On April 16, 2008 Citibank send out a notice entitled
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT
REDUCTION OF YOUR LINE OF CREDIT
The letter starts out with the first lie, "Citibank, N.A. is committed to each of its mortgage customers and to helping each of our homeowners with their financing needs."
Citibank froze the HELOC of all customers based on and arbitrary computer model that showed their home had dropped below some value which they would not share with me.
HERE IS THE RUB: If you want them to reconsider the freeze on your account, and POSSIBLY have them reinstate your LOC, you have to hire their exclusive appraiser (LSI) at your cost.
When you call LSI (866-612-9276), you will learn that appraisals are provided on the following schedule:
* Below $500,000 => $350
* up to $1,500,000 => $550
* $1.5M to $3M => $750
* Above that you will be quotes a price
LSI will only schedule an appraisal after you pre-pay via credit card over the phone.
Now I can only imagine that Citibank gets a handsome kickback from LSI in exchange for being the exclusive appraiser....HOW DO YOU SPELL "SCAM"?
SO...Let's say you pay for this SCAM appraisal....Citibank underwriting will not even tell you what Loan to value (LTV) ratio they will give you. For example, if your appraisal comes back at $2M, you have no idea if they will give you up to $1.3M (or 65% LTV) or $1.4M (70% LTV). It is a complete crap shoot at the whim of some bean counter that couldn't figure out how to get it right the first time.
I am so completely disgusted with Citibank that without any regard for their "customers" decides to freeze accounts and potentially screw up the credit of tens of thousands of families. Unlike so many others, I am lucky I didn't bounce any checks or that I am not in the middle of a construction project.
Santa Monica, California