I am a “homeowner” with a mortgage through Chase Bank. I am writing this letter with no real expectation of change but with a need to express my experience having a Chase Mortgage and to determine if I am a customer who has been singled out and persistently mishandled or if there are others with similar experiences to mine. I am attempting to determine if the policies and best practices of Chase are flawed or if they have been deliberately used to harass me. Hopefully I can explain my frustrations in a way that will allow the person or persons reading this to offer at least an explanation if not an apology.
I will begin at the beginning. In 2001 I was granted a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. I had a husband and two children and two incomes. In 2005 my husband was fired. I was making partial payments not realizing that none of the payments were being applied to the mortgage until I received a call notifying me that I was 4 months behind on my payments. “By the way we do not accept partial payments”. After many forms and phone calls later I was granted a forbearance which in fact made my payments higher. The Homeowners Assistance Dept. was rude in their phone conversations and unreliable when receiving faxes and paperwork requested by them.
Entire files had to be resent due to their claims that they were never received. All payments had to be made by certified funds. The representatives were impatient, uncompromising, and mean when attempting to explain to me how this higher payment was helping me. While dealing with this issue I called or was transferred to (800) 446-8939, (614) 961-3196, (800) 848-9136, and many other numbers to various departments and fax machines. In 2007-2008 I had to begin the whole process again after going down to one income again. Just like before my “help” came in the form of a much higher mortgage payment. For 18 months I had various handlers or negotiators.
I went from a 1500 dollar mortgage to an 1880 dollar a month mortgage. Again I was asked to send in mounds of paperwork that was lost or misfiled more than once and transferred to different departments, placed on hold for 20 minutes or more, disconnected or told “your call can not be completed please hang up”. I was told on more than one occasion that unless I could refinance there was nothing that could be done. Meanwhile as you are making payments according to the “forbearance” on time, with certified funds, you are reported to each credit bureau, every month, as late on your mortgage payment which has been devastating to my credit rating, and also making it impossible to refinance.
For two years, even though I was making the higher payments on time, I was reported late. In 2009 The NACA convention came to my area. I was having a very hard time making the payment each month and I thought there may be some help for me. I gathered up every tax form, paystub, teacher contract, bank statement and every other piece of paper, waited all day, and watched as the bankers from Chase turned each and every homeowner away. In September of 2010, back to a single income again, I applied for the homeowner’s assistance program. I began the process of calling. Each day I got new relationship managers such as Sharon Keys and faxed paperwork.
Everyday I would call to find out what else they wanted such as proof of address, letters stating that my husband was not receiving unemployment. Re-faxing documents every day for various reasons such as box C wasn’t checked on form 4506T. At one point the process was taking so long I had to fax in more current bank statements so that the most recent months were represented. After all of this I received a form letter informing me that I was denied. In that letter it was suggested that I attempt to refinance. As you may know it’s the policy of Chase that if you were behind by 30 days within the last year you are not eligible to refinance your mortgage.
Chase had reported me as late for the entire 18 months. In March of 2011 my divorce was finalized. Throughout that process I was 3 months behind on the mortgage. I began again the process of gaining a modification. Weary from the last attempts I began by gaining a transfer of ownership since I received the home in the divorce settlement. I received the packet in the mail after 3 requests. Completed the forms, notarized and attached the one hundred dollar check. I also requested at this time that my name be changed. I attached a copy of my divorce as well. Immediately I began the follow-up calling after the return receipt came in the mail.
Initially the person I spoke with had no record of the information I sent. After the check cleared the bank I received a letter stating that they were unable to remove or add party on loan. They also would not be changing my name on the loan. I began the phone campaign to speak with someone. I called (800) 848-9136, (800) 548-7912, talked to Brandy (her real name? maybe), (877)314-6359, talked to Ebony Williams. Still nothing on the name change. Meanwhile I am applying for another modification. I called (866) 282-5682, (888) 404-4674, (800) 848-9380, (888) 353-1842 and got to Robert at ext. 322057 who listened and was extremely helpful. He basically talked me off the ledge. I faxed everything to Robert and was miraculously approved for a trial modification. Like a ghost I have never been able to reach Robert again.
Now I am on the modification, my credit is still taking a major hit, and a hail storm puts several wholes in my roof. My insurance company is contacted. They promptly send out a check to me, and you guessed it, Chase bank. Theoretically I could go into any Chase branch to have it endorsed. Wrong. This is Chase bank. They won’t endorse it because I am “behind” on the mortgage. I have to send it in with, you guessed it, a packet of notarized forms. I call to request the packet and it never comes. I call to ask what happened; they give me a website to download the packet. I download the packet send it in with the check.
I call some more numbers and departments to find out that they have rejected one page of the packet because I have “Chase” written where my name is supposed to be written. In the mean time a month has passed and I still have a tarp on my roof. If you’re getting tired of reading this then you know how exhausted I am living it. Every time I call they refer to me as Mrs. Sowell. Not my name. Every paper they send to me has my ex-husbands name on it or requires his signature. He doesn’t live here or have any claim to the house. I can see why people just give up. There seems to be no end in sight with this bad romance I have with Chase Bank.
There is no one “in charge” to complain to and no department who has any clue what the other departments are doing. No phone numbers that get you directly to a person who has any idea about what’s going on with your case. I am frustrated by all the red tape, the bureaucracy, and the bouncing around from person to person and department to department. I am frustrated by the endless hoops that your best practices cause honest people who are trying to do the right thing to jump through. All of this brings me to my original question: Am I being targeted and harassed or is this just the common practice of how Chase Bank operates?