Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Flagstar Bank = Anger and Frustration

Right now I am shaking with the adrenaline associated with wanting to punch someone in the face.  I just got off of the phone with Catherine, a Flagstar representative, and I honestly cannot recall the last time that I felt this angry.  No, I don't want to inflict violence upon Catherine, although she was the least caring and sympathetic person that I've talked to at their company (and I've talked to quite a few over there in the last several months).  I just want to punch Flagstar in the face, if only it had one to punch.

Since losing my job in September, I have attempted to apply for forbearance with my mortgage company, (any guesses who they are?).  Yes, I know they will be doing me a big favor by granting me this.  Because of that, I also think that it should not necessarily be an easy process, as the the purpose of this option is to help me avoid foreclosure.  So I don't mind if they want to make me work for it, at least in the sense of proving that it's needed and providing them with the documentation that they need to thoroughly review my situation.  I get that.  It makes total sense to me and I'm comfortable with spending the time and making the necessary effort on my end.  And finally, I think they should only grant forbearance after applicants follow their procedure, and meet their guidelines.

So if that all makes sense to me, and I sound pretty rational and understanding about the whole thing, then why am I so angry?

Because I have been attempting to complete the application process for over three months now, since September 12th.  I have cumulatively and literally (yes, I know what this word means) spent days on this effort.  I have gathered documents, compiled financial data, composed letters, and printed, copied, and faxed more than 150 pages to them.

I've learned enough from previous mistakes in my life to keep track of details in projects such as this, so at the very beginning of my effort I generated and have been consistently adding to what is now a 7 page Word document.  This document lists every date that I've worked on this process, along with almost every document that I've faxed to them on these dates (some are listed elsewhere), every phone call I've made (time, date, person I spoke with), and every suggestion/request that I've been given from their representatives.

Yet I have not successfully traversed their obstacles, despite having attempted to do so three times so far.  Why?
  • There is no publicly available list of documents that must be submitted to them for this process.
  • Each representative that I have spoken to has a different understanding of which documents they need to receive. I have been told "all you still need is .... for it to be opened", but then still had it closed.
  • There is no publicly available information informing applicants how to fill out these documents.  I have had different representatives give me different information about this, specifically for the Profit and Loss statement and for the 4506-T form.
  • They don't always receive the faxes that I send in and/or they do not process them in a manner that is timely enough to avoid closing the file.
  • There is no one to complain to, as the representatives refuse to transfer you to a manager, or even another representative that you had previously spoken with.  They refuse to even give you information on how to file a complaint.  All they will do is input your complaint into their system, where I feel confident it will be completely ignored.
So now I have been told to submit a new application package.  In short, to start all over again for what will be the fourth time.  But why should I believe that submitting another package of documents for opening my case of forbearance will have any different result than before, after being denied three times already?  Keep in mind that I have been denied this not because I don't meet their circumstantial requirements, but because I have been trying to hit a moving target in the form of being consistently (although I do not necessarily believe it was intentionally) misled about what documentation is required of me and how to fill out that required documentation.

I now have a decision to make - to give up the process and let the chips fall where they may, or to spend (waste?) the time required to generate and gather the list of documents that I have most recently been informed about.  If I attempt to accomplish this yet again, the odds are highly in favor of another frustrating disappointment.

Despite the unlikelihood of success though, I will proceed with another attempt.  Because I am only in control of what choices I make.  And whatever happens with our mortgage and our living conditions (in the event of foreclosure), I can still take some solace in knowing that at least I did my best.  Whether I am able to avoid that worst case scenario though, still remains to be seen.

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