Seterus LBPS, IBM Lender Business - SETERUS Charging for Legal Fees that never took place- Grand Rapids, Michigan
Our home mortgage was originally owned by Met Life Home Loans. My husband lost his job during the economy dive in 2009. We applied for Home Modification on our loan through the governement's "Making Home Affordable" plan. We were required to go delinquent in order to qualify, so we "went" delinquent on our mortgage payment so we could qualify. After 9 months of getting nowhere with Metlife (no one was ever assigned to our case after turning in all the correct forms and calling every two weeks to check the status) they sold our mortgage loan to LBPS who is now known as Seterus. May 1, 2010 was the sale date.
I called to check in with Met Life and was told that our mortgage had been sold so to call the new company. I called them and they told me to call back in two weeks to wait for all the paperwork to transfer over. Not all the paperwork did transfer for the modification process so I had to provide more paperwork. We were assigned someone to our account but they were on vacation until June 1. Our home was scheduled for Foreclosure on June 18, which we were told was just a procedure that had to take place on paper while our loan was in modification process. They told us when we got to the foreclosure date, we could call and they would extend the date of foreclosure since we were in Modification Process. I was nervous about that.
On or right about June 14 I called and was told we were denied the modification because we owed too much money and didn't make enough money. I called a Bankruptcy attorney in May and was prepared for this. We filed Bankruptcy immediately that day to keep the foreclosure from happening. Our bankruptcy included a second mortgage with Chase Bank (as we had just built our home three years prior and had a construction loan and that didn't include some of the necessary work such as gravel, heavy equipment work, landscaping, etc.) Our Bankruptcy was final in August of 2010. We did not include the home mortgage in BK because we were told home mortgages go through foreclosure not BK.
In September 2010 we received a call from Seterus asking if we wanted to apply for Loan Modification. I told them they denied us so we filed BK. They told us now that we filed BK and didn't owe other lenders money, we could qualify. (How honest is that on their part?) We called our attorney and they said to go ahead and try.
We applied and went through the entire process again. After calling them every two weeks to check on the status, finally in December 2010 I called to see if anyone at Seterus had been assigned to our account and I was told someone was. However, when I pressed her extension number a recording came up saying she was permanently unavailable, don't leave a message and the phone hung up. I called back and talked to a person and he was on the phone with me for over an hour. He called that extension and was appalled to find out that there was no employee listed by that name and felt it was a phantom extension to get people off the phones. With that, I faxed a letter to Seterus with our FINAL offer to have them modify within two weeks or foreclose because we weren't going through their games.
About three weeks later, January 12, 2011, we received a certified letter saying we qualified for modification and if we agreed to the terms, to sign the forms and send them back in. It was a nice deal, 2% interest for 5 years, after that the interest would go up 1% per year until the interest reached 4.75% where it will freeze for the life of the loan. They also offered to remove $5,000 off our loan balanace at the end of 5 years if we paid all payments on time (which we have). I called to make sure this was legitimate and asked if there was any "cost" to this modification process. I was told "no" there are no costs at all to you to modify. Then I asked, "Will there be any additional costs to me at all for any of this? If there are ANY costs to me, then I will not go through with this." I was again, told "No ma'am, there are no further costs to you at all. You sign the papers, you begin paying your new mortgage balance and there will be no further charges to you."
We signed the forms, sent them back and began paying our new mortgage balance. About two months later, I received a statement that showed I owed over $3,300 more than my payment. I immediately called and asked what that was about. I was told that it was for attorney fees to remove our home from foreclosure. I said, "Wait a minute, I specifically asked if there were going to be any charges and I was told no, so I want these fees removed immediately." I was told the fees were not going to be removed, and... that there would be NO interest charged on these added attorney fees that they said I owed. They also said I didn't have to make any payments on that amount until the loan was paid in full at the end of the loan agreement period. I was told that those fees were to pay the attorney to remove the home from the foreclosure process. There were several different fees included to total $3352.75.
There was a woman at Seterus named "Heather Umstead" who said that any legal fees fall into the original term of the loan. After looking at the original term of the loan, I don't see anything that says I am to pay fees to pay an attorney to remove my loan from foreclosure. I feel Seterus is ripping me off and they are getting away with it. I can't afford an attorney to fight this, so I have left this balance on their books, showing that they are charging me for something that is not due by me. If anyone else has had this happen, I would appreciate hearing about it. I am ready for a class action law suit, but I cerrainly don't have money to fight these people.
By the way, I have over 20 pages of notes that I took from every single phone call that I made to the lenders during this process. I documented everything. Evidently they don't feel that an employee telling me there are no charges further for me, is a reliable action on their part.