Will a $63 million FTC-CFPB settlement encourage Green Tree to turn over a new leaf?

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As the name suggests, Green Tree Servicing was supposed to service homeowners’ mortgages by collecting and crediting monthly payments. But according to a $63 million settlement announced by the FTC and CFPB, rather than service, Green Tree gave many homeowners the business.

Mortgages are often transferred during the life of a loan, so consumers may find themselves locked in a relationship with a servicer they didn’t select – and with no opportunity to shop around. Green Tree was a big name in servicing loans for manufactured housing, but recently made a major move into the residential market. It billed itself as a “high-touch servicer” – a euphemism for a company that places frequent collection calls in an effort to get people to make timely payments. With that strategy, it’s not surprising that Green Tree acquired the mortgages of a proportionally higher percentage of people already in financial trouble. For many of those cash-strapped consumers, that’s when things went from bad to worse.

According to the lawsuit, when homeowners were even just one day late with their payments, Green Tree’s collectors often unleashed a barrage of phone calls, some starting as early as 5 in the morning or continuing until as late as 11PM. The collectors didn’t limit themselves to home phones, getting some people in trouble by calling them at work. They illegally threatened them with arrest or imprisonment, used obscene language, and mocked the problems that led to their financial distress. (One collector said to a woman, “You should leave your husband if he can’t provide for you.”) Green Tree’s loose-lipped collectors were known to discuss people’s debts with bosses, co-workers, neighbors, and family.

When borrowers sought options like loan modifications or short sales, Green Tree allegedly mishandled many of those requests, leaving consumers in even worse straits. For example, some homeowners were in the process of finalizing loan modifications with other servicers when their mortgages were suddenly transferred to Green Tree. Rather than honoring those arrangements, Green Tree often yanked that lifeline from people struggling to stay afloat. Others were told they’d have to pony up payment before they could even be considered for certain loan modification programs – an illogical (and often illegal) requirement for folks who had already sent out a financial SOS. In addition, the lawsuit charges that when homeowners tried to get a short sale approved, Green Tree said it would respond within a set period – say, 30 days. But Green Tree dragged its feet, sometimes taking as long as six months to respond. As a result, people faced foreclosures that could have been avoided.

According to the complaint, even when managing homeowners’ accounts and payments – the bread and butter of a mortgage servicer – Green Tree often overcharged people. For example, Green Tree knew or had reason to know that some borrowers had received loan modifications from their former servicers, but went ahead and insisted on the original amount. And in numerous cases, Green Tree pressured people to use a method called Speedpay, which the company falsely claimed or implied was the only way to make a payment or the sole choice to avoid a late fee. Using Speedpay cost a $12 “convenience” fee per transaction – but convenient for whom? Not necessarily consumers, many of whom could have used free methods and still avoided late fees.

The lawsuit also alleges Green Tree helped itself to payments from consumers’ bank accounts without their authorization. For example, homeowners who gave Green Tree their account numbers to set up a one-time payment through Speedpay later discovered the company had used the information to arrange for additional payments without their consent.

Green Tree also was aware that specific portfolios it acquired from other servicers contained unreliable data. But when homeowners spoke up to dispute the misinformation, Green Tree left them in collections without adequately investigating discrepancies. In a similar vein, Green Tree reported unfavorable information about homeowners to credit bureaus, even when the company had reason to know the data was inaccurate. 

The $63 million settlement is a start, but what’s being done to protect consumers from underhanded tactics from here on in? Among other things, the order requires Green Tree to implement a home preservation plan to offer options to consumers whose loans were transferred to the company during the time covered by the complaint. In the future, when Green Tree is involved in the sale or transfer of servicing rights, requests for help – like short sales or assistance with loan modification programs – will have to be properly reviewed and agreements honored. What about those long delays? The company has to have people and technology in place to respond quickly to customer inquiries, including questions about options for avoiding foreclosure. Green Tree also has to stop collections of disputed amounts until it investigates and provides consumers with verification of what they owe.

When the company has reason to believe that information in newly transferred loan portfolios is iffy, Green Tree has to get proof of what consumers really owe. In addition, Green Tree will maintain a comprehensive data integrity program to help ensure the accuracy of information about customers’ accounts. The settlement also prohibits material misrepresentations about loans, payments, and fees, and mandates compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.

What’s the message for others in the industry?

  • There’s a reason it’s called servicing. Mortgage servicers have an obligation to provide service to homeowners. That rules out misleading statements about what people owe, deceptive delays, and unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts.
  • The loan servicing process depends on accuracy at all stages. Inaccurate servicing practices can throw homeowners into a spin cycle with far-reaching consequences, including errors on their credit reports that can haunt them for years. The Green Tree case underscores that accuracy is essential at every step of the process.
  • Deceptive, unfair and abusive debt collection practices are out of bounds. The law provides procedures for collecting debts, but high-pressure tactics, baseless threats, incessant phone calls, and the disclosure of information to employers, relatives, and friends are on the DON’T list.
  • The FTC and CFPB are united in their commitment to protect consumers in financial distress. It’s no coincidence that the action against Green Tree was brought through the cooperative efforts of the FTC and CFPB. The agencies coordinate their activities to make efficient use of resources. In appropriate cases – for example, the $63 million Green Tree settlement – that may include joint law enforcement.

