Dealing with a Difficult Mortgage Company

Q: My mortgage company is giving me the run around. I’m in foreclosure but can’t get a straight answer about my options or payment plans.

They say I owe $5,300, but they say I have $2,400 in money that they have not applied and $3,048 that’s up in their system through western union payment that they’re sending back because it wasn’t the right amount. What should I do?

A: My best advice is to keep very detailed records of all your transactions, conversations, payments and all correspondences with your lender. Sometimes, mortgage companies and banks will refuse partial payments.

And rather than cash a check that they deem to be less than the full amount due, they’ll return the entire check. It sounds like something to that effect may have happened in your situation – at least with that roughly $3,000 payment they’re allegedly going to return.

I noticed that the full amount of money in dispute — that $3,000, plus $2,400 that supposedly has not yet been applied – actually equals a little more than the $5,300 that they claim you owe.

I know it’s frustrating to get the run around and to not have clear answers. But I think you really do know (or should know) if you are in arrears or aren’t. You said you’re in foreclosure. And I assume that’s because you’re behind on your mortgage.

Are you behind solely because of these disputed payments, or is there something else going on? If your payment delinquency is only due to these outstanding payments that you’ve made, but have not yet had credited to your account, then I would get some legal help in dealing with this matter.

Reach out to a free legal aid clinic in your area, or turn to a reputable foreclosure prevention group for additional help. One good anti-foreclosure group is NeighborWorks (http://www.nw.org).

NeighborWorks is a national non-profit organization that employs a team of mediators to act as go-betweens for lenders and borrowers. NeighborWorks counselors often work out deals for homeowners. They also run the popular toll-free foreclosure prevention line: 888-995-HOPE.

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