I am writing this letter on behalf of my 87-year-old mother, In 2002, my parents took out a loan for $300,000.00 from World Savings Bank against their home located in California in order to pay for my medical bills. I have been living in Mexico City since 1994, and I got sick in December of 2001. Unfortunately I did not have medical insurance at that time which made it difficult for me to pay for my medical expenses. Two years later after my parents received the loan, my father passed away and my mother was solely responsible for the mortgage loan. Without previous notice, World Savings Bank sold the loan to Wachovia Mortgage and that is when the problem started. I recovered from my illness in 2004 and in a way; I was also responsible for my parents loan. While I was in the hospital, all mortgage payments were made thru international wire transfer from Mexico City,when I reviewed the loan contract, I noticed that the terms and conditions for the loan were outrageous, so in 2007, I had my mothers authorization for me to try to modify the loan to a fixed rate. The type of loan my mother has is better known as predatory or toxic loan because if you make the minimum payments, your principal always remains the same and your interest keeps increasing so eventually the bank gets paid and they also get to keep the property. I tried to negotiate with Wachovia for over 2 year, but Wachovia made it impossible for me to modify the loan. They kept claiming that they never received the information they requested from me and their in-house computer system kept erasing my name as an authorized person on the loan, they did this on many occasions and in my opinion, modifying this type of loans goes against company policy or they simply do not like Minorities.
After talking to a few friends from California, they recommended a real estate company dedicated to assist with loan modifications so I hired this Real Estate Company in May of 2009. The owner of the company immediately assigned Norma to start the loan modification process with Wachovia Mortgage. After several months of negotiations with Wachovia, in August of 2009, Norma told me that she was leaving the Real Estate Company and that even though she was having problems with Wachovia Mortgage (because once again, they claimed they never received all the paperwork) she was convinced that she was very close to modifying the loan. The company that Norma was going to work for was a law firm that was also dedicated to solving loan modifications. So my mother and I agreed to have law firm represent us. In October, 2009, we received a call from Norma saying that we should be getting the loan modification contract anytime from Wachovia Mortgage and it would be delivered by the US Postal Service at my sisters home in Forth Worth, Texas. A month and a half later I called Norma and told her that we never received the contract from Wachovia, she called Wachovia immediately and talked to Tammy a Wachovia representative, Tammy told Norma that my fathers will was never received. Norma was very upset with Tammy and told her that she sent all the proper documentation on two previous occasions. After that, Norma apologized to me and told me that she will no longer handle this loan modification, so I called the owner of the law firm and he assigned Alex, a very experienced and successful loan modification agent. Alex told me that Wachovia had a very bad reputation and it was very hard to deal with them. He said that they were unethical and very incompetent, but since he was assigned by the owner, he was going to try to do his best. After Alex called Wachovia Loss Mitigation Department, he told me that everything was completed and we should be getting the loan modification contract anytime. We waited for over a month and for the second time; we didnot receive a contract from Wachovia. I called Alex and he said that he warned me about Wachovia and more than likely they were not going to modify the loan. I got very upset and called the owner, and I told him that I was not going to accept this situation from either his law firm or Wachovia Mortgage. I explained to him that we had already taken tremendous abuse from Wachovia and that in the past three years; we had already paid exuberant interest. I told him that I was aware that during the mortgage crisis in 2007 U.S. banks offered several options to people in distress so they would not lose their homes. Steve told me he
understood and that same day he assigned supervisor or senior agent called Rod. Rod immediately called Wachovia Customer Service and once again, Wachovia claimed that some information was missing from our file. Rod decided to re-send all the information but unfortunately, the person assigned by Wachovia Mortgage to handle our loan modification was no longer available. Rod said he never dealt with such unprofessional people, and on August 10, 2010, Steve, the owner of the law firm, took over our loan modification process.
Steve started the entire process once again. He sent all the required paperwork for the 7th or 8th time to Wachovia Mortgage and dealt directly with Gary from Wachovia Mortgage. Once again, we were told that we would be receiving the loan modification contract soon. Of course, for the third time, that never happened so Steve sent a letter to The Controller of Currency Administrator of National Banks on January 7, 2011 and to my mothers U.S. Congressmen, Mr. David Dreier, requesting their assistance. Fortunately for us, they offered their assistance. On February 15, 2011, Wachovia Mortgage/Wells Fargo Bank responded to our complaint, stating that the information provided by us was incomplete. To make things worse, we have not heard from Steve. I have tried to contact him on several occasions, and I cannot reach him; apparently he just gave up, just like the rest of his team.