     

Comments

They did that to me also I was told I was 1850 behind and was in chapter 13 I made the payments and have the money gram recipients to prove it thier lawyer Lavelle told the federal judge payments were not made judge never looked at the receipts he said stay lifted I had the arrears and lawyer fees added to my payments later I got a loan mod dropped my payment to 177.59 from 296.13 plus 60 insurance plus lawyer fees I was told in the modification the loan would be brought current and 177.59 for 3 yes I sent the 177.59 twice on time I was told its a partial payment and I still owed the lawyer fees which brought it back up to 355 a month

For Elvis, InVA, and this individual, when they (Green Tree) buy your mortgage note from your original lenders, they buy the note "as is." They cannot modify the terms of payment from your originally signed mortgage loan documents. If they are raising your monthly payments and you are paying those monies, then you are essentially agreeing to these increases. You don't have to pay anything other than the originally agreed upon stipulated payment of your original note. If a company tries/d to increase your monthly payments or to levy bogus late or processing fees, I would contact an attorney and file suit against said companies. Also, local news stations love to get "on your side" airtime for their local communities and in many cases, end up getting resolutions much quicker than the judicial system. Companies do not like to have their ill-deeds broadcast to the masses as the information could lead to a class-action suit... IT ALL DEPENDS upon your willingness to stand-up to these companies and not cower down.
Good luck to you all.... Stand Tall and Don't Take Their Crap!

Elvis, I'm having the same problems as you have and will do as noted above, file suit. It may good to check with the FTC on the suit that was already filed and see what can be done to join it, if possible.

How about this story.... I went through a 2 year ordeal with these clowns. My story began in December of 2012. I had an emergency travel to TX and upon my return I was told that in order to brign my account current I needed to pay X amount. I did so and in January I had the county police at my door with foreclosure papers... foreclosure because I was short $67... it was short because GT gave me an incorrect amount. On purpose...? probably. So, I went to court, numerous times.. did what I was suposed to do and in Sept of 2013, I had another issue and was late by 2 weeks. that's all it took.. not even a month had passed and they took me out of permanent modificaiton and put it back into foreclosure proceedings. At ting point I had to get a lawyer which cost me $500 a month.. what i want to know is how do I get back a years worth of lawyer payments???? I did keep my house but now I'm back in a 40 year mortgae when my home was more than half paid for!!!!

Is that it? The CFPB fines them and the are permitted to continue the mistreatment? Somebody needs to sue the investors for allowing these bandits to service their loans!!!

Quit saying "somebody" step up and get everyone in your state on their case, go through every legal channel available. File complaints with BBB, District Attorney, Congressman, be a squeaky wheel and DEMAND justice, and don't wait for someone else to do it. I suffered at the hands of GMAC servicing my mortgage, then I got pawned off on Green Tree LLC, and then Ditech (which if you follow who they are it is hilarious, they aren't who you think) but I wouldn't TAKE them sticking it to me needlessly. I fought back, and I kept calling my congressman and saying, you want my vote, then get off your butt and protect those of us in your state from these vultures. Keep filing complaints, WRITE on every consumer board available and keep it up. EXPOSE the crooks. This is America, FIGHT back, don't sit there and let them take your home. If you take crap from them, you lose, they are better at illegal stuff than you probably are. But if you keep exposing them to anyone and everyone, they can't take your home, ruin your credit. Look and see if there is an attorney collect info on them and give them your story. Or say goodbye to your home. Their goal is to STEAL it from you, that is the goal and they have done it successfully to others, google it. Either you put up a fight and become their worst nightmare, or you will lose your home. They will charge fees, file documents to foreclose, and they will do it underhandedly. The only way to SAVE your home is to get people in power LOOKING at their illegal activity.

I feel Green Tree, and any other deb collection firm which has been tagged with unfair and deceptive practices, need to review its practices for setting monthly goals and commission-based incentives for its debt collectors/account representatives and how they treat the collectors/representatives when they miss goals or are not performing. I have witness the pressure company managers places on the collectors/representatives; it creates a culture of berating the consumer in order to meet a company assigned commission goal and monthly numbers.

GT's major problem is it's own incompetence. What should take one phone call "please review my escrow account" instead takes months of letters, phone calls, and emails. One arm of the company can't communicate with the other 15 arms. In fact they don't even know each other exist. And just when you believe you've found an intelligent, responsive human agent on the phone, that person drops the ball and never floows thru on his/her promise to resolve the problem. The company needs a top down organizational shake up to put in place a commitment to it's customers, and deal with them fairly and responsively. Cultural changes like this MUST start at the top....GT's leadership should be ousted and replaced.

Green Tree is my mortgage provider that raised my mortgage by almost $600 after modification and they can't give me a good explanation why. When I called, a customer service rep rudely told me, "if I can't afford it you need to sell the house and that I can't get a modification just because they raise the mortgage". It's about time!

Who is handling the case? I've also had many ridiculous issues with Green Tree.

I had so may issues with Green tree when I tried to modify my loan back in 2009,
Finally I was able to do it with help from another agency but I was bombarded with rude calls from GT for months and even on the edge of foreclosure because of them. How can I find out if I can benefit of the class action lawsuit?

