then bail.)
* "You can get your loan modified, but you cannot miss one trial payment." (Translation: "Although you cannot pay, we will string you along for as much time as we can in order to get your retirement money, and then we'll seize your home and kick grandma to the curb. Incidentally, does Granny still have her kidneys?")
* "Trial Payments are for a maximum of three months." (Translation: "Then we call them "String" payments, because we string you along until you are ready to string yourself from a tree limb. In the meantime, we will be doing the limbo to see how low we can go.")
* "The computer has given us a loan approval based on the appraisal." (Translation: "Of course, Appraisal Reviewer Rita may lower the value of the appraisal even if it comes it at value, because she must account for dismal market conditions - for which we were largely responsible and continue to be largely responsible - and because Rita must cover her arse to keep her job because she just purchased your unemployed, disabled neighbor's foreclosed home while the neighbor's sobbing children clung to her fat ankles.")
* "In order to complete this short sale, you need to contribute cash." (Translation: "Although you're losing your 20% down payment, and you lost your job and all your savings, why can't you rip the braces off the kids' teeth and sell them for scrap metal? C'mon - work with us here!")
* "I'll get back to you tomorrow." (Translation: "You'll never find me again. If you call back, you'll just get someone else who has been working here for five minutes. You will have to start all over again. You will have to tell your story to fifty more screeners and submit three more short sale packages. You will develop another tick before this is all over...and maybe even
Tourette syndrome. Now excuse me, I'm on my way to Vegas with Missy, Earl and Rita...and one of your kidneys.")

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