Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nightmare (As Usual) With Chase

I just had to write about the nightmare that we are experiencing with Chase Bank and trying to do a loan modification on the house in Pickerel. I am going to start by saying that when we started this mess, Bill had a 750 credit rating and I had a 701 after dragging myself up from the damage the lawsuit inflicted on my number. We had not been late on our mortgage or any other bills for that matter for years. So by no means are we slouches or non-payers. I had spoken with our personal banker in Antigo and he said to qualify for loan modification we had to be late in payments so he suggested not paying on time for the month of September but paying before the 28th of October as to not ding the credit ratings. We had tried to refinance to a lower rate as we are paying a ridiculous 8.35% but they wouldn't go for it although we have great credit ratings our documentable income isn't great. That is the dilemma that self employed people run into...if you deduct down your income (legally of course!) to pay less taxes, you don't have that much to show a bank for a loan. So before we left Wisconsin, on October 14, we went into the branch and filled out the paperwork with a personal banker.

Sometime during the middle of December I called the 800 number that the banker had given me to check up on the application. I was told that our application had not been assigned to anyone. When I expressed my displeasure I was told it would now be "expedited". On Thursday January 14 I call again. It had still not been "assigned"! But wait, this gets better. On Monday January 18 I get a call from a woman with Chase in Dallas. She tells me that my loan is late...uh HAS to be for loan mod. She then looks and says that our "hardship letter" is missing. I said she needs to check again as we had filled it out in the banker's office in October. She says that was a "hardship statement", not a letter. Umm...tell me the difference? In between being on hold with her I get a call from a Chase rep in Phoenix in collections! I say that I'm on the phone with Dallas. He then tells me that our entire APPLICATION form is missing. You've got to be kidding me! I called TWICE since October and no one told me this! I tell this guy that they aren't getting anything more until this paperwork screw up is taken care of. So this guy tries to play hardball and tell me that they "have ways" of getting the money out of remember at this point we are only 2 weeks late as we were told to be. I then tell him that he is blowing smoke as Chase has stopped foreclosures so what is he going to do? He then says that his area is the only ones that can fill out the application for load modification. Huh? WHY were we not told that in October? So I tell him fine, do the paperwork. He then says the clock starts ticking again from Day 1...what a bunch of bull. He THEN says that we have to agree to automatic deduction from the bank account for the next four months...this month the regular payment and the next three months will be 25% less. So under duress, as I absolutely HATE automatic withdrawals, we agree.

So this week we had more money as Bill's new unemployment program kicked in and he got his normal payment. Yesterday I go to make a partial payment and the online system would not let me pay less than $1200 and change...huh again? You won't take what you can get? So I call the Antigo branch and speak with Cindy who is basically one of the only reasons that we keep our smaller accounts with Chase. She takes $200 out of the account leaving me the rest to pay today. I go online this morning and the system lets me make a partial payment...go figure. So I call the loan mod office to tell them to take off the automatic payment as I have already made the payment. And you know what? I get all sorts of grief that I made the payment early! I was asked why I did that - ummm..because it was due and I like to control WHEN it goes to you, not you...I was then told that we were over 30 days late when the payment was not DUE until January 28. One guy even had the balls to say that "I would have to pay the price if the payment would get lost if you do it yourself"...HUH???? I AM TRANSFERRING FUNDS ON YOUR WEBSITE!! How would it be MY fault if "the payment got lost"? So basically I get attitude when I want TO PAY AHEAD OF TIME!! Then the guy actually says "You are coming to us for help", I don't NEED your help, I just want the loan modified...look at our past history, you jerk. We have never, ever had so many problems trying to give a company my money.

To top things off, about an hour after arguing with the loan mod department we get a call from the 602 area code which is Arizona. Bill answers and gives it to me. It is someone from Chase telling me that my account is past due. I ask him if he sees that we are in loan modification. He's .... get this "NOT SURE"! I ask him if he can see my payment today...again "NOT SURE"! WTF??? I tell him "Never am I failed to be amazed at the lack of communication and overall ineptitude of this bank." I tell him that he needs to get ahold of the loan modification department as this is ridiculous and I hang up on him. How can such a large "profitable" company be run so stupidly?? And we gave them billions more in bailout money when they can't even get their information straight?

My biggest questions is this - if we are being treated like low lifes and being harrassed by incompetent, poorly trained employees with credit scores in the 700s, how are those people who credit has fallen even farther down through no fault of their own being treated? The financial and economic situation in this country today is absolutely disgraceful! We citizens who have worked to pay our bills and keep up our credit ratings are getting the shaft by those who caused this meltdown - namely big business and the government. We bail out the banks and then they act like it was their money to start with and make it impossible to modify the terms of our loans. There are very few times that I can say I am not proud to be an American or that I do not love this country but this may be one of them. Like a bumper sticker I saw many years ago - I love my country but I fear my government. We can add banking institutions to the list of feared or hated entities now too.

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