Have had nothing but grief with this company...rude and no offer to help

I had a modified home loan through BOA which was sold to Green Tree. I was immediately told I was three months behind on my payments. But after much time and effort and sending them copies of my timely monthly checks they dropped those charges and threats of foreclosure. Then on the 2nd of each month I started getting 5 + calls a day saying I was untimely even through my loan had a overdue date of the 15th. Then late charges every month saying the payments were not made until after the 15th, but again copies of cancelled checks showing payment always before the 15th. Then escrow changes of needing more escrow even through my taxes are fixed, (over 65 and homestead} in Texas. So my monthly payment went up 50.00 and now again this year another escrow shortage of 645.00 and the taxes are still the same and my insurance went up 3.09 a month. They are rude, offer no help or explination of anything. Lock these crooks up.

My mortgage was sold to Green Tree. I get phone calls before the grace period is even up. I have my payment automatically come out of my bank account. My payment was not changed in time of the increased payment. If you don't make the full payment they put it as unapplied payment. Is that legal? My payment was around $25.00 short. Now I have received papers saying I'm in default because I'm 30 days late in which I'm not late they just haven't applied the payment. I send a payment every month. Never in my 17 years of making my mortgage payments in which I pay every month before the grace period is up, have I've been treated like this even if i was a little short because of payment changes that i didn't notice in time I'm going to try to refinance some where else. I hope this default BS doesn't affect that.

My loan was sold to Green Tree and it was ridiculous. I was not distressed, but would receive calls night and day even when making payments on time. I finally got sick of it and refinanced away from them but would like to add my name to the people who got bullied by this company.

My husband was killed in a rollover on October 17, 2008. October 18, 2008 I called Greentree letting them know what had happened. The person I spoke too was rude and couldn't care less what had happened. We were paying every month. I was getting social security and just making $450.00 a month. I missed the payment for Nov because I was trying to go through Workers Compensation since the accident was work related. I was going through emotional grief and I was being torn apart by Greentree. I still remember the woman's name who kept on harassing me every day. I tried everything to see if I could get help with paying the mortgage. But I was ignored. Please, please! There has to be something that can be done for people like me whose life was taken away by Greentree!

I am a victim of Green Tree. My mortgage was sold to Green Tree 2 years ago, and I was 1 month late. They called me 10 times per day, both on my cell and home. The reps are very rude, they even send people to my house and leave flyers. I tried once to make a payment and was told that they would not accept it, they wanted the full 2 months. They charged me $12.00 per month if I called and make a payment by phone. These people harassed me so bad, I was afraid of answering the phone. Thank God I was able to get caught up, but I am praying that I will be able to take my mortgage away from them. They even threatened me on the phone about foreclosing. I had nightmares dealing with these people. I hope they put them out of business....

Did you find out what to do about Greentree?Our mortgage was sold to them also from Bank America.We have had nothing but problems with them also.

How can one be added to one of these lawsuits? We have been harassed by this company for a few years and are at the end of our ropes. There is no talking or dealing with them in a reasonable manner or in the customer's best interest.

Any abuse, of gross negligence , the FTC should demand that all home owners are not in the free and clear, and their debt has been forgiven, with zero debt collection activities. This would set a precedent not to purposefully shyster people. (gross negligence)

I was harassed plenty time by greentree. Telling my husband he better make the payment! For one they do not know how to talk to consumers. Calling us 20 times in one day. Somebody needs to do something

Never in my life have I ever had to fight as hard as I have had to in the past several years since greentree took over my home loan, my payments went up so much it threw my whole life into a tail spin downfalling to hit bottom hard all started when homeowers insurance drop me for not having a railing on my front 2 step and rear 1 small step up and front facial sofit needed scraped & painted??? next thing I know my payment go up [home loan] by about $ 300.00 or so now that does not seem like a lot of money, but let me tell you it is when you live on a very tight budget.Since then its been one thing after another I have all of greentrees numbers memorized so I know not answer there harassing phone calls you tell them what you can or will do and they will call back a few hours later like you lying and are going give in and do what they want right then sorry for thre spelling and all it is very early and still really tried I could go on and on, but I think everyone can understand or have went thur the same stuff. thank all god bless us all please.

Will a $63 million FTC-CFPB settlement encourage Green Tree to turn over a new leaf? NOT! They continue to do this as I write. I received (2) statements in the mail Wednesday, noting all of the above, this time of the month, I generally just unplug the home telephone. Frankly, I feel whenever we have a situation like what has been stated here, a few dollars will not solve the problem, just ask the CEO of Case Bank, they'll get that back in a matter of day "through the sleepers"... What the FTC should do if they sincerely want to change the calculus of a misbehaving business is to ban them from the market in the area where they are clearly milking the people... That, I can assure you send a clear message... STOP! we do not allow that sort of behavior here!

I am a former employee of GT and know exactly how the customers feel. Understanding the incentive which i called the dangling carrot, many of my fellow co workers were under the gun to perform. I know the mortgage business pretty well. I worked as a mortgage analyst, a MLO, and Loss Mitigation liason. When I began to work for GT the red flags flew everywhere. I am exception in my ethics and know my job, I was a source of information for managers and directors. I exceeded my goals for 2 years. I got tired of fighting with management, "i was too nice to my customers"....go figure but I hit the company standards. Long story short, After seeing my co workers going out on stress, quiting, but mostly being fired for "under performing" I to was put out on acute stress and quit. These guys are Morgage Terrorist, Trust me I know first hand, I saw may underhanded tactics and heard unheardable things said to the customer from Management as well. Many of GT top people are gone for the same reasons as mine. I wish we had an for a class action law suit.

