Dear ABC News Fixer: Last November, our mortgage was sold to a new servicing company, Ocwen Loan Servicing. We have documented, irrefutable proof that we have made all of our payments to Ocwen on time and in full.
However, two days after we got our March statement showing our account was in good standing, Ocwen sent us a certified letter stating that they had not received a payment from us in three months. They said if we didn’t pay them $9,184.53 by the first week of April, they would initiate foreclosure proceedings.
We are beyond furious.
We have been on the phone with Ocwen’s overseas “customer service” department for hours on end and have emailed everyone from the CEO on down, and have gotten nowhere. I suspect that our credit, which was previously excellent, is now circling the drain. I have researched Ocwen online, and have discovered that they settled a government lawsuit in 2013 for $2 billion.
We have two young sons at home and are by no means wealthy. We are just honest, hard-working people who are being run over by a corporation. Please help!
– Jennifer Martens, North Aurora, Ill.
Dear Jennifer: If Franz Kafka were alive today, we’re thinking this Ocwen story would make a nice plotline: You had your loan servicer unwittingly switched, but you paid your bills. Ocwen’s own account statements said you paid your bills, and your bank said you paid your bills … and then Ocwen said you didn’t pay your bills. And then Ocwen said they could see that you did pay your bills, but they couldn’t make their computer say you paid your bills.
What a headache.
Seriously, though, your account was pretty screwed up. When the ABC News Fixer contacted them about the problem, Ocwen told us they had escalated the case and were urgently trying to fix it.
The good news is you had plenty of documentation showing you had made your loan payments on time. It took about a month, but eventually Ocwen was able to get your account properly credited and remove the threat of foreclosure.
Robert Kaltenbach, director of Ocwen’s office of the ombudsman, told us that everything should be fine going forward, though the company never gave us an explanation for why this happened. You said the story you got was that when they took over the loan, someone apparently inputted the terms into their system incorrectly. From there, it spiraled out of control, resulting in the supposed late payments and $7,098.75 in mysterious added “fees/expenses.”
You are correct that Ocwen has had bigger troubles than this. In March, a federal judge finalized a consent judgment between Ocwen and the U.S. Consumer and Financial Protection Bureau, 49 states and the District of Columbia over allegations that Ocwen deceived consumers about their loans and engaged in illegal foreclosures.
The company did not admit any wrongdoing, but it agreed to provide $2 billion in principal reduction to consumers with underwater loans and refund $127.3 million to consumers who were foreclosed upon. Under the terms of the settlement, Ocwen also said it will adhere to a number of consumer protection measures.
One last note — you said the Ocwen rep assured you that the correct payment history will be sent to the credit reporting bureaus. That’s good. Every consumer should check their free credit report annually at www.annualcreditreport.com.
– The ABC News Fixer