What I cannot understand is how an American financial institution, like Wells Fargo/Wachovia, can get away with practices and abuses especially aimed at senior citizens. Anyone would think that by having Wells Fargo Bank taking over Wachovia, all this discrepancies would be resolved immediately but everything is still the same, and we, mostly my elderly mother, is taking this tremendous abuse from a mayor bank. Fortunately for my mother, she is not alone and if Wells Fargo/Wachovia thinks that by using this tactic of always claiming that they never receive the information they request or that the information is always incomplete, (since conveniently for them they only accept faxes, no curriers or e-mails), is going to make me give up on behalf of my elderly mother, they are wrong.
One part of their scam is claiming they do not have proof of insurance for the property. On many occasions we have sent to them proof of insurance but of course, they claim they never receive the paperwork, so we had to pay twice the property insurance since they assigned their own insurance company. We have been in escrow for who knows how long and apparently no one in their customer service department can explain to us the reason why this has happened. On January 2009, I was laid off from work for over 5 months and I was unable to make 2 payments, May and June of 2009 to be prcised. During this time, we received dozens of letter of foreclosure and, not only that, but it got to a point that in September of 2009, they did not accept the wire transfer from Mexico for Octobers payment, so we had to transfer the money to my sister in Forth Worth, Texas, so she could make the payment at one of their branches. The bank also refused to accept the payments because they said that they would not accept any more payments unless we paid for the months of May and June that were behind. On the morning of January 9, 2010, I called Wachovias customer service department and talked to Robert. I told Robert that I wrote a couple of letters to Wachovia explaining that I was going to be current with the 2 late payments by February 2010 and that I could not pay sooner because I had to pay the property tax and the home Insurance totaling more than $5000.00 and that sinceI was laid off for almost six months, I did not have enough money to cover the 2 missing payments, the property tax and the insurance payment at once. Roberttold me that Wachovia couldnt wait until then because Wells Fargo was taking over and they had to settle all delinquent accounts and that we had to pay $4604.13 or they would not accept any more payments, and more than likely, we would surely go into foreclosure. I told him that I did not have $4600; he put me on hold for over 20 minutes, a long distance call for me. After keeping me waiting, he said that if we paid $4000 he would waive $604.13 and that was their final offer so I felt that I had no choice but to accept the terms. I had to borrow the money from my Mexican credit card at a 59% annual rate. (Wachovia accepted the $4000.00 but they never waived the late fees). Because of all the above reasons, my mother was obligated to rent her home in August of 2010 in order to remain current on her mortgage payments. We have been able to make only the minimum payments since Wachovia took over the loan due to all my medical expenses as well the current type of loan that started with Wachovia at $1500.00 a month and now is over $2600.00 a month for the minimum payment. Not only that, but the original loan was for $300,000.00 and now my 87-year-old mother owes Wells Fargo/Wachovia over $
375,000.00. Under the circumstances, my mother has had to move in with me in Mexico, but she wants to return to her home in California.
I believe that anyone who reads this letter must agree that it is despicable that a company can be so incompetent, abusive and corrupted. The truth is that they have no intentions of helping anyone so they expect their customers to simply give up or better yet for them, die, like in my 87-year -old mothers case. Things like this only happen in the movies or maybe in third world countries. If anyone checks all the complaints against Wells Fargo/Wachovia on Yahoo or Google, he or she will probably be amazed at the number of complaints and law suits against Wells Fargo/Wachovia. I believe that they are taking advantage of my elderly mother and me because we are living outside the United States and furthermore, I believe that this is discrimination against my mothers Hispanic background and the fact that she is a senior citizen. Wells Fargo/Wachovia must think that she is uneducated and ignorant since she is Hispanic.
I hope that you can understand my justifiable frustration and more importantly, my concern for my mothers health. I have tried not to burden her with all the abuse we have taken from this bank, but sometimes it is difficult to put her at ease. I would greatly appreciate if anyone in your organization could help us by investigating this matter and exposing Wachovia/Wells Fargo Bank. I can provide written proof of information sent to Wachovia, and the telephone numbers of all the people involved except of course for Wachovia employees since all contact with them has been via telephone.