Countrywide

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Zero Notice Account Freezes
Posted by on
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- I would like to lodge a consumer complaint about the holder of my primary mortgage and my Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): Countrywide Financial. My account number is 178347903.

I have held a Home Equity Line of Credit, with a credit limit of $37,000, with Countrywide for one year. In that time, I have borrowed a total of $4,000 from the account, to cover wedding expenses. The loan balance has since been paid off with no late payments or other adverse activity.

With the intention of purchasing a larger home in 2009, I planned to rely on my HELOC as partial down payment for a contract with Toll Brothers builders. Prior to signing a contract with Toll Brothers, I contacted Countrywide Financial to ensure that my HELOC was still active, with a credit limit of $37,000. The answer from a Countrywide customer representative was that my credit limit was still being honored.

Countrywide Bank, in a department called Home Equity Loan Servicing (SV3225 – P.O. Box 10287, Van Nuys, CA 91410-0287) received a check request from me on July 3rd for the amount of $34,998. Countrywide refused to honor this check, and instead froze my HELOC account that day from any further withdrawals. Their response is included here in its entirety:

Important Message about Your Loan

We are writing to let you know that recently a payment on a check against your home equity line of credit had to be denied.

What This Means

Check number 00604 in the amount of $34,998 was denied on July 03, 2008 because:
Your account no longer permits draws to be taken.

What You Need to Do

Please update your records accordingly.


What is important to note about this chain of events is that my account and credit limit were in good standing until the very second I attempted to utilize the line of credit, at which point the account was ‘reviewed’ and frozen.

This is at best an ad-hoc and anti-consumer method of account review, and at worst a very obvious attempt to prevent the company from bleeding cash at the expense of customers in good standing.

While this activity is undoubtedly legal according to the terms and conditions of the HELOC (no doubt some clause allows them to freeze accounts at any time), I find it to be highly consumer unfriendly. At the very least, I feel cheated out of the $500+ in processing fees I paid for a now unusable HELOC.

The damage this has done to me is to put me in breach of contract with Toll Brothers, to whom I promised a 5% down payment on a new property in order for them to move forward and promise new construction. I believe I had reasonable expectation, and took sufficient precaution, to ensure that I was able to complete the terms of the contract I signed at that time (28 June, 2008) based on my HELOC. I will note that my HELOC account was in good standing on 28 June.

On the phone, Countrywide indicated that my account could be unfrozen only through a reappraisal of my property at my own expense, or through some signed affidavit of property exchange values by a licensed real estate agent.

I have other sources of potential funding for my new home contract, but I would like to submit this as further evidence of California State Attorney General’s contention of Countrywide’s consumer unfriendly practices and policies.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
     
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madconsumer on 2008-07-15:
isn't a home equity line of credit taken against the home those funds will furbish?

I suspect what they found out, you wanted it to go to the purchase of a new home. and that was not where the security of the loan is. it is on your current home. therefore they froze your assests. as well as the reason they want a new appraisal of your current home. this will prove if 'any' of the money they lent you actually went to that home.
Anonymous on 2008-07-15:
You tried to come with $2000 of maxing out your credit line. And the line is tied to the value of a home that may be worth substantially less than it was when you opened the account. CountryWide could have done better on this, but they have a right to protect themselves. I'm not sure how often it's done, but using a Heloc on one home to help pay for the building of another sounds really shaky. BTW, it'd probably be a good idea to edit that account number out of your post. The account may be frozen, but posting the digits online may be risky.
cannerof on 2008-09-30:
Wrought a $1,100 check on my home equity line credit and it bounced. I called Countrywide and they said they sent me a letter stating that due to property value decline in my area we had to freeze your account. I'm not saying they didn't send the letter but I didn't get it.The really bad thing about this is the bad check was to my mechanic who is also my first cousin. I can type many pages about my conversations with them about how they can justify the freeze (by the way I sent them documentation they requested they needed to release the loan about proving the property value here is appreciating +or- a few miles, but that wasn't good enough) but I can condense it to a shorter phone experience- I will circle talk you until I transfer you to a better circle talker.The funny thing is I can take a new bigger equity loan out because my property is worth more (almost $7'000) according to a loan specialis there for a hefty fee. What is to stop them freezing my new account in which I would never sign off on.I can answer questions if you have any.
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The Worst Customer Service I Have Ever Dealt With
Posted by on
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Customer service is an outrage! Every time you call you get voice mail and no return call. It took from July 31 to February 15 to settle a simple claim. My insurance company called them and had the same experience we called claims department supervisors and managers always the same voice mail without return calls.

