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Old 08-03-2016, 07:53 AM   #21
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Attorney sent a letter and it didn't phase them. No attorney would take on at no cost due to no big payoff. One was for respa violations but then got scared off because we were too proactive in contacting the cfpb who did nothing to help other than tip off fifth third on what proof we had of wrongdoing.

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If an attorney won't take a case without you putting up money it's a good indication you don't have a case in my opinion. Or, if you insist on "fighting" the good fight then you would need to pay an attorney an up front retainer. That up front retainer would probably be greater than the amount in dispute. There is a lot to be said for moving on with life in these instances. I am not suggesting it isn't a lot of money, as it is, but the odds of recouping that money seem remote. I have heard the saying it is cheaper to buy peace than justice and that may apply here. Good luck whatever you decide.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:42 AM   #22
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There may or may not have been a communication breakdown at the bank. It sounds like they called some numbers that they had on file that turned out to be old. You say you provided them new contact information, which they "failed to update." I don't know how it works at your bank, but every financial institution I have just allows you to update online and it takes effect immediately. I make sure all contact info is current.

Either way, the part that bothers me is that you continued making the old payment when you knew (or should have known) that the amount had changed. When I had a mortgage with escrow back in the 1990s, I knew that once per year in a specific month, the payment amount would change. Property tax and insurance always go up (which you also should have been aware of), and there was always an over/under to be amortized. I got a mortgage statement/invoice every month in the mail (later by email), which included the escrow analysis once per year before the new payment took effect. Escrow accounts are a bit of a pain, but really a pretty straightforward process. Like someone else mentioned, I always had the new payment figured out on my own, long before the escrow analysis ever arrived. Why did you continue to auto bill-pay without confirming the amount due?

You may or may not be able to prove that the bank "failed to update" your contact information or some other communication-related negligence on their part. But I'd estimate that your own culpability in this saga is equal to, or greater than, the bank's. If you lose in court, you may end up owing them even more money. Cut your losses, learn a lesson, and move on with life. I would continue pushing the complaint at CFPB to see if that leads anywhere (probably not) and start working to fix your credit.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:00 AM   #23
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The last house I rented had a similar situation. A process server showed up one night and served a court notice, I accepted and immediately contacted the owner (an attorney) who asked me to open and read it. It was a notice for a foreclosure hearing. Turns out the previous tenants had not paid a $159 cable bill to the town that was part of the HOA covenants (sketchy but legal). Notices, advisories and warnings had been sent to the owner - at the address in question, where the tenant just threw them away. If I hadn't accepted and warned him he might have lost the house. He ended paying >$2500 in fines, court costs and attorney fees. He commented that it was "one of the risks of being a landlord".

To the OP, I think you might consider separating your $1500 claims with FifthThird from the credit bureau impact. Then first pursue just the credit report correction, where you have a stronger case that it is a mistake. Once corrected, then pursue reimbursement for the $1500 reinstatement cost.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:34 AM   #24
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Great reason why I have all my statements emailed to me.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:14 AM   #25
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Way back before the internet our mortgage escrow holder paid our property taxes twice instead of once for one of the half year bills. That overpayment used up our required buffer so when our next annual adjustment came out our escrow amount for the new payment was huge. I knew it was wrong as soon as I saw it but in order to track it down I had to request a full year of transactions and show them what they did wrong.

I love having everything accessible online now. But I love NO MORTGAGE even better!
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:16 AM   #26
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Honestly I am so glad that I don't have to own rental units for income. If I had them, I'd have to deal with mortgages and all the associated baloney. I *DO* like the idea of having an additional income stream for retirement, but this is not one I'd choose. The older I get, the less patient I am with unnecessary aggravation such as what the OP is going through. My sympathies and good luck in getting your credit fixed and so on.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:24 AM   #27
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Im still wondering how you are using a VA loan on a rental that you dont live in. They probably sent a notice to that address about the escrow change, but since you dont live there, you didnt get it.

The VA only requires you to live in the property the first year. I used a VA loan for a home I lived in for four years, then rented out for six more years. It would be ridiculous for them to force you to refinance a home just because you used a VA loan for the original purchase. Who'd police it anyways?


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Old 08-03-2016, 10:38 AM   #28
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Why don't you spend the $ you are planning on paying a lawyer to refinance the mortgage with a different bank or institution. Then you won't have to deal with them, and you might even get a lower rate.
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:04 PM   #29
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We would love to refi both mortgages but thats the other rub...they trashed our perfect credit so were stuck with them. Perfect crime...try to secretly foreclose on house with $100k in equity, if that fails charge the borrower a couple grand and wreck their credit so they can't leave. Our number one goal is fixing credit...then if we can get money back that would be nice. Not sure if we can submit a case ourselves or if best to pay some expert?

