Published at Chicks on the Right, June 12, 2013
PNC Nightmare. Anyone Have A Similar Experience?
I got this email from a follower yesterday, and thought it was worth sharing just to see if others out there have had similar issues?
Dear Chicks on the Right,
I am writing you this email not for personal gain or for help from your followers but for a warning to other current or would be homeowners with mortgages financed through PNC (formerly RBC), National City Mortgage, and any other FHA lender. Let me start out telling you that I am a teacher in North Carolina (a state that has not given its teachers a raise in almost 6 years (well that’s not true some of us received $50 a year raise) and a state where everything from bread to gas has increased drastically over the last 8 years.
I bought my house in 2006 with an FHA loan financed through National City Mortgage. My mortgage was sold before my first payment was ever to be made to RBC due to good credit (something that is now nonexistent thanks to the following chain of events). I paid my mortgage every month ON TIME and in the rare event IF there was ever any doubt that it would not be received on time (there was no RBC anywhere close to my daily routine) I would always call and let them know and I always willingly paid the late fee even if it was 1 day late. When RBC was bought out by PNC, at first there were some minor glitches but nothing major. These small glitches included the former RBC mortgage customers not being able to pay online unless we banked with RBC, new account numbers that seemed to sometimes be accessible, to having to call and pay ourmortgages because it took almost 2 months more past their estimated time that all of the RBC customers would be able to access our loan information.
Eventually I was able to access and pay my mortgage online through PNC’s online bill pay. Now remember I said I am a teacher and usually I plan for the summer but with inflation etc. I was having to work summer school in order to pay my August mortgage. We were paid 5 days later than we were supposed to be due to an overlook in payroll. I found out the day that my pay check was supposed to be deposited into my checking account. I took the initiative and called PNC and told them that I would be paying both August and September’s mortgages when I got paid. At that time for some reason PNC had my home phone and cell phone numbers incorrect and I gave them the correct ones (this part is important for the upcoming events). Well I went online to pay both mortgages, however, apparently only 1 payment went through (because they forgot to note my account that I would be paying both). I went on each month there after paying my mortgage, which I usually had paid at the end of the month before the month that it was due. In December, I paid my normal mortgageamount and assumed because I had not heard from PNC that all was fine. Apparently the payment that I paid in December that I thought was for January was for December. I was mistaken.
In February, my boyfriend had planned a getaway for Valentine’s Day to…wait for it…Washington DC. We were unable to find a PNC branch at first near where we were staying and so I went online to the PNC website to pay my bill. However, since they had updated their bill pay system, I was unable to pay through the server Safari as I have a Mac and not a PC. So being the responsible homeowner, I went online to get the address to send the my mortgage payment to through my bank. I went online to my bank’s billpay service and the address that was there for PNC Mortgage was a different PO Box number but the same address. So I used that and paid my payment and thought nothing of it. About 5 days later, the electronic check sent to PNC by my bank was cashed and withdrawn from my checking account. All seemed well and fine. Well in March, I paid my mortgage payment the same way, but the day that PNC cashed my check and withdrew it from my checking account, there was a deposit of the exact same amount and so my running balance did not change. We assumed that since no one had contacted me by mail, phone, or email, that everything was fine and that that had been a mix up. I paid my April payment and then I got a letter in the mail April 3rd from an ATTORNEY saying that PNC was foreclosing on my house that I was 5 payments behind. Needles to say my heart dropped, and I picked up the phone to PNC.
At first, PNC was nice and helpful. They asked me to email them the copies of the canceled checks. On the back of each check was the date and time that PNC/Citibank cashed my check. I am thinking at this point it is just a mix up and will be rectified very quickly now. Boy was I wrong. Within 2 days, I had been told the following: 1. I never paid, 2. they don’t know what happened to my payments, 3. they were going to have to do some research, 4. they would take the payment for the 2 payments at the time that were in limbo, 5. no, they couldn’t do that since my loan had already been turned over, 6. the correct mailing address was in Atlanta, Georgia for mortgages in NC, not Carol Stream, Ill (now this was from the supervisor I had been emailing and talking to for 2 days at this point), 7. in an email 3 hours later that the correct mailing address was Carol Stream, Ill., 8. that they would not accept payment unless I agreed to pay their lawyers fee, 9. to talk to the lawyers to see if they would waive the fee, 10. the lawyers say that only PNC can waive those fees because they are contracted for a certain amount, 11. that they had tried to call and contact me but they had the wrong number.
As you can see, the run around was worse than a merry-go-round stuck at high speed. So I called a good friend of mine, an attorney, to help me out. He has me get him all the paper work that I have including emails and canceled checks. He begins to call and gets the same run around that I got, including lies that I never contacted them, spoke to them, or paid them. They began to back pedal when he gives them names, times, dates, etc of the contacts and checks. Then he is told to speak to the lawyers, they tell him to speak to PNC.
My attorney advised me to pay the 3 payments that were in question but not to pay any other fees. Of course I sent a check in the mail because I was now given the correct address right? Well no….that check mysteriously never makes it and is never cashed so I paid the fee to stop payment on it. I paid my May payment ON TIME because my attorney and I are thinking that a threat of a law suite will clear this all up…but NO. Today I get not only a letter from the attorney for PNC saying they are going ahead and filing for foreclosure BUT I also get a paper check from PNC for my May payment saying it was refunding it because my account had already been turned over.
Needless to say the havoc that this has played on my credit is unexplainable and even though we are disputing it, it will take up to 90 days to clear it if PNC does not challenge it. My mortgage payment is less than most people’s car payments that I am sure I help pay for because many are on public assistance and I know this because I am a teacher and many of the students on free and reduced lunch at my school have better cars and phones and ipods than I do. However, I don’t have a few thousands of dollars to pay PNC off. The stress is ridiculous and I feel like I am being bullied by PNC and their lawyers to pay them off or face lengthy and embarrassing public court records.
The reason that I am sending this to you is this. Through my own research, I have come to know that apparently PNC has done this to several other home owners (just do a google search of “PNC Fraudulent Foreclosures” and sit back for several hours of good reading) and that what they have done in the past is hold those mortgage payments in a separate fund to earn interest and then report it to the federal government who then turns around and pays them my mortgage payment because it is an FHA and housing authority backed loan for each month that they say they don’t get my payment.
To me this seems to be nothing more than another example of the federal government taking from those who work and do the right thing and give to those who refuse to work or obtained mortgage loans fraudulently, etc. Now I am lucky enough to have a good friend who is an attorney and is willing to work on this for free however if not, I honestly do not know what I would do. I suppose I would scrounge and find a way to scrape up what I don’t actually owe in order to prevent my house from being foreclosed on and having to file bankruptcy and ruining my credit.
I want this to be of a cautionary tale to others that if their mortgage is of any of the the FHA loans designed for teachers and other public servants to STAY AWAY and to stay FAR FAR AWAY from PNC. As my attorney found out, PNC is an institution that is practicing some questionable practices and procedures which may actually be criminal but proving it is going to take some time because they are backed by the Federal Government which is nothing more than what seems to be communism in the highest form.