Fangless Mediator: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
by Deborah from St. Louis, MO
Ask Kate about mortgage news regarding Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): Ironic, isn't it, when the watch-dog of the financial industry is forced to delay changes to the Truth in Lending and Real Estate Settlement Procedures acts because they missed deadlines with Congress, the irony being that CFPB will fine lenders for not adhering to dates...
Ask Kate: Where'd the Money Go After the BIG BANKS were Fined for Mortgage Abuses! How Do I Get Compensation? By Deborah from St. Louis, MO
Where's the Money the BIG BANKS were Fined for Mortgage Abuses?! How Do I Get Compensation?
Two years ago, you helped me so much by providing extremely helpful information. Thank you.
I had been struggling to stay in my home of 18 years back then - through job loss, sickness, taking care of my daughter and newborn grandson - submitting 14 different applications to modify/lower my payment to the notoriously ruthless, greedy, and totally INCOMPETENT big bank who held my mortgage.
According to them, they never received a complete packet from me before a deadline. Absolutely ridiculous!
In spite of all the promises to help from the CEO's office, the bank actually increased my monthly payment by $400, and then transferred my loan to another company. THIS bank also promised to help me, and I submitted at least 4 apps to them. As with the other bank, they 'lost' docs, something was always missing.
Long story short, I had been ill - back and forth to the hospital - and my sister's house, who takes care of me. Had been in constant touch with the brain-dead so-called 'dedicated loan specialists' (had six in less than a year) to confirm that my home was not in foreclosure. They stated no, it WAS NOT. But if, in fact, my home WAS going into foreclosure, I would be sent a packet letting me know when that would happen, when to vacate, and other information that would alleviate the stress of transitioning.
I lost my home back in December - they didn't help me. Heck, they didn't TELL ME! Came home, got my mail from the mailbox, went to open the door - and my key didn't fit. 'They' had changed my locks without notifying me! Two months prior, I had received eight notices from attorneys of the bank stating that my home would be auctioned on December 10. BUT, as I stated earlier, I was in CONSTANT contact with the bank, who gave me the impression they were yet trying to work some'n out for me!
Well, sad and crying, I went back to my sister's house - just around the corner from my home. After the locks were changed, I called the bank, and they told me to call their attorneys. I called the attorneys, and they said to call the bank. I again called the bank - and this was over a course of DAYS trying to get someone on the phone/waiting/being transferred to 'dead zone' numbers/talking to brain-dead associates - which consumed HOURS sometimes.
Once I got an associate on the phone, he told me that my home WAS in foreclosure, but there was a code on the back of the lockbox which I could use to open the door to get my things. After telling the associate that I NEVER received the promised info from the bank about foreclosure, he stated that a packet of information WOULD be sent to me, which would indicate the exact date I should be out of my home. From that date to this, the packet never came...
I went back around to my home a couple of days later to get mail and see if I could get in to remove my things. No number was on the lockbox as I had been told. In fact, it wasn't a lockbox at all. They had replaced the lock, and bits and pieces of my lock lay scattered on and around the porch.
Called the bank two days before my home was sold at auction on December 10, and they yet pretended they would stop the sale. I got sick again. Christmas came and went. New Year's. I would drive by my home of now 20 years, standing empty, and that I could no longer get into. Checked county records and the house was still in my name. Never received any information about when I could get in to move my things.
A few days after New Year's, I went to pick up mail - and Oriental people were moving things out of my house! Some things lay on the lawn, and they were putting other things in their van. A large dried plant I kept from my father's funeral 21 years ago was sitting on the porch.
Barely able to walk, I went up to the young man and introduced myself. He was very nice, said he had bought my home at auction, and looked at me sadly when I started crying. I told him I'd been in my home for 20 years. He took my hand and brought me into the house, where he introduced me to his lovely wife and her father, who kept bowing, and their sweet little son. Beautiful family.
I looked around, reminiscing. I'm glad I took pictures over the years to capture the beauty of my home, inside and out. But now, my things were scattered all over, and I could barely see through the tears as I went through the huge, stuffed trash bags they said I could look through - trying to recover some of my things. My deceased mother's fancy hats I collected over the years were now dirty and salvageable. My collection of LPs and 45s - GONE. My Smith-Corona word-processor - not to be found.
I asked if they happened upon a pile of old books I had kept from my elementary school years, 50 years ago. I told them that after all, one man's trash is another man's treasure. The young man apologized, but said they had been cleaning out the house for nearly a week and remarked what great shape I kept my home in.
A lot of my precious belongings were gone. A manuscript I was keeping on computer discs - GONE. A notebook of poems I had written over my lifetime was undoubtedly tossed. Wearable clothing and shoes - GONE.
Copies of my published book were about to be tossed. I was able to retrieve them, along with some bible story books, Disney books and tapes from the garage that were my children's when they were toddlers. But I became tired of looking through the bags, realizing that it was useless. My heart is YET aching because I'm discovering that more and more of my precious belongings and keepsakes are lost.
I had contacted the CFPB months before to report perceived abuses, and discovered the organization is little more than a fangless mediator - only ensuring that the financial institution 'address consumer concerns'. And I take it that the term 'address' in my situation meant only another long letter, full of meaningless BIG BANK jargon.
Kate, what can I DO to get these villains, to make them PAY ME for everything they've put me through - the anguish, frustration, the turmoil, the HEALTH challenges that have arisen because of them? Not to mention the LOSS of so many personal things, and items of such sentimental value that can never be replaced.
As always, thanks for your help.
***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Kate's Answer: Where'd the Money Go After the BIG BANKS were Fined for Mortgage Abuses! How Do I Get Compensation?
Thank you for writing back. You probably notice that I included a picture of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau taken during my recent trip to Washington DC. I actually thought of you as I opened the CFPB door and stepped inside.
I know you've written and re-written your elected politicians earlier in your journey
, before losing your home. Regardless, I hope that you will send this letter to them.
I also hope you will consider contacting the media to tell your story. I believe it could be a comfort to other homeowners who were not able to hang onto their homes during the initial housing crisis
as well as those currently in the struggle.
Please keep in touch,
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