Like so many other Americans today, struggling in the turbulent financial crisis, I fell on hard times with the mortgage payments. So I called my lender, Countrywide, and I was able to negotiate a modification with them. At the end of July, I received my documents in a FedEx envelope, opened them and then came to see that I only had two days in which to sign these (in front of a notary) and send them back to Countrywide. Luckily for me, I had a notary in my office and the documents were signed and sent back in their pre-addressed FedEx envelope.
I sat back and waited until September when they were due to start automatically debiting my account for my monthly installment. When that never occurred, I called Countrywide and was informed that, "I called in and cancelled my modification." Then the real shock came, "I also see here that when you cancelled your modification that you requested a short sale." I was then informed after a 30 minute conversation of trying to find out what went wrong that I would be receiving a call from a supervisor that day. Well, I waited and waited and that call never came.
So the next day, I called back in basically complete hysterics and was also informed that "my account is now in pre-foreclosure status." WHAT! Through a very long conversation it was stated that Countrywide will have to pull my physical file from offsite storage to see if there are any documents in the file that related to this short sale. Upon asking, "Shouldn't I have had to sign something that gave approval to proceed with something like this?", the representative told me, "No, not at first." "You would only sign the purchase agreement." Upon hearing this I said very simply, "Well if you have a signed agreement in your file, it is a forgery."
So to make a long story short, I am now waiting until Friday when I am supposed to get a call from another supervisor to tell me that Countrywide has messed up. Here is where my annoyance comes in. If my home is in a pre-foreclosure status, and it was done so by an error on Countrywide's part, then how could I possibly lose my home!!! I asked repeatedly that there needs to be a hold placed on this pre-foreclosure as I NEVER agreed nor wanted to do a short sale.
I did NOT call Countrywide to cancel my modification. And, this is NOT my fault. I was then told by the representative that she was not able to stop the pre-foreclosure process until this situation was looked into. I will say this, if I lose my home through this whole mess at the fault of my lender, there will be hell to pay. I will file a lawsuit for everything that I can and I will make sure that I post this situation on every website that I can, talk to every news syndication I can, talk to every news station that I can. Has this ever happened to anyone else? I know Countywide is under Investigation for unfair lending practices, maybe this should be added to the list.
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.
76137, TEXAS -- Just as Countrywide was getting ready to be bought by Bank of America, they realized they could no longer afford to pay its employees. So rather than laying them off, they opted to fire everyone for bogus reasons, then deny their unemployment. They even strong armed some long-time employees by telling them they either had to go to their Collections or Foreclosure departments or be terminated, forcing employees to go to a department that paid far less, was more stressful, and had longer hours. Every week I hear of another person losing their job at Countrywide.
This company is the reason for the mortgage industry being in the position its in and now they are making the economy worst with all the people that are now out of jobs, ineligible for unemployment assistance, and can't find a job because of the current job market.
LEHIGH ACRES FT MYERS, FLORIDA -- As the supervisor just told my husband: "What can you do about it, you've already paid it now. You're just contacting us now?" (No, we contacted you all when it happened but we were lied to)... I just got so angry. What I will do about it is warn anyone and everyone to not deal with Countrywide Home Loans.
I've been calling our loan originator for 2 days trying to get an explanation and not surprisingly he's not calling me back. If calls are recorded, is there someway I can ask their supervisor to play mine back? Or surely they are to note our accounts when they have discussions? Some kind of accountability? What makes me really angry is I trusted this guy. Countrywide. A known name. They were my mortgage company before I refinanced so I thought it would be a simple transition. WHY - Things just don't add up correctly.
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY IN OUR CASE: We were told by our originator that there was no prepayment penalty. We were refinancing because we had a 5 yr arm that was ready to be changed... I thought we were doing the right thing by getting it done BEFORE the rate change - our originator even made a call and NO PREPAY PENALTY. Day we closed we're told to sign a prepay penalty form... what? There's no prepay??? We were told by the lady there well let's just sign it and call your originator and find out what's going on. Again: How Could I have been so stupid?
#2 Called our originator that day. He had no idea what I was talking about.. as a matter of fact he didn't even see it on his paperwork. (I really believe him and until he's not returning my calls now I did)... He said there's no prepay on your loan, I even called about that. He made some more calls. Called me back the next day or so... and explained that the charge was really some kind of tax credit... confusing terms charge but he sounded like he knew what he was talking about and said it was a Drop down menu mistake.
He literally explained the person filling out the form should have chosen another fee, not prepayment penalty. HIS EXACT WORDS!!! And worse yet - I BELIEVED HIM! WITHOUT GETTING PROOF.
