Ocwen Federal Bank FSB Forced Insurance Taxes Escrow Ocwen Litton Orlando Florida
This is going to be long-winded so please bear with me... Our refinanced mortgage (Refinanced sometime in 2000 to get away from an ARM) was originally with Bank One. Was refinanced in my wife's name only, I forget the reason we did that.
Anyway, didn't really have any problems with them, but in August 2001 I was laid off from my job, September 11 happened, the ecomony all but shut down, and I was out of work for a little over 4 months (IT Industry). Took short consulting jobs here and there to feed the family and pay what bills I could.
Landed a full-time job in Nov/Dec 2001. In 2002, Bank One sells our mortgage to Litton Loan Servicing. This is where the nightmare begins.
Obviously, I was a little behind in the mortgage payments, but steadily gaining ground. With my being out of work for 4 months, bills piled up.
In December 2002, we file for Chapter 7, re-affirming the mortgage so we'd have a a home for our two children. Couple Litton statements later, there's a $704 Attorney Fee. We re-affirmed, Litton's attorneys were never involved, yet we're charged attorney fees by them. Spoke to Litton, after the usual run-around, they agreed that the fees should not have been charged and that it would be removed. $704 continues to be listed as 'Other Fees Due'. Called a few more times, was told to ignore it, it would be dropped from out statements.
Fast forward to mid July 2004, we receive a letter (dated June 14, 2004) from Litton informing us our mortgage had been sold to Ocwen. (Effective July 1, 2004). Whew, what a relief to be away from Litton (or so we though). Wait a minute... effective July 1 2004, it's now July 15-ish... we receive this letter almost exactly 30 days after it was sent, and 2 weeks after it went into effect, and one, or close to, the date it was due. Luckily I hadn't sent the payment to Litton yet (I way the mortgage online, usually). Letter says nothing of the amount due, and gives two different addresses... Orlando and Los Angeles, which strikes me as a little odd. Couple days later, I receive a notice from Ocwen (dated July 8, 2004) that they now hold the mortgage, with a generic payment coupon. No due date, no payment amount. I do, however, see their website address. Hop on, account not found. Couple days of this, finally finds the account, and I make the first payment to Ocwen on July 21, 2004. 6 days after my due date (date and amount didn't change... I should have assumed, but...) but within my 15-day grace period.
I hit a little financial snag (work changed pay periods and we had a pay-week skipped) but make the next 5 payments on 9/4, 10/4, 10/29, 11/29, and 1/11. Yes, I'm a little behind but never 30 or more days.
Immediately I notice the $704 fee has transferred to Ocwen. 8/31 bill wants !1,808.56 (added in the $704). Calling Ocwen is pretty much an exercise in futility... never found a live person. On the 8/31 statement, I see a $1,033.04 payment from Ocwen to my county's tax collector. Ummm... we pay insurance and taxes ourselves, not through escrow.
Our original monthly payment is $1,104.56. I receive a letter from Ocwen stating they do not have our insurance on record (funny, it went fine with every other refinance/sale/transfer of our account). I mail a copy of our policy to them. Receive another letter a month or so later, this time I FAX it to them. Fast forward to the 12/31 statement, our monthly payment is now 1,306.65 because they've added a monthly $202.09 Escrow payment (I, however, do not see this until tonight), AND an Insurnace Disbursement to American Securty Group in the amount of $1,059. How many times do you have to send the policy to these people?
Oh... I also received a notice from Ocwen, not sure of the date it arrived, but the letter is dated 7/12/04, stating our Principal is $126,125 (right... funny how that number hasn't changed since we were originall transferred to Litton), but we owe $2,485.42 in interest (huh? Every cent of our monthly payments are going to interest... except for the occasional $15.07 that goes to 'Suspense'). Plus the $704 in 'Collection Costs', bringing our grand total up to $129,299.42 (although every statement we have, including the one dated 1/11/05, shows $126,125.00... I have NO idea what this $2,485.42 'Interest' is for). And the letter states This letter is in no way intended as a payoff statement for your mortgage. That, to me, sounds like they plan to tack on more fees, interest, etc. when you request a payoff amount.
Fast forward to tonight, I go to their website to make a payment, tomorrow the payment is 30 days late, I'm trying to keep this under 30 days so a) Our credit isn't affected. b) We're planning to build a new house this summer and sell/lease/rent this house. c) Keep the mortgage semi-current until our tax check arrives, at which time we will bring the payments current... again, we're less than 30 days past due.
We're a little short this month, well, since December (I had to pay for two root canals for me and a biopsy for my wife, and Christmas for the kids), but I had the $1,104 (well, $1,114, since Ocwen charges you $10 to make an online payment... which is bogus, but... it's only $10 so I deal with it)... as I said, I had the $ allocated for the mortgage payment with a few dollars left over for gas money, etc. until I get paid this Friday. I Go to make the payment, see it's now $1,306. Think that's odd, change the online payment amount to $1,104 as the usual amount, press send and receive the following message Your payment must be between $1,306 and $4,200). That's when I discover the added escrow payment. I STILL haven't figured out what the $4,200 is all about). I didn't allocate the extra $200 for the payment, they won't take the usual $1,104, so I can't make the payment until I get paid this Friday. So, because of their tax payment and this bogus Forced Insurance payment, our payment is going to be 30 days late.
My wife and I, to say the least, are rather angry with this entire situation. I have tried as hard as humanly possible in our situation to keep the payments under 30 days late. Payment-wise, we'll (I think) be OK. I'll make this $1,300 payment Friday, tax check should be here the following week, so I'll make the next payment with that, and we're caught up. But that means paying the $202 escrow payment each month, which I do not believe I should be required to make since I have sent them proof of insurance TWICE.
Ocwen is nikel and diming me to death... 'though their version of nickels and dimes are 4 figures. Granted, I make a good living, but with the normal monthly expenses, two car payments, my wife's school, the land payment etc. we're living paycheck-to-paycheck, as MANY people are, I can't afford Ocwen to keep tacking on $1,000 whenever they feel like it, and an extra $202 a month is gas money to get to work/school, food for the kids, etc.
I feel helpless... Ocwen grabs you by the hair and won't let go... they just keep tightening their grip. My wife and I are looking into refinancing the house to get away from Ocwen and hopefully get the interest rate and payments down a bit, but with the bancruptcy being discharged only 2 years ago, I'm afraid we're stuck. Then if we ARE able to refinance, what will that do to us when we apply for the construction loan for the new house? (I drive 2 hours round trip to/from work daily... we're buying 6.5 acres on contract near where I work). My wife finishes her degree in 2007, and has a job waiting on her (Elem Teacher) where I work, but that's 2 years away... we can't hold on for 2 years, ESPECIALLY is Ocwen continues their trend of adding $1,000 to our mortgage on a whim.
As for the Forced Insurance, it mentions nothing other than we now owe the $1,059 for it. Is that quarterly, bi-yearly, yearly??? Our insurance is through State Farm and is only $690 a year. $1,059 is rather steep.
Is there anyone else in Indiana that is with Ocwen and getting the shaft?
Wondering and worrying what to do...
Thanks for listening.
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