Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pet Peeves

Hello dear reader,

One of the best things about the Internet is that you can get good advice for free. A lot of this comes from sharing experiences. I realize some of these experiences might just seem like endless whining, but its still helpful, even if it is.

In light of that, I have some complaining to do....

CitiMortgage Sucks

Who wants to start the website
I'll be a contributing author. Actually, my story isn't quite as obnoxious as the stories on this site:

But its obnoxious none the less. Most of the incompetence with citimortgage comes from it being too large a company. Banks should be small. You should be able to see and trust the people you give your money to. And they should be small enough to know you well so they know if you are a credit risk for real. If you call Citimortgage, you will get an Indian who, while polite, can not really comprehend what you are saying besides reading off his computer screen. They could just make a computer program to do that and save even more money than they saved by outsourcing to India in the first place.

My story: I got my house back in February 2003, 5 years and one month ago. In 2005, I had the FHA mortgage down to 78% LTV. I called them to have the MIP removed. They wouldn't budge. So I called a few months later. They told me that they couldn't cancel it, that FHA mandated it. I did some research, but I couldn't find much on the subject of MIP cancellation or PMI cancellation with an FHA loan. Then a few days later I checked their website, and they changed it! Now it said that they cannot cancel MIP unless you've had your FHA loan at least five years. I swear they put that up on their site just because I called them about it.
OK, WEll, it came 20 days ago. In February, on the 27th, I emailed them on the link on their site for MIP cancellation, since for the past 3 months they have had a recording on their voicemail that says "if you are calling about refinancing your mortgage, we are experiencing longer than normal wait times, you can log into our website...." I sent in the request for MIP cancellation. I got the response "WE have received your request for MIP cancellation and will investigate it. We will send you a response in the mail in 3 weeks.
3 WEEKS?! Can you believe that! I bit my lip. Waited 3 weeks. No letter came. So I called them today and got a new Indian, well, he was new to English. At least his English was better than my Hindi.

I asked him to check on the status of my MIP cancellation request. He said that You are eligible to request MIP cancellation as of March 1, 2008. Would you like me to go ahead and request this to be researched? I can get back to you in two weeks.
Yeah, so I tried to explain to him that I had already requested it, but he was like a broken record and made it seem like the request had to come after March 1. So I made another request.
We'll see what happens in two weeks.

Update: May 29,2008 - I got the MIP removed! They sent me a letter and they took the MIP off. Well, wonders never cease. They did it a month later than I thought they should. I don't think they would have done it automatically. I think I had to request it after 5 years was up, so when they went to review my request, the 5 years would have already passed.
How hard would it have been for them to review my file in February, and then flag my MIP to be removed for the March bill, given that the February bill went smoothly? I guess with computers and all these days, its harder than ever to automate things like that *note the sarcasm*.
Well, I"m out that $40 for that month, but its too hard to try to get a refund for that.


Anonymous said...

