We had a loss on July 23, 2011 in which our finished basement flooded with sewer back up. We called a contractor the next day which was Saturday. He made an emergency call on a Saturday to help us with the almost 12 inches of sewer water.
We lost most of the furniture all of our electrical equipment along with our furnace, hotwater heater, washer, dryer, carpet and personal items.
On Monday we called our insurance company to make a claim. Since there was so much damage in the area they could not come out for about 2 weeks. But our contractor started the clean up and replacement of the needed items.
Once the insurance ajuster came out and evaluated the damage without any personal items the total was just about $27,000. Our policy had a limit of $25,000. The adjuster said that he would file the report for us and we would receive the full amount of our coverage. Within a few days we recieved a check for $25,000 which was made out in our name as well as Wells Fargo. We went to a Wells Fargo branch to cashe the check in which at that point we were told that we would have to send it to their Loss Department along with the adjusters report. On the insurance adjusters report it clearly stated that all the work was completed by the contractor.
I contacted the Wells Fargo Loss Department and they told me that I would have to mail or fax the information to them as well as endorse the check and send them. We waited and waited to hear back from Wells Fargo. After 2 weeks we contacted them and was told that they did not receive all of the required paperwork that I had fax and mailed to them and that was the hold up. Once again we did that, this went on 4 times before they acknowkledged that they received all of the paperwork. This was 2 months after the loss and the work was done.
Everytime that we contacted them by phone and mail we did not receive a response. My contractor contacted us looking for the $23,000 of work that was performed and the material that he had purchased. We are now going on 3 months after the claim without any release of funds. We told the contractor that we were trying our very best to get him his money. The contractor was as nice as he could be but he needed his money. He also expressed that other people in the area that had a loss on the same day he was experiencing the same issues with funds being released.
In December the contractor sent us a letter stating that he had no other choice but to start the process of putting lien on the property. We told him that we had no issue with this because there was not reason that he should not have been paid. We tried on several occasions to discuss this problem with our insurance company and they were no help.
Finally in February 2012 we received a check for 1/3 in the amount of $8,333.33. The check had the contractors name as well as our name on the check. We contacted the contractor and delivered the check to him after we endorsed it. The contractor went directly to a Wells Fargo branch to cash it in which he was told that they would not cash it and it was not endorsed correctly by us. The check had the contractors name and address on there with our first names and then our last name. When we signed the check we each signed our name. Wells Fargo told the contractor that it was not done correctly and refused to cash it for him.
The contractor went to his bank and had to wait for the check to clear which was even a futher delay since it took 10 business days. The contractors bank said that the delay was that Wells Fargo had delayed releasing the funds into his account.
Now we are 7 months after the loss and Wells Fargo still has not released the rest of the funds. They are telling us that they need to come and do an inspection to ensure that the work was done. In all of the insurance papers that have been provided over and over to them in which the insurance adjuster verifies that the repairs were done they will still not release the money. The insurance estimate was higher than what the contractor charged us for the work so the rest of the money should be paid to us, we also had paid the contractor for one invoice that we could afford for $579.00 in which Wells Fargo refuses to send us a check for that.
This has become more than a joke, while Wells Fargo is collecting interest on the insurance check for $25,000 for months. Our contractor has not charged us any late fees or interest. As a favor to us he does not want to put a lien on the property but at this point we encourage him to do that so maybe at least at some point he will get his money.
The contractor has stated that he had done repairs on other properties that had Wells Fargo as the mortgage company and is having the same issue. He has sworn that he will find out first who the mortgage company is before he preforms any work for people that are in need. We were lucky that he came right away to help us but now he is paying dearly for it. He paid his workers and now is out all of this money.
All I can say is that if you have a choice of mortgage companies you do not use Wells Fargo because they are not on your side and will do whatever it takes to make your life miserable and not pay the money that is not even thiers.