I read one report here already that preety much stated the situation but I will state it once more for clarity.
After waiting nearly 3 months for a check from our insurance company (formerly USF&G - now Travelers Group) and getting ripped off there (time and materials for structural damage depreciated to 1991 rates) we finally recieved the insurance company's meager check which was made out to me, my wife (not on the mortgage by-the-way) and to Ameriquest Mortgage Company. After calling Ameriquest to find out how we were supposed to use this check - we were told to endorse the check and send it to their Loss Draft department. They said that they would put their endorsement on the check and send it back to us (fully endorsed check floating around in the mail - thats smart).
After waiting the 10 days for the check to get there, get endorsed, and get returned to us we received a welcome package from the Loss Draft Department and a statement from Ameriquest showing that the check that we sent them was now in some special escrow account that they set up and that we had to jump through a dozen more hoops to gain access to that money and that if we didn't follow their procedures - they get to use the money for anything they want after 6 months.
One consumer that reported this on this site said they were OK with that. I am definately NOT OK with any of this and I think that this is definately a RIPOFF.
--- THEIR POLICY ---
A. To Receive the first disbursement of funds, you must submit the following documentation ....
1) Copy of insurance company's adjuster's report.
2) Original copy (oxymoronic?) of this letter signed by all borrowers.
3) A report from OUR property inspection company to verify the damages (Insurance company and City Inspectors not good enough?).
4) A Copy of a signed contract with a licensed contractor. The contract MUST REFLECT the following payment schedule to match AMC's schedule of three equal disbursements.
a) Initial Draw upon receipt of ALL required documentation.
b) Second Draw at 50% completion.
c) Final Draw at 100% completion.
5) Contract MUST specify the start date and expected completion date for the repairs.
B. To receive the second disbursement: You must contact us when repairs are at least 50 percent complete. WE will perform a property inspection. Upon confirmation that the reparis are at least 50 percent complete, WE will release the second of three disbursements.
C. Checks will be made payable to YOU and YOUR CONTRACTOR unless you provide us a receipt showing that the contractor has already been paid in full. (Another paragraph here states what must be done should you need to change contractors in the middle of repairs).
D. You are required to contact us when the repairs are 50% complete. WE will request an inspection to confirm the percentage of repairs completed. When the repairs are 100% complete, WE will request an inspection to confirm the repairs are fully completed and all city/count inspections have been conducted. In addition, the following documentation must be provided by the borrower prior to release of the final disbursement:
1) Signed and Notorized Waiver of Lien from EACH contractor that performs work.
2) Affidavit signed by each of the borrowers (witnessed).
3) A property inspection may be required on repairs that AMC does not monitor.
IF THE REPAIRS TO THE DAMAGED PROPERTY ARE NOT COMPLETED WITHIN 6 MONTHS FROM THE DATE WE RECEIVE THE CHECK, ANY FUNDS HELD IN THE RESTRICTED ESCROW ACCOUNT MAY BE USED TO PAY AMOUNTS UNPAID UDER THE NOTE OR DEED OF TRUST/MORTGAGE, WHETHER OR NOT THEN DUE. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO WITHHOLD FUNDS UNTIL ALL PARTIES HAVE COMPLIED WITH OUR PROCEDURES.
--- END POLICY ---
This procedure is frought with pitfalls and loopholes that will enable AMC in the end to keep this money. I have already put a new roof on this house costing me $3800 out of pocket and in debt for another $5000 that I get harassed for everyday. I am also having difficulty finding ANY contractor willing to jump through these hoops without getting any money up front.
Is it just me or is this totally ludicrous? How much more should the Hurricane victims in Florida endure before we can start to put our lives back together.
PORT ST LUCIE, Florida
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Ameriquest Mortgage Company