November 18, 2008
Two years ago we refinanced our house with TCF bank. We had another company to refinance with, but TFC bank came to us and asked us to let them refinance since we were already a client of theirs and that they would re-finance with no fees. This is just one example of the Predator Lending and a Violation of TILA, they took advantage of us.
At the time, we owed $287,000 and our home appraised $490,000. The second violation is that not only did we pay for the first appraisal; we had to pay the second appraisal to their in house appraiser. Once consolidating our loans, they took our balance up to $339,000. Not only did our balance increase dramatically, our mortgage payments doubled from $1,500 to just under $3,000/monththis is a recipe for nothing but failure. This is another violation of TILA. Under the Truth and Lending Act, Section, it states, there must a be clear, tangible benefit to the customer. Recap-there was no clear tangible benefit to our family in what TCF did--they doubled our mortgage payments from $1500 to $3000 and took our balance up substantially from $287,000 to $339,000 the only party that benefited was the mortgage company.
As relates to Predator Lending, we had a special relationship with TCF Bank. Which is why when they came to us, we choose to use them as our lender even though we already had a re-finance set in place with another company. We trusted TCF Bank and we were given legal advice by John Stearns from TCF bank. We trusted TCF Bank to the point that we accepted the legal advice that they provided us. They told us what our options were and how it related to what they could do in terms of getting our house out of foreclosure. When we asked if we needed to get an attorney, John Stearns said nothat they would be happy to provide us with any advice to help pull our home out of foreclosure and to help them get the financing package together for us. In fact, they had to make special arraignment with World Savings to pull note from the Foreclosure Sell and to allow TCF Bank to come up with, what TCF called a special and creative way to write the note because technically we did not qualify for a loan.
We ended up refinancing with TCF Bank, but when it was all done we were far from satisfied. They increased our fees and charged us for things that they said we would not be charged for because we were an existing client. Please note that that we had no other option at this point because they stalled our closing date to the foreclosure date of sale. This was identified in a conversation between us and John Stearns(TCF Bank) and he said, Well, you don't have a choice at this point, do you, but if you would like, you can go ahead and try to get it financed with someone else, but I don't think you have enough time.
We showed up to closing and we were again presented with unforeseen misrepresentations, details different than discussed and details different than what we had authorized. For example, in our bankruptcy, we had a company put a lien on our property. This is an item that was discharged in our bankruptcy and the appropriate documents were provided to TCF Bank. TCF Bank ignored the documents and our decision on how this should be handled and chose to spend our equity how they saw fit. We trusted TCF Bank to do what we requested in dealing with this situation. They ignored it and they cut a check and paid this company off. Their legal advice was that there was no other legal way around this issue and getting our house refinanced before the date of the foreclosure sale.
In our discussions prior to closing, John Stearns, made me and my wife a promise. He said, Look, I understand that things are not quite as I said that they would be. But from a legal stance, you really have no other choice and there are no other options. I can promise you that we will re-finance your home in 12 months. I have talked to upper management and they guarantee that we will re-finance again in twelve months and bring those payments down for youand with a laugh he said, that is if you can make those just under $3,000/month payments pauseNo seriously, he says. I will also let the collection department know that you will probably be running 30 60 days in the rear because going from $1,500/month payments to just under $3,000/month payment is going to be tough. He did identify this to us.
After closing, I received a phone call from TCF bank, asking me if I would come down to the bank to re-sign papers. When I inquired, they said that there were some things on the original paperwork that was not signed properly and all they needed was for you to stop in and re-sign all the closing papers. We trusted TCF Bank. They helped us save our home, they promised to re-finance our home in twelve months. So, we re-signed all the paperwork. But one thing that we did not sign was our Mortgage Protection Plan. We were told about this Mortgage Protection Plan at closing and had assumed that we signed it, but in all reality we hadn't. It was explained to us, that if anything were to happen to us such as losing our job, there were no exclusions that we were protected, they said to just initial here and we did because we trusted TCF Bank.
Over the next two years TCF Bank collected the premiums for the Mortgage Protection Plan and the other $72,000 in mortgage payments. As well as, the Regional Vice President, Phillip Bartlett and the Collections Department Manager, Jeff Bambaugh, paid us a visit at our residence un-announced and asked us to sign a document that was supposed to be signed at closing. It turns out, this document that was the Mortgage Protection Plan--the same plan that we had been paying on for the last two years. Still trusting TCF Bank, we signed the papers. After they left and I realized that it was Philip Bartlett, I called him. I continued to call him for two weeks and explain that I needed to re-finance my house and that I needed help and what my position was. He agreed and committed to me that because of my ability to make the just under $3,000/month payments for the last two years and the equity in my home, that we would allow us to re-finance and he would come to our aid.
At this point in time, I believe we were current on our payments and had a verbal commitment from the bank that they would re-finance. Week after week, I could not reach Phillip Bartlett. We were now beginning to fall behind. When then began to work with the Collections Department, Christy Shlotter. She called Mr. Bartlett to verify the refinance with some things still unclear due to him not replying.
