Harassment/Poor Customer Service
PLANO, TEXAS -- I financed my home with an ARM with the promise Countrywide would give me a better percentage rate when my 3-year period was up. When the time came, by interest rate went up to more than 9%, resulting in a more than $500 a month increase in my mortgage payment effective Feb 2008. In January of 2008, when I realized I could not handle the payment, I filed paperwork with Countrywide's Home Retention team for a home loan modification. After finally being contacted by my counselor and filling out the loan information, I again called several weeks later to find out the loan had been approved.
However, she did not know this, and it became immediately apparent Countrywide's internal communication methods were and are very poor. She had told me when my application was pending not to make any payments until my loan modification papers were received and, at that time, I should make my new payment. I finally received the papers, signed, and returned them with a check covering late escrow fees and some processing fees to the tune of over $1400. I was also assured my account would be returned to current standing when the loan modification was finalized. However, I continued to receive phone calls and letters telling me I was delinquent, and even though I have made my first new payment under the loan modification terms, I am still receiving threatening and harassing calls and certified letters.
When I call to complain to customer service and explain the process I started many months ago to avoid just this situation, I am told just to tell the callers, for the umpteenth time, what is going on and explain to them my situation. I am told the letters and calls I have been receiving are automated and cannot be stopped. This is baloney! Countrywide's internal communication methods are extremely poor. Also, since receiving my modification package, I have tried many times to speak with my counselor who is always unavailable. She does not return messages left, and her supervisor has also been left messages in this regard. The customer service representatives also have left messages asking the Home Retention Office to update my account, and this still has not been done. I just received another call from a debt collector asking what I intended to do about my overdue account, and I "lost it" for the first time.
I am in a customer service field for the US Government, and this is no way to treat your customers, especially those who anticipate they will have a problem, contact the company, do all they are asked to do, and then are still harassed with calls and threatening letters. I never had a late payment on either my first or second mortgage prior to this time, and I will never again work with Countrywide. I will also make sure none of my friends or family do either. This is very sad.