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Saturday, May 28, 2011

GMAC Is Kicked Out of DMM Program

Amazing!  DMM is a company that the Lenders hire so that borrowers have a place to upload documents in the loss mitigation process (loan modifications and short sales).  The purpose of this is to eliminate the many documents that are lost in the process of getting them to lenders.  DMM is the group appointed by many courts to coordinate the transmission of those documents so they aren't lost.  To join DMM, the lender has to agree to abide by certain rules such as responding in a timely manner to the borrower once they have submitted documents.  GMAC has now been removed from the program by DMM  and DMM has said they believe GMAC is acting in bad faith.    So, an independent third party hired by many lenders and appointed by many courts has now stepped up and confirmed what borrowers have seen repeatedly.  GMAC is acting in bad faith when dealing with their borrowers.   The question remains, where does that leave borrowers?

Attention All Attorneys:

Despite repeated attempts by DMM to work with GMAC's BK Group ("GMAC") on the Portal, GMAC has failed to live up to its obligations.  They have failed to respond to submissions in a timely manner and provide the required updates and communications as per their contractual agreement with DMM and we believe they are acting in bad faith.  Although GMAC controls all activity on the Portal, their lack of timely responses also reflects poorly on DMM.  DMM’s commitment to its users is to ensure that servicers work the accounts to the best of their abilities.  Unfortunately, GMAC failed to meet this standard.  Accordingly, effective immediately, DMM is removing GMAC from the Portal and you will no longer be able to submit new accounts to them.

GMAC has advised us that they intend to finish processing all accounts currently on the Portal; however, given GMAC’s poor record resulting in their removal from the Portal, DMM strongly cautions all users from relying on any further communication from GMAC through the Portal.  We do, however, want to point out that your transactional history on the Portal can and should be used to document your loss mitigation efforts and should be shared with the courts.  Servicers are not supposed to be foreclosing on any mortgages on which there is an active review.  Your Portal history is evidence of that.  If you need to contact GMAC, Mr. Bill Haughton is the Bankruptcy Loss Mitigation Portfolio Manager at GMAC.  His direct number is 214-874-2569.

For those of you who have already submitted accounts through the Portal to GMAC and have not gotten the desired results, we are very sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused you.  The other servicers using the Portal continue to dedicate resources and we are constantly working with them to re-design their loss mitigation practices to better process Portal accounts.  Response times are improving significantly and more and more loans are being worked out.  This is a testament to everyone’s hard work – both servicer and attorney – and we thank you for your continued efforts.

Thank you and have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend.


Joe C. Smith II
CEO and President
Default Mitigation Management LLC

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Protection From Garnishment for Social Security, Veterans Benefits

Protection From Garnishment for Social Security, Veterans Benefits

A new treasury rule, effective May 1, 2011, will provide more protection to receipients of federal benefits from garnishment of their bank accounts.
ManGrabbingPiggyBank_iStock.jpgGarnishment and Federal Benefits: The Basics
If a creditor gets a judgment against you, it has various tools to collect on that judgment. One tool allows the creditor to garnish (grab the money in) your bank account. But there are limits to garnishment. Judgment creditors cannot grab funds that come from certain sources, including some types of federal benefits such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, veterans benefits, and a few others.
Although these types of funds cannot be seized by creditors, in practice, when banks got a garnishment order in the past, they often froze all funds in the account (up to the amount of the debt), without regard to whether the funds were protected from garnishment. This means the bank accountholder would not be able to access those funds for weeks or months. The accountholder could object to the garnishment of the protected funds to prevent the bank from turning them over to the judgment creditor. But many people were unable to complete the paperwork and procedure to do so, and so lost funds that never should have been seized.
The New Rule: The Onus is on the Bank
The new rule puts the onus on the banks. Banks receiving garnishment orders must now determine if the bank account has protected federal benefits that have been electronically deposited into the account within the previous two months. If the bank discovers that there are protected funds, it cannot include those funds in the account freeze.
What This Means for Accountholders
Federal benefits received and deposited in a bank account via paper check are not protected by this new rule. Nor are funds received (even if received electronically) more than two months prior to the garnishment order. However, the regular state procedures for challenging a garnishment order will still be available for these types of funds. Federal benefit recipients currently receiving paper checks should consider switching to electronic deposit of their benefits.