I am successfully litigating these THEIVES for mortgage fraud in LA Superior Court. Please call me anyone, ANY TIME with your story of illicit and repugnant pilfering. I can help those who need legal assistance and am dedicated to the cause of seeing these CRIMINALS held to account. 63 million does not even scratch the surface. [personal information deleted]

I need information on how to bring these guys to court. I've already shelled out over $6000 in fees paying a lawyer to save my house due to their b.s. I did retain my home however now I'm at a 40 yr mortgage.. was at a 30 and had been in my home for 19 years.. now I paid all that money for nothing!!! I reported them to FTC, BB, and many other agencies and nothing was done. There has to be a way to recoup some of my losses but I have NO idea how to go about doing that and I don't have the resources to hire an attorney again.

we went through bankruptcy and we did not reaffirm our mortgage the 'house is no where worth what we paid for it.We have always had insurance on our property and yet greentree put insurance on our property I called them my insurance company emailed them sent over proof of ins.We have continued to live in our home after the bankruptcy we have always paid our house pmt.They start calling on the 1st about the pmt.even though we are not legally obligated to them.

I would like to talk to anyone with information about how Greentree (now ditech) deals with loans with past bankruptcy. We had a bankruptcy discharged in 2004 while our home loan was with Bank of America. Eight years later our loan was sold to Greentree. Greentree will not take my payment or talk with me when I call in unless I answer the question in the affirmative that I intend to keep my property and I am not allowed to have a regular billing statement because they do not have paperwork reaffirming my mortgage. For 3.5 years I have paid my payment and only am allowed to have a statement for information purposes only. My late charge balance has increased and I do not think it is accurate, but I cannot see if they are posting things erroneously because they will not let me see transactions that occur on my account. Also, because there is a later charge balance on my account, I am not allowed to make payments online unless I pay the current month along the full amount of later charges.

If your mortgage was discharged in a bankruptcy then you own the house. You don't need to pay anyone let alone some random company (Green Tree or Ditech starting 8 years later. Ditech is just seeing if you will pay them. I won my house in a foreclosure with New York Mellon Bank and Bank of America was servicing it. Also MERS was involved, Country Wide, Full Spectrum etc. Anyway, my lawyer from the foreclosure said to not even answer Ditech when 6 years after the foreclosure was settled in NJ they are acting like they have my loan. They are not on my credit report and don't have a lien on my house. They are just seeing if I am foolish enough to start paying them. If you start paying them they you may be sucked into the cycle again for the next 6 years. That's how it works in NJ anyway. These are junk debt collectors. They can't "buy" your loan.

Please explain this to me....My loan was sold to Ditech from B of A. New York mellon filed a lawsuit against me and we have court in a month. On my MERS report it says Bank of America and my servicer. im really scared.

I went thru many of the things that have been discussed about GT when BOA sold my loan to Payments made on time still charged me late fees when I complained oh you're ok no charge but still on statement each month so I would go to local office and pay cash and get receipt.
Then the harassment really started phone calls registered letters and one time came to my house I got very upset went into their office and asked why they came to my home answer Oh we hadn't heard from you and you hadn't responded to our phone calls then I showed them the receipt from the last payment made for the last month.
Then I told them if they ever set foot on my property again I would physically throw them off the porch then do them bodily harm an did named the BI....H that was sent to my home.
Shortly after I filed Bankruptcy and GT didn't receive a penny as the court felt they mishandled the 2nd mortgage but the still sent me statements wanting payment I sent them to my attorney after we went to court they stopped sending statements At least I got some satisfaction I cost them over 10K.

Hey I would like to talk to you about Green Tree and what they did to me and my family. I ended up in foreclosure and lost my home, however I would love to see this company pay for the way they did me and many other people. Please let me know how to get in contact with someone willing to help.

Yes they just told me they sending me letter
to foreclosure cause linda the nightmare don't want wait on a payments in mail anf it only take two days

Since starting a loan modification with GT; they increased the trial period contract amount, which I paid, feeling duress that if I didn't ..I would be disapproved. Then getting the modification approved with a contracted monthly amount. Then after two months, I was told their calculated escrow amount was wrong and increased my payments. Now they are adding legal fees to the monthly mortgage. I am getting harassed to pay the increase amount. Why do they keep changing my monthly amount? Is it legal? What can I do?

We have been stuck with GreenTree for years. Tried to get our interest rate down when everyone was get loan reviews We pay 10% we were always told we are not a finance company we just collect on debits, which is a lie of course. They so called helped us twice by putting our past due amounts at the back of the loan when I asked about refinancing to a lower interest rate. We have gotten behind and cant catch up. I was paying 20.00 extra a month to catch up the bill and it never reflected on the bill. So i dont know where the money went, We dont have a payment book ever to make payments and we still owe almost as much as was borrowed after 16 years. We have pretty much paid for this house twice over already and it is so sicking that I just cant deal with it much longer

We have an active case against Greentree in Cook County Chancery Court right now. Our mortgage, which was originated with Countrywide, was sold to Bank of America when Countrywide was forced out of business by the Feds. After being serviced by Bank of America for almost a year and a half, Bank of America was forced to divest themselves of all of their "performing" (IE: GOOD) mortgages and keep the non-performing mortgages, so we, like hundreds of thousands of others, ended up being sold off to Greentree.

A couple of background items:

- I ALWAYS overpay my mortgage by at least $100.00 each month. The net effect of this is that the time to repay a 30 year mortgage is cut almost in half.

