Hi! My name is Brian P, and I used to work for 21st Mortgage Corporation from May 2005 - July 2009. I'm writing today to share a tip with those that are tired of getting so many phone calls.
Send a cease and desist letter to 21st Mortgage via certified mail.
Actually, send TWO copies - one addressed to Servicing (also helpful to put it to the attention of your financial counselor, provided 21st hasn't shifted them around on you recently) and one addressed to the Legal Department.
"But what good is sending a letter to these guys going to do?!" you might wonder - and rightfully so, since 21st is extremely tenacious about making contact with its past-due clientele. (Does anyone out there know if they still use the pre-paid cell phones that are registered in certain areas of the country to make the call pop up on debtors' caller IDs with local interchanges?)
Simple. A C&D actually works.
Near the end of my time at 21st (about November 2008), I was asked (along with dozens of other people) to shift from my position as a loan auditor in the Originations department to collections (Servicing) in order to avoid layoffs. Hated making those calls, hated the department, hated my team leader (who had a nasty habit of exchanging disparaging emails with co-workers and subordinates, as evidenced by one that I kept from 4/24/2009 that was exchanged with a subordinate directly after I had asked her a procedural question - very classy, Mrs. Ladd), but LOVED seeing proper C&D letters come through the mail.
It meant more than not just having to call whoever sent it. IT ALSO MEANT NO SKIP-TRACING FOR THAT PERSON'S RELATIVES OR THE SENDING OF ***ANY*** LETTER THAT WASN'T DIRECTLY RELATED TO ***ACTUAL*** FORECLOSURE!
C&D letters may vary by state, so BE SURE TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If the C&D letter isn't properly formatted or leaves gaps (for example, failing to demand that skiptracing work on any and all individuals not directly related to the debt in question - very important), then rest assured 21st will hammer those weaknesses.
Points to remember:
* SEND IT CERTIFIED. There has to be legal record of the letter's receipt by the receiving party, and trust me - 21st WILL say they never received any such letter unless it's sent certified USPS or better. (But don't feel like you have to waste time and money overnighting it unless you REALLY want the calls to stop.)
* DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Don't be one of those ones that just takes a generic template off the Internet and thinks they're Matlock for sending it. Odds are, you've screwed up. Don't be afraid to ask for help on this (many states have access to free or severely reduced legal services, especially North Carolina - 21st is terrified of litigating in that state because of it, or at least was as of the time I left), even if you need to drop a little cash for an attorney to do it for you. (Though if the attorney charges more than $100 for the service, I'd advise filing a ROR on THEM.)
* MAKE SURE YOU DEMAND CALLS AND LETTERS TO EVERYONE NOT DIRECTLY PARTY TO THE DEBT IN QUESTION ARE HALTED. Otherwise, 21st will exploit that gap and keep skiptracing relatives and (in some cases) neighbors. (There's some talented skiptracers working there, too - especially on what's known as the "Citigroup" portfolio.)
* A C&D WILL *NOT* STOP FORECLOSURE. It just stops all of the phone calls and notices that are not legally required by law. That kills just about every attempt at making a phone call and most extraneous notices (21st has a lot of 'em), but if you see a Notice of Default, they're allowed to send that. It means the foreclosure/replevin process has been started on their end. (I'll get more into the difference on that in another post, if anyone needs that information.)
Questions? Comments? I'll field 'em to the best of my ability.
(And for those of you following 21st on ROR, no, I was never Silverado99. That started out, I believe, as the VP of Servicing but I'm pretty sure an assistant handles the copy-paste replies now. Oh, and by the way - the consistent use of a bland, generic, frustrating copy-paste reply is designed to get people to call in about their account. Just a heads-up.)