Among those who have been disappointed by the program are SILS clients Eric and Annette Padilla, who spoke to the Times about their struggle.
From the piece (which can be found in its entirety at NYTimes.com):
In Staten Island, The New York Times examined eight cases where homeowners seemed to possess the income and credit scores to qualify for the program. Yet after months of trying, even with the help of Staten Island Legal Services, not one has obtained a permanent modification.
Any single case speaks as eloquently as another.
Eric and Annette Padilla bought their home in 2003. Then Mr. Padilla fell ill and Ms. Padilla quit her job to care for him, and the couple fell behind on their mortgage in 2009. (Their income dropped to less than $60,000, from $96,000.)
They applied for the program through their bank, HSBC, and received a three-month modification. They made the payments on time. In August 2009, they requested a permanent modification.
The Padillas called the bank every week. One representative said their file was incomplete, another asked for more documents, a third said the documents were there all along.
In September, the bank said their documents had “become stale” and told them to resubmit. Eventually, they were given a new temporary modification. Once again they made every payment on time.
In January 2010, they sought another permanent modification. Then they heard back from HSBC: denied. The reason? The couple had overpaid one month.
Last summer, HSBC filed papers to foreclose against the Padillas. For Mr. Padilla, 41, the house was his step out of the housing projects; he has no intention of surrendering.
“I ask myself sometimes, why is this happening?” he says. “Wasn’t this program set up for hard-working people like us?”
Read the full article at The New York Times.