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Old 08-03-2016, 06:12 PM   #30
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We would love to refi both mortgages but thats the other rub...they trashed our perfect credit so were stuck with them. Perfect crime...try to secretly foreclose on house with $100k in equity, if that fails charge the borrower a couple grand and wreck their credit so they can't leave. Our number one goal is fixing credit...then if we can get money back that would be nice. Not sure if we can submit a case ourselves or if best to pay some expert?

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Have you checked on your credit score? You say you had perfect credit, so you had an 850 score? What is it now?
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:09 PM   #31
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Way back before the internet our mortgage escrow holder paid our property taxes twice instead of once for one of the half year bills. That overpayment used up our required buffer so when our next annual adjustment came out our escrow amount for the new payment was huge.
Very similar to us. Our Mortgage holder decided to pay both our, AND someone else's property taxes from our escrow account. That emptied our account and put us in the hole. They wanted to increase our escrow to a) make up the difference they fronted us in a few months and b) pay monthly at the estimated new rate. As I recall, if their numbers were right, our monthly escrow contribution about quadrupled. Fixing it was fairly easy since the error was obvious. I have paid our own taxes ever since!
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:16 PM   #32
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In addition to the above, We received a letter from a different mortgage co that our account was sold to them and we needed to make our mortgage payment to them. I thought it was odd that we were not notified by our mortgage co. So a phone call was made. They ( the original mortgage holder) said that they DID sell a bunch of mortgages to the other co. But our mortgage was not one of them. We should keep on paying to them. I never heard from the other co again. I'm sure that they got our contact info from somewhere! Must have been on the data file handed over at the sale of the other mortgages.

You can't trust anyone! It is up to us to keep those big finance co's in line.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:50 PM   #33
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That's why we had our mortgage with our hometown bank, the main office of which (it only has 4 offices) is three blocks from our house. They never sell mortgages to other lenders. So if there was ever a problem, I could just walk on over and talk to them in person. Or I could wait until Sunday and talk to the bank president, who is a fellow congregant at my church. Their mortgage rates were not the lowest, but the ability to deal with them in person, and the ability to support our own community instead of some distant, impersonal financial colossus were important to us.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:20 PM   #34
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Out of curiosity did you send a change of address card to the bank when you moved out? You might also have written them a letter telling the bank the house was now a rental. If you look on the local tax web site what address is shown for the owners?
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:24 PM   #35
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Yeah we were 830's...now it is hard to tell...credit karma says 685. We were waiting to pull until the disputes ended and our normal payment history resumes.

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Old 08-03-2016, 08:39 PM   #36
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Out of curiosity did you send a change of address card to the bank when you moved out? You might also have written them a letter telling the bank the house was now a rental. If you look on the local tax web site what address is shown for the owners?
Not if they didn't want the bank to know it was rental. That may have changed the terms of the loan and might be part of the problem here.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:49 PM   #37
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If an attorney won't take a case without you putting up money it's a good indication you don't have a case in my opinion. Or, if you insist on "fighting" the good fight then you would need to pay an attorney an up front retainer. That up front retainer would probably be greater than the amount in dispute.
Absolutely correct.

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I am not suggesting it isn't a lot of money, as it is, but the odds of recouping that money seem remote.
Well, I will suggest that $1,500 isn't a lot of money. It is not worth all the financial cost of a lawsuit (legal fees aren't cheap). Even if you handle the small claims court action yourself, your time is worth something. And the stress and hassle of any sort of litigation takes a psychological toll that exceeds $1,500 for most reasonable people

As Cobra9777 has already advised, the best thing to do is to put this behind you and focus on rebuilding your credit score.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:08 PM   #38
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To answer...yes we have them new address...they also have the mortgage for our new address. Last year we had to once again tell them to send tax doc to correct address. Their servicing systems are trash...i can go on with details but I get the idea we have to just move on and save our sanity. I dont agree with all the commenters siding with the bank...this in no way should have led to foreclose and credit beating over 100% bank errors and my wife and I not logging in online each month to babysit. We cant monitor everything all the time...one would hope their bank would help them after a laundry list of mistakes were made that led to yhis nightmare but instead treated like garbage.

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Old 08-03-2016, 09:14 PM   #39
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... not logging in online each month to babysit. We cant monitor everything all the time...
Monitoring is your best defense. Yes, it takes some small effort, but there can be great rewards of not having to deal with junk like this.

As someone else mentioned I think, there are set times one would expect an escrow charge change - tax time, insurance adjustments, etc. You would not have to "monitor everything all the time", but checking every few months, or once a quarter or something should not be that big a deal.

It's up to you.

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Old 08-03-2016, 10:24 PM   #40
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I also live in Columbus and have been a Fifth Third customer for over 20 years. Personally they have been the best bank for us compared to the banks we left prior. If I call to complain about a late fee..... they have removed it from my account 100% of the time. Their online banking system is also top notch. JMO. My blame would rest on your renters (if anyone else) in this instance. You might ask yourself if this could ever happen again with this same bank after this gets cleared up? Probably not because you will cover your bases. So what does that tell you?


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