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Mortgage Company Supervisor To Me: “I’m Not Surprised You Flipped Out–If That Is Indeed What Happened.”

Mortgage Company Supervisor To Me: “I’m Not Surprised You Flipped Out–If That Is Indeed What Happened.”

I’m pretty anal about making my mortgage payments on time early. Sometimes I’ll even send a bill pay before I’ve received the bill in the mail. Which? yeah, probably not super smart to do, but I’m compulsive, and besides, the mortgage number never changes. Well, until it does. Like last month, when the mortgage company changed the amount due to account for an escrow shortage. But no matter: when I received the bill and noticed the difference, I just sent them another $500 to make up for it. Even the second payment was early, so no biggie, right?

Photo by Robski89

Photo by Robski89

Well, apparently this was a biggie for the morons at my mortgage company, whom I’d like to name but won’t because quite frankly I’m afraid of retaliatory action against me. Let’s say that the last part of their name is Mortgage Services and the first part is one-half of a common Caucasian racial designation. That rhymes with Faxon.

It’s silly to worry though, since retaliatory action by Faxon employees for a blog post would suggest that Faxon requires literacy from its employees. And I am certain they do not, because when I sent in two payments last month, and the total of the two did not equal my official mortage payment amount–I send in a little extra every month–they figured that one of those payments must be an extra principal payment and the other must be specifically for escrow. Because apparently, in the elusive Sanskrit of mortgage payment semiotics, that’s what you do with two payments within a few days of each other. Put one in escrow and one on principal, and nothing on a payment due. So they applied these amounts, leaving me with $500 extra on principal and a huge overflow in my escrow account, and then waited around, twiddling their thumbs, for me to send in my June payment. Where was it? It was three days until due date?! Better start up the telemarketing complex.

And so it was that on May 26, 2009, I had a conversation with Laude, a man who spoke flawless English with an Eastern Indian accent, at 2:15 pm Pacific Standard Time. After listening to then lengthy explanation that my problem required, Laude assured me that he’d take care of it. This was something he would accomplish by “putting in a work order” to have the money transferred out of the other accounts and into the account for the mortgage payment for June. This “work order” would be “initiated” that day and “expected” to be “completed” on May 28, 2009. I was a little nervous about this, because why couldn’t it just be accomplished right now, on the phone? But I thanked Laude and was otherwise as generally pleased with our interaction as one might hope to expect from these kinds of situations. In parting, Laude suggested that I check the website to confirm that the “work order” had “gone through”–a harbinger that I should have heeded but I–fool!–assumed that Laude was on top of things and so I went about my business for the next week.

On the morning of June 11, 2009, I finally got around to checking the website and–low and behold–Laude had failed me! So I quickly dialed the Faxon customer service line and explained (at length) my problem to Kimberly, a Valley Girl, at 12:45 pm PST. Kimberly said that she would put in another “work order” to transfer money into my mortgage payment for June and out of escrow and principal. Needless to say, I had had enough of work orders by this point, but I was determined to keep my interaction Kimberly amicable. I did, however, express my skepticism about the efficacy of “work orders” in general. I said, “I already had a work order on this, so forgive me for being a little skeptical about whether this is going to work,” and Kimberly reassured me that it would, suggesting that I call back tomorrow (and explain my story again to another customer service representative) to confirm. So I thanked her and decided to learn from my experience with Laude and follow through with the check-in the next day.

On the morning of June 12, 2009, no changes had appeared on the website. I was starting to get annoyed. I called the customer service line and after a woman with a New England accent answered, I launched into my spiel:

Mortgage Moron: Hello, thank you for calling Faxon Mortgage Services. How can I help you?

Me: Hi, this is the third time I’ve called on this issue . . . I need to talk to someone about the application of my mortgage payment to the wrong–“

Mortgage Moron: Ma’am, this is the customer service line. You need to talk to someone in accounts.

Me: –but, well, uh–

Mortgage Moron: I can transfer you, but here is the phone number “in” case we get “disconnected.” 1-800-EAT-SHIT.

Me: What were those last four numbers? Ah, OK.
Mortgage Moron: [click.]

So I dialed somebody in “accounts,” who answered the phone with an Eastern Texas accent:

Mortgage Moron 2: Hello, this is Saxon Loan Modification. Can I help you?

Me: Uh, loan modification? I have this problem with my mortgage account.

Mortgage Moron 2: Have you applied for a modification yet?

Me: No! I don’t need a modification. I need for the payments to be applied correctly.

Mortgage Moron 2: Ma’am, this is the loan modification department. Are you sayin’ you don’t need a loan modification?

Me: No! [sigh]

Mortgage Moron 2: Let me give you the right number to call–

Me: But, she gave me this–nevermind . . .

Mortgage Moron 2: Somebody gave you this number? Here, I can transfer you. Hold on a second.

Me: OK

I was on hold, with music, for about 3 minutes before he came back.

