by Susan Mandel
The New York Department of Financial Services’ probe into Caliber Home Loans is likely focused on whether the company has refused to modify loans using the US government’s Home Affordable Loan Modification program, according to Linda Tirelli, a consumer bankruptcy litigator based in White Plains, New York.
In April, a DFS attorney told Tirelli the department was reviewing what consumers were being told when they attempted to get loan modifications from Caliber, she said. The DFS attorney also told Tirelli the department was looking into the types of modifications being offered versus what the company was actually obligated to do, she said.
Tirelli represents a homeowner whose request for a HAMP modification as part of a bankruptcy proceeding was wrongly denied by Caliber, she said. The DFS attorney told her the department had received many complaints like the one she filed against Caliber, said Tirelli, though adding that she has heard nothing about the NYDFS probe since her phone conversation with the DFS attorney in mid-April.
A Caliber spokesperson said the company is unable to comment since the DFS inquiry is ongoing.
Tirelli said her client was told their mortgage was ineligible for a HAMP modification, though it actually was. Caliber blamed the ineligible status on JPMorgan Chase, which had sold the mortgage to Caliber parent Lone Star Funds, she said. But the transfer documents showed otherwise – JPMorgan Chase was, in fact, obligated under the Troubled Asset Relief Act to consider HAMP modifications, so Caliber was also obligated, she said, adding that Caliber ultimately modified the loan.
The Caliber spokesperson also declined to comment on Tirelli’s case.
A NYDFS spokesperson confirmed the investigation into Caliber, adding that it is separate from one being conducted by the New York State Attorney General. The spokesperson declined to comment beyond that.