Fifth Third Bank / escrow account
Copy of a letter I sent to the bank:
On March 13, 2009 I discovered that the escrow department had withdrawn $1, 884.16 on December 5, 2008 from my escrow account and used it to pay someone else’s property taxes. The county admits to receiving duplicate payments on the other parcel number and states that it refunded the money on January 30, 2009. The county has supplied the bank with the date of the draft as well as the check number. I brought this to the bank’s attention the same day that I discovered the error. The bank admits to the error but will not refund the money to my account until it can actually be recovered. The problem is that my wife and I are attempting to refinance with another lender but are unable to do so until this matter is resolved. Otherwise, we must upfront the escrow fees at the closing of the new loan. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to pay that amount out of my own pocket. Additionally, I do not feel that I should have to.
We have made contact with the bank on average of three (3) times per week to resolve this matter but are at a standstill. We always speak to the customer service department who tells us that the escrow department is working on it and that they cannot see anything other than what is in the notes. I repeatedly ask to speak with someone in the escrow department but am told that it is against company policy. I ask to speak with a representative of First American (they are the vendor used to handle property taxes) but am also repeatedly told that they are not allowed to release contact information for their outside vendors. It is our stance that since the bank made the error and withdrew the money by mistake; they should refund it to our account and then worry about recouping the payment themselves. We are the customer but are the ones who are being made to suffer even though they made the mistake. I have repeatedly made the suggestion of the bank refunding our account from their funds but the idea has been consistently scoffed at. This is nothing short of theft!!
My rate lock period is about to expire on my refinancing. If that happens and I am unable to lock into a comparable rate, I will be forced to file suit and will ask for damages equivalent to the additional interest we will have to pay over the life of the loan. This is a straight forward and uncomplicated matter but for some unknown reason it has turned into a difficult situation. I only ask that I am refunded the money that is rightfully mine! If the bank had accidentally deposited money into my account that was not mine, you would request an immediate reimbursement. I ask only of you what you would demand of me!
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