UPDATE: Today, October 24, 2015, I filed the following complaint against Seterus, Inc. with the Washington State Attorney General:
I had my mortgage with Citimortgage until February 1, 2014, when it was turned over to Seterus. The statements I get from Seterus are confusing, especially since they forced me into an escrow account for property taxes in April 2015. My usual mortgage (P&I) has been $1,987.35. Since April, I have been paying an additional $250.00 for property taxes (including what they projected I would owe over the next year). Recently (Oct. 2, 2015) they sent a letter stating another change would be made to my escrow account, and said I would know what the change is when they finish their analysis in 30 days.
My income is under $4,000 a month (unless I rent a room - sporadically) and I missed a payment in December '12 or January of '13 and wasn't able to get caught up until September 2015. Now that I am current, they seem to be charging me almost $5,000 in late fees and interest, and I do not know how they compute the interest. The late fees are charged at the rate of $58.56 monthly. The late charges by Citimortgage were a total of $1,192.32 when they transferred my mortgage to Seterus. Plus I'm being charged $13.50 for a drive-by property inspection. I already paid it but keep getting charged for it. They said the payment must have been applied toward late fees.
So, I am being charged $58.56 a month times the 20 months I was delinquent (a rolling delinquency with Seterus). All my payments have been paid by the due date since the one time I missed a payment). This totals $1,171.26. Adding to that the $1,192.32 I owe Citimortgage, you get an amount owed of $2,363.50. Plus whatever amount of interest they are charging me at whatever rate comes to almost $5,000. I would like to know how they compute the interest rate and how much I owe to whom for late charges. They now say I no longer owe late charges for Citimortgage, but I never paid them.
My mortgage takes up two-thirds of my income. I do not see how I can pay the exorbitant late fees and interest they are charging me or when it will end. They are licensed to do business in Washington and all over the country. But I hope Washington will rescind their license considering how they are gouging me and others, in Washington and elsewhere. (See ConsumerAffairs.com for other complaints from others throughout the U.S.)
The person who answered my last complaint is the following:
Consumer and Government Affairs
Their address is 14523 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton, OR 97005. Their correspondence address is PO Box 2008, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-2008. (I understand that is just a PO box.) When I write to them I use their headquarters address in Beaverton.
My loan number is 25459116.
I tried to get information over the telephone, but was unsuccessful. The Customer Service Representative said she didn't know how they computed interest or exactly what I owed in total. I would like a breakdown of what I owe to Citimortage and to Seterus for late fees and interest (and how it is computed) and what I owe for property taxes (need to know what amount they paid and what amount I have paid to date and what amount they project I will have paid or must pay through the next twelve months, or at least by by May 1, 2016 (which will be exactly a year from the time they forced me into an escrow account--it was the end of April 2015).
Your record shows an old complaint to Citimortgage, but that has been resolved. I am considering this to be a new complaint. A copy was sent to the CFPB.
I don't like this mortgage company. I didn't choose them. I would like to know whether I can get another mortgage company. Is it possible?
UPDATE: Another complaint filed with CFPB:
CFPB Complaint # 150929-001841 Oct. 13,2015 8:30 PM
As follow-up to the above-cited complaint, this is to let you know that I am now current with my mortgage, having sent Seterus over $400.00 in September. However, today I received a letter stating they would be making a change to my escrow account (for property taxes) and that I would be receiving an escrow account analysis statement 30 days prior to such a change.
I called Seterus to try to find out what was planned, but no one could tell me why their statement showed I was owing 4,263.94 for interest and late fees when their August statement showed I owed only $2,488.18 ($1,584.03 for interest; $800.65 for late charges, and $13.50 for a property inspection (which I had already paid them). I do not know what happened between August and October except that I paid sufficient money to bring me current. The difference in the two statements is $1712. They are relentless.
I was only one payment behind on my 2013 tax payment plan when Seterus forced me into establishing an escrow account for property taxes. But I was current with 2014 taxes. They forced me to pay an additional $250.00 every month, added to my mortgage of $1,987.35.
They are always manipulating their records and have confusing bookkeeping/ accounting methods which I do not understand.
Please help me. This is very stressful and is causing me to become physically ill, including raising my blood pressure. I just want to know once and for all what they want, how they calculate interest and late fees, and what changes are coming.
Consent to publish the description of what happened? Consent provided
Desired resolution [Edit]
What do you think would be a fair resolution to your issue?
To explain how they calculate interest and late fees. What period of time? How much is owing from previous servicer, Citimortgage and how much is owed to Seterus since they took over the account on Feb. 1, 2014. Also, how do they calculate property taxes for next year when they don't have the rate change?
June 29, 2015
Mr. Mel Watt, Director
Federal Housing Finance Agency
400 7th Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20024
Re: Citimortgage, Inc., Account No. ____________
Seterus, Inc., Account No._________________
Dear Mr. Watt:
I sent you a letter dated May 1, 2013 (copy attached), but you have not responded. I am writing today (June 29, 2015) to tell you the latest action taken against me despite my efforts to keep my home from going into foreclosure.
On February 1, 2014, Citimortgage transferred my account to Seterus, Inc. At that time, I still owed a few hundred dollars to Citimortgage for property insurance they charged me during a five-month lapse (due to problem with a tenant, explained in the attached letter). After I paid off the insurance (no claims were ever made), that left a mortgage payment of $1,987.35, which I have been paying on time every month for the past two and a half years. However, two and a half years ago, around December of 2012, I didn't have enough money to make a payment and skipped that month's mortgage payment. I have been paying into a suspense account set up by Seterus since that time and had accumulated all but about $400 toward the delinquent payment of $1,987 (plus late fees).