- My FICO credit score has always been up near 800.
having said that . . .

In December of 2012, Greentree accepted our monthly mortgage payment and deposited my check, electronically. A few days later they REJECTED the payment, UNDEPOSITED the check, and UNCREDITED my mortgage payment.

On December 18th, Greentree sent back the original ENDORSED, check, along with a letter stating, "the WRITTEN and NUMERIC amounts do not match."

Before anyone asks, YES, there was plenty of money in our checking account, and YES, the written and numeric amounts on the check DID match.

The written and numeric amounts were verified as matching by both my bank and check experts. There was no problem with the check.

The undepositied check was not received back by us until the 27th of December, 2012, so, with the exception that i was receiving calls from Greentree's collections department, I had no idea that they had rejected my check.

Upon receiving the check back from Greentree, I immediately wrote out a replacement check, made a photo copy of the replacement check, and sent it up to Greentree, in Minneapolis, via CERTIFIED, RETURN RECEIPT, SIGNATURE REQUESTED mail.

I kept the receipt for the re-mailed check and cover letter, and, when I received the signature card, attached that to the receipt and put them in with my mortgage payment slips and other documentation.

Because of the New Years Holiday weekend, Greentree did not receive my replacement check until the 3rd of January and then did not deposit my replacement check until the 7th of January.

Greentree then sent me a letter stating that, as a courtesy, they would, just this one time, waive the "late fees," and credit the payment, with the $100.00 additional principal payment, which was also included in the check amount, to my account. The letter went on to admonish me for making principal pre-payments every month and stipulated that I would no longer be allowed to make such principal pre-payments on my mortgage because my mortgage, which was originally written as a simple-interest mortgage, had been converted to an amortized mortgage and, whether I paid off the principal ahead of time or not, I would be held responsible for all of the additional interest which they had now calculated me as owing.

I then wrote them a letter stating that their conversation of my mortgage, from a simple interest note, to an amortized interest note, was not legal and I would continue to pay down the principal with succeeding mortgage payments.

Greentree did not acknowledge my additional letters. Neither did they accept, nor did they return, my subsequent mortgage and principal prepayments, but on 27 March, petitioned the Cook County Chancery Court to show me in default, accelerate foreclosure, and asked them to allow for an accelerated auction of my property. I was served with notification of the foreclosure on the evening of Easter Sunday, 2013.

Receiving the notice of foreclosure on a properly we have lived in for 30 years was a bit more than unnerving - it was downright disconcerting and I was more than a little upset. Realizing there was not anything I could do about it on a Sunday evening, especially Easter Sunday, I resigned myself to the fact that I would need to prioritize my work with this unexpected project beginning the following morning.

So, on the Monday morning following notification that Greentree Lending was now attempting to accelerate foreclosure and auction of my residence, I began contacting attorneys and agencies to see how best to handle this new crisis.

I spoke with friends who were attorneys and asked for recommendations. I wrote to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office and got no response for several weeks.

My attorney friends all advised me to, "work with Greentree to reinstate your mortgage. You don't want to play around in the Cook County Chancery Court system - it's as corrupt as Greentree." This was not what I wanted to hear.

Several attorneys I spoke with asked for specifics, but quickly realized this was over their head and advised me to either file for bankruptcy - in an attempt to save the house, or to, once again, "work with Greentree."

I finally, at the last minute, found an attorney who agreed to file my appearance, my legal response, which would allow me another 30 to 60 days to find another attorney and attempt to fight Greentree.

Time dragged out, slowly, and I was not having any luck, when, suddenly, I received a recommendation for someone who, "is very good at this. All he and his partners do is resolve these kinds of issues.' So I made an appointment and went to see this miracle worker attorney.

Three hours later, I had seen the MERS filings for my mortgage. MERS is the electronic records recording system - used by so many mortgage servicers now, which show what the Cook County Recorder of Deeds office doesn't see, or know, and, unless we're attorneys, who pay dearly for access to the MERS electronic records system, we will never see.

My visit to this "miracle worker" attorney, who had now laser-focused my attention on his abilities, showed, via the MERS system, that Greentree had modified my mortgage so they could create a much higher outstanding balance on my account, rolled it into a mortgage investment package, and sold it to Bank of New York.

My original mortgage was now part of a package that was being traded on one of the Options Exchanges several times per day.

This repackaging of my mortgage was also the reason Greentree no longer wanted to accept my principal reduction payments because the value of the mortgage which had been made a part of the investment package was upward of $450,000, and the outstanding balance on my mortgage was less than $150,000.

If Greentree's bean counters allowed me to prepay the principal on my mortgage, they would, quite literally, loose their asses on the mortgage value they had assigned to the portfolio when they sold my mortgage and be on the hook for the difference - so they came after me by illegally returning my valid check.

So, I signed a contract with this new "miracle worker" attorney and he promised to intervene in my behalf and get the matter resolved. I then gave him a total of $3,000 and he went to court and began filing documents.

But the miracle worker attorney turned out to be a flake and fraud. It turns out he had several filings against him with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary group and was being investigated. So, my payments and case are now, and two years later, still a part of an ongoing investigation against this "miracle worker" attorney who took my money and did nothing.

While he had filed a response to Greentree's attorney, this only bought a couple of weeks worth of time, and I was beginning to panic because it looked like I was still in danger of loosing my house.

