Ocwen admits mistake; refuses to correct it
Don’t you hate it when somebody makes a mistake, and then they refuse to correct it? Of all the ways to demonstrate you have no class, that has to be on top of the list.
That’s what Ocwen Loan Servicing did to one of my clients recently. My client, Tom, saw his business slow way down, and he couldn’t afford to pay his mortgage for five months. Lucky for him, Tom’s business bounced back relatively quickly, and his income was back to where he could afford his monthly mortgage note, plus extra to pay back the past due amount he owed.
The problem, and the reason Tom called me, was because Ocwen refused to accept any payments from him. They wouldn’t even allow him to pay extra to bring his mortgage current. Ocwen was demanding the entire past due amount of several thousand dollars, or nothing at all. And the reason they wouldn’t accept payments, an Ocwen employee had told him, was because his financial information had been entered into their system incorrectly.
Being self-employed, Tom had been required to submit a profit/loss statement for his income. The Ocwen employee told Tom that someone inaccurately entered his income as $16,000 per month. In reality Tom only made $4,500 per month. The P/L statement covered three months, but the employee who took his information thought it only covered one month. Thinking Tom made all that money, Ocwen refused to let him pay back the arrears little by little, which makes sense; I’d demand all my money back too if the guy who owed me was rolling in dough.
But here’s the thing that made me want to punch a hole in my cubicle. That wasn’t the case. Tom didn’t make sixteen grand a month. The person who took his information just made a mistake reading his statement. And even though they acknowledged the mistake, this company was refusing to correct it.
We called Ocwen to see if they would be reasonable. The conversation that followed was enough to make you question the future of the human race. The representative on the phone told us that yes, Ocwen did misinterpret Tom’s income when his information was received, but afterward Ocwen had implemented a policy not allowing repayment plans for anybody.
“But sir,” I began. “You had his information before your new policy went into effect, and you made your decision to deny him a repayment plan based on a mistake you acknowledge your company made. How can you not address and correct your mistake?”
The rep simply told us nothing could be done. So we tried to work our way up the managerial chain, speaking to a supervisor, and then a manager. As we got higher up the chain, each person seemed to understand the situation less than the one before. Also, the foreign accents got thicker with each successive person. The last person we talked to, the manager, told us that not only would they not accept payments, they were going to start foreclosure unless Tom paid the entire back due amount..
“My God,” I said. “If you order a pizza with pepperoni, but they give you anchovies, they take it back and give you a new one with the right stuff on it. How can you foreclose on this man’s house, after you made a mistake with his file? Especially since he has enough money now to pay back the arrears he owes. He’s not looking for a handout.”
But the manager just repeated that foreclosure would begin in two weeks. I advised Tom call a bankruptcy attorney to see if that would stop the sale of his home, which Ocwen seemed set on doing.