Once upon a time, a majority of home mortgages were generated and held by local lenders. Over the past couple of decades, lenders and certain lending associated manipulators, have devised many "shell-game" style schemes to rip-off less sophisticated consumers, especially mortgagees and reap wind-fall profits.
During July of 2010 one of these "shell game schemes" was initated upon my mortgage, a mortgage that had been in place and serviced without issue for several years previous. SETERUS became the new servicer when my mortgage was bundled with others and sold. This time (Fourth time) to Fannie Mae. Seterus send a form letter to me requesting that an "escrow" account be set up immediately for this mortgage,. Seterus stated that this escrow would increase the mortgage payment approximately $680 per mo. I declined, replying that, as part of the consideration for the original mortgage, the mortgage agreement had specifically waived such account. Seterus sent a 2nd, a 3rd and a 4th letter over the next few months requesting escrow. I responded to each declining their request, while ultimately sending a copy of the original mortgage highlighting the specific escrow waiver.
The school tax bill came as usual shortly after September 1, 2011. (In our locality, if tax is not paid with in 60 days that tax incurs interest and is passed on to the next tax date. This process increasing tax amount due but legally can continue for up to a minimum of two years before the property is in jeopardy.)
On or about September 15th, 2011 Seterus advanced payment paying the school tax without authorization or notification to me. Now, the reader might question, What is the big deal? They paid your taxes!
Here is the big deal. I sent in my September mortgage P & I payment as usual unknowing that they/Seterus had advanced $4K+ not in escrow, as this mortgage had no legitimate escrow account -- this action was never legally authorized. (Story gets worse!) I submit the October, 2011 P & I and go to pay the school tax. I am told by tax collecting officials that the taxes had been paid by Seterus. Concerned, I contact Seterus and question this activity. I am told the following: a.) Seterus, automatically established an escrow account to avoid having the property placed in jeopardy! (Taxes were not even over-due! Say nothing about being jeopardy!) b.) "Seterus has advanced $4K+- The checks paid in September and October were applied to reduce the negative escrow balance." c.) Seterus stated that the escrow had a negative balance & demanded the balance be paid or (get this!) d.) We must continue to report to the Credit Bureaus that you are 60/90 days late. [My bank has timely cancel checks] Of course, there were/are now additional late fees, and a "drive-by" appraisal fee required on all accounts (like mine) 60 day tardy accounts. [Of course, no appraiser name or address information was forthcoming to verify when requested.]
Of course I called, wrote and sent (certified) several letters and copies of checks, mortgage agreement, tax receipts, etc. over a period of months during 2011 and finally, was able to connect with a human being at Seterus who was able, shortly after Christmas, get the escrow closed, and allegedly forgiving the bogus late charges. However, in January 2012 the Town & County Taxes become billable. Well, cutting to the chase; Seterus, in less than 30 days, engaged the bogus escrow process again. Familiar with the process (Not happy with it!) I was able to get the 2nd escrow account closed in early April after mos. of pressing. Seterus's fabricating, deceit continued. May 13th, 2012 our annual renewal of the homeowners insurance policy became due. I renewed (as I have done since 1978) the policy premium payable I selected was quarterly premium payments. Guess what? Seterus forwarded the entire annual premium prior to the 13th and re-establishes an escrow account!!! No word, no notice, no question or conversation. As in all cases previously , I refund their advance payment and proceed to have the escrow account closed.
The Bottom line is; Per Seterus, reporting to the Credit Bureaus, that I was 60 to 90 days behind since September of 2011, when in fact, I was/have been timely and current. Seterus has refused to explain and comment to the Credit Bureaus to the real facts in this issue. Their bogus escrow manipulation is the root of all problem. I have not missed a single P & I since their NAME change or during this entire issue. Seterus has made purposeful inaccurate reporting to credit assessment agencies; (I believe, in attempts to pressure me into allowing an escrow acct.) their false and misleading reporting has harmed my credit; has resulted in erroneous additional fees being assessed other than those which are legally due and payable. Seterus has perpetrated and attempted to perpetrate other false and illegal schemes to achieve ill-gotten gains.
Seterus has threatened foreclosure action dozens of times, although every payment can be documented. Seterus reported to Fannie Mae that I was so far behind that Fannie Mae contacted ME for consideration of a Home Loan Modification. I completed and processed the required info (including our health issues and 11 yr. battle with breast cancer, business failure, and the fact I am a senior citizen) to which Fannie Mae approved the loan modification but when forwarded to Seterus for implementation & "servicing" was rejected and returned to Fannie Mae as "unworthy." Seterus remarked to Fannie Mae, as FM Rep related to me: "This client is only 2 months behind." Fannie Mae stated that they were sorry but that they were only actively implement modifications on loans that were/are over seven months in default. Seterus reports differently to different sources pending THEIR preferred goal.
Now/in the near future/or before the statutes expire ...... I am more than ready for participation with others in a class-action suit vs. Seterus for the unscrupulous service.
Count me in!!