• Report: #81694

Complaint Review: Key Home Equity Services A Division Of Key Bank USA

  • Submitted: Tue, February 24, 2004
  • Updated: Tue, February 08, 2005

  • Reported By:Chicago Illinois
Key Home Equity Services A Division Of Key Bank USA
2 Gatehall Drive Parsippany, New Jersey U.S.A.

Key Home Equity Services Ripoff A Division Of Key Bank USA Uses harrassment scare tactics to milk bogus fees and charges out of its customers Parsippany New Jersey

*Consumer Suggestion: 30 day notice required to change address

*Consumer Comment: Fight back.

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My second mortgage was bought by Key Home Equity Services over two years ago and for the first few years there were no problems with my submitting payments. Early in 2003, however, I started receiving phone calls from them stating that my payments had not been received and I was accruing late fees and in danger of foreclosure. I assured them that the bill payment service I had always used had not changed or done anything differently but they repeated their claim and tried to get me to pay various times over the phone, for a small convenience fee.

When I checked with my bank, they assured me the checks had been cut and mailed but never deposited. Suddenly I began to get these checks returned to me by Key, uncashed. The phone calls kept coming, up to 5 and 6 times a day, and each time I assured the person on the other end of the line that I had made my payment but Key had sent it back. I was told that they had never received it and that the late fees kept piling up.

After many such frustrating conversations it was finally discovered, by me, that they had changed the address to which I was supposed to mail payments without notifiying me. When I declared that I shouldn't be held responsible for late charges for payments that had been sent on time, they accused me of lying about it, even though I was holding their returned checks in my hand.

At that point I requested a supervisor's attention. I was told that there was no supervisor available but that my message would be passed on to Miss Christmas, who would get back to me. After several days of the same harrassing phone messages, none of them from a supervisor, I called directly. Not only was the representative who answered unable to find a supervisor, he was unable to find any record of the fact that I was even a customer or that my account existed! I demanded to speak to Miss Christmas, and after 15 minutes on hold she finally picked up.

This very un-merry woman quoted me two different mailing addresses and three different amounts due on the account during one 10 minute conversation, none of which had any documentation as to what the amount was covering. It was as if they just randomly made up numbers and hoped to scare people into paying them. When I expressed my frustration about how my billing was handled and how even the supervisor of the office couldn't figure out how much I owed on the account, she accused me of not knowing how to properly pay a bill. I began to scream at her, I was shaking with anger.

Never in my life have I dealt with such a gang of ignorant, rude, and obnoxious bullies. I finally agreed to the five dollar check-by-phone option just to be done with the whole mess. I was assured that would be the end of the phone calls and that everything was taken care of. The next morning, a Saturday, I got a call from their number at 8 a.m. When I picked up the phone ready for a fight, the person on the other end hung up.

For the remainder of the day the phone rang every hour on the hour with their I.D. coming up. I finally picked up and demanded to speak to the supervisor immediately. The thug on the phone refused, saying he could handle it for me and that I was being very rude by yelling at him. After he called me a liar, a cheat, and someone desperate to avoid payment on my account I asked him if he knew how much I owed and what those fees were for.

He was completely unable to figure it out while I waited on the phone for 10 minutes. At this point it was like some sort of bizarre game. Finally in frustration I asked to speak to the supervisor, A Miss Johnston picked up, asked my information, looked up my account, and then put me on hold. While on hold, their phone disconnected me and no-one called me back! I finally called her back and asked if she had my phone number. When she said she did I exclaimed that she must have hung up on me then, since she never called me to apologize.

After a lengthy discussion I said that I been called a liar, hung up on, been held accountable for fraudulent charges, harrassed non-stop with telephone calls on my home and cell phones and all because I was sending what they told me to where they told me to. I threatened legal action and she told me that she had taked care of everything and the phone calls would stop.

They still call, all day, everyday. Each time they tell me something different and assure me that as long as I pay immediately over the phone they will make the calls stop. I realized the only way to make them stop is to turn off the ringer.

Believe me, I'll be refinancing that mortgage ASAP and looking into legal action as soon as it's all over.

Joliet, Illinois

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/24/2004 04:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Key-Home-Equity-Services-A-Division-Of-Key-Bank-USA/Parsippany-New-Jersey-07054-4521/Key-Home-Equity-Services-Ripoff-A-Division-Of-Key-Bank-USA-Uses-harrassment-scare-tactics-81694. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

30 day notice required to change address

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Just a quick note-you are to be notified in writing no less than 30 days of changes in your account such as address change of where your payment goes, selling loans, etcetera.

If you do drop your payment off at the branch, they are going to hold it until the end of the week in a stack until they mail it (late) to get where it needs to go. Don't do that.

