So, her is the recap of my twenty-three month history of not paying Ocwen, and the results brought.
It literally paid off.
1) I tried to do a loan modification, was declined.
2) Went into Chapter 13. Bankruptcy, was eventually dismissed.
3) Converted to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Completed Bankruptcy and was discharged.
4) Tried to do a Short Sale, Ocwen would not postpone the Foreclosure auction 15 days to close the Short Sale.
5) Drum roll….. Then it was sold at auction. It ended in Foreclosure.
This is where I could have really screwed myself.
I got a legal looking notice that said I had 5 days to move out.
Not shaken by the legal appearance I blew it off. I then got a real legal notice called forcible detainer (eviction
notice). I thought that was the end of the story until I got a
call from an Ocwen vendor, Altisource, in India, handling their Cash
For Keys program.
He called out of the blue while I was packing
boxes. He asked, “how much money would you need to relocate your
family?” I happily replied, “$3000.” He responded with, “the best I can do is $2500.” This
was great for me because I now knew it was a negotiation and I love to
negotiate. I first got him up to $2700, then $2800 before we landed on my
magic number of $3000. I love to negotiate. He informed me that a local rep
would be contacting me to sign the contract, and one did the next day.
I got the contracts that were emailed to me. Problem. The
conversation I had with the Altisource vendor did not match what the
contract stated. I’ve learned over the years, if it’s not on the
contract, Its not valid and it will not happen. It does not matter
what we talked about, if it’s not on the contract, It’s not valid. The
dispute was now over how clean the house was to be. Altisource said
“Broom Clean.” Contract says (paraphrased), “Spotless.” Big
difference between the two. I emailed my local rep with the problem
and got a follow up call from Altisource. He tried to say that we had
negotiated for it to be perfect. Being that this is a negotiation, I
asked for more money to make the house perfect, I asked for $700, he
countered with $500. I informed him I would be happy to do it for that but
there would be a huge pile of debris in the back yard that would still
have to be taken care of by the next person. He had to get boss
approval, and I was surprised when he came back with $1000. Did I say I love negotiations? A total of
$4000 for me to move out. Now, they didn’t do this out of the goodness
of their heart. This was kind of a bribe. They will give me $4000
AFTER, and only after, the house meets all of the requirements on the
contract I signed. So the house must be vacant, spotlessly clean inside
and yard to be free of debris. Also, I couldn’t take any of the
appliances. The opposite of this could have been to sell everything in the house:
all doors, windows, appliances, fans, lights, sinks, countertops, cabinets,
and leave huge piles of crap everywhere. That could easily push the
value of a house down $20,000 to $50,000 and really screw up values of
other homes in the area.
Moral of this story is: they tried to make me think they were doing me
a favor by giving me money to move, but I think they got the better
deal. Negotiate for time and money, play dumb (“I don’t understand”),
and have fun. It could be worth a couple hundred dollars an hour for your efforts.
I got $4000 and 2 months to move. Thats 2 months I would have had to pay rent somewhere else.
Pretty sweet deal. Fight for what you want.