National City Mortgage — Unethical / deceptive business practices
I obtained a home mortgage with national city mortgage in 2003. We had never missed payments, nor did our homeowner’s insurance lapse. After the birth of our son, I have been unable to work for several reasons, mostly health related. My husband is still working, but it is not enough to even cover the bills. This has created a huge financial stress on us for the last 20 months. It has taken all that we have and borrowing money to even make our house payments. Our homeowner’s insurance also lapsed, (which we knew we were required to have) and have been trying to get the funds together for that next.
I had called both national city mortgage’s customer service department as well as their counseling department regarding our situation to see if modifications could be made to our loan where we could reduce the payments to where they were affordable. They had indicated at that time that they could not work with us to lower the payments. During this time, I had also received letters from national city stating if I did not re-instate my homeowner’s insurance, that they would obtain it themselves. Each month, I would be hopeful that we would have the money for the insurance, but it never worked out because we barely could even get together enough for the payments. As I called national city about the payments, I would also talk to them about the insurance situation. It was obvious they knew we were in great financial distress, due to the recent payment history and the mere fact that I was frequently calling their counseling department. I had asked the representatives on several occasions, “has national city taken it upon themselves to obtain insurance yet”? The response was always “no, but you need to get your own together soon”. My response was: “thank god they haven’t got it yet; we are still trying & should have it soon”. I was told this in both 2007 & the first part of 2008. This would lead one to believe that nothing had been obtained and therefore, we still had time to get our own. It also would lead one to believe, if nothing has been obtained yet, there is nothing extra to pay for.
*especially* because we had received no documentation whatsoever of proof of an insurance policy. Usually, one does not expect to pay for something until after it is obtained.
Then just march the 6th, 2008, I received a letter dated 2/13/2008 that I was expected to pay over $5800.00 for insurance coverage that I supposeably “have had” since 4/20/2007. But as of a letter I received dated feb. 5, 2008 they were still asking for a copy of my insurance policy. Which again, leads one to believe it had not yet been obtained. When I read this, I called national city immediately. I spoke to charmaine anderson, customer service supervisor. I told her how deceptive this was to be told over & over again by both their customer service department and customer counseling departments that “insurance had not been obtained yet by national city” and never receive any proof of any policy at all, then miraculously out of the blue, I am sent a copy of the policy a year after the fact (backdated) and worse yet, the payments I could not already afford raised even higher to pay this bill (which is totally inflated anyway - regular homeowner’s insurance should be about $1600 per year – their amount was $5866.71). Instead of simply adding it to the “back end” of my loan, they remodified my entire loan without my knowledge and charged $1200 extra in additional fees to my loan to pay for this. I understand we needed to get our own insurance, but I was led to believe it was not obtained yet by national city, nor again, did I have proof of such until after the fact. The “proof of insurance” is even dated 2/13/08.
Ms. Anderson told me that if they don’t receive my new “modified” (higher) payments (with the insurance payback portion included) that she would not accept the payment, mail it back to me, & I would face foreclosure.
I reminded her about government legislation that has been passed to help homeowner’s in financial trouble and these kinds of practices are what is costing people their homes!
I told her I wouldn’t have consistently called customer service & customer counseling if we were not in financial trouble. I had expressed that to them many times very clearly. I also wouldn’t have kept asking about the insurance over & over if I had any proof or documentation the insurance that already been obtained!!
The matter in which this insurance was obtained is totally deceptive and unfair. Specifically, I am requesting national city to provide several things..
•1.) show proof of my signature where I authorized them to modify my loan without my knowledge or consent
•2.) show proof of my signature where I gave them permission to tell me for a year insurance had not been obtained yet, then backdate it and charge me for it.
•3.) knowing from my many phone calls to customer service that we were experiencing financial hardship, why they did not simply add any fees to the back end of the loan so it would not have cost us $1200 in additional fees & upped our payments even higher from an amount we were already having trouble with anyway.
4.) prove that they spent that money and there was really coverage during the time they are trying to charge me for, because over & over I had been told it had not been obtained. And again, up until now, this is the first i’ve heard or seen of the actual policy.
5.) explain why I was not informed back in 2007 that they had already bought it rather than: “they’re going to if I don’t get it soon’. They even had sent a letter stating: “they still needed proof of coverage”.
I believe they are very likely charging us fees that they really did not pay, nor did we have proof of their coverage for the entire year of 2007.
What if we had a claim?
Fortunately, we didn’t. But the point is, we had no knowledge of it at all.
Again, I wouldn’t have consistently been asking their customer service department about it otherwise!!! Not only am I requesting these modified loan fees & the backdated insurance fees removed altogether I want my house payments lowered back down not only to what they were, but we still need help in getting them lowered in the first place to where they are affordable and we do not lose our home!!
I can understand being charged for insurance from the day they obtained it for that current date forward (& it added to the back end of our loan due to financial hardship) but the manner in which this has all taken place does not seem ethical or legal at all. We would greatly appreciate some proof and clear cut answers as well as any feedback from others who may have also experienced problems with them & what they did. As of this point, our original complaint letter has been completely ignored by national city mortgage.
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