Pay by certified check and send your payment (photocopy the check-and get it notorized and date stamped) and send it certified mail. Do not use signature required, or they will refuse to sign it and you are stuck waiting for it to arive when someone's there to sign for it. You will have proof of delivery with certified mail...and a notirized copy. Now take that cerified receipt with your check copy and RECORD it at the county clerk.

When you go to court, you will have court recorded and county recorded documentation to back you up. Will they? No....and that's the only way you will win the benefit of the doubt in any situation where there is your word against theirs. It's a lot of work, but the only way to gain the upper hand on these skanks.

Don't do business with someone who holds checking accounts...or savings accounts. They are fee oriented and will get you one way or the other. And don't do business with anyone who sponsors the NFL and superbowl either...you'll end up paying even more dearly for those costly ad spots.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Fight back.

AUTHOR: Cameron - (U.S.A.)

First of all, there are some aspects of your story that don't quite add up so I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt in that you were noticably upset when you organized your facts. If you're telling the truth, and you probably are, consider the following...

There have been many reports in the news lately about mortgage, insurance, credit card companies and the likes changing addresses periodically to bang you with late fees, or create cause to terminate your account and it isn't legal...if you can catch them. If you were notified of the change of address you're SOL. The harrassment in any context is unforgivable. (I've read other stories just like yours. Some lost their homes.)

You have no idea how deceitful Key Bank really is. Rest assured you've only seen the tip of the iceberg. If you want to fight them, you have to be strong. They play dirty and what you've described is nothing.

First, check with your local law enforcement. If it's legal in your state to record calls without notifying the party on the other end, buy a telephone recording device today and record all of your calls with Key Bank. If it isn't legal, do it anyway and tell them you're recording after you've introduced yourself. They will have the option to hang up and you'll have that on tape. Some people don't tell them at all, but that would be bad....wouldn't it?

Call Key Bank repeatedly. Not just your local office, but all over the country, all states, multiple offices, and ask the same questions about your account. RECORD ALL CALLS. You will be amazed and delighted by the outcome. Take notes, ask for names, get call reference numbers, etc. Catalog your calls well. You'll need to reference them later.

Go to your bank in person. The one that mailed your payments to Key Bank. Have them produce, on their letterhead, a written statement listing and acknowledging all payments made to Key Bank, not just the ones that were returned, but specifically pointing out the ones that were. Have a branch manager sign it on behalf of the bank and have it notarized right there on the spot. If your financial institution will not comply, call the police from their branch. It's not an option for them to decline. You have to approach it from the standpoint that your bank may have made the mistake and jeopardized your mortgage. Bring a book. It'll take a few hours.

Recreate a very accurate account of what has transpired to date including all calls you can remember, dates, times, what was said in each instance, who you spoke to, etc. Be factual. If you don't remember, don't fill in the blanks because it gives them the opportunity to discredit you which will be their secondary defense.

Get a copy of your credit report. If they've reported you, they've violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act and you can have lots of fun with that one. If they haven't, that might suggest they weren't having a problem with you.

You are now armed to take them on.

In your case, assuming you're telling the whole truth, Key Bank may have committed several counts of fraud and harassment against you and may have positioned itself well to foreclose on your mortgage. (You didn't think they were after a measly late payment?) You can find a wealth of related information on-line. This has the potential to affect your credit, value in a future mortgage arrangement and all sorts of things I won't get into.

Most lawyers don't want to take on the giant Key institution because they wallpaper the hell out of you until you're too broke to fight, but if you're diligent, you will find one. Or, you may come accross a lawyer preparing a class action suit against Key Bank with a whole handful of clients who've experienced something similar. Don't limit your search to your local community, and please don't look anywhere there's a large Key Bank presence. They tend to retain the services of all major law firms for petty stuff to disqualify the firm from representing another against Key Bank.

Obviously, don't sue unless you know you have a case and only a lawer will be able to tell you that. Most will say you don't - so don't get discouraged - keep looking.

Key Bank ruined me by filing frivolous fraud suits. I sent them packing once I figured out their game. Now I'm fighting back and am in my second year of building a case. In the process, my home and office have been broken into, strangers appearing at my house taking pictures, odd phone calls and intimidating threats. My telephone call log is impressive. I have them in more lies than I can count. But it's hard work. They will lie, lie and lie some more. But remember, there're no brighter than you, so if you push, eventually you'll trip them up. I have found the harder I push and the higher up the ladder I climb, the easier it is to catch them lying.

The bottom line is this: Key Bank is in the business of making money and if they were a total scam they wouldn't be in business. There are good people working there. Some are indeed bad, just like everywhere else. So don't assume everyone is in on the scam. Get people to work with you. And don't go after them if you're looking for a winning lottery ticket. Just go after what you deserve. But don't let them get away with it. You definitely got burned.

Good luck.
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