Countrywide Home LoansI knew it.

I knew it!

I knew that canceling PMI wasn’t going to be easy. I just knew it.

And I’m pissed.

Here’s the letter I received from Countrywide’s Mortgage Insurance Department yesterday:


Thank you for your recent inquiry about deleting the mortgage insurance on your Countrywide home loan. Your loan must meet current mortgage insurance cancellation requirements for this to occur. Please allow us to explain what this involves.



The current value of your property must be equal to or greater than the original value of your property at the time the loan closed for the PMI to be deleted. The original value of your property means the lesser of the sales price or the appraised value at the closing of a purchase loan, and the appraised value at the closing of a refinance loan. A Certificate of Value (COV) is required to determine if the current value of your property is sufficient to meet this requirement. Your noteholder requires Countrywide Home Loans to select your COV provider. You will be responsible for the cost of the COV. Before you send a check or call to provide credit card information for you COV, we would suggest that you try to verify that the value of your property meet the above mentioned criteria.



If you choose to continue with the COV ordering process, simply complete the form at the bottom of this letter and return it with a check made payable to Landsafe Appraisal Services for $130.00. You must reference your loan number and write “COV Fee” on the check. Please do not include the COV fee along with your regular monthly payment. It must be sent separately.

Landsafe w ill [sic] contract a local Broker or Realtor to perform the COV, which will include an interior inspection and photographs. The Broker or Realtor should identify himself or herself and indicate that he or she was contracted by Landsafe. If he or she fails to do so, please ask. Our department will then review the COV and if it is determined that it adequately supports at least the original value of the property, your request will be approved. The insurance will be cancelled and your payment adjusted accordingly.



Because of your timely payment record, we are able to consider your request; however, please keep in mind that any late payment may prevent cancellation.

If you do not take action within 60 days, please contact us at (800) 669-6607 to confirm your continued eligibility.

We look forward to receiving you COV soon so that we can take care of this matter for you.

Requirements are subject to change.

This letter supersedes any previous information that may have been provided to you.

So, basically, they want me to pay them $130 even though I’ve met the criteria required to cancel PMI. I get it.

“This letter supersedes any previous information that may have been provided to you.”

Yep, it must.

I understand that the housing market is down and that mortgage companies like Countrywide are struggling but it was pretty clear (even on Countrywide’s website) that PMI cancellation could be requested at the 20% mark based entirely on the original value of the home. I’m past that mark.

While $130 really isn’t that much — my wife says it’s a great deal — the idea of paying them more to tell me that my house is worth more than it was 6 years ago doesn’t sit well with me.

Neither does taking time off of work to have a realtor come over and tour my house with a camera. The Fair Plan insurance inspections I’ve been subjected to are more than enough… Yeah, maybe I have privacy issues, but it’s really not cool to be forced to let strangers (essentially un-invited) poke their heads into your closets. And then demand money.

Heading over to the Federal Trade Commission’s website, on the subject of Private Mortgage Insurance they state:

For home mortgages signed on or after July 29, 1999, your PMI must – with certain exceptions – be terminated automatically when you reach 22 percent equity in your home based on the original property value, if your mortgage payments are current. Your PMI also can be canceled, when you request – with certain exceptions – when you reach 20 percent equity in your home based on the original property value, if your mortgage payments are current.

One exception is if your loan is “high-risk.” Another is if you have not been current on your payments within the year prior to the time for termination or cancellation. A third is if you have other liens on your property. For these loans, your PMI may continue. Ask your lender or mortgage servicer (a company that collects your payments) for more information about these requirements.

None of those exceptions apply to my loan. Not one.

My mortgage was signed after July 29, 1999. It’s not high risk, it’s current, and there are no liens on my property. No re-fi’s, no HELOC’s… Nothing…

Perhaps I should file a complaint with the FTC? That would probably be an even bigger hassle. You’d think that what the FTC says would “supersede” anything Countrywide says about the matter… You’d think…

But now I’m wondering if Countrywide will drop PMI without question at the 22% mark — where it’s supposed to drop automatically. While I’d prefer not to send the additional funds towards the mortgage right now, that mark is just around $2500 away. Do-able.

But if, at the 22% mark, they still come back with this exact same form letter, well, I guess I’m not sure what I’ll do then, but filing a complaint with the FTC will definitely look more attractive.


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  1. You’re not along. I received the same letter and am in the same circumstance with my loan. The other problem is what if the COV actually comes in with a value lower than your original value. In that case, it does not say what happens. Can you still get rid of the PMI? What is the new criteria? It sucks. What can we do to these crooks?

