GMAC Mortgage Lies-Forecloses on Minister and his Terminal Wife
WATERLOO, IA -- We fell behind in our mortgage as I was in hospice care and my husband lost his job and were assured by GMAC Mortgage that we had several options. We could do a loan modification, "catch up" by increasing our monthly payments, or tack what we owe on the back of the loan. To this end, we supplied GMAC Mortgage with our financial information. GMAC Mortgage also stated that they were sympathetic to our situation and would work with us--they really didn't want the house back. Even after the sheriff came to the door in January with a foreclosure notice (with sale set for April 28, 2010), we were not worried as GMAC Mortgage lulled us into a false sense of security by telling us they were still "working on it", and that we had "several options" and they "didn't want our house back" and they were "sympathetic to our hardship". My husband stayed in constant communication with this company, and no issues were raised over the next months leading up to our foreclosure date of April 28, 2010. We knew that as long as you had an active open loan application that a foreclosure could not take place until there was a determination from the lender, so we were not panicking.
On April 27th, GMAC Mortgage contacted us and asked us to fax over some additional information. As this was "last minute“, my husband scrambled around to make copies and find a fax machine to use. He then called GMAC to confirm that they had received his fax, and they said they had the information requested and they would get back to us. There were 9 pages in all that were faxed to GMAC.
Early the next morning, we were informed that we were "denied by everyone". I was a bit suspicious about this, as GMAC couldn't have possibly submitted our information to lenders and receive an answer literally overnight. And what happened to our other "options"? Our home was put up for sale that same day with the sheriff's office, and there was nothing we could do to stop it.
Not trusting what we were told by GMAC Mortgage regarding being "denied by everyone", I repeatedly requested the evidence of whom we were submitted to and their reason for denial, but were not supplied this information. Finally, on June 18th, with me on one extension and my husband on the other and with a tape recorder running, I got a customer service representative on the phone, Mary. She informed us that we were never submitted anywhere, so there wasn't ever a denial! My husband asked about the 9 pages they had asked us to fax to them. The representative told us that she was showing this documentation as received on the 29th, not the 27th as we claimed. We knew that we faxed over 9 pages of information and they were, in fact, received the day before the foreclosure sale was set on April 28th and that GMAC had confirmed that they were in receipt of this information. We also knew that if we had an active application for consideration of funding, that a foreclosure could not happen. And we knew that it would take at least a full business day during regular business hours to submit and have a response to our application. As it was past business hours when GMAC said they received our information, there was no way that there could be any determination regarding our application. Why in the world would we dash around to accommodate a last minute request for information unless they asked us for it? And why were we "denied" if there wasn't any application? What had GMAC Mortgage been doing all these months on our supposed behalf?
What really bothers us is, if GMAC Mortgage never had any intention of assisting us in the loan modification program, they should have just told us. That way, we could attempt to procure financing on our own. GMAC Mortgage violated our rights by denying us this process. And they have conveniently altered the time line of the events of April 28th to reflect their position--we never provided any financial information so there was no application to be done, so no denial was ever issued.
My husband and I appeared on the 10:00 news (WWL-TV, Channel 4, New Orleans) on June 17th. The station's "Action Reporter", Bill Capo, took up our cause. The network even gave Mr. Capo extra time to present our story as it was so timely and compelling. We are grateful to Mr. Capo and Channel 4 for their assistance and their efforts. We plan to do a follow up interview and hope to have some resolution to report. Our home is now property of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. As I am permanently disabled, we are trying to work a subsidy plan out with our Federal Government and are working toward that resolution.
Our attempts to contact any key management or decision makers of GMAC Mortgage has been unsuccessful. For those of you that have wanted to simply have a conversation with anyone from this company past their inept customer service, you know that they only provide their customer service line or an online form to complete. It wasn’t until after I filed a complaint with our Attorney General's Office (Mr. James D. "Buddy" Caldwell) and the Department of Justice, that I received a response from GMAC Mortgage through the Attorney Generals' office, with some viable contact information. Yes, GMAC Mortgage continues to lie about the events of April 27 and 28. But, I now have the name of a real live person who is an "Advocacy Resolution Specialist" for GMAC Mortgage (yes, they actually have one of these!). Mr. Bryan Duggan can be reached at 1 -800-627-0128 extension 2365373 or directly at 319-236-5373. I'm confident that if GMAC Mortgage has an advocacy specialist, then they certainly would welcome calls from their customers, the people that keep them in business, regarding their experiences, concerns and dissatisfaction with their business practices. It’s funny, with all of our attempts to come to some resolution in this matter, we were never referred to such a department.
The way we deal with such entities as GMAC Mortgage, is by not doing business with them. But for many of us, it’s already too late for that. But there are actions you can take. File a complaint with every elected official representing our country and your particular state. Some examples of such contacts are the President, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Attorney General (Department of Justice), along with your state government officials (Governor, Senators, Congressmen). Remember, it was our government that gave GMAC a whole bunch of our tax money. In addition, file a complaint or report with any watchdog group or consumer advocacy organization pertaining to mortgage companies, such as the Better Business Bureau. When filing a complaint of this nature, I can’t stress enough that documentation is key here. Write down who you speak to, their title/department, the date, time, what was discussed, and if applicable, their extension or direct line.
And get them on tape…let them know you are recording the conversation. How often is it that we, as consumers, are told when we call a company or organization that “the call may be recorded for quality assurance or training purposes.”? There’s no better evidence than their own words!
But for others currently doing business with GMAC Mortgage, there is hope--they now have Mr. Bryan Duggan, Advocacy Resolution Specialist, to listen and act on their inquiries and concerns. I know I feel so much better just knowing that Mr. Duggan, Advocacy Resolution Specialist is "there" for me!
There are numerous reports of GMAC Mortgage's unethical business practices available online with consumer report groups. I know that realistically, almost every business in our country has had some form of complaint filed against them by a consumer, whether warranted or not. But the sheer volumes of complaints filed against GMAC, I believe, speaks volumes. Even if what GMAC Mortgage did pertaining to us is not, on paper, against the law, there is a moral side to what sort of operating procedures this company subscribes to. If GMAC Mortgage would lie and cheat a Baptist Minister and his terminal wife, I think it’s pretty safe to say, no one is safe.