To anyone dealing with CitiMortgage ("Citi") who is trying to catch up with mortgage payments or obtain a modification, please read the following:
(a) You cannot believe anything Citi representatives tell you via telephone. You must insist on getting everything - absolutely everything - in writing. If they refuse, they're lying to you.
(b) NEVER make payments via telephone. Tell Citi you will only pay via CERTIFIED mail, return receipt requested - period. Citi has to give you an address to send payments to; when you pay this way, you have the receipt showing the day you mailed it, and you will receive a receipt showing the date Citi picked up your payment. This will be important. Save every single receipt - tape them onto pages in a notebook, but save them.
(c) Document every time Citi calls you - get the representative's name and ID #. They have to give it to you. Make them spell their name each time. Write down the date and time of each call; make them wait while you do. If the rep gets the least bit abusive, demand a supervisor. When the supervisor gets on the line, get his/her name and ID#, just like before. Do this every single time you speak to Citi. Put the info in the notebook.
(d) If Citi threatens to foreclose, ask them what their basis is for this. Demand proof in writing. Tell the rep you want the direct number to accounting, then call it and ask for a complete history of your account. If they tell you it will take 30 days, etc., tell them you must have in within seven days, as Citi is threatening to foreclose. Speak to a supervisor if necessary. Always get names & ID#s.
(e) EXPECT that you WILL have to get an attorney to resolve a foreclosure problem with Citi, because Citi forecloses illegally and without grounds. They did it to us - they filed a suit for foreclosure in District Court against us; not only were we not in default, we weren't even late! When the suit was dismissed, the judge assigned the attorneys' fees to Citi. Citi has spent the last 12 months trying to make us pay them, in contempt of court. (So you can see that being in the right will not protect you.)
(f) Having obtained previous histories from Citi, we compared them to later versions and found that a lot of juggling was going on. In its attempt to make us pay the attorneys' fees assigned to Citi by the District Judge, the exact amount of those fees was moved from one line to another, with one label after another attached to it. These illegal, fraudulent accounting practices still continue. That's why you need to check your account history. We found property tax charges for several different counties - we only live in one county, and we pay our own property taxes, so we were not amused.
(g) Not only did Citi sue us illegally for foreclosure, Citi filed fraudulent reports with the credit bureaus, saying that we were in default with our mortgage, when we were not. Those reports kept us from getting a loan we desperately needed to repair our car. We've gone 10 months without a working vehicle, directly because of Citi's deliberate deception. We're finally suing Citi to stop this.
(h) This is important: don't let any Citi representative bully or intimidate you. No matter what any of them say, remember you're talking to a hired clerk who is reading from a script - that's all. None of them have any genuine power to do anything. And that's the truth, honestly. Some of them are nicer than others, and some of them lie like rugs. But they're all just clerks.
(i) If Citi is calling you multiple times a day and making your life a living H**l, you do have the right to send a cease and desist letter, demanding that Citi contact you ONLY in writing.
(j) If you're at the end of your rope, find an attorney right NOW. Do not wait. Citi will not help you. Do not believe them, please, or you will be homeless. You must protect yourself and your family in order to keep your home. Citi promises to modify mortgages, then forecloses and evicts families. Please don't be one of them.
I apologize for the length of this report, but our family has been through genuine trauma thanks to CitiMortgage, and I'd like to help any other family avoid what we've endured.