‘Dreaming’ reader gets help with complex mortgage issue

Dear John: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I hesitated writing to you for fear I was dreaming. Today I got a call from PHH Mortgage.

The woman mentioned you, and said PHH wanted to help with my mortgage. It is going to WRITE IT OFF!

I was flabbergasted.

To thank you seems inadequate. I am so relieved. You should be canonized. Your boss should give you a raise.

Be well and stay safe. A.Z.

Dear A.Z.: I can’t believe it, either!

Here’s the story you told me, and that I told to PHH Mortgage.

You said: “In 2006, I purchased a condo in Rossmoor, a retirement community located in Monroe Township, NJ. It cost $100,000 and was financed with a first mortgage of $75,000 and a second mortgage of $25,000. The rates were 7 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

“My credit then wasn’t good, but that 11 percent was outrageous and usurious. Today my FICO score is 755.

“After a few years went by, I managed to get the first [mortgage] modified to 4 percent by Wells Fargo. I tried two times to get the second [mortgage] modified, but to no avail. It was at that time I found out it was a balloon-type of 15 years duration.”

You added that your lawyer forgot to mention that.

You said this loan is due in March 2021, when you will be 80 years old and you would have to make a $19,000 payment. “I don’t have $1,900,” you said to me.

That second mortgage was from Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, and was being handled by PHH Mortgage Services, which is located in Mount Laurel, NJ. The two companies are related.

So I called the nice folks at Ocwen, whom I didn’t know, and suggested that they refinance the mortgage they were holding and maybe roll the cost of the refi into the new loan. That would get rid of the balloon.

A few days later, you gave me the news that the loan was being written off.

Damn, that was surprising to say the least! In fact, I called Ocwen to make sure you hadn’t misunderstood. And you hadn’t.

Anyway, I don’t know why that occurred, but sometimes miracles happen.

As far as those other matters are concerned, I think neither canonization nor that raise is going to happen. But, as I just said, miracles do happen.

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