Modify Loan Experts, Loan Modification / Failed service, refusal of refund
My mother started corresponding with MLE in the spring of 2009. Many months (~6) went by and when no apparent progress was being made, I started to get involved. I wrote Pasquale Longordo and asked how I could help my mother. He replied by asking me to send in certain documents (why weren’t those documents received months earlier?). I was also asked to send in a third party authorization form (why wasn’t that in place many months earlier too?). Later when I asked about the status of the file, he said the lender wasn’t accepting the application because they didn’t have the “proper documents”---even though I sent what was asked. Furthermore, I wasn’t told this straight away---I had to enquire myself after even more time went by with no communication.
All the while, I was asking questions in order to get a handle on the situation and about the legitimacy of his work. Most of the questions I asked were either ignored or answered incompletely, forcing me to ask the same questions repeatedly. One of the questions I asked was “who is the person at the lender you are interacting with?” I had to ask that a few times before I was told, “they keep handing the file from person to person.” So I said, I understand, who is the person who you were interacting with and who is the person you are presently interacting with? I was eventually told “some guy Mike.” When I said that wasn’t acceptable, Pasquale told me he’d find out for me---he never did.
I also had to ask multiple times who the lawyer was handling my mother’s file. Eventually I was told that the lawyer who had been handling the file recently quit. Again, I said I understand and I asked who was presently working on my mother’s file; he told me Doug Hampton.
When I wrote Doug Hampton, he acted (when he eventually wrote me back) as if he had no idea as to his supposedly working on my mother’s file, and in fact, stated it was his understanding that someone else had been and was still working on her file. He even expressed a sort of puzzlement as to why I had been copying him on my emails to Pasquale (and frequently continued to do so throughout our communications).
Eventually, I wrote the lender and said, “My mother’s hired a modification company to help fix her mortgage. What I can do to facilitate and expedite the process?” The lender wrote back and said, “We have no record of an application on your mother’s behalf.” When I asked Pasquale to explain that---he didn’t. Not too long after that, I found out from the lender that my mother’s house was in foreclosure (one would think the modification company would know such things, wouldn’t you?).
I wrote reminding him, by his own admission the lender was refusing the application, that my mother’s house was in foreclosure, and pointing out that his refund policy said, "If your lender denies your loan modification application for whatever reason, our affiliated Service Provider Company will return its entire fee to you, no questions asked! There’s absolutely no risk to you" [he’s since changed this], and asked for my mother’s money back.
Instead of giving back my mother’s money, I was told in order to have a chance I would have to “discuss” things. Despite my continuing to say, “Just send my mother’s money back”, I was pressed to have conference calls and told that I hadn’t provided what I was supposed to. To be fair—eventually he did offer to refund ¾ of my mother’s money but then changed his mind when he said I needed to write a termination letter and I replied that he wasn’t being terminated in the classic sense but that I was just appealing to his refund policy. Mostly I didn’t trust him and didn’t want a “termination letter” to be taken as evidence/admission on my behalf that they hadn’t failed. As an aside, I suspect the reason he did not offer to refund the entire amount is that some money was paid to a law firm that had since parted ways with MLE and that is presently suing them for their business practices. That is, Pasquale was seemingly willing to let my mother pay a few hundred dollars to a company that he was no longer contracting!
Shortly thereafter, I was told that it had come to his attention I had been spreading “false allegations” on the internet and that I would be legally pursued for “torturous interference with business practice.” When I asked him to show me where those allegations were, he couldn’t (because they didn’t exist). I was then directed to speak with “his lawyer”---see the above---the lawyer seemingly had no idea as to what was going on, even though he had been copied multiple times on the conversation. Interestingly enough, I can’t find the lawyer or his firm listed in the online yellow pages. I recently saw a posting by a man who went to find MLE & Pasquale at his address and there was nothing there.
All that said, I first asked for a refund during the 2nd-3rd week in January---over six weeks have gone by and as far as I can tell---there is nothing forthcoming. To make matters worse, my mother’s been in the hospital since mid-December, bills are growing, and the amount of money my mother gave these people is close to her monthly social security income.
I don’t know whether they are just too busy, in over their heads, incompetent, liars or out and out criminals. I do know given my experience them I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to encourage folks to seek help elsewhere. If you’ve had similar experiences, I encourage you to write the Michigan State Attorney General, the Better Business Bureau, all the consumer complaint boards, and wherever else you need to in order to have some recourse.
Ps: If recent history follows suit, I am curious to see if there will be a lame and/or confusing retort posted here by the company and person in question.