Stay away from this company!!!! What company in this day and age does not have an email address .
     
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getoverit on 2011-02-26:
Is this car insurance you're talking about? You state your onsurance company tried to contact Country-wide. It sounds as if possibly you were involved in an accident with one of their customers.

What is the situation?

btw - While I'm inclined to agree that most companies have e-mail addresses these days, I'm not sure that would make much difference. If they don't respond to calls, they probably wouldn't respond to e-mails, either.
getoverit on 2011-02-26:
For what it's worth: I went to the Country-wide insurance website and clicked on "Contact Us", or something like that. They have the typical option for sending in a message with a quesiton about their products, etc. I sent in a question and got the usual "Thank-you for your recent communication" e-mail in response.

Here's the address they used: cwi_helpdesk@cwico.com

I hope that helps (but it probably won't).
Jay on 2013-06-26:
I too have numerous complaints with this company. They always send me to voice mails and have not been settled a claim on one of their drivers that accidentally hit my car. This is ridiculous I am going the news to air these people out. When you do leave a message they have one of their employees call you back answering as they were answering a phone from their house and they just woke up. They have workers that practically curse you out very rude and tell you to speak with another representative which then never answers the phone only to be on hold again or on someone else's voicemail that has nothing to do with your accident this is b*******.
Pam on 2013-06-28:
Why on earth do these people get permit to run a business especially insurance - this sound like an under the table thing
litleelf on 2013-07-01:
I have Esurance and they usually call me back in an hour or less, regarding a claim. E-mail can take longer but is usually about the same. I have been in accidents usually from other people's bad driving or hit and runs. And honestly their service was impeccable. When I grazed a person's bumper, the only time in 20 years I have had an accident that was my fault, they were just as gracious...... I have seen both sides of them and whether by e-mail or phone, they respond in record time.
Mena on 2013-07-15:
I have had to deal with Countrywide on a professional and personal level as they are horrendous. The fact that New York State allows them to operate is ridiculous. Just spread the word NOT TO EVER EVER insure with them. I know I will, again on both a professional and personal level. Social Media can make sure the message is loud and clear.
ro on 2013-07-25:
I am dealing with them right now and the customer service is below poor. Unreal I am the one whose car got hit and I am the one chasing them around to get my brand new car fixed. I have never dealt with such an incompetent insurance company. If they don
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Countrywide Bank CD rates
Posted by on
FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -- I am very hesitant about putting my money on a CD from countrywide.

First I see the rate they offer for CDs on the internet and its nice but only for accounts open over the internet.

Second as I fill the information and I get to the second phase, just about to place my account number and routing number it tells me that it will take up to three days to be verified and ONLY then I will get the rate when the account if verified.

To me that's three days later and rates change daily. so the rate the promise over the internet won't be the rate I may get because because of the time it takes for my account and money to be verified.

This is a trick to attract people to sign for this high rate CD with a minimum of $10,000.

I am very sure that someone in Countrywide Bank that get paid a lot for this strategy has thought of this, I am just a soldier in the US Army and work hard for my money.

Luis
     
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tnchuck100 on 2008-02-19:
Your wording sounds like you are buying CD's online. Don't do it. Find a local bank or better yet, a credit union. Purchase CD's face to face with an live person. Know your interest rate before buying. Read and understand what you are getting. Then and only then do you layout your money.
Anonymous on 2008-02-19:
I have a couple of internet savings accounts and I've never had a problem. (Emigrantdirect & Capital One). The absolute best offers right now in my neck of the woods is a reward checking account paying 5.15% so long as you use your debit card for 12 or more signature-based transactions per month. Series I savings bonds at treasurydirect.gov used to be an option but with the new limits why bother. Anyway good luck and do as my friend chuck suggests --- "Read and understand what you are getting" (worth repeating)
Anonymous on 2008-02-19:
I get Nationwide and Countrywide confused. Thank God I'm a nation boy. I was nation, when nation wasn't cool. Is nation ham salty too?
Anonymous on 2008-02-19:
Sheriff, a good way to remember is "Nationwide is on your side" and to prove that they are now the proud sponsors of the NASCAR, used to be (BUSCH) race -- now called the Nationwide Race.
richfirst on 2008-03-21:
Actually, your are mistaken/confused - Countrywide will guarantee the CD rate at the time you make an online application so long as they receive funding with 10 days - this is per their detailed disclosure & agreement / fine print stuff (actually, it's better than that because if the rate goes UP you'll get the higher rate, but if it goes down, you still get the higher rate in effect when you applied):