On April 30th of this year, I paid my property taes as usual at the county courthouse. The following business day, I discovered Seterus had paid the taxes for me (for 2013 and 2014)and forced me, after that, to pay an additional $239.31 each month into an escrow account for property taxes. Today I discovered they took the money I had been accumulating toward the delinquent payment and put that toward the taxes (do not know whether it was past, present or future property taxes). I was on a payment plan for the 2013 delinquent taxes (about $900 owing) while keeping current with the current year's taxes.
I then had to return to the courthouse to get a refund for my taxes (as Seterus had already paid them).
I was paying taxes on time for the past year+ and do not think they were acting properly when they took my money to pay the taxes I had been sending into the escrow account for the delinquent payment. They took this to pay my property taxes, despite the payment plan I was following. Now I have to start all over again by paying a hundred or two hundred here and there as I have extra income. I also have accumulated to date $2,000 in late fees which I plan to pay once that single delinquent payment from two and a half years ago is made.
I continue to pay two-thirds of my income, which comes from a pension and social security, towards housing costs. Is there anything you can do to help me with my FannieMae-backed loan I look for work, but being over 65 years old, I am not being offered jobs, despite much work experience and a BA degree.
Is there anything you can do to assist me?
/s/ Saundra J. Raynor
Here is what I wrote on May 1, 2013, to which no reply has been made:
FHFA - To Whom It May Concern:
As an "underwater" homeowner, I am writing to ask whether your office is able to provide any assistance with my many attempts to have my mortgage payments lowered.
In February 2013, I was told by Citimortgage that I didn't have enough income (for a modification). I then advertised to rent my house and leased it for one year at $1800 a month to a person who responded to my ad. I sent a copy of the lease to Citimortgage for their review. They then said my income was TOO HIGH and rejected my application. In their rejection papers they stated "excessive forebearance" would be required. I ended up having to evict the family for nonpayment of rent and that, along with stolen furniture and other items, cost me $30,000. The insurance company cancelled my insurance once I filed the claim. The claim adjuster then rejected my claim for theft because I wasn't living there when the theft occurred. I have since obtained a court judgment against the former renter, but have little hope of getting any money from him as he moves frequently.
I am about to apply again for a modification of my mortgage but fear that nothing will help unless I can obtain some loan "foregiveness." Thirty thousand dollars of the $400,000 mortgage represents three refinancing charges of $10,000 each (two by the now-defunct Washington Mutual Bank) when my late husband and I refinanced the house due to his illness. (He died in July 2008, at which time my income was reduced by about 50 percent.)
Is it possible that a portion of my mortgage could be forgiven this year? My income is less than $3,000 a month (from a small pension and smaller social security monthly benefit). I am not willing to short-sale the house at this time or turn over the deed in lieu of foreclosure I want to continue to live here as long as I am healthy. I am unable to handle deferred maintenance because of the excessively high interest charges ($1650 a month).
Although I missed one mortgage payment in December, I have always paid my mortgage on time, despite the fact it takes two-thirds of my income. I pay $l,650 towards interest, and only $350 goes toward principal. Mortgage payments were always on time since we bought the house in 1998. Since 2000, my income has decreased as it is difficult finding work at over 65 years of age.
After my homeowners insurance was cancelled, it took a while to find another company, and because of that five-month lapse, Citimortgage is now forcing me to pay a little over $100.00 monthly for the next 12 months to make up for the lapsed insurance (although no claims were made during the period of lapse). In fact, in my entire life I have never filed a claim against an insurance company.
Any advice you can give would be appreciated.
/s/ Saundra J. Raynor
Here's an update -- a copy of my letter to Attorney General of Oregon against Seterus, Inc made today July 15, 2015:
On the first of February 2014, my mortgage was transferred to Seterus, Inc. from Citimortgage. I was at that time one payment delinquent of $1,987.35. Seterus reps told me I could make periodic payments whenever I had extra money and theywould place the payments in a suspense account and once the payments accrued to $1,987.35, they would apply that toward the delinquent payment and I would be current.
On or about June 30, 2015, I talked to a Marcey _____ who checked with her supervisor Mr.Conkhle (not sure of spelling), and they said I would be current if I made a payment of $2,249.51. This extra amount I thought (from $1,987.35) was for taxes for which they established an escrow account, even though I was on a payment plan for 2013 delinquent taxes and was current with
this year's taxes.
Today, July 15, 2015, I called to make sure my understanding was correct. Instead, I was told by Becky Stephen that my money in suspense was used to pay late fees. They had months ago agreed that I could make partial payments and would apply them to the mortgage principal and interest once I had the entire
amount due of $1,987.35. Beclu Stephen informed me that because they didn't have a letter in writing directing my periodic payments be applied toward the delinquent mortgage, that they had the right to take the money and apply it to late fees.
This company (and Citimortgage and others) uses these methods to keep people delinquent, forcing some homeowners into foreclosure. I believe this why they do this. If you don't believe me, please go to www.consumeraffairs.com and type in mortgage servicers and read the hundreds (or thousands) of complaints.
I think this behavior on the part of Seterus was fraudulent and I would like someone from your office to look into it. They treat hundreds of others the same way (and worse) in that they refuse to accept payments, apply money to late fees or other accounts without permission, and so forth.