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Monday, March 10, 2014

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FAIL TO MAINTAIN PROPERTY INSURANCE?

UPDATE:  I am current with my mortgage, but now have to pay $3,000 in late fees/interest.  The servicer said I could make monthly payments.  So, I guess it's another two or three years before that's behind me.

ANYHOW, TODAY, JANUARY 14, IF ANYONE IS TRYING TO CONTACT ME, PLEASE BE AWARE I HAVE NO PHONE SERVICE BECAUSE OF A TECHNICAL PROBLEM.  TRYING TO GET HOLD OF COMCAST, BUT IT'S BEEN DIFFICULT.  THEY PUT ME ON HOLD AND THEN DISCONNECT.  MY CELL PHONE IS MISSING - ALONG WITH A WATCH AND DIAMOND RING.  THERE MUST  BE BETTER TIME AHEAD.  - Saundra Raynor


There are times when struggling homeowners are stretched so thin that they don't have the money to pay anything other than their mortgage, food, transportation, and other necessary expenses.  So something has to go.  Often it's delaying property taxes or the homeowners insurance.  Here is what happened to me when I filed a claim with American Commerce Insurance Company for a $30,000 theft of my belongings when I had to evict a tenant who rented my house for a year.  (Will never do that again.)  About a week after filing the claim (the only one I've ever filed in the entire time I paid insurance), I received a cancellation notice.  A few weeks later my claim was rejected.  I was so busy trying to track down the thieves (the family I evicted) that I wasn't able to get other insurance for five months.  When my servicer CitiMortgage, Inc. discovered this lapse in insurance, they notified me I would have to pay insurance which they would arrange (triple what I had been paying) or I had to get my own.  So of course I got my own (which cost even more than what I had been paying with American Commerce).

So in addition to the $1600 a year I now have to pay for insurance, I was charged $1,200 (despite no claim during that five-month lapse), and paid almost $100 a month until it was paid in full (I finally made the last payment last week).

I also made arrangements to pay my 2013 property taxes monthly beginning the end of February 2014.  The Washington state legislature amended the property tax law (last year) to allow delinquent homeowners to pay monthly or quarterly as long as they stayed current with taxes owing for the subsequent (current) year.  It's been a struggle to make the payment for delinquent taxes and save up for property taxes due on April 31, but I have been doing it.  (Now I have to get caught up with my mortgage.  I am one payment behind.

In this state, if you don't pay property taxes for three years, they will initiate foreclosure.  And it's not through the judiciary; it's done on the courthouse steps!

Did you hear about the class-action lawsuit filed in a Florida federal court that arose from Wells Fargo "force placing" homeowners with two insurance companies (Assurant Inc. and QBE Insurance Group) when the homeowners failed to maintain property insurance?  According to HousingWire on March 6, 2014, the insurance companies agreed to repay homeowners in cash up to 11% of the premiums they paid before March 24, 2012 ("a significant monetary relief).  The amount wasn't disclosed (most likely a condition of the settlement).  (They wouldn't want people to think they are greedy with no sympathy for struggling homeowners, would  they?)

The story went on to state that "conflicts arise when banks opt for expensive policies or when they allegedly get commissions from the insurers, and that forced placement or lender placed insurance purchases are not an unusual mortgage servicer practice when the owners fail to maintain insurance.  So be aware.  They are monitoring closely.  The vultures are circling!

"Last week this same judge (Frederico Moreno) that approved the settlement granted final approval to another forced placement involving JPMorgan Chase (http://markets.housingwire.com/housingwire/quote?Symbol=321%3A748628).  Judge Moreno has also ordered an agreement be filed in a separate case against Bank of America

Lastly, Citigroup and Assurant agreed in yet another forced placement suit to pay $110 million to homeowners.  No specifics.

NOTICE:

IMN's Mortgage Servicing Rights Conference is getting underway.  HousingWire will cover the events through two days of panels.  The IMN is hosting the conference as it grows past a $10 trillion market, with an explosion of mortgage-servIcing rights purchased by nonbanks.

(As an aside, Citimortgage, Inc. recently turned over my account to another company, Seterus, Inc.  Seterus just sent me a Notice of Pre-Foreclosure Options.


jrapril@aol.com



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