So, still determined to fight Greentree, and still as poor as a proverbial churchmouse, cutting corners everywhere so I could pay attorney's fees, filing fees, and court fees, I restarted my search for a QUALIFIED attorney to handle my case.

I finally found a really good attorney. He's part of a long-established firm in Park Ridge Illinois: they've been around since the 1880s. They have a good track record of working on all kinds of legal actions.

Greentree's attorneys have done nothing but play games with my case. My legal bills are close to $30,000 at this point. Most people would have given up and walked away from their property, but I will not, because what Greentree did to me, and is doing, along with their parent company, Bank of America, is outright FRAUD.

Greentree's sole basis for continuing their action against me is that "I am attempting to steal money from Greentree," because I want to prepay my principal amount with each mortgage payment. Their attorneys actually wrote that into one of the responses they filed with the Court.

NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES A MORTGAGE IS SOLD; NO MATTER HOW MANY DIFFERENT LENDERS OR SERVICERS HANDLE A MORTGAGE DURING THE LIFE OF THE MORTGAGE; IT IS ILLEGAL TO MAKE ANY CHANGES TO THE ORIGINAL MORTGAGE AGREEMENT WITHOUT BOTH THE INVOLVEMENT, AND WRITTEN CONSCENT, OF THE ORIGINAL MORTGAGEE!

In the process of going over my original MORTGAGE and NOTE (yes, they are two different things), part or our defense against Greentree, I found my original note.

One of the paragraphs of the note I signed for the mortgage specifically grants me the right to PREPAY the PRINCIPAL of the note, in any amount, at any time, for any reason, WITHOUT PREPAYMENT PENALTY.

From PAGE 1, PARAGRAPH 4 of my Note:

"4: BORROWER'S RIGHT TO PREPAY
I have the right to make payments of Principal at any time before they are due. A payment of Principal only is known as a "Prepayment." When I make a Prepayment, I will tell the Note Holder in writing that i am doing so. I may not designate a payment as a Prepayment if I have not made all of the monthly payments due under the Note.

I may make a full Prepayment or partial Prepayment without paying a Prepayment charge. The Note Holder will use my Prepayments to reduce the amount of Principal that I owe under this Note. However, the Note Holder may apply my Prepayment to the accrued and unpaid interest on the Prepayment amount, before applying my Prepayment to reduce the Principal amount of the Note. If i make a partial Prepayment, there will be no changes in the due date or in the mount of my monthly payment unless the Note Holder agrees in writing to those changes."

We kept copies of EVERYTHING when we wrote our mortgage. We keep copies of every check we send, every letter we sent, every part of the origination documentation.

We requested a copy of our closing documents and delayed our closing a month, so we could have an outside audit done on those documents. We read through every page, or every document, as they were placed before us at the closing on our house. That added almost three hours to the closing process, but has proved invaluable in our defense against Greentree.

Three years, $30,000, and more stress than I ever wanted in my life, and this is still not over, but the Justice Department, and the Attorneys General of the States of New York and Texas all agree with the findings of me and my Attorney: 65% of every action taken against a Greentree mortgage holder is FRAUD on the part of Greentree.

We'd love to sell our house and move out of Chicago, but, until this is resolve, cannot do so.

My latest affidavit, along with supporting exhibits, was filed on 27 April, and is now before the Judge and Court.

Remember, KEEP RECORDS OF EVERYTHING.

KEEP YOUR PROPERTY TAXES, INSURANCE, and ASSESSMENTS PAID UP. If you get behind, contact them and make arrangements to get caught up.

KEEP COPIES OF EVERYTHING.

TALK ONLY TO A QUALIFIED ATTORNEY.

ONCE YOU RETAIN AN ATTORNEY, DON"T SPEAK WITH ANYONE FROM GREENTREE OR THEIR ATTORNEYS. Greentree will use whatever you say against you and, your speaking to them may negate what your attorney is attempting to do in the court.

DON'T TRY TO NEGOTIATE DIRECTLY WITH GREENTREE - IT WON'T WORK.

ONCE YOU START WORKING WITH AN ATTORNEY, PAY THE ATTORNEY. IF YOU CAN ESCROW YOUR PAYMENTS, DO SO, BUT PAY THE ATTORNEY TO WORK FOR YOU - DO NOT PAY GREENTREE.

IF GREENTREE, OR ANY OF THEIR REPRESENTATIVES CALL, HANG UP - DO NOT TRY TO EXPLAIN ANYTHING - DO NOT BE NICE - JUST HANG UP.

Make certain you maintain a conversation with your attorney and get copies of everything filed. It keeps you in the loop and ensures that he or she is actually working for you.

You also might want to get a copy of your Amortization Schedule and the Green Tree Account History. These documents will show actions that have taken place in your account. Particularly on the Amortization Schedule look to see if there are amounts in the "Princ only Enc" column. On the Green Tree Account History document look to see if there are any adjustments that have taken place in the principal and interest columns.

You also might want to get a copy of your Amortization Schedule and the Green Tree Account History. These documents will show actions that have taken place in your account. Particularly on the Amortization Schedule look to see if there are amounts in the "Princ only Enc" column. On the Green Tree Account History document look to see if there are any adjustments that have taken place in the principal and interest columns.

