Complaint Review: American Express Mortgage - Mount Laruell New Jersey
- American Express Mortgage 3300 Leanenhall Road Mount Laruell, New Jersey U.S.A.
- Phone: 800-297-6001
- Category: Mortgage Companies
American Express Mortgage - PPH Mortgage Classic "Bait And Switch" scheme and company made $950 unauthorized charge on my credit card Mount Laruell New Jersey
I received a mailer from American Express Mortgage (AKA PPH Mortgage) claiming they would beat anybody's deal on home refinancing, or they would pay me $500. Since I was wanting to refinance anyway, I called them.
They took down some basic information and said they would send me a packet. They asked me, among other things, to estimate the value of my home. I guessed it to be $120,000. They quoted me an interest rate of just over 4%.
At this time they also said I would need to let them charge $475 onto my Mastercard for some kind of "processing fee" which would be refunded to me at closing. I gave them my card number.
Within a couple of days they sent out an appraiser to do what they called a "drive-by appraisal." He didn't look inside. He just took pictures and measurements from the outside.
A few days later they called to say that the appraisal had come in under $120,000. Their appraiser had valued my home at an aritficially low $112,000. (The county tax appraisal district had valued it at $123,000.)
As a result of their low appraisal figure, they could not give me the originally quoted low rate (that was the BAIT). But they said I did qualify for a slightly higher rate (that was the SWITCH).
I asked whether I could hire my own state-licensed appraiser to get a second opinion. They said that no second opinion was allowed. Turns out, they only hire their appraisers from a certain list--a list which they would not reveal to me.
At that point I realized that this was a classic "bait and switch" scheme. I demanded the return of my $475, plus the $500 originally promised in the advertisement. They refused. They said I had agreed to all these "terms", among them being the fact that the original deposit amount was not refundable.
These terms were never disclosed up front, and at no time did I sign anything.
A few days later I called back and again demanded the return of my money. This time I demanded to take with a supervisor. He said he would have to research the matter and call me back.
The next day he called back to say that they were refunding my money, plus the $500 rebate mentioned in the original advertisement because they could not do a home refinance deal with me. But they wanted to keep $25 for their costs of buying my credit report. I agreed.
They refunded a total of $950 to my credit card.
At that point the consumer dispute was over. The dispute had been settled to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.
Four days later they made an unauthorized $950 debit onto my credit card.
I called American Express Mortgage back and demanded that they money be returned within 24 hours or I would file a theft report. They said that they absolutely had not charged $950 on my card. I had printed off a copy of my credit card statement from my financial institution's web site. I knew they were lying.
I immediately filed a dispute with Omniamerican Federal Credit Union in Dallas, the financial institution that issued the card. They refunded only half of the money. They said that the rebate half of the money wasn't really mine in the first place, so they would not refund that. Although I filed the case as a theft, they have not treated it as such. I an filing a complaint with federal and state authorities against Omniamerican.
My advice to all is this: May hell freeze over before you do ANY business with American Express Mortgage. They are running a home refinance scam. It is a textbook "bait and switch" scam.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/28/2004 08:09 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/american-express-mortgage/mount-laruell-new-jersey-08054/american-express-mortgage-pph-mortgage-classic-bait-and-switch-scheme-and-company-made-101088. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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