If.you.applied.for.this.account.in.one.of.our.financial.centers.or.branches,
you.will.receive.the.interest.rate.in.effect.on.the.day.you.applied.for.
your.account..If.you.open.an.account.on.the.website.or.by.calling.our.
Customer.Care.Center.and.your.account.is.funded.within.10.days.of.
account.opening,.you.will.receive.the.higher.of.the.interest.rates.in.
effect.at.either.account.opening.or.at.the.time.the.account.is.funded..."
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Problem With Countrywide
Posted by on
LAKEWOOD, COLORADO -- I lost my job (as a Mortgage Loan Closer) and contacted CountryWide to see if I could refinance to lower my payment. The loan officer said I could do the FastTrack loan and eagerly took my non-refundable $380.00 fee. Three months later I haven't heard back from them. My phone call, which of course every one passed the buck, revealed I was denied approval for a new loan. How nice of them to contact me and let me know! By this time I cannot make my mortgage payments. I call again to get help.

What a joke! No help available...." just stop making your payments" is what I got out of it. Absolutely a waste of time and $380.
     
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Bad loan
Posted by on
RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA -- Countrywide home loans is responsible for me and my wife losing our house.
About a year and a half ago we moved into our first house together using a loan that Countrywide recommended as "great new program" for people like us. (whatever that was supposed to mean) We were told that it would be an interest only loan that would only stay fixed (percentage rate) for one year. We understood that we should get out of the loan after that first year. And in the mean time we would be making payments that were a little over the minimum payment so we would be able to still effect the balance (principle) and not just pay on interest.
When we started to go into the refinance this year we found out that not only was it an interest only loan, it was actually a "negative loan". Meaning that as we were making payments that we thought were the minimum plus a little extra on our own, we were actually paying under the minimum. So our balance (principle) was actually going up during that year and when the year was up (in April) it began to go up at a frightening pace. Our total amount owed has no gone up about $20,000 in less than a year and a half while we have been making payments all along!
We are no told that in order to stay in the house, our minimum payment would now be over $1,000 more a month. We cannot afford to keep the house now and we will be leaving soon. My wife and I have decent jobs (around $120,000 per year)and we don't overspend but we do not want to live in place that will finanially strap us forever. Countrywide did not inform us of the "negative" aspects of the loan and then acted like they were doing us a favor by "helping" us to get out of the loan. If they were honest with us and told us about this, we could have afforded to pay more of necessary. Now the payment is out of reach and we will have to relocate again. (we have 2 kids) I don't know if there is anything legal that can be done, but there should be. (I couldn't afford anything legal now anyway)
     
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GWbiker on 2006-11-16:
Did your lawyer review the contract from CountryWide Homes before you signed? Did you have a lawyer?
spiderman2 on 2006-11-16:
Check with your state's banking commission. This sounds shady to me. If you had a lawyer when you closed on your loan, contact him or her.
spiderman2 on 2006-11-16:
Check with your state's banking commission. This sounds shady to me. If you had a lawyer when you closed on your loan, contact him or her.
Missy Carter on 2006-11-16:
Get all of your paperwork together and review it so that you know what you signed. Then go to a lawyer or maybe even talk to your bank/credit union about what the papers mean if there is anythign in there you do not understand. I worked in mortgages for over 3 years and I can telly ou that people would often sign things without even askign and then would be surprised when their loan amoutn went up. This happened a lot right around the time the feds raised the rate and all the home equity loans adjusted. Don't feel too bad because you are probably like most people who don't really understand or know what they are signing, but trust that a huge company like Countrywide is giving you want you want. I have a strong feeling they did not cheat you as far as giving you something illegal, but unfortunately it is your responsibility as the consumer to know what you are signing up for. Good luck!
*Brenda* on 2006-11-16:
In your paperwork there should be an amortization sheet which shows you every payment you will make. If you read it you would have seen that the loan would be going up and not down. I know they give you a million papers to sign but you really need to read them. I have a Countrywide loan and I knew exactly what I was getting into (mine isn't a negative amortization loan).
Noneill on 2006-11-17:
Why on earth would someone take on a strange loan contract like that if the combined incomes come to $120,000? I know someone who earns about half that much and they have 2 homes, the one they live in and a rental property. The mortgages are normal ones where the principle goes DOWN as payments are made.
*Brenda* on 2006-11-17:
Probably because they bought more than they could afford Noneill.
rhondam718732 on 2006-11-20:
And where do you live that $1,000 mortgage is expensive? I am movbing there NOW!
*Brenda* on 2006-11-22:
rhondam, he said $1000 more than it usually is not just $1000.00 for the payment. I read that wrong at first also. I was thinking hmm $120,000 a year and they can't afford a thousand bucks a month? LOL
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N/A
Posted by on
We were signed up with Countrywide Home Mortgages when we bought our house. We paid every month never suspecting what Countrywide was actually doing with our payment. We discovered that Countrywide puts some of your payments in a special account just in case they decide to foreclose. The problem is the payment does not get to whom it is supposed to get to and therefore Countrywide claims they never got the payment. I even had one Countrywide representative ask me what they did with my payment
     
