I can’t tell you the amount of phone calls that have been made to our favorite mortgage lender (insert eye roll here), CitiMortgage, but I can tell you, come Monday, they will be seeing me in one of their branches waiting to speak to someone in person!
Here is a letter that I have written and have sent to the CEO of CitiMortgage, my states Senator, Governor, President Obama as well as all our local media affiliates. This is being done to take a stand for my rights as a homeowner, as someone who followed the rules and as someone who has been backed into a corner as a result of a negligence and departmental miss communications. After you read my letter, think to yourself, “what would I do in this situation”, then feel free to make your own judgments and comments. I must warn you, it is a three page letter and I did remove some confirmation numbers and employee numbers. I am posting this letter so that others can see that they are in fact NOT alone and if I can share my story and get people to see that there are major flaws in our lending systems and possibly prevent someone from dealing with issues that I have already dealt with, then my job is done. However, in my case, I fear that I have a long way to go before our credit is restored and CitiMortgage owns up to their mistakes.
November 26, 2009
RE: CitiMortgage Loan Number #
I am writing to you to express my feelings as a tax-paying, American citizen with regards to the faulty, Government approved loan modification program, as well as the lack of employee training and knowledge that I experienced in my particular CitiMortgage modification case.
In the month of July 2009, my husband and I decided to apply for a loan modification because we knew that his job in construction was nearing it’s end. We wanted to prepare ourselves for what was to come. We applied online through CitiMortgage’s homeowner’s assistance links and those provided to us on MakingHomeAffordable.org. I received a call from the loan modification department on August 17, 2009, and during that time, Roger asked some questions, and I answered, including the fact that that my husband lost his job on August 4, 2009. I was placed on hold and after a few moments Roger came back and informed me that we “passed”, that we were approved! I was thrilled! I thought this was going to really help us out as we were already struggling with me being a stay at home mom to three children, and my husband who recently lost his job. Roger instructed me to stop making our monthly mortgage payments of $1710.12 and to start making what they call “Trial Payment” totaling $612.66 that would be due October 1, November 1, and December 1, 2009. During that time, they would send us “paperwork” that we needed to confirmed, signed and fax back to them so they can start the modification process and assign us a case worker and they would instruct us what our new payments would be near the end of our “trial period”.
Two weeks went by, we received no “paperwork”, so on September 22, 2009, I called and spoke with Kion in CitiMortgage’s Homeowners Assistance department who informed me that he would “put in a request to have the paperwork resent”. I was instructed to wait 5-10 business days and it would arrive via UPS. I waited.
On October 1, 2009 I called the Homeowners Assistance Team and spoke with Matt to make my first “Trial” Payment. He informed me that he was ‘locked’ out of the system and transferred me to Mandy. She too was ‘locked’ out and she too transferred me. I finally spoke with Roberto who waived the phone-processing fee and accepted my $612.66 “trial” payment to which I was given a confirmation number of *******. A letter dated October 2, 2009 was sent to me confirming a Western Union payment of $612.66.
I waited two weeks, and still received no paperwork, so I called again, this was on October 10, 2009. I spoke with another CitiMortgage employee, Shawna, who said, and I quote, “I don’t even see a request for the paperwork to be resent, I will go ahead and do that now for you.” She informed me that I would have to wait another 10-15 days and if no “paperwork” arrived, I was to call back and speak with a supervisor.
On October 16, 2009 I called and spoke with Sandy. I explained my situation again and asked to speak to a supervisor. I was placed on hold for 30 minutes, 5 seconds before I was disconnected. I attempted a second call and spoke with Julie, whom again, I told my story to asking for a supervisor. I was placed on hold. A supervisor by the name of Sami took my call. Explained that I never received my paperwork showing that this loan modification was in fact taking place and expressed my concern that my credit would be suffering as a result of their negligence. She assured me that this would not affect my credit and she would make sure that it was kept up to date and current. She placed me on hold to speak to the loan modification department. When she returned on the line, she told me that the papers would in fact arrive and they had been sent. I was given a confirmation number from her conversation with the loan modification department of *****.
