Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Paying Mortgages to Pretender Lenders

I just finished a three-day journey paying 22 mortgages for properties in which I have partial ownership.  No big deal, right?  It shouldn't be, but let me describe what happens when pretender-lenders get involved....

First of all, let me say that paying 15 of them worked just great.  We use USBank, an almost-national bank with sound financials.  They never got into the sub-prime mortgage business so they didn't need (nor want) a bail out.  The have great on-line banking and I used the free bill-pay service to pay 15 of the mortgages as I do every month.

First delay to deal with- Homecomings Financial, a subsidiary of GMAC Mortgage, has sold its portfolio of loan serving to GMAC Mortgage and we now need to pay GMAC Mortgage.  This means setting up 6 new bill pays at USBank.  No fees for this, but it ads time to the process.  We also need to change tracking on our spreadsheets for the mortgages, and I felt the need to call to verify what we need to do to make sure the payments are made before the 15-day grace period expired.  (Note: We are late with the payments each month (after the first), but we have never had a 30-day late.)

So, I missed four mortgages out of the 22 and they needed to be paid today.  The first was with Bank A.  Their telephone touchpad system did not work well so I had to call in 5 times to just input the SS # and account number.  Then they needed the bank routing and account number! So, I went to the operator who then repeated the request for my personal information.  Not a big deal, but why can't they pick that up when the call is transfered by the computer?

Loan servicing company B (not a bank) was ok.  The system worked and I was grateful.

The last two were with loan servicing company C and I needed to talk directly to a human being again.  Again with the repeated SS # and account number.  This time they needed the full address so they waited while I looked up the zip code on Google.

OK, this is a rant, but here is my point:  Part of the problem that the country is facing right now is loans being sold to servicing companies.  Most people cannot go back to where they originated the mortgage and talk to the loan officer or a bank officer to discuss their mortgage with a human being instead of an institution.

As for me, I am going start looking for human beings to work with- banks that keep their loan portfolio instead of selling them.  Do you know any real banks?  Let me know which ones so I can work with people again.

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