Mortgage Moron: Ma’am, it looks like they’re real [sic.] busy over there, can I give you the direct number?
Me: [Sigh.] I already have it.
Mortgage Moron: I’m real [sic.] sorry ma’am, that you got misdirected.

Me: I know it’s not your fault.
Mortgage Moron: I was trying to get you through, but you know you can just keep pressing the pound sign, over and over, and that will take you straight to customer service.
Me: Oh, OK, that is helpful. Thank you.

So then I dialed the phone number again, and on June 12, 2009, I had a phone conversation with Lisa at 3:10pm PST. After telling me that the work order had gone through and I had no mortgage due until July, I responded that this was nice, but I still wasn’t sure why the company website showed that I owe $7,000.

Lisa: It’s because there is a $3,500 late fee.
Me: A $3,500 late fee?
Lisa: Yes.
Me: I’ve never made a late payment, though!
Lisa: Oh, this is not for this month. This is for other months.
Me: Let me reiterate: I’ve never made a late payment.
Lisa: This–
Me: Not only have I never made a late payment, I’ve never made a payment that was less than two weeks early! You people are messing up on the accounts that actually do pay mortgages now?!
Lisa: . . .
Me: Look, I know it’s not your fault. But you have to understand I have already called four times! There has to be a way to fix this!
Lisa: I can send you an accounting of all the activity on your account.
Me: NO! THIS IS WRONG. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?! I don’t know why you’re wrong, but I know that it is you who is wrong! I don’t want to see a piece of paper that shows ME that YOU’RE wrong. I need YOU to see that particular brand of accounting.
Lisa: . . .
Me: I know this isn’t your fault. It’s just that I’ve called so many times, explained the situation to so many people, and we need to fix this. Is there someone we can talk to about getting this fixed right now, not with a “work order,” but right now while I’m on the phone?
Lisa: can you hold for a moment?
Me: Why not?!

Then I sat on hold for 25 minutes, which allowed me to cool down quite a bit. Just when I started to think Lisa was trying to see who could wait it out longer, Elias picked up the phone.

Elias: Ma’am, I’m sorry for the wait, I’ve resolved your issue. There was money applied to the late fee column by our error.

Me: So now everything’s fixed?

Elias: Yes, I had to go back through a bunch of records to do it. I was telling Lisa, I’ve never seen a $3,500 late fee!

Me: Yeah, I know that I’ve never been late . . .

Elias: Well, no way would there be a $3,500 late fee! I don’t blame you for flipping out–if that is indeed what happened.

Me: . . .

Elias: So you’re all clear.

Me: You mean, if I go on the website it will say that I don’t owe any money?

Elias: Oh no, not today. I’d wait until next Wednesday.

Me: Next Wednesday?! But the payment was due on the first.

Elias: Oh, that’s OK, you are all paid for June, it was just the late fee.

Me: But now will it show I had a late payment?

Elias: Oh no, we don’t have you down as a late payment–

Me: Can I get your name?

Elias: –even if we did have you down as a late payment, it wouldn’t be reported or anything. My name is Elias.

Me: OK.

Elias: Can I help you with anything else?

Me: No, that will do it for today.

And this, kids, this is why I hate people. Now get off my lawn..

Comments (3)

  1. Jun 19, 2009

    Okay, so I pulled an all-nighter last night, so I’m a little stupid this morning. So in the first paragraph, I was like, “What’s a racial designation that rhymes with Faxon?” And I couldn’t think of one…so I had to go through the whole alphabet, like: Aaxon, Baxon, Caxon, Daxon…all the way to S. And even then I had to think.

    Need more Diet Coke.

    I had a similar deal last December with our old mortgage company, who screwed up our year-end property check, and then screwed up the fix, and then screwed up the fix…with the upshot being that I had to fight city call to get my money back (because I’d paid out-of-pocket in the meantime, so as not to be late). It’s sad when city hall is actually much nicer than your mortgage company. I had the satisfaction of refinancing a week later and telling my mortgage company to go to hell though.

    You’d think they’d want to take care of those of us who still actually pay the bill on time every month…guess not.

  2. weezy
    Jun 19, 2009

    I’d flip out, too. Incredibly frustrating. Glad it only took 4 calls to get it worked out.

    I know this bites, but I’ve found with my mortgage company, anything that is not a timely exact-to-the-penny payment, I pay by separate check and write in BIG letters on the memo line exactly where it is to be applied. It does help that there is a separate address where additional escrow payments are to be sent. $1,287.44 payment and $12.56 PRINCIPAL ONLY, and so on.

  3. AKD
    Jun 19, 2009

    I recently had a such a GOOD customer service experience with American Express, it almost made me regret that it was all about cancelling my AMEX card. They sent me an online survey a few days after the call. In the essay part where they ask you to describe what made this a satisfactory experience, I wrote something like “The rep made me feel like it actually mattered to her that my problem got solved.”

    God, nothing makes my blood boil like bad customer service. Except maybe dealing with health insurance companies.

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