This is our experience, and how we fell into the subprime market from which we are very near foreclosure. You tell me who is the victim:
In an issue of the Portland Oregonian in late 2001, there was a small 4-5 paragraph article buried in the last pages of the front part of the paper. It spoke of a high level security employee of US Bank that was gathering evidence to present to the FBI regarding US Bank account and Branch managers. Apparently, they were selling names of consumers who had accounts to certain Cinci, Ohio Consumer Finance Division?s loan officers. Aggressive sales tactics were employed to recruit potential loan applications in which somehow dummy accounts were established not to the benefit of the person applying for a loan, rather those who were behind the scheme.
The US Bank security person who uncovered this scheme never did submit her documentation to the FBI, because she apparently decided to suddenly retire, and conveniently was unavailable for comment on the story. It never went nowhere. I consider myself as one of the victims of the scheme here 6 years later still have not found any closure nor justice.
It is unfortunate because I had not learned of this article until 3 maybe even 4 years after it had appeared in the Oregonian. Had I known, perhaps the outcome that personally tore this family to shreds may have been avoided. There was an accounts manager at my local Scappoose, Oregon branch that pursued me to refinance to the point of being totally annoying, so much so that I would not even go into the branch, opting to either going to a different branch or banking through the ATM. The most extreme was one morning while at the ATM, this individual saw me and came outside to ATM to once again ?sign us up?.
Strange? Perhaps not except for the fact that it was during a torrential downpour.
The owner of the company my wife was consulting for had some issues with a competitor over patent rights or something along those lines, and decided to retire and dissolve the company. My wife, being tired of traveling and being away from home decided to go back to a firm on a salary basis, the consequence being a drastic reduction in income. That is not to mention the coinciding terrorist attacks of 9/11 and consequences that rippled through the economy that affected my business.
Finally, we succumbed to the pressure and gave permission to this accounts manager to forward our name to the Consumer Finance Division. Of course, we were investigating our options with our lenders and such, but none pursued us on a daily basis as did the loan officer from US Bank, promising this and promising that. The heavy handed sales tactics and pressure clouded our better sense, because we lost sight of all the problems we had at the local level branch level. Tellers posting to incorrect accounts resulting in bounced checks and overdrafts, I mean it was constant. If we are guilty of anything it is moving forward with US Bank on a refi, given all the problems we were already having.
It was after one of these ?mispostings? that I had gone to see the same accounts manager that doggedly pursued us, to correct the tellers mistakes and set our personal accounts correct. We walked through it, he saw the mistakes made and promised that it would be taken care of and to stop in tomorrow if it was not done yet. The following day nothing was corrected and so I stopped in and to amazement this accounts manager was gone for good. I was told that he transferred to a location closer to his home, which I found very odd because he was from a rural area, more so than Scappoose, and this was a considerable step up for him. Just like that, overnight, he was gone. This ?disappearing? act, I would come to learn over the years to come is a tactic used to keep consumers at bay. After discovering the article in the Oregonian, I went back through my records and checked for timeframe. Turns out that the day that the article was published was the same day I had met the accounts manager regarding the mispostings. Coincidence? It is one of those questions that never has been answered.
We were given assurances, verbally, time and again, that we were all approved for this refi and that was holding it up was the appraisal and if it would come in high enough. Once that was done, we would essentially be done in a couple of days. That was nothing more than deceit, lies and simply keeping us on the line of their hook. The appraisal was done and we were well above where it needed to be and we assured it would be wrapped up by Christmas of 2001. Christmas came and went with nothing done.
We were getting very concerned as estimated business taxes on my wifes consulting and my business we rapidly coming due. We were going fall 7800 dollars shy and part of the disbursements from the refi were going to cover that. It became apparent that this was going to drag through past the 15th of January and we were furious that all their promises had been unfulfilled, yet we had come this far and to start all over someplace else was just unthinkable at this point. Our loan officer suggested that we find someone to lend us the 7800 and that she would personally secure a note with that person to the disbursements funds, in essence guaranteeing payment back to this person.
I asked my mother in Cleveland Ohio and she agreed to lend the money, everything else was handled by the loan officer. She contacted my mother and explained that she would have some sort of document that would secure her name to the disbursement funds. As we are in Oregon, the funds needed to transfer via Western Union. This loan officer went as far as walking my mother step by step on how to do so. The note that guaranteed repayment that was promised never did arrive, nor for that matter did the refi.
