In 2005 we refinanced our home with Ameriquest, to get out from under an ARM and to survive a period of unemployment, due to illness. The house appraised at $125,000 at that time, so we borrowed $104,000, for 30 years. We were rushed through the whole process, and documents had to often be re-written because of incorrect names, or spellings. The cost of dealing with these people was $4,000. So, the total amount borrowed was $108,000. Payments at $791/month.
We made our payments faithfully, to Ameriquest for several years, but one day when I tried to make a payment online, as usual, there was no longer a web site.
A few days later, after my payment had become late, I received a letter from Citi, informing me that I was to remit payments to them from now on. It said that they were acting as a debt collector for Ameriquest.
Now, in 2008, the housing market crashes, putting my contractor husband out of work. Citi Bank receives a $25 billion bailout from the government. I get a foreclosure notice from Citi when I became 34 days late.
I called them to try to work something out. I spoke with several people, including supervisors, and was told that if I can't afford to pay then I should sell my house. Never mind the fact that the housing crash has reduced the value of my home to less than I owe on it, and selling would make my family homeless.
All I wanted to do was renegotiate the terms of my loan. I had paid in $45,000 since the note was written, but my principal had only gone down $3,000. This led me to do more math, and if you multiply my payments over 30 years, I'll have paid $284,000 for my house which is now worth $80,000, or there about. And you know that Citi paid pennies on the dollar to purchase my note. (Yes, I finally got someone to admit that they were not a debt collector, but they, in fact, had bought my note.)
I tried to make a partial payment and was refused. I was told it was not their policy to accept partial payments. Tough luck Charlie. And here I thought something was better than nothing.
I was told that Citi is not in the business of giving hand-outs, when I was trying to give them money. Then, when we got to be two months behind, we tried to cure, and they made it almost impossible to pay them to get current. They wouldn't let my bank wire them the money, they wouldn't accept a personal check; it had to be a cashier's check, they wouldn't let me make payment online, either. I had to do a check by phone, and oh, by the way, there's a $20.00 charge for that.
Citi Corp should be made to write off all it's mortgage assets and give home owners their homes. We've paid for them in the billions. Why should they be able to fleece the very American's that bailed their sorry axxes out to begin with?