During the month of May, which is the most recent data available from the Treasury Department, Nationstar Mortgage’s servicing operations approved 601 loan modification requests… and denied 4,216. That’s a 12.5 percent approval rate for the month of May. Cumulatively, based on program-to-date data through the month of May, Nationstar only approved 22 percent of the loan modification applications it has received from borrowers.
I don’t care which number you choose, as an approval percentage, either one is just beyond awful… perhaps even unbelievably so.
Why do I say that? Well, because through May of this year… AT BEST… that’s LESS THAN HALF the percentage of approvals granted by CitiMortgage (43%), Bank of America (45%), JPMorgan Chase (30%), or Ocwen (24%), according to Treasury.
And when you’re competing with an Ocwen who boasts an abysmal 24 percent approval rate and a JPMorgan Chase who comes in only slightly better at 30 percent… showing up with 22 percent on your report card… well, that just makes one wonder if this is a race to the bottom… or pray that it’s like golf scores and lower numbers are better. (Afraid not, by the way.)
That Bank of America placed first with a comparatively respectable 45 percent, came as absolutely no surprise, to me anyway. But, as far as CitiMortgage is concerned… well, I’m just completely convinced that they count the modifications they offer unilaterally to borrowers… as in the ones some people just get in the mail even though they never applied. Either that, or maybe they’re counting each one twice, because I hear about Citi modifying a loan only slightly more often than I hear about Fannie Mae granting a principal reduction.
It’s taken a while but finally, Mark Gimein, who is Companies and Markets editor at Bloomberg.com, and lead writer for the Market Now blog, appears to have become the first journalist to provide support for the point I’ve tried to make on numerous occasions this past year…
If you’re mortgage is serviced by Bank of America, try to get it modified NOW… it’s a much better process than its ever been in the past. Don’t wait until you find out that the servicing rights related to your loan have been sold, because when that happens, you’re going to wish you still had Bank of America to kick around while applying for a loan modification.
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