Margaret and John's difficulties highlight the struggles homeowners continue to face when forced to deal with big financial institutions who appear to compound problems by neglecting their duties and their customers. The Krenitsky's, like many of us, hope that by writing about these wrongs-someone will be inspired to help right them.
Here's the Krenitsky story, published in their words, with their permission:
This is our story. I know we are not alone.
In the winter of 2008-2009 for the first time in a very long time my husband had been laid off for more than a month.
Facing health issues of my own and a loss of income I started researching refinancing options. It has been one disappointment after another.
Back on July 21, 2009 my husband and I were offered a home mortgage loan modification through our mortgage company CHASE Finance.
We had approached them 5 months earlier looking to refinance, but simply received a form letter 4 months after the initial application saying we couldn't refinance due to their pre payment penalty on our current loan (However, we had already received all of our closing docs in overnight mail.)
We then asked what they could do to help, seeing my husband had been laid off through the winter months due to extreme winter weather and we were trying to catch up. I also had a brain tumor removed 5/27/09 so we were facing some unexpected hardships.
From 5/2009 - 7/2009 we were told they COULD NOT help us because we were not three months behind and until we were in foreclosure there was nothing they could do! WHAT??? Finally on July 21st we reached what we thought was a department that could help. We were told this loan modification program was implemented to help homeowner's get their interest rates and payments lowered to a more affordable amount.
Well my husband and I are beginning to think that the whole thing is a scam. No way can President Obama be aware of what these banks are doing to their customers with this program.
After three trial period payments they are suppose to lower your interest rate and payment. It's been over seven months. We have made 4 payments, we have never received any proposal with new interest rates and new payments. Our trial period payments were auto debited from our checking account as follows:
After the October payment we then received foreclosure papers telling us we needed to "Act Immediately". I called the 800 number on the papers and the young man from the Loss Mitigation Dept told me NOT to make any additional payments. We had completed the trial period and would have documents sent to us within 2 weeks stating our new interest rate and new payment. He also stated not to get upset that 32,000 Chase customers were sent foreclosure notices in Error!!
Three weeks passed and nothing!! I then called the same 800 number and spoke to a different representative (I don't have her name in front of me, but I have it) She stated that we needed to make another payment because our file was not complete and another 4506-T was needed. I had just authorized for Jacob to initial our fifth 4506-T three weeks earlier.
On November 16, 2009 we made our 4th payment. Keep in mind we have never received a single document from CHASE showing any of our four payments nor a document showing their proposal as to what our new interest rate/payment would be. Nothing.
In December we made the decision after numerous attempts to get them to send us a correct Mortgage statement NOT TO MAKE A PAYMENT. We have no idea where our money has been applied. One rep tells you one thing and yet another tells you something completely different.
My husband called on December 16th and was told we did not need to make a payment that our application was with the "decision maker" and we would have an email sent to us shortly. Our December mortgage statement arrived, and still no indication that a payment had been credited.
My husband called back December 28th and this time he was told the application could not be completed and they needed another 4506-T. We then received a letter saying that they needed additional information and I called on January 15th. A very rude rude supervisor informed me it was a "privilege" to be offered this loan and that all day long she handles irate customers "pleading their stories as to why they can't pay their bills" She also stated that CHASE does not show the credit of my payments on my monthly mortgage statement because they are 2 separate loans. She made it perfectly clear that we will owe the $8,000 showing in arrears and every penny of the late fees.
I hung up and that's when I contacted Fannie Mae. Helena the Level 2 officer is very nice but nine days have passed and she can not get CHASE to respond to her or her emails either. I did talk to her yesterday and she said to be patient and not to get upset. She said CHASE had never forwarded the file to them for consideration
So , that's where we are...and I am worried about how to protect my home. I need to be assured that my payments have been credited. No one would walk in to a store and make a 1459.79 purchase and walk away without a receipt. I have made four of those payments. No receipt, no statement, they have never even called my home asking for a payment. They don't call us at all.
We are just exasperated by this whole thing. I am not healthy and the stress is getting to me, but I will not let them steal my home.
It is now January 31,2010 and seven months have passed with nothing from CHASE.
I don't know what more we can do. Everything they asked we did and not just once...
*we have had to send 4 sets of paperwork (including hardship letters and pay stubs)
*we have had to sign or initial a 4506-T tax card every month
*we are receiving our monthly mortgage statements showing us $8,000 in arrears with hundreds of dollars in late fees
*we do not have a single piece of paperwork showing the payments they auto debited from our account for the trial period which amounts to $ 5838.80
*we have not received one call from them updating us on the status, and when we call them we speak to someone different each time and are never given the same information
*we have been told by several CHASE loss mitigation reps NOT to make any more payments because we had completed the trial period and our documents were being emailed
*we have received 2 sets of papers saying we were in foreclosure only to be told when we called that the papers were mailed in error
*we have been rudely talked to*we found out by calling Fannie Mae in Washington directly that the application has never even been finalized and sent to them for review.
What are we suppose to do? They are destroying our credit...the stress has been unbearable...we have spent hours on the phone and typing complaint letters and most recently wrote to our state Congress.
This is such a disgrace.
We had never been late, we had good credit with them, we just wanted what we were entitled to.
CHASE ought to be ashamed of what they are doing, but they don't care.
And to think that through all this mess, I had surgery to remove a brain tumor (benign thank god).
Seriously...enough is enough
We are so discouraged. I made it perfectly clear to the Fannie Mae Level 2 rep who is trying to help us that I will not make another payment to CHASE until they start to treat us with some respect, send us paperwork with some type of proposal, send us a current monthly loan statement documenting the payments we have made and removing the erroneous $493.00 late fees.
I cannot believe that President Obama will let these banks get away with such scams that are ruining the lives of a lot of good people. All we wanted was an interest rate lower than 8.5 and allowing us a lower mortgage payment. Please Please Please..we all need your help.
As is clear from many reports from the trenches, mortgage servicing companies continue to wreak havoc in the lives of consumers nationwide.
Whether it is due to negligence, deceptive practices, accounting mistakes, or outright fraud, homeowners continue to be harmed by abusive practices leveled at them by the mortgage servicing company that handles (or rather, mishandles) their mortgage payments.
These continued and growing complaints from homeowners and credit cardholders continue to back-up the need for stronger financial regulations and oversight. As many of you know, the Obama Administration in June released its comprehensive plan for regulatory reform. Included in the President's plan, was the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), a stand-alone consumer protection regulator.
The proposed CFPA's mission is to put consumer protection first - ensuring "transparency, simplicity, fairness, accountability, and access in the market for consumer financial products and services."
Killing the CFPA is the financial services' top priority. Hundreds of their lobbyists are flooding Capitol Hill and are logging thousands of calls into Congressional offices. If you agree that we need reform within the financial industry, call or e-mail your elected officials today, and tell them that we need a strong and effective Consumer Financial Protection Agency.