October 27, 2009, I called 636-261-2464, which was not in service. I called 636-261-2884, again, not in service. I then called 800-283-7918 and spoke with Sonia at 12:52PM CST and was transferred to Eric (#*******) at 866-272-4749. I explained my story that to me at this point sounds like a recorded message, that I have never received paperwork that was needed to move forward with my loan modification. I asked to speak to another supervisor and was placed on hold. A few moments later, Eric comes back on the line and tells me that no supervisors were available. He looked into my account and he told me that the HAP tool did not approve my loan and that we would need to start the process all over again because the initial process was not confirmed. Eric told me that he would take care of it and to continue making the “trial” payment. He would re-order the “paperwork” and it should arrive within 10-15 business days. The paperwork would be arriving via UPS from Maryland.
November 1, 2009 I had called to make my second “trial” payment by calling 800-723-7906, but no answer, so I decided to call back on November 2, 2009.
November 2, 2009 @ 9:00AM, CST, I called to make my second “trial” payment and spoke with Tiffany who informed me that my account was not showing that we were in a “trial” period and she transferred me to the loan modification department so they can get the information entered correctly. When Jamie answered, I immediately asked for a supervisor. Ravneet (#*******) took my call.
Ravneet (#*******) told me that the modification was never “verbally” approved there for she would have to go back and get additional information, took my verbal confirmation that we had applied for a loan modification and that all the information that there were no changes with regards to the financial information previous provided back in August. She informed me that she would check into our account and call me back by the end of the day. The day came and went and there was no call back from Ravneet so I called again on November 3, 2009 and at 9:25AM, CST, I was told by Crystal that the loan modification that was originally approved back in August, a conventional loan modification, was not the correct modification for my loan type, which apparently is backed by Fannie Mae and that unfortunately we would have to go through the application process all over again to get approval for President Obama’s government approved loan modification. I was, needless to say, furious and frustrated over this whole ordeal to this point. Crystal told me she could take our information over the phone. I gave her all the information that she asked for, including the fact that my husband has been out of work since August 2009. She placed me on hold and within a few moments she came back and replied to me, “you have been denied”. She said with my husband job loss and lack of income, we are in a deficit. Well, yeah, ya think, this was why we were applying for a loan modification to begin with! I thought, “great”, now what do we do. We are now 3 months behind on our regular mortgage payments because I was told to cease making them and to start making a “trial” payment. I asked what our options were at this point and she simply said, a short sale.
Basically we were left in a situation, not of our doing, but that of CitiMortgage to have to fight to save our home from potential foreclosure and/or short sale. We were left with no options, no forbearance, nothing, it was basically pay up to get your mortgage current, or you will either have to do a short sale or foreclose on the property. I immediately hung up the phone and started to cry, to the point of hyperventilation.
I did everything that I was instructed to do. I started to pay my reduced, “Trial” payment beginning October 1, 2009. However, due to CitiMortgages lack of knowledge, I soon became 3 months delinquent and our account fell into a default status. I was receiving phone call after phone call from CitiMortgage as to why we were late paying our payments and each time I would tell them that we were approved for a loan modification and that we were waiting on our paperwork. I received letter after letter telling me we were late and that our failure to pay was going to be reported to the different credit reporting agencies. Each time I received a letter, I called and told them of our story and that we were waiting on our paperwork, which is all that I was being told from day one.
November 23, 2009 I received a letter dated 11/17/2009 stating I was one month behind and still in a delinquent status. How could this be after I worked some sort of magic and was able to borrow money from a family member to get our mortgage current with our bank showing that the check had cleared? Again, I phoned CitiMortgage to find out why. I spoke with Ronnie, teller #***** and explained my situation to him and after looking at my account he said to me, “Wow, is shows that you cancelled your loan modification and that it looks like you had a really bad experience working with Citi”, he went on to say that it was clearly a miscommunication from one department to another. He requested that the unapplied funds be applied correctly and that he would make sure that there are no late fees assessed as a result. He provided me with a confirmation/reference number of ********. To this day, November 26, 2009 I am still receiving phone calls from CitiMortgage and I would like for them to stop. I would like for CitiMortgage to clean up my account immediately.