I said I'd need some new papers because in a few years this drop down mistake may be forgotten and I'd like my paperwork to be correct. OK he said he'd call back he never did. I lost track of time, believed him and quiet frankly forgot about it or figured I'd get the correct information when I got the pay off notice.....
Came last week -- almost 4 MONTHS after we closed that clearly states we paid $2700 in prepayment penalties. My husband calls the main office supervisor and she tells him the quote that I started this note with and also more or less .....tough your loan said 60 months you knew there was a prepay. She'll send us a copy of it.
Sure enough I got out my loan information and there's no disputing that. In fact it does say sixty months....had I been good at math I might have known all along that there was but my originator from COUNTRYWIDE who I was refinancing THROUGH COUNTRYWIDE made some calls and we sat there looking through it and somehow we came to the conclusion there was no prepay! He said there's NO PRE PAY. Different tune now but as my husband and I both told the supervisor WE WOULD HAVE NEVER CLOSED IN NOV to pay $2700 extra dollars! WE WOULD HAVE WAITED the 3 or 4 months to be in the 60 months to not have a prepay. We got NO CASH FROM THIS DEAL. There was no reason for us to close in NOVEMBER other than the fact that we wanted to get the arm loan out of the way to be responsible. And we had to pay for that....and trusted our Countrywide's rep telling us. And what kind of thanks do we get?
"It's paid now what can you do about it?"
I don't know how they sleep at night. I'd like to think our originator still made an honest mistake and would talk to everyone about it but with him not calling up back .....makes you wonder. PLEASE IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS OR ARE TOLD ANYTHING GET IT IN WRITING! What can I do about it? STOP SOMEONE ELSE FROM LOSING MONEY FOR NO REASON TO A COMPANY THEY TRUSTED! What else can I do since it has closed they got our money and they will continue to get our money.
CALIFORNIA -- This company makes many mistakes and it is hard to impossible to fix the mistake once it is made. I have 3 other loans with other companies and no problems in 2 years with countrywide (does not deserve capitals), I have had a 1/2 dozen problems, the last one is they screwed up my SSN and I have spent hours trying to get it resolved. All to no avail. They will say it is fixed and then I get another letter saying it is incorrect from them.
Phone service is bad, mail is worse. Go somewhere else, the hassle isn't worth it! Our loan was sold to them and in the changeover they didn't credit us for a month's payment. It took 3 months to finally straighten that out. They blamed the previous note holder but it was a company that tried to help us and finally was able to. Now I am certain that it was countrywide. One mistake is OK but there have been multiple. And then they always say they will fix it and never do!
Friends, be wary of doing business with Countrywide Home Loans, including their Full Spectrum Lending division for non-conforming loans. In fact, even if you don't originate your loan with these guys, have your loan officer write in a "no sell to or service by Countrywide" stipulation into your loan contract.
In short, Countrywide apparently has numerous unresolved complaints against them across America and as a customer, I've found that if you become persistent in getting them to fix their mistakes, they simply have their in-house lawyer write you a "go away" letter. Check them out... do a google search on "Countrywide Home Loans" and see for yourself. I wish I had never done business with them. You should avoid them no matter what.
NEW JERSEY -- We were seeking to refinance to get some cash out of our home. Countrywide has got to be the worst experience in mortgage companies ever. Customer service is completely irresponsible. No calls back! The refinance was screwed up right the beginning. We originally were promised/guaranteed/approved for a fast track (one week) refinance with a $23k cash out. After two weeks of abuse, the loan changed to a full doc loan without notice. Then the federal government reduced interest rates and I was told that I've already signed a 30 day lock document. I already was into this nightmare so I again decided to stick with customer service's empty promises.
At closing after 6 weeks, the cash payout became $14k because they decided to increase discount points and take those from the cash payout. There is no communication between Countrywide's departments. There is deceit and misrepresentation from any rep who decides to speak with you. Lending tree here I come.
My husband and I have a mortgage through Countrywide. This company definitely has its issues and we are not too happy with them. BUT the other day I was looking over all our info to make sure it was all in order only to find out they, without knowledge or consent switched out insurance company when we have been paying our premiums. They said it was because we didn't have enough coverage which is ** because I double checked with our agent. Thing is we get discounts through our carrier for different things like non-smokers credit and a credit because we use them for our car as well.
Countrywide does this every year and every year our agent has to fix it. Last year it happened twice, once saying we didn't have any coverage and another because we didn't have enough (again we did). I think they do this because if they pick an insurance for you they must get some referral bonus or something. The companies they pick are also a lot more expensive by about $300-$400.