The HAMP Escalation process start page is a great tool for consumers to see if they have a valid complaint against their lender or servicer. Keep in mind that the HAMP Solution Center will only handle escalations for borrowers in the U.S. Treasury sponsored programs like Making Home Affordable or the HAFA Short Sale program.
To start, first, work through your normal contacts and channels with the servicer. If that does not resolve the issue, elevate your concern to a senior manager within the servicer's organization.
Below are some examples from the HAMP website as well as the summary of the escalation process and a list of cases that represent valid reasons for escalation:
- Servicer refuses to stop a scheduled foreclosure sale on a borrower's house while the borrower is being evaluated for HAMP.
- Servicer charges up-front fees for the modification.
- Servicer instructs the borrower to miss a payment.
- Servicer claims that they are waiting for information or guidance from Treasury (i.e. Treasury is causing the delay).
- Servicer advises the borrower to intentionally misrepresent their personal or financial information.
- Servicer says they are not participating in HAMP, but the loan's investor is a GSE.
- Servicer says borrower doesn't qualify, but counselor has reason to believe that the borrower is eligible.
- Servicer date stamps the file for tracking purposes upon receipt.
- Servicers are not required to suspend a foreclosure sale when an Escalated Case is received on or after midnight of the seventh business day prior to the foreclosure sale date (Deadline). If an Escalated Case is received prior to the Deadline, the servicer must suspend the foreclosure sale as necessary to resolve the Escalated Case.
- Servicers are not required to review substantially similar cases and substantially similar cases will not be deemed an Escalated Case. A substantially similar case is a case that pertains to the same homeowner and loan and is substantially similar to a previously resolved Escalated Case.
- The servicer acknowledges the Requestor's Escalated Case in writing via e-mail, fax or mail within five business days of receipt.
- The servicer will provide the Requestor and the homeowner:
- Case reference name or number.
- Date by which the servicer will resolve the Escalated Case and provide a response (Resolution Date).
- A toll-free escalation phone number at the servicer.
- The Resolution Date may not exceed 30 calendar days from the date the inquiry was received by the servicer.
- Servicer reviews Escalated Case against the information and documentation in their system of record and data reported to the HAMP Reporting Tool to determine the accuracy of the inquiry and reach a resolution.
- Servicer reviews or recalculates the HAMP modification waterfalls and NPV testing if the evidence submitted by the homeowner is valid and material to the NPV outcome.
Servicer Resolution and Notification
- The servicer determines whether a change in the original determination is warranted and identifies a proposed resolution.
- The servicer documents the proposed resolution in the servicing system of record including the date resolution was reached.
- The servicer, within 10 business days of identifying a proposed resolution, communicates the proposed resolution and next steps in writing to the Requestor and the homeowner.
- If the case was referred by HSC, the servicer may not consider the case resolved unless HSC concurs with the proposed resolution, with evidence of this concurrence retained in the servicing file.
Gather the necessary case information below, complete the HSC Case Submission Form and have the client sign the MHA Third Party Authorization Form.
The inquiry information that a counselor will need to supply for a status includes the following:
- Homeowner's Name
- Property Address
- Servicer Name
- Servicer Loan Number
- Foreclosure Date (if applicable)
- Counselor Name & Organization
- Counselor Email
- Counselor Phone
- Counselor Relationship to Homeowner
An escalation specialist will work with the servicer regarding the case and seek to provide you with an initial status within four business days of receipt of the requested inquiry information and borrower authorization. If the servicer is unwilling to comply with program guidance or the escalation team identifies systemic non-compliance, the escalation team may report the servicer to the Making Home Affordable Compliance team.