Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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What Is Happening with Your Mortgage?

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Paying attention; keeping track; having a basic understanding of financial matters are important when dealing with your lender.

Lately, I have experienced some problems with my bank, that I feel is a mark of poor customer service. Some issues may be that the bank is trying to increase their earnings. Like many people, I guess that I am on edge about my finances , and I am concerned about the economy. When I obtained a bill for a mortgage payment that I had already made, I was wondering what happened to my payment. Was I going to have to pay again? What would happen if the original payment was then cashed?
    I discovered that my original payment was taken out of my account on the first of the month. I had never received a bill like this previously, so I was thrown from my normal. Did the mortgage company intend for me to feel this way? I could have rushed out another check. I mentioned this to a friend, and he related an issue that arose with his own mortgage. He really did fall behind by a month, and he was under pressure to pay. He worked out a payment option where he would pay an extra three hundred dollars per month to pay the missing payment. After a while, he found that he could not pay this extra payment, so he called the lender to see what the ramifications would be. Nothing, he had already paid back the missing payment; the lender kept adding the extra payment though. He worked out that it should be removed, but this did not happen until he called.
    I had the situation where I incurred an overdraft charge on my account. The problem: my account had not been short of funds, so why would I be charged? When I called the bank, the representative immediately agreed that the charge should not be there, but my call is the reason for the charge being removed. My point to you, dear reader, is not that lenders are big bad businesses. Rather that your financial health is in your own hands. You have to monitor your accounts and question that which you do not understand. I think most of these charges from lenders/banks are done by automatic programs when they are triggered. No one is really monitoring if the charge is necessary.
   The basics of financial knowledge are not hard, but maybe we are not teaching them anymore. I remember once when the computer system went down nation wide at a firm where I was working, I was the only manager in the entire country to turn in my inventory report. No one else knew how to do a manual inventory. The process was not hard; it was out of the norm. I feel that this is happening to many homeowners when dealing with their own finances. If you see something that you do not understand, ask why. Sure, there could be a bank representative who will give you a hard time (try using online chat to resolve a problem- that never works for me), but in general, they will help.

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2 Responses to “What Is Happening with Your Mortgage?”

  1. Maria G. Villenas Says:

    Sharpening the Saw. I had something happen with my bank where I found that I was short less than a dollar on my checking account, they bank still paid my debit, but they charged me $35 overdraft fee, I had no clue until I went to deposit again and checked my balance before the deposit. I had been charged twice an overdraft fee for the same debit. I asked why and the teller says, “because you did not come in to pay the first overdraft fee.” I thought “well I don’t get paid daily.” Needless to say, this was not explained to me when I signed on with the bank, neither was it on the info I got. I’m still looking for it on the packet the bank gave me. And just so you know. that bank is keeping a very low balance for me and their debit card is no longer in use. I was already ticked off that they offered $25 sign on bonus for me and the person who referred me, yet… it’s been almost 3 months since I signed on, and no cigar. I was told later that it takes 90 days to get the $25. That part was not advertised. You would think big banks would have better ethics, but apparently they got big for a different reason–ripping off. I’m leaning much more toward the plain old Walmart card. End of story.

  2. Hello Maria,
    thanks for commenting. That situation really does show poor performance and judgement on the banks part. About ten years ago, a friend of mine went to work in a bank. He was shocked by the poor customer service training (I had been responsible for some corporate training, including customer service at that time). When they were rolling out a training program, he came back to me for some ideas. He was quickly made a trainer by his bank. When I encounter various banks now, I see the same old problems arising, and the banks/lenders do not always seem to grasp that public sentiment is against them. These automatic systems need fine tuning, and the public face of the bank, ie the employees, needs a better sensitivity towards their clients.

© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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