This is my home. This is where I have raised three children who are now 5, 8 and 11. My husband and I have worked so hard to have what we have and for an error of this magnitude, caused by a negligence on the part of CitiMortgage, I am sorry, but that is unacceptable and incomprehensible to me. How can a government program and lenders that offer these programs let the American people down; let me down? These are the programs that are supposed to be there to help families stay in their homes; that have requested assistance as a result of a financial hardship, such as job loss or medical issues?
As quoted by Sanjiv Das, the CEO of CitiMortgage back on April 27, 2009 in USA Today, “Our people are driven by the ability to find innovative solutions, as opposed to doing the same thing we do in good times, “ Das say. “Our mantra to people is very clear: It’s about keeping people in their homes.” Is that so, I ask Mr. Das? This statement is far from the truth from what I’ve seen and witnessed.
How can they (government and lenders) let us go on believing and thinking that everything will be ok, when they know it is isn’t? We are facing one of the worst recessions, and you want us to believe that we are not, with unemployment at 10.2% and 15 million people out of work who are now faced with financial hardships and at risk for losing their homes? And if that wasn’t enough, as a result of CitiMortgage reporting our payment default to the credit reporting agencies, we have received notifications from our creditors that they were lowering our credit limits, raising our minimum payments due and basically making it impossible for us to pay them. It’s a complete downward spiral.
You all should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing this to happen. Allowing the American people to be taken advantage of and mislead by financial institutions. And for allowing it to continue to happen and yes, I am speaking to the lenders and banks that we all helped bail out, to the government officials and their staffs who are still flying the friendly skies on their private jets funded by tax-paying American citizens. While you all are going to the place that you feel the safest at night, your homes, we face sleepless nights and are left fighting and trying to stay in ours.
And, just for the record, because I am sure this will come up, my husband and I were never late on paying our mortgage, car loans, or credit card payments when he was working full time as a Union drywall finisher. It wasn’t until he was laid off on August 4, 2009 that our entire world took a 360-degree turn for the worst. We have made some mistakes along the way, but we have always owned up to them, which is more than I can say for the CitiMortgage organization.
In the grand scheme of things, this may or may not amount to anything substantial, but I will at least go to bed each night knowing that I had stood up for my beliefs, my family, my home and myself. And, to ease your curiosity, we did borrow money from a family member to get our account current, however, December is approaching and the funds to cover an $1800.00 mortgage payment, a home equity loan, food and utilities for a family of 5, we will fall short again.
I would like an apology from Mr. Das, as well as an explanation as to why my loan modification situation was never dealt with accurately, effectively and efficiently by any of the employees representing CitiMortgage. I would like to have some efforts made by CitiMortgage to help us stay in our home, as it is CitiMortgage who should be held responsible for their negligent actions regarding this matter. I would also like them to take the necessary steps to repair our credit by contacting the credit reporting agencies and having their faulty information withdrawn. I would also like to hear back from my government officials as to what they are doing about situations such as mine, or similar. How are you making changes to show support for the American people, and their dreams of owning and staying in their homes in this extremely tough economy? This is not the America I would have expected for myself, and I fear for what this will do to our children in the years to come. It seems that the term “Land of Opportunity”, has become, “Land of Opportunities Lost” and that is putting it mildly.
Please post your comments regarding your experience in dealing with CitiMortgage. I want to see just how many people are being taken advantage of and see how we can take action now to prevent it from happening again and again and again, as well as to find ways to restore what we have all lost. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and learn more about what CitiMortgage has done to me and this letter does not even express the stress and anguish I have experienced in the last three months and sadly it continues because we just received another letter from Citi stating our account is delinquent. Please make Citi just go away!