U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer Offers to Help Homeowner Fight Etrade, an Affiliate of GMAC Save Her Home

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Since April 2009, Sidime has been denied modifications six times and an Etrade representative told her she would not be considered for a modification until she missed three mortgage payments, so she stopped paying her mortgageand within months Etrade notified Sidime her house was being foreclosed on for nonpayment.

Etrade told Sidime to stop paying her mortgage if she needed it modified then foreclosed on her home because she stopped paying as they suggested seemingly leading Sidime down a crooked road to a bad faith foreclosure.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer has offered to assist an Oakland homeowner in attempting to stop an Aug. 19 scheduled foreclosure auction of her home. It’s the last option in an 18-month good faith battle longtime Oakland homeowner Odilla Sidime has waged to get her mortgage modified only to have Etrade, an affiliate of GMAC apparently lose documents, misplace documents and stall her as the mortgage company proceeded with foreclosure plans.

“I am committed to keeping people from losing their homes….If your financial institution is federally regulated, my office would be happy to assist you individually by drafting a Congressional inquiry on your behalf and submitting it to the financial agency that regulates your lender,” U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer wrote in a recent email to Sidime. “If your lender is regulated by a state agency, your correspondence will be forwarded to the proper state regulatory agency.”

It’s a long shot but all Sidime has left. She has attempted to resolve the matter by following the loan modification guidelines and submitting complete loan modification applications several times only to have Etrade reject the applications with unsubstantiated and vague explanations.

“The lenders claim homeowners are ignoring their communications and failing to provide complete documentation but I am a living witness that, even though I’ve followed their requirements precisely, their loan processing system is dysfunctional – or else they are not negotiating with homeowners in good faith,” Sidime said. “If my mortgage were modified to reflect my home’s current value, I could afford to keep this house I love and have invested in for many years. But Etrade would rather collect payments from private mortgage insurance, reap the tax benefits, then auction my home off to the highest bidder. Lenders claim homeowners aren’t being honest but in my case – Etrade has been untruthful. The heartbreaking thing is there’s truly nowhere else I can turn since Etrade does not have to comply with the federal government’s loan modification program. It’s all voluntary on their part so they have no incentive to work with homeowners.”

Since April 2009, Sidime has been sending documents to Etrade and GMAC - once she began to expect her income would fall short. After being denied modifications twice, an Etrade representative told her she would not be considered for a modification until she missed three mortgage payments. So following Etrade’s directions, she stopped paying on her mortgage at the end of 2009. On April 2, 2010, Etrade notified Sidime her house was being foreclosed on for nonpayment.

Etrade continues to misdirect and stall her. They have notified her that documents were not received despite having confirmation of certified mail deliveries and faxes. Etrade officials also noted that sometimes documents are misfiled in the wrong clients’ files and instructed Sidime to include her name and account number on every single page submitted – which she did, only to have Etrade again claim failure to receive sufficient documentation.

In the fifth round, Sidime was told her account had been put on hold for review on July 20 and that all necessary documentation had been received as of July 7, only to receive a letter dated July 22 stating the modification was denied a fifth time because Etrade had not received all the requested documents.

Most recently, four days after Sidime repeatedly faxed and emailed over 125 pages including a modification application and supporting documents, Etrade notified her that her request had been denied because Etrade in not a participant in the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) and she earned insufficient income to qualify for a traditional modification.

For more details of her fruitless interactions with Etrade, go to her blog at countdown2foreclosure.com.

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Odilla Sidime
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