Back in April 2011 the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency took to task several banks, including Wells Fargo, for “unsafe and unsound practices related to residential mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing.”
The OCC’s “enforcement action” required the banks to “make significant improvements in practices for residential mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing, including communications with borrowers and dual-tracking, which occurs when servicers continue to pursue foreclosure during the loan modification process.”
One of the improvements specified was providing a single person or “point of contact” to guide borrowers through the loan modification and foreclosure processes instead of making people talk to a different person from the customer service phone queue every time they called in.
That’s something Wells Fargo executives had been telling Congress they are doing fore at least a year before the OCC brought it up.
Unfortunately, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage President Mike Heid and his compatriots seem to have lied to Congress and thumbed their noses at the OCC on this issue.
How do I know? Because I’ve recently been assigned my 17th “single” point of contact at Wells Fargo. Clearly someone high up in the company really doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “single.” Not so hot on “contact” either, as I never had any actual contact with number 17, Susan Young from the WFHM Office of Executive Complaints (formerly known as the Office of the President.)
You see, Ms. Young left me a phone message on Friday, June 1, 2012, telling me she was responding to some correspondence I had sent to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf. (More about that later.) She left a phone number and extension and asked me to call her back. Which I did on Monday, June 4; Tuesday, June 5; Wednesday, June 6; Friday, June 7; Monday, June 11 (twice); Tuesday, June 12; Thursday, June 14; Friday, June 16 and Tuesday, June 19.
Over that 19-day period I had no phone conversations with Ms. Young nor did she leave me any more messages. I did get a letter dated June 4, 2012, telling me she was “the specialist who will be your single point of contact while you are working with our office.”
In that same letter, she referenced having called me that same day. And in a later letter she referenced yet another call she supposedly made. She might well have called, but as she neither reached me nor left a message, I have no way of knowing that.
Finally, on June 19, I gave up trying to reach my very own special contact person and just called the Office of Executive Complaints without dialing Ms. Young’s extension. I talked with a very helpful woman who told me, among other things, that Ms. Young had closed my case on June 14, 2012, listing her inability to contact me as the reason. As if she had been trying and trying and I just wouldn’t call her back, right? Wrong. She me left one message; I left her 10 messages over 19 days. Who was trying hard to get in touch with whom?
So, after 10 unanswered phone calls, I take exception to the word “contact.” And after having endured 17 primary contact people over 27 months, I reserve the right to scoff at “single,” as well. Wells Fargo is flat out lying to Congress, to the media and to borrowers when executives say they provide a single employee to help people seeking honest loan modifications and those on the foreclosure assembly line.
Stop lying, Wells Fargo.