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Foreclosure? December 1, 2007

Posted by pf in Expenses and Savings.

I answered the phone the other night to…silence.  I said “hello” a few times, then I said “como esta?” and finally got an answer.  The person asked me in English if I spoke Spanish.  I replied (in spanish) that I did, but only partially.  I then talked in english and the person surprisingly said “Oh, you speak english!”

Ok, we have made a connection…yay!  The person then proceeds to tell me he is calling on behalf of mortgage company, but I need to verify some things before he can tell me what the call is in regard to.  I am always a bit suspicious about these things and ask him to tell me the information that he wants to verify and I’ll tell him if he’s correct.  Of course, we start on a merry go round where he wants me to tell him, etc.  Ultimately, I relented and told him the info….he then says:

“This is an attempt to collect a debt”

Me (inside voice) Say whaaaattt?

“Sir, do you intend to keep your house?”

Me (still inside voice) Who? When? What?

Me (outside voice): Hold on there now, I’m sure there is a misunderstanding and unless something is really awry, I don’t understand why we would be asking me whether or not I’m keeping my house.

Anyway, the short of it is the mortgage company did not receive our payment.  We have it on automatic payment and it did not go.  The reason why is that we had not transferred enough money into checking and it was too big for the overdraft service, so it just didn’t go. Duh.

I told the collection guy we would be taking care of it (he wanted to know when and whether or not we intended to make our next payment…and when).  I started getting a bit amused because I have some collection experience in my background and it brought back old memories.  It’s the standard script.

Well, the next day I called the mortgage company to get the late fee taken care of (which is never cheap when you’re talking about your mortgage – $60 in this case).  After the normal verification process, the customer svc rep asked me “Do you intend to stay in your house”.  I don’t know if I got the exact wording correct, but it was essentially the SAME EXACT thing the collection guy said!

I thought this was a bit hilarious and told her so.  She said that it was just standard procedure as they sometimes had renters, etc.  I told her that I thought it was because of the subprime mess.  Between you and me…I still think that’s the case.  I have NEVER been asked that question when calling my mortgage company…until now.

Anyway, I’ve had my account with them a long time and am a consistent payer, so they waived the late fee as expected.  Although I hate these kinds of little financial snafus (I REALLY HATE THEM), once I calm down, I can see the humor in it all…along with a little reminder of what it would be like if you didn’t pay your bills.

p.s. Never accept a late fee without challenging it first…I’ve had a few, but can’t remember ever actually paying one (all waived with a simple phone call).  Of course, that’s because I don’t make it a habit to be asking. 



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