In the 4 years I have had the miserable experience of dealing with Citi group of companies I have had many problems with them. The current situation takes the cake. Wanting to lock in on lower rates, and move away from Citi, I went thru a mortgage broker to refinance. Unfortunately I was placed back with Citi. So - refinanced from CitiMortgage to CitiMortgage. Nothing complex - no money in, no money out - straight refinance.
Citi, in their own very special clerically careless way applied to payoff to the *new* loan instead of the old loan, which has caused a domino effect I’m still living with. Even though I’ve paid May08 and Jun08 pay’ts on time, I was told I was late in May, and now I’m being told I still owe them a June payt. In actuality, since they made the mistake, I’ve overpaid by $52.00 in June, but they are insisting I owe them $566.12 over and above what I’ve already paid. Since, on their online site, you can’t actually logon to your closed loan at all, and can’t see any detail on the new loan, I can’t see what they have done, and no one will explain it to me in a manner that allows me to understand why they think I owe them more money! If they hadn’t made the mistake, I would have made total payments of $1655.12 in June. Instead, due to circumstances, and based on their advice, I paid $1697.12 - $52 extra. Now, because they made a mistake, they think I should pay a total of $2221.24. How does that add up? When I explained I didn’t understand where my money had gone, I was assured that the problem was fixed, but I still owed them money.
As far as I can understand, they applied the June pay’t to the old loan, kept the escrow ($566.12) on the old account, refunded me $1088.50, and then *transfered* the escrow to the new loan, thus shorting me by the $566.12 - so now, I’m going to have to pay $566.12 (plus the amount they’ve refunded me) for June *again*. I’m furious, and can’t get anyone there to listen. Customer service is a fortress - they won’t let you talk to one person, they don’t return phone calls, and the one time I did get someone to give me their name and phone#, when I called back, the phone # was wrong, and no one knew who that person was at the 800# for customer service - so apparantly I was given false name/number. (Stunning.)
This is a brief description of the problems I’ve had - there has been tons of compounding errors on Citi’s part, that is making this harder and harder to get fixed *properly*. Citi does not care at all about their customer. I asked for compenstaion for the 8 hours of time I have spend *so far* on this problem - nothing. I asked if I get interest paid on the overpayment I made - no, I don’t. Yet they will gouge me for every red cent they can.
Contacted my mortgage broker today out of desperation - I need help to get out of this mess that Citi has made. He was stunned that Citi could possibly have paid off the new loan instead of the old loan.
What a mess. I will no longer deal with this company. I will cease using my Citi M/C, and and will refinance this mortgage with someone else as soon as I am able.

Anonymous said...

CitiMortgage Contact Numbers

Use these numbers to bypass the India Call Center:

Mariela (upper level supervisor)
(469) 220-1758

Andrea (upper level supervisor)
(469) 220-1752

Sharon Lorenz
Research Services
Frederick, MD
(800) 777-1708 Ext. 45401

Jon Hill
Research Services
Frederick, MD
(301) 696-5331

The Research Services phone numbers are like gold. If you call and ask for anybody in Research Services you will be told there are no contact numbers.

If you call in through the India call center always ask for an “American Accounts Representative”. Then ask for their supervisor. Demand a call back number otherwise you will be talking to a different person every time you call in.

Document every call. Otherwise they may try to pull something on you.

Be a squeaky wheel. CALL, CALL and CALL. They will always be polilte and say things like “we are working on it” or “we’ll expedite this or that” but DON’T assume they will.

Citi hindi service SUCKS! said...

My situation was different but still pretty crappy in an age when money is hard to come by. In feb i bounced my online payment, i paid their bounce fees and my banks bounce fees, all was well made my march payment online as usual.( i had made online payments only since the miserable SOB's bought my account from abn amro) No problems. In april i tried to pay online and was rejected as having an account restriction. Called the customer service who was no help at all and gave up, finally after the 15th collections calls to remind me i owe them money and i went off on them explained the stupidity of the situation and after three service reps in collection got the hold removed made the paymnet, all was well again until may. Would you believe same restriction pops up again. I call customer service and the useless indian lady tells me just live with it until july when it expires and i will be fine i asked for her super and got another woman who was no help at all got cused out by me and claimed there was nobody higher than her. Ok fine i'll wait till collections calls again, it is nice they call before the 15th so i can avoid a late fee. I make payment once again through collections dept and find out the indian girl that i pissed of extended the hold till oct and they claim they cannot fix it only customer service can. So I complimented them and admitted i was probably the only person on the planet who would rather deal with citi collections instead of customer support. The woman sympathized even chcukled when i explained it in simple terms YOU WANT MY MONEY, I WANT TO SEND YOU MY MONEY, CUSTOMER SERVICE IS NOW MAKING IT HARDER FOR ME TO SEND YOU THE MONEY YOU WANT, DOES THAT MAKE ANY SHRED of sense? BUT Yet we had to bail them out? What a crock of hooeey!

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