KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Monday, March 09, 2009

Screwing Mortgage-Holders in Secret

Our mortgage-holder has finally put up an online form through which people in financial distress can apply to get their monthly payments reduced. After you fill it out, you're supposed to get a call from the company to move the process along. My original e-mail requesting just such a call, which preceded the advent of the company's online form, never resulted in our getting a call.

Today we filled out the form after having gathered all of the necessary financial details. After I very wisely created a PDF of our completed application, I clicked the Submit button. The inept or not-very-thorough webmaster didn't set things up so that users get an acknowledgment of their submission, à la Webmastering 101, so who knows if anyone got our application through that form. All I got was a blank page. So I called the phone number listed on the application form, waited through several menus to get to a human, and got a fax number after explaining the problem and despite being assured that if I had indeed clicked the web site's Submit button, my form had been received. Yeah, uh-uh. I faxed over our application. We'll see how fast they move, considering that a large percentage of Americans are going through the same process.

Meanwhile, when I called, I had to input the last four digits of my Social Security number to identify myself. A recorded voice came on to tell me the amount of unpaid principle left on the mortgage, how much in property taxes we paid through our mortgage payments in 2008, and how much our most recent payment was and when it was made. It also mentioned that our mortgage is a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage, so we will be eligible for help. Fine, but ... ack! Ours isn't a subprime mortgage, and no one with our mortgage-holder had ever informed us that our mortgage was now held at least in part by the very mortgage organizations that have helped cause the economy to fail. I got that info only incidentally, because the mortgage-holder decided to include it as part of the update info given by its recorded voice.

So much cr*p is done to the American consumer in secret. How can we, as a giant group of citizens, ever hope to get at the truth of what goes on with the companies we do business with?!


libhom said...

The first step to solving the problem is talking about it. Thanks for this post.

Anonymous said...


And who knows who actually owns your mortgage. They keep getting sold.... One thing to be aware of is that some people are claiming that the constant moving around of the mortgage violates the contract with the buyer, voiding the agreement and letting the homebuyer off the hook. Another is that some of the holding arrangements became so complicated that the entities that claim to own a mortgage can't prove they DO own it, and so have no right to demand payment.

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