My sister-in-law works in the mortgage department of a very large respected bank.  I recently asked her at a family function why the bank she works for wants my house back so badly. 

I explained how I wrote and submitted three application packets to the bank.  The first one was "lost" but I insisted that the women look one more time and she was able to find it.  She said she would make sure it got to the right place. 

Two weeks later I received letter that I was rejected because I did not submit all the material.  I called again and a representative said that the problem was that both my wife and my signature was not on all the forms.  I found my copies, signed them all, put the loan # on each page and faxed it this time.

In the interest of time, I will not describe each telephone conversation.  There have been at least a half dozen phone calls.  What stuck me as odd was that each representative was so inept.  One insisted my gross income was needed on the financial form instead of net.  She finally agreed that that would not make sense and made a phone call.  She than said I need to re-submit everything anyway because it was past the deadline. 

Almost eight months later and multiple phone conversations and resubmissions I finally received a HAMP offer that was over $200 dollars MORE each month than my original mortgage payment.  In the mean time, during one of the calls, a representative approved me over the phone for some three month trial thing which sounded great.  I got a small reduction in monthly payments and the due date allowed me to not start making the payments for two months.  But each month during the trial period, I continued to get threats of foreclosure and the balance of the trial payments were not applied. 

Where is the money?  They explained it is in escrow and not to worry.  A bank representative said over 80% of the applicants don't make it through the trial period anyway. 

Back to my sister-in-law. I said it is obvious the bank is not taking any of these programs seriously.  The attitude seemed to be that the incentive the bank received for processing these applications did not cover the cost of their time and I and apparently 80% of us were dead beats anyway.  I figured the bank probably wanted the house to go into foreclosure because the value of the house was around close to the amount of my mortgage with them since they were my primary.  It was with the addition of my second mortgage that my payments exceeded the value of the home.  That is probably more appealing to the finances then a mortgage reduction.  

My sister-in-law said the problem was that I was thinking like a borrower instead of a lender.  I told her I would stop thinking like a borrower if the bank started thinking like an institution that is getting government money to help people avoid foreclosure.  She then became agitated and said "maybe you just need to learn how to live within your means and budget your money better".  She is right about that, my wife and I are the first to admit that we made some big mistakes.  I guess we had an inflated sense of entitlement. I can't help but wonder if the bank executives need to re-evaluate their own sense of entitlement.  This is not about politics and saving face by ensuring that a "socialist takeover of the banking system" does not work.  I just want to keep my house.