Countrywide Home Loans / fradulent billing
I have been with Countrywide for several years with no complaints, until this month when I received my billing statement. It stated my escrow amount was going to increase $25 per month due to increases in taxes and insurance. No problem. Then I noticed the actual payment was increasing almost $70 per month and I couldn't figure out why. After going over and over the paperwork, I realized they were tacking on an additional "reserve requirement" of over $40 to each payment. Looking at the projections of charges for the next year it was only showing the $25 to my escrow and no explaination of how the the remainder was being used. I called Countrywide and the CSR explained to me that the "reserve" was an "insurance policy/cushion" for any unexpected increases in taxes and insurance. When I questioned why I would be charged this amount when I was already being charged an additional $25 for those increases, she had no comment. I asked how the $40 was going to be applied and she told me it was not being applied to anything...they were just going to take my money and hold it in an account! I told her that I would pay the $25 but that I refused to pay the $40 and she needed to forward me to someone that had the authority to remove the charge. She said that wasn't a problem and if I would "hold" she would have the amount taken off my bill. That really raised a red flag to me. If this was a legitimate charge, they would not be so willing to remove it. Within a few minutes, she had the charge removed and my payment would only include the $25 increase. Even though the problem was rectified, I have to wonder if they are doing this to everyone, and how many people wouldn't question it. This charge is not being used for anything other than to draw interest for Countrywide and I can't believe it is a legal practice.
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