It was during this time that I notified them of my unemployment status and that I needed to file a claim on my Mortgage Protection Plan. In agreement, Christy offered to help with the filing process. Now, June comes around and I now have people calling me daily. I tell them that I am still waiting for Phillip Bartlett to do a refinance, but that I have filed a claim with my Mortgage Protection Plan. They then explained that I needed to call an 800 number that belonged to a TCF Bank agency. When I called I spoke to a gentleman named, Jesse Hubble. I explained what I needed and he said let me talk to upper management and he then said everything was fine. I just needed to fill out some paper work and fax it back to him. He then received the paperwork and said I qualified and that my first deferment would be effective around July 26th. He would then be sending me the verification in writing, but in the mean time he verified all this with the Collections Department in Colorado, specifically Jeff Baumbaugh and another gentleman named Gus. This information was documented in their systemthis information can be pulled from their hard drives in the case that TCF Bank had this erased from our account. In the event that this information has been erased, this would be a great opportunity for the FBI to investigate and substantiate my claim. Congress has allocated additional funds under the amendments of the Truth and Lending Act for such activity by the FBI.
The problem with the whole program is that TCF Bank wanted me to make 3 paymentsthe three payments that I was now behind from my initial conversation with the collections department when I notified them that I needed to file a claim. This is not my fault. TCF Bank dropped the ball from when I initially filed a claim. There is no reason why it should ever take anybody three months to authorize or decline a claim. As you very well know, everything we have experienced has been unacceptable. Please understand that this is a product that TCF Bank sold me. This is a product that they administer and that allows for deferments that I am still responsible for. Recap: my wife and I paid premiums for two years on this product that offers protection in the case of any unforeseen circumstances to protect my home and our life savingswhich is our retirement and everything we have. Two years later, we signed the documents for TCF when they showed up at our front door step because we trusted TCF Bank.
This Mortgage Protection Plan is administered by TCF Agency in Minnesota. TCF Bank in Colorado overrode the decision by Claim Administer, Jesse Hubble, who authorized the approval of our claim. The TCF Bank in Colorado changed the rules and decisions of the Mortgage protection Plan. This part of our nightmare as it relates to our claim which can only be defined as a Bad Faith Claim.
TCF Bank files for a Rule 120 and I filed a response. I am not sure if you are familiar with Rule 120. If you go to the court house for these hearings, you will not find one attorney in that court room, but you will find the Motions for Rule 120 granted by the judge with no party representation. However, in my case, I showed up to court. I filed a response to the Motion and waited an hour past when court was scheduled to start. In that hour, I was approached by the Judges staff and was notified that the Judge was going to sign the Motion for Rule 120 and explained that this is just the way it was. The staff asked me if I had filed a response and if so, did I have a copy of it. I said yes. She said that they did not have a copy in their files and that the Motion for Rule 120 would be signed by the judge regardless because that is the way it happens and that I could work something out with the bank later.
The Judge finally enters the court room and immediately addresses the Motion for Rule 120 and my response. He asked me to rise and come to the podium. He then says, you have provided substantial evidence in your response and I will NOT be granting their Motion for Rule 120. Since the opposing attorney is not present, I can not make an exparte ruling. I would like to set this up for a hearing. We will contact the attorney for TCF Bank and you with a future court date. (Please help me understand why Rule 120 is automatically signed when there is no representation of either party, but not signed when there is representation as in my case.)
The hearing was set and I appeared in court. The transcripts will show that the Judge told the Counsel for TCF Bank that this was the exception to Rule 120. I have showed the courts documentation that I qualify for unemployment's benefits, the same documents that I sent to Jesse Hubble, which are the same documents that were used to verify that I qualified for the Mortgage Protection Plan originally.
I filed for an extension due to the fact that there are many violations of the Truth and Lending Act as well as fraud and contract law issues. For examples, my wife and I have paid high interest rates on loans as well as been denied loans, without knowing until recently that it was due to the fact that TCF Bank showed a $339,000 Mortgage Loan and a $25,000 Second Mortgage on our credit. In August when I wrote my first response, is when I identified that TCF Bank had still not removed the $25,000 second mortgage from our credit. This I requested of TCF Bank back when I meet with Tim Brouskowski. Tim Brouskowski was the Vice President of the Colorado Mortgage Department. He stated that he would fix this error, but never has. In fact, my wife and I lost a sale of our home to an individual. This can be verified by our real-estate agent. The specific reason was that there seemed to be a lien issue with TCF Bank and in their view, TCF was clouding the title for proper sale. They then chose not to get involved. This cost us a little over $110,000.
I guess I could go on and detail the childish and immature actions by TCF Bank, such as people calling us at 8:00 pm with laughter in the background and stating, So, your house will be ours in so many days, what are you going to do know? Or how about the time when John Stearns came to our home, walked around the perimeter, laughing and telling me with neighbors outside doing yard work, I guess I am just going to have to take your house. Finally I had to call his superiors to report his actions and inform them that I was going to call the police and file a restraining order if he was not off my property immediately. How many other individuals, couples, and/or families have been harassed or had to endure an incredible amount of stress with the outcome of having their home and/or life savings stolen from them. This I wouldn't wish on your worst enemy? My home is to be sold at pubic auction November the 26th 2008, two days before Thanksgiving.
Mr. Trusting Truthful Citizen