WOW.. I'm in Cook County as well and although I have my home, they too had increased dramatically my principal. I went from 70,000 to now it showing I owe 97000 on my home. The side effect of keeping my home, GT felt they were donig me a favor by leting me stay in my home but they added 40 years to a mortgae that was almsot paid off. I'm SO disguisted by thie whole hting. Even my attorney could have done more and after paying $6,000 to them, I feel i was duped not only by GT but by my attorney too. SMH.. I SHOULD BE REIMBURSSED MY ATTORNEY FEES AS WELL AS MY HOME PUT BACK TO ONLY OWING 72,000...

I would love to know what attorneys you're working with... We are in McHenry County and in the process of filing our complaints against Green Tree, but are looking into legal action. (your story was VERY helpful!!). We have an ARM with no change to our rate, however 6 months after Green Tree obtained our mortgage (which they have no date or information as to when that happened. I just have the letter from the previous company), they increased our regular payment for "repayment" but cannot tell us what it is for. Nor can they explain what a mysterious $20 fee is that they have been adding to our statements. (On top of the increased regular payment). Lucky for us, I save EVERY piece of paper and have everything in black and white. (including recent conversations with Green Tree.) Legal action is what we're looking for, but it's hard to find the right team in IL.

GT acquired our pan 2 years.ago and it has been a nightmare. They start calling 3 days before it is even due. They have had me in tears every time they have talked to me. My husband had a quad bypass in January and I called and told them the payment might be late but it would be paid. Their response was that wasn't their problem. I didn't answer the phone because I didn't want to be harassed. They called every member of our family and threatened them . How is this legal? Please someone needs to help us. We have been making our payments just having a rough time. We don't want to lose our home that we have worked so hard for.

I do work for green tree and I am a supervisor of 9 reps and very good, meaning that my team does hit their goals.I win contest for sups company wide, i only say that so people don't think im just some disgrunted ex employee.

Green tree doesn't itself doesn't condone hard collection tactics, but the pressure from the VP of collections and the directors to the sups and reps is beyond rough, they know what tactics we use and even advise us to string along customers. One director even took me to lunch and advised me how to call a customer for a mobile home and act as a repo agent. Most customers that go over 30 days pass due are called in excess of 30 times a day when it becomes end of month, we will call your neighbors , relatives and place of employment. We have a skip tracing program that will locate all that for us.

What we do as employees is not right, what we say to you all is the truth bent to the point of breaking. If you are a BofA loan we wont file for foreclosure before 61 days, any other loans it isn't until 90 days, we tell you that you are over 1 month past due which is the start of the foreclosure process........Um what we do is send out a notice of default which does give you 30 days to pay that past due amount, all you hear is foreclosure and we know this. What we don't tell you is if there is under 10k in equity in your home we wont do anything and will charge it off at 180 days, but in the meantime your sweating it out and scared that we are going to lock you out. As sups we have been directed by our directors to be logged off our phone and make our calls because they are not recorded, that gives us the chance to tell you what ever and we do.

Your probably thinking what a *** and how can he do this, well we are driven to it and our bonus is based off our reps hitting goal, (which they do lower most months which makes reps push the envelope harder). Im sorry but there is alot more we can do to help you all and we don't, we hold on to your docs that you send us for a STRM, HAMP, HARP, just so we dont have to carry your loan that month and you are forced to pay to keep the default from going out which cost you around $175 bucks and put into your advances that raise your note. I'm tired of doing this and lieing just for the bonus when it is at your expense. I know of reps and managers using the docs you send us to get your checking info and run the check at end of month if you didnt pay, I know of reps and sups creating a false check on your account just so it shows payment in hand and it doesn't carry for that month.

Your asking yourself why is he saying this, if greentree finds out I lose my $3000 bonus and my good salary, well Just had an incident that happened and it came out about one of my reps lifestyle (which didnt reflect her job) I was scolded about it and said i should be embarrassed to have that around, and they made false accusations about the incident, this rep did nothing wrong and I refuse to let them harass her because of this her sexual activity outside of work doesnt matter but as it was told to me its not moral. How can I has a person continue to lie to you and allow them to treat people wrong because of their sex life. If you have a question send me and email and I will respond to it.

Again if you were on the receiving end of our deceitfulness im sorry. [email and links deleted]

I too work for Green Tree. I can't say that our office has ever done many of the things listed above, but I can tell all of you that we are required to be on the phone 60% of our time worked. Not being at 60% time on the phone can cause us to lose our job. This means that we are left to call thousands of accounts that are only a few days past their due date and still within the grace period. When customers get upset and tell us not to call, we are to say that you were due on the 1st and you will continue to get calls until payment is received. I cringe every time someone answers the phone, because I can't stand demanding payment so early. Our goals are ridiculous and get harder every month. When you depend on that money to support your kids, you are forced to do horrible things. Things I'm not proud of. Not to mention that if you don't reach these goals for 2-3 months in a row you get fired. I am a very good collector without the threats, but with the threats by the higher ups, I'm a ruthless collector and it's jot always fun.
As far as assistance for the mortgages go... I go out of my way to help the borrowers get modifications and any other assistance. The problem lies within the loss mitigation department and the large call centers (I am a part of a small office). The LM reps won't answer calls from other reps let alone the borrowers. They don't do anything as far as I can tell in the years that I've worked for GT. Borrowers fax in mod docs and I will even send them for them, but miraculously they are never received. No matter how many times they are sent. We are not allowed to email outside of the company which makes things even more complicated. (I can't figure out for the life of me how it is that in 2015 we can't email borrowers) We are also told not to spend too much time talking to the borrower about loss mitigation. We are to get payment or send them to customer service whom knows nothing about the processes. And I have noticed that a good majority of modifications are denied and the reasons are unclear.
Another document that never seems to make it to GT no matter how many times it is sent is the ACH application. I'm starting to wonder if it is Green Trees way of ensuring they get late fees and/or the $12 Speedpay vendor fee for over the phone payments. I'm pretty certain this is the case and it makes me sick.
Now GT is consolidating their regional offices and making large call centers instead. This means that hundreds are losing their jobs and will be replaced with all of the [deleted] doing the horrible things that rockyboxer mentioned. It saddens me to be one of the many losing their job thanks to this bad corporate decision, not because I enjoy working there, but because I actually enjoyed helping people. No I'm not the nicest person in the world and I need my bonus to live, but if you need help I will go out of my way to get it done. I feel sorry for all of those that are used to having an account rep they can trust, because by October they will have one that will lie and scam. GT is a horrible company and in the end I will be relieved to wash my hands of this place. It's just unfortunate that they are letting go of most of the good employees and keeping the bad.

