clifty_man (clifty_man) wrote in bad_service,
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Mortgage Servicing Problem

 I have a mortgage (a little more than a year old) with CitiMortgage. My real estate taxes are supposed to be paid out of an escrow account. Last November, I noticed that they had paid the wrong tax amount to the wrong county. Ever since then, I have been trying to get the error corrected, with absolutely no result. I finally thought I had done things that needed to be done (most of which CitiMortgage should have done) and sent them the letter behind the cut.  (Hope this works.)

 

 31 May 2009

 

CitiMortgage, Inc.

Attn:  Tax Department

P.O. Box 23689

Rochester, NY  14692-9991

 

Reference:  Account Number 200XXXXXX

 

Subject:  Nonpayment of Real Estate Taxes for 2008 from My Escrow Account

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

On my Statement of 12/04/08 (Attachment 1), I was informed that $352.51 was paid for county tax on 11/12/08.  Since I knew this was the wrong amount (the correct amount was $2649.21), I called the 800 number and talked to someone (in India, I presume).  I was informed that this amount had been paid to the Collector in County 1.  While, Post Office is in County 1, I live in County 2.  After my protests that this was the wrong amount to the wrong county, I was informed that definitely my real estate taxes had been paid.  Checking later with the County 2 Collector, I found that my taxes had not been paid.  Calling the 800 number again in 2008, I was again informed that my taxes had been paid.  Checking again with the Collector, I was told not only that my taxes had not been paid, but that no-one from CitiMortgage had ever contacted the Collector about my taxes.

 

I called again and received the fax number of the CitiMortgage escrow department.  I gathered the information together and faxed it to the escrow department on 12/18/08 together with a request that my taxes be paid.  A subsequent check with the Collector revealed that my taxes still had not been paid.  I called again and was requested to re-fax the information, which I did on 12/30/08.  Still, nothing happened, and the Collector mentioned that she still had not been contacted by CitiMortgage.

 

After calling several more times, I received at least two letters from CitiMortgage informing me that they were conducting research into the matter and would need more time.  Nothing ever resulted from these letters.  Neither the Collector nor I were ever contacted.  By now, the penalties were beginning to mount up, and I was subject to legal consequences for nonpayment of the taxes.

 

Finally, on a 3/11/08 call to the escrow department, I was transferred to a supervisor (Jonathon) who said that the problem was that the tax had not been apportioned.  (I live on 80 acres, but only 20 is on the mortgage.)  I asked him to solve this problem and get the taxes paid.  He said he would call the County 2 Collector and find out what the taxes were and get them paid and that CitiMortgage would pay any penalties.  He promised a seven-day turnaround.  I checked with the County Collector after that period and she said that the taxes still had not been paid and that no-one had contacted her.  After giving an additional period for the taxes to be paid, I again contacted the escrow department on 5/14/09 and again talked with a supervisor (Ritu).  She said that the problem was still that the tax had not been apportioned.  I said that the difference in the tax between the 20 acres on the mortgage and the whole 80 acres was very small and that since the money in the escrow account was mine, I requested that the tax bill for the 80 acres be paid from the escrow account.  She said CitiMortgage could not do that.  I requested that CitiMortgage send me a letter explaining what must be done and who should do it.  She said CitiMortgage could not do that either.

 

Subsequently, I went to the County 2 Courthouse and visited the County Collector (being informed once again that no-one from CitiMortgage had ever contacted her about my taxes) and the County Assessor.  I got them to make two tax bills, one for the 20 acres on the mortgage which contains the house and other buildings and one for the other 60 acres.  The taxes were $2622.92 for the 20 acres and $26.28 for the other 60 acres.  The tax bill for the 20 acres is enclosed, and contains a penalty of $520.66.  The parcel number is 17-2.2-09-000-00-0001.00.  The County Collector is ...  Once again, I request that CitiMortgage pay my real estate taxes for 2008 from my escrow account.

 

This brings me to the escrow account.  I received an escrow account analysis dated February 13, 2009 (Attachment 2), with an escrow surplus check to me of $1943.80 and showing an increase in my escrow payment of $10.57.  While this sounds utterly stupid to me, I don’t know the intricacies of deciding an escrow payment.  The important thing on this analysis is the item showing that $352.51 was paid in county property taxes.  I had already determined from talking to a CitiMortgage representative that this money was paid to County 1, rather than to County 2 where my property is.  I think what happened was that the tax bill for the property before my house was finished was paid to the county where my Post Office is.  The County 2 Collector tells me that probably what happened is that the County 1 Collector, seeing that the parcel number did not match any County 1 parcel number, sent the payment back to Citimortgage.  Be that as it may, I have repeatedly requested that that money be drawn back or found and put back into my escrow account.  So far, that has not happened, and I suspect that nothing has been done.  This money needs to go toward paying my County 2 taxes.  Once again, I request that this money be drawn back or found and put into my escrow account.

 

I notice from the Internet that CitiMortgage has had trouble with other customers in paying their real estate taxes.  I see also on the Internet that there are complaints that CitiMortgage is being bailed out with taxpayer (of which I am one) money, but service to their customers is still faulty.  I hope that this letter will help you put things right for me, before I’m forced to move on to other courses of action.    One way or the other, I’m going to get some action.

 

Sincerely,

 

Customer who has run out of patience.

 

 

 

o toward paying my County 2 taxes.  Once again, I request that this money be drawn back or found and put into my escrow account.

 

 

 


Sadly, the letter has had no effect.

Edit:  Citimortgage has paid my property taxes (and apparently paid the penalty also, although I haven't checked with the County Collector yet).  I found out that they had paid property taxes in another county using a legitimate, but erroneous, parcel number.  So they paid someone else's property taxes out of my escrow account.  I am after them to refund the money to my escrow account.

I really appreciate the helpful comments from everyone.  Thank you very much.
Tags: *banking/finance, also try consumerist.com, helpful comments, letter to
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