Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Week 21: How to get your interest rate re-adjusted, down!

I decided to deviate from my normal blogging of food related topics this week to see if I can help anyone who is having problems with their adjustable rate mortgages. I know this doesn’t seem very hillbilly, but actually it fits into my hillbilly theme really well. I am writing about helping my brother get his crazy adjustable rate mortgage that was at a 11.25% interest rate, re-adjusted down to 6.68%! Now I would say, that is like help’in my kin, and that is hillbilly.

So here is the short version of what has been going on for the last 3 months. My brother’s home had an adjustable rate mortgage that adjusted over a year or two years ago and was sitting at 11.25%!! Crazy! No wonder so many homeowners are defaulting on their homes with rates like these. So I began trying to help my brother either refinance or see if we could get his interest rate re-adjusted. We first decided on trying to get the rate dropped, since refinancing was really not a good option for him, since his home has come down in value. We decided that collectively, we spent over 8 hours on the phone, getting transferred from one department to the next, trying to find someone that knew anything at the lender! I kept track on one of my attempts and was transferred 8 different times, was given 7 different phone numbers, and got nowhere! No wonder so many mortgage companies are going out of business, their service is horrible. So after my fury and relentlessness, we prevailed! My brother went to phone in his next payment today and got a live person that said, his rate was being adjusted from 11.25% to 6.68% and that he didn’t need to make his next payment until April. VICTORY!! He was about as happy as a clam.

So I wanted to give anyone that has a loan with GMAC the steps needed to re-adjust your loan. Watch what vocabulary you say on the phone and do not deviate from the script given below, because it took multiple attempts to learn the right words to say, to get through to the right person, to get the result we wanted. Each department does not know what the other department is doing, so you will most likely get wrong information if you just try the regular customer service department. Good luck, best wishes, and I hope you have the same success as we did!

Step 1: Download the following form from GMAC’s web site, Financial Analysis for Homeowner Help. Fill it out and fax it back to the number on the document: F: 866-709-4744 http://www.gmacmortgage.com/pdfs/Financial_Analysis.pdf

Step 2: In the income & expense section of the document, make sure your income is at least $250 more than your expenses. They want to see that you have a little cushion in your finances. (Trust me on this!)

Step 3: Follow up about 3-5 business days after you have faxed in the document. Your information should be in the system by then. The number to call for this is: 800-799-9250. Ask for an Account Specialist. (Very important to say this, don’t describe your document or anything, just ask for an Account Specialist)

Step 4: The Account Specialist is the only person that can help. I believe they are in the Loss Mitigation Department, but if you ask for the Loss Mitigation Department directly you will get sent all across the company! This person will ask some questions and whoever’s name is on the loan will need to be on the phone. Trust me on this too. I do not have 3-way calling, so I had to put my land line on speaker phone and my cell phone on speaker and do my own hillbilly method of 3-way calling, so that the Account Specialist could hear my brother and he didn’t have to try and call back and get lost in the transfers, again. Answer all the questions. If they ask if your hardship is permanent or temporary, say that it is permanent.

Step 5: They said it would take about 10 business days to see if he could get his rate readjusted. Make a note in your calendar and call back if you have not heard anything to: 800-799-9250 and ask for... yes, an Account Specialist.

Well that is it. No guarantees, but at least you will get to speak with someone that can help you. Remember, the Account Specialist is your friend. These steps seem pretty easy as I am writing them up now, but this was days worth of calling and re-calling to get the right information. Another note, if you don’t have your taxes escrowed/impounded, do it! Ask to speak with someone in the Escrow Department and they can help you out. Make it easy on yourself and just have your taxes taken out every month and be done with it! No one has all that extra money just lying around waiting to pay their taxes, and if you do, then you probably are not in this position anyway and signed up for a fixed interest rate when rates were at historic lows! Best wishes!


Jnette said...

That's pretty amazing that you were able to help your family! Wow!

Scott said...

That's my baby:) Italian ingenuity with German perseverance!