Have you any stash?

With many apologies to my friend Jackie, who is truly a good and kind person currently trapped in employment by this organization, I’m going to relate what happened with the mortgage on my mother’s home.

Your mom still had a mortgage at age 85? Well, yeah.  My parents lived in that house 50+ years and remodeled it multiple times, and they always used the equity in the home to finance the remodeling.  Plus, I never let her pay it off because I didn’t want to deplete resources unnecessarily and the interest helped on taxes. But the original loan was with Countrywide, which was absorbed by The Borg Bank of America (BOA).

The trouble began when I got a notice that the mortgage payment was going up by more than 100% due to an escrow being tacked on top.  I found this more than curious, since the loan had never been escrowed.  Now, right off the bat, I’ll tell you that I neglected to inform BOA that Mom had passed.  I’ve got the house for sale, and I figured (incorrectly it seems) that the house would sell quickly and it wouldn’t be a problem.  Silly moi.

So I call BOA to talk about the escrow.  I get a gentleman on the phone who immediately asks me if I’m a representative of the estate – remember that I’ve never informed them that Mom had passed… this becomes critical. I tell him yes, then he informs me that he can’t speak to me without proper paperwork, which I then offer to fax to him.  Oh no, I can’t fax it to him, I have to send it to another department and allow at least a week to pass.

I allowed two.

I called BOA again to talk about the escrow. The first four departments couldn’t help me. Finally, on the fifth try, a woman tells me that it’s gone into escrow because they’ve purchased insurance on the property, since the insurance lapsed in October.  Excuse me??  Isn’t this important information to relay?  First I’d heard of it. I asked the woman why it took five departments to tell me that’s what was wrong — she was clueless, because she said it was right there on the same screen all of them shared.  She gave me the address and fax number to send confirmation of insurance coverage, and let me know that they’d draft the bank account for the full payment plus escrow, but then they’d refund any overage back to that account.

I called my insurance agent in a panic and got coverage on the house (NOT CHEAP) and gave her the info BOA had provided to send confirmation of coverage. I foolishly thought it had been handled….

…till I got the letter the next month informing me that I hadn’t paid the mortgage.

I checked the bank account online – sure enough, it hadn’t drafted.  I refer you to the paragraph above whereas I was told the payment would draft.

I called BOA.

“Oh no.  Mrs. Early is dead.”

“I realize that.  I’m her daughter.  I buried her.”

“We can’t draft from a dead person’s account.”

“Well, you’ve been doing it for nearly two years… and you told me she was dead when I called you in the first place, so your organization can’t deny that you knew of her death.”

Silence on the phone…. then “Well, you’re going to have to give us another account.”

“I don’t have one.  You take it from that one or you don’t get paid.”

More silence.

“What’s the payoff?”

“I have to transfer you for that.”  She was very glad to get rid of me, and she sent me to three other departments before I landed with the next person.

“Please fax me the payoff on this mortgage – I’m going to give you my fax number.”

“That will be a $30.00 charge for a fax.”

“You. Are. Kidding.  How much to just tell me on the phone?”

“Oh, that’s free.”

“Then just tell me.”

After I got the payoff amount, she had the audacity to ask if I had received “world class service from BOA.”  Not even close.

So now, the loan is paid off, and I’ve confirmed it, but I’m still receiving threatening letters for non-payment. I’m going to wait another month, then I’m going to sic my attorney on them.  My family has never, ever missed a payment on a mortgage in our lives, and we wouldn’t have then if BOA had lived up to their end of the bargain and done what they said their representative would do.  I am appalled that someone would be treated this way following the death of a loved one.

 

 

 

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