The Mortgage Shuffle

by Ouida on May 20, 2010

Boy, I never thought I ‘d be writing this one!  This is the story behind the one I thought I was revealing when I wrote the property tax shuffle.  Turns out I wasn’t even close.  Several times this year I have read accounts of banks foreclosing on homes they do not own. With all of the crazy paperwork flying around I now have a pretty good idea of a possible scenario.

First of all, before I go any further, I want to tell you that I am okay and my investment properties are intact.  First the background I bought two neighboring properties via a short sale in 2008.  I didn’t escrow and I explained in Property Tax Shuffle why I avoid escrows when ever possible.

I paid property taxes as per usual in May and followed up with the county treasurer’s office to make sure my tax payments had been received.  It was then that I learned that Chase was also making payments on my property and the account was in surplus.  Thinking that I was being a good doobie and helping someone else, meaning a homeowner whose escrow payments were being misapplied, I called Chase to inform them to stop making payments on a property they do not own.  The customer service rep was incredulous as she took the information.  I thought that was the end of it.  Until today.  Chase called me back to tell me that according to their records they still owned the property and that the owner was Bobbie Tucker (name changed, obviously). I told them that Bobbie Tucker was the person that I purchased the property from and told them the closing date.  I also offered to FAX the HUD statement to them.  I have FAXed the HUD statement and the warranty deed to Chase.  I have also notified my realtor and asked the closer to locate all documents, especially disbursement information, related to the sale of the property.

I seems that Chase never booked the sale. Plain and simple.   Financial institutions got too big during the last boom.  One guy doesn’t let anyone know he approved a short-sale and another guy doesn’t book the sale after it happens and the bank receives the proceeds.  In this case the bank received $107,000 that they didn’t book. Do banks need to be broken up?  Yes, so that people start talking to each other and stop relying on computer screens thinking that what is on the screen is correct simply by virtue of being on the screen.  It never ceases to amaze me that when a large financial institution fouls up, the consumer has to provide the documentation 1) of the mistake and 2) that it wasn’t the consumer’s fault. That is just plain stupid.  I have had a few frustrating financial situations come up.  Good record keeping has helped to sort most of these out.  But shouldn’t being an honest consumer count for something?  I guess not, because the banks are too big and move about too clumsily in the marketplace to care about honest consumers.

So tomorrow I will follow up with Chase to make sure they got my paperwork.  I will also follow up with my realtor and the closer so that hopefully Chase will let go of something they haven’t owned in almost 2 years and we can put this puppy to rest.

Tell me what you think.  Please comment.

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