People look at me when I tell that part of the story as if I am an idiot, a liar or a bad storyteller, and who is to blame them. Afterall is totally outlandish. Preposterous, absolutely so, but totally true. Is it in writing? Of course not, US Bank puts none of their promises in writing, only what they can screw you with, not what would screw them.
However, phone records and transference of fund records, and my mother don?t lie. We later came to find out that this scheme was concocted by the loan officers supervisor. I call that fraud.
Finally, on morning in mid February 2002, as we walking out the door to go and sign the paperwork finalizing the refi. We get phone call from our loan officer. She tells us that their has been a stipulation added that simply destroyed the whole deal. We were told that because of my wifes short time at new place of employment and my being unemployed suddenly had caused concern as to whether we should be loaned money to. Never was this even a concern to them prior. We later came to find out that it was a concern long ago and that they had farmed us out to other lenders and they found one in a place call Greenpointe, but never shared that information with us, as a matter of fact it was deliberately held from us. All the while we were being told everything was hunky dory.
The stipulation for approval is again something that people look at me as if I am idiot.
I am in Architecture and I designed and built our home. It sits on a slight downslope because of that there is a basement area that is known as a daylight basement. I designed it as such so that in the future it could be modified into living space. However, that would be under a separate building permit and was for all intensive purposes is deemed as nothing but a crawl area. US Bank and Greenpointe decided in their infinite wisdom that in order to get the refi we would now have to make the daylight basement livable.
In other words, we would have had to obtain a building permit, bring in rock and pour a slab over, and additionally insulate and drywall the walls at a cost of 15,000 ? 20,000 dollars. That did it that was the final straw, to which we walked away very, very angry. We felt like we were raped. On top of that our loan officer told us not to pay the mortgage payment to Washington Mutual, that she had it worked out with them with all these prior delays and that it was all taken care of. Na�ve our part? Absolutely it was, but this is their business, a consumer should be able to put trust in that. For that we were very very stupid.
In the early part of 2002 the lending practices were still rather strict and we found ourselves not being able to get a refi anywhere. No one would touch us because of a past 30 day on our mortgage that showed up on our credit report. It did not matter what the reason was.
Our intention to adjust our finances to our personal and economic changing times was destroyed. The stocks we held and the savings we had all withered away to keep pace with what had become financial chaos. I was determined to fight back because I believed in justice and truly believed that we mattered. I came to find out that we do not matter. I filed a complaint with the OCC, and they contacted me back asking me to send them all the info I had so they could review it and proceed further. They even told me to fax it as opposed to mailing my docs, as it would find its way quicker into their hands. I did that, on a Sunday evening. I faxed about 150 pages if not more, and the following day I called to ensure that it was received.
I was stunned when the gal on the side of the line admonished me for having the nerve and stupidty to fax that many documents. I asked them if they were going to review and she said that they do not have time to pour through that many pages and that they wrapped it all up with a cover letter and sent it to US Bank. As I understand it in a civil matter I am not obligated to provide the defendant with discovery. Any chance of that happening went right out the door when the agency designed to protect me as a consumer
Did just the opposite.
If you have ever missed a car payment then you know that the calls come daily if not 2 or 3 times, and that?s what my life became. A balancing act, paying the mortgage one month and skipping other ones and then the following month doing the opposite, all the while the credit report overall number divebombing. Being a one person office those calls came to that phone line. Every single I made it a point that I was going to find justice, and I called the 800 number of US Bank, never speaking to the same person twice, and being bounced all over the country to get nowhere. While at the same time I was also receiving phone calls from their collections department looking for the payment on a second that we had with them. I exaggerate not when I say that in a 1-1/2 year period I spoke with over one thousand different US Bank personnel, and the small handful that took an interest in my pleadings for help would disappear??be transferred. To this day, I am still appalled by that.
The day that the refi fell apart, and after we were done screaming at the loan officer she had faxed me a copy of a field review that was commissioned by US Bank, which is common practice, but nonetheless a document that is to be used in house and not privy to us, the loan applicant. Their was so much emotion that day that it did not occur to me until long after a statement that she had made to me, and that was that ?you did not get this from me?. In an effort to shorten an already very lengthy letter, what it came down to was that the person who did the field review was not licensed to appraise our particular zone or type of estate property, as we sit on 5 acres.
It took about a week of spouting off about the appraisal when all of a sudden, after months of getting nowhere, I suddenly find myself taking a call from The President of Consumer Finance. Which is just another long story ending in corporate America screwing the common man and getting away with it. I would love to share my whole story with anyone willing to listen.
51923 Mountain View Road
Scappoose, Oregon 97056
posted 5 years, 3 months ago
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