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Never Take A Home Loan Out With Countrywide
Posted by on
My mother has just had her house foreclosed upon "by mistake" by Countrywide. Countrywide has acknowledge she has never made a payment late, but because that they are no longer writing loans, we cannot find anyone to remove the security lock they incorrectly placed on her rental home.

They are HORRIBLE to deal with. We are now going on three months to remove their mistake.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-04-13:
In order to foreclose that had to have a court judgment. Such judgments are a matter of public record. Try the local county house and search the records. There you will find out everything you need to know. Countrywide is still writing loans, at least according to their web pages. I noticed a small announcement on their home page that as of April 27 they will be 'branded' part of Bank of America.
goduke on 2009-04-13:
Wow. There's probably some exposure there from Countrywide. If they simply slapped a lock on the house to prevent entry without the required notices, you've probably got a good case. I'd contact your local bar association and see if they have a referral program. A lot of times you can get the first hour for a nominal fee to explore if you have a real case.
goduke on 2009-04-13:
Countrywide and BOA. There's a marriage made in hell.
Anonymous on 2009-04-13:
Yep, goduke. Now, if Countrywide forecloses on someone, BoA will go back and foreclose on every house you've ever owned...largest to smallest.
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Countrywide Home Loans
Posted by on
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- My husband and I have had numerous loans with Countrywide over the last 12 years. We have always found them to be very professional, informative, friendly and all documentation was done in a timely manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

We are right at this point in time doing a refinance with them and still getting that same friendly service.
     
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madconsumer on 2008-11-11:
great review!

very helpful.
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Late Fees
Posted by on
Recently my mortgage of 3 years was transferred or bought out by Countrywide Mortgage. I received my first months payment statement from them and Wallah! I already had a late fee. I went round and round with their customer service rep and receive a condescending letter from Countrywide telling me I should pay on time. The next month when I receive the statement with the late fee, I call and I'm told it will be removed. Later that day I receive a phone call from them recanting that promise and they explain that the late fee is from a year ago and was with the previous mortgage company. What?? I never received a notice from my prior mortgage company and I overpaid the mortgage payment each month. Why wouldn't they have deducted it from the overpayment? Well, Countrywide can't explain that, but can assure me that one year ago I made a late payment and I should just pay this charge.

I tell them I will not and they inform me that if it doesn't get paid, they will freeze my account and it will damage my credit. You have no control over who buys your mortgage, but I am going to try to refinance to get rid of these guys for sure! They've had my mortgage 3 months and I've had nothing but problems with them.
     
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Anonymous on 2007-11-08:
From what I've read about Countrywide, most of their customers have problems with them. You should be able to go back through your previous records and show that you were never late and have the charge removed. Whoever had your loan prior to Countrywide should be able to provide this information to you, have you tried doing this yet?
Principissa on 2007-11-09:
Have you tried calling the previous mortgage holder? If not they may be able to write a letter on your behalf stating that you did not incur any late fees on your mortgage. If not, or for some reason they are no longer in business, take copies of all of your old mortgage statements that show that you paid and when and see if that can help you.
squeekie on 2007-11-09:
I have countrywide and I agree they Bite. Countrywide is in a lot of hot water right now and look for your mortgage to get bought out again in the near future.
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