our mortgage was discharged about 5 years ago via chap13. We are now just "paying to stay" in an underwater house. We love the area & house, but we owe much more than it could ever fetch. We were transferred from Ocwen in the middle of negotiations for a principal reduction. GT doesn't offer them far as I can tell. What age do we have? I am intentionally a month behind to get on their radar. What if I fluctuate between being 30 & 60 days late (on & off). Can't report to credit agencies because that is essentially trying to collect a debt (thru those agencies). Any advice?

You need to use the underwater to your advantage. I tried to save my house too while dealing with those crooks. They overcharged me repeatedly they would hold payments until they were late enough to charge late fees they would apply huge amounts of money to escrow and then show fictitious payments from escrow for insurance which I already had. The list goes on and on. In the end I told them they can have the house because I didn't want to deal with them anymore. After being five months past due they came up with a plan for a modification which also forgave the past due. Now they are back to the old tricks with holding payments until they can charge a late fee.... Good luck consider getting a lawyer that's where I am now.

My mortgage got sold to Green Tree. I have been a month ahead for over 9 years, never late, etc. My problem isn't phone calls. It is they won't post my payment properly. After 3 or 4 miss accounted checks someone finally told me I had to send them a letter, which I did. They replied with some stupid explanation that the company that collected the checks was different and in another state. I DON"T CARE. Also, if I every wanted to be more than 2 months ahead I had to let them know. When I saw on my credit report the "natural disaster - declared disaster", the rep. tried to sell me "that is there in case you are late on your credit and there is a natural disaster in your area the credit bureau will understand why you are late". And YES I did record it. Then when I checked my account I found they were cashing my check (on the 2nd or 3rd of the month) and applying it to the next months payment all right. BUT they didn't credit the payment until the 1st of the next month. Keeping my money and charging me interest on my loan. Talk about total thief's. Now I get a letter they reported all the houses in Michigan a disaster for a few months. Not done with them yet.

so what can we do? Im sick of their harassing.

Your best bet, if you need help with your mortgage, call HAMP. They can assist and get the ball rolling forcing loss mitigation to actually do their job. I just directed one of my borrowers today to Hamp and to the cfpb after her and I spent the last year and a half trying to get her a modification. Her husband passed which is an automatic Hamp modification qualifier. Loss mitigation kept saying she didn't send in any if her missing docs, which she did and I did for her as well. When I called that department today the guy said it wasn't filed out correctly. It was! 100% correct as I helped her fill it out and I've been doing this long enough to know. My director (being in an office that cares for all of our borrowers) escalated the situation. I promised to get her the mod before our office closes on October 1st, but I made sure she called Hamp and filed a complaint with the cfpb. She called me back to let me know that HAMP is assisting her. That only took her 30 minutes. Use the lawsuit against GT to your advantage. Who knows... Maybe u could get money back for Green Tree's never ending [deleted] activities and tactics. I am rooting for all of you and just wish there more offices like mine within the company that you could take advantage of and that those of use that care weren't losing our jobs so we could continue to assist those who do truly need help. But please bare in mind that there are a ton of bad apples out there that require some of the collection techniques we use. The legal ones anyways. Oh... And one last thing.... In many states you can stay in your home for years without paying, before the foreclosure process gets to the point where you must leave. Also take advantage of [.com link deleted]. HAMP # 888-995-HOPE (4673)

No way you can stay in a house without leaving the law would evict you if the house sold. B of A did not acknowledge the Bankruptcy prior to trying to foreclose and it took the court 6 months to get it reinstated and B of A and Greentree did not put my name back on the house for almost 5 years on the county tax records, lost my exemptions, insurance so I'm suing..

I lost my home after trying to refi w/Green Tree for two years. We got hung up on. Made another call....more crap. We were told to call Quick Loans and got laughed at, as the roof leaked the appliances stopped functioning...the plumbing backed-up....the house needed major repairs. The insurance costs got higher on the roof, till they cancelled coverage because it was in need of being replaced.

Loss of income and spending years looking for work in Florida and we were totally doomed. At least we had SS and we were willing to comply as long as we could have repaired the house and taken the mortgage payment down.

We lost. Green Tree messed up our short sale, which put it on hold for another four months. Finally, Congressmen made phone calls for us and pushed GT to move. We now have no hope as to even being able to find a place to live with that mess on our backs.

These CROOKS continue to thrive...and we lost.

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