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World Savings Bank / Numerous problems with World Savings bank

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I have been having numerous problems with World Savings bank and I am now at a loss as to whom to contact before simply taking this to small claims court.

In 2003, I obtained a first and second mortgage from World Savings on a property I own in Georgia. Things were going well until October 2005 when the property became subject to eminent domain by the county in which it is located.

I am a licensed real estate broker in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Using my numerous contacts, in June 2006, I was referred to and hired an excellent real estate attorney in Georgia to represent me. World Savings notified me that it had hired its own attorney to represent the bank. The attorney I hired became aware of World Savings’ attorney and suggested that I use that attorney since there was no point in having two. On July 18, July 24, July 27, July 31, August 4, August 9, August 14, August 21, August 22, August 25, August 27, and September 8, 2006 (12 times), I called and/or emailed Mark Kelley (the attorney hired by World Savings) and/or Nicole Johnson (the legal assistant from World Savings) to explain this but neither attempted to return my calls or emails. In my last voice mail to Mark Kelley I expressed concern as to how he could possibly represent the bank without knowing the specifics of the case and that I would be more than willing to assist him if he would simply call or email me. Still nothing. In the meantime, I decided to refinance…

When the potential new finance company finally received the first payoff statement around August 11, 2006, World stated that the payoff on the first mortgage was $118,444.94. Then World sent me a confirmation letter, dated August 18, 2006, stating that a “third party” had requested payoff information, the payoff amount is $118,444.94 and that there would be an additional $2,492.00 prepayment penalty. The loans both matured August 11, 2006…meaning there is no prepayment penalty. When I called World Savings to explain this, the customer service representative confirmed there was no prepayment penalty and denied sending the letter. I later received a duplicate letter dated August 25, 2006.

On August 21, 2006, World sent me a payoff confirmation for the second mortgage. The payoff amount was $25,063.86. On August 25, I received another payoff statement with an additional $1,183.00 in legal fees.

So now World knows I’m serious about refinancing this loan. The “updated” payoff statement that we requested around September 19, 2006 now included the $1,183.00 legal fee; an additional $265 legal fee; and now an additional $2,000.00 legal fee for a SUBTOTAL of $3,448.00 PLUS $75.12 in interest for a GRAND TOTAL of $3,523.12. The case isn’t even resolved yet! (By the way, the county offered $16,500 for the land and I told them I would settle for $25,000…not enough difference to justify these outrageous and bogus legal fees.) Also, I have yet to receive one sheet of correspondence from Mark Kelley regarding this case.

Since having received the bill for $1,183.00, I have attempted to obtain an accounting of Mark Kelley’s services but, again, to no avail. My final call yesterday was to Nicole Johnson, requesting a status update—any information I could obtain—but she said she would have to contact “outside counsel before releasing that information.”

Clearly, this is fraudulent. World Savings was unable to collect a prepayment penalty from me so it is making up the difference in bogus legal fees. I am now at a loss as to what to do. Surely, your office regulates the fees that can be charged to banking customers…or at least requires an accounting be provided, as is the case in every other industry.



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