  2. I have a house that I sold in 2002 and didn’t think nothing of it. I have a Line of credit that I have been using and paying since Jan 2002. I just realized that the thing is attached to my home I sold in 2002. I investigated more and realize now that the bank never recorded the line of credit on the property till 5 months after I sold it, and 11 months after I received it.

    So basically its a home equity line of credit, I closed at the title company and inquired when I closed if it was attached to my home, the lady there told me if its not recorded then its not a lein on the property.

    I am not sure what to do, I have a $50,000 loan thats attached to a property I sold back over 7 years ago???

    Whos at fault it? Whats going to happen? Should I notify the bank?


  3. Guess what! My COV came in below my original value, despite 2 other realter comps coming in 23-28% above the original value (originally intended to sell). In order to remove the PMI CW/BofA says I can send in the extra needed to get the LTV down to 20%.

    Notice the clause “Your noteholder requires Countrywide Home Loans to select your COV provider” Countrywide and Landsafe Collusion/Mortgage Fraud? – I think so.

  4. I recieved the same letter and have been stonewalled by Bank of America. They are making statements which I believe are in violantion of the fairhousing act of 1998. and definetly not what I was told at the time of signing of the loan docs.

    The people to start the process is Comptroller of the currency administrtor of National Banks:

    I would at least file a complaint to show that their practices are unfair if not illegal.

    Bank of America has had many lawsuits, and have lost, due to the incompatance of their loan servicing practices and I wouldn’t be suprised if they are playing the odds that we won’t persue this.

    Also, the appraisal office is part of B of A, so they get you both ways.

    They have also been called a rip off by many at Ripoff Report:
    Submitted: Monday, August 06, 2007
    Posted: Monday, August 06, 2007

    If you recently had an appraisal done on you home by Landsafe Appraisers, for Countrywide Homeloans out of simi Valley CA, and the appraisal came back GROSSLY less than comparable properties in your area especially on the east and west coast (NY, NJ,CA, etc.), so low that the LTV ratio doesn’t qualify you for waiver of the PMI premiums then tell me your story, because after meeting all the requirement as establish by RESPA and making ontime payments foe 3 years Countrywide has resorted to predatory practices to keep people like you and myself for ever leaving their financial plantation. The overseer of this plantion is Landsafe Appraisers.

    I say this because, once you satisfy the ontime payment requirements stipulated in your closing documents, as i said in my case after three years of on-time payments, Countrywide will ask you to pay for the bullet (appraisal) with which they will deny the waiver of you PMI premiums.

    This denial is probably based “Low Ball” appraisal tactics (uncomparable comp’s; fradulent use of establish methods of evaluation of property, tangible and /or intangible factors,. anything to stop you from refinancing your loan with someone else, or in my case getting ride of PMI payments so that you can pay down your principle. they really do this if you have what they call risky loans.

    In my case a low rate interest only loan. Please post your stories involving same or simular experiences with Master Countrywide Homeloans and Overseer Landsafe Appraisers

    Jersey City, New Jersey

  5. I’m in the exact same situation and I’m a bit ticked off at both Countrywide (now Bank of America), having paid down my mortgage to 78% of the original mortgage value. I’m concerned that the value of my condo has gone down a bit due to the market meltdown.

    What ended up happening in your situation? Did you file a complaint with FTC or did you pay the $130 and got the PMI removed after all?

  6. I have recently had an appraisal for PMI removal. My new LTV raito was at 73%. Well Fargo says I am not eleigible for removal because although I have made 15,000 in improvements they must be structural. Meaning that I increase the size of my home by adding on a room. The fact that there were holes in the walls, ceiling and no floors. This was the reason for the lower apprasial in the first place.

    Now, they say none of that counts.

  7. @ Brainy Smurf –

    Thanks, I read up on your latest blog to see your latest updates. 🙂

    Unfortunately, I’m at the exact same situation as you. I’m already down to 78% of the original loan value, but they won’t cancel it without a COV. Else, I’ll have to pay PMI until probably around 2016 (or some good number of years away).

    Had I known that removing PMI was such a hassle, I would’ve just done a piggyback loan instead. Refinancing is costly as well, not to mention that the value has probably gone down a bit due to the RE markets.

    Since I’m paying an extra $95/month, I will do to the COV to see how far off the numbers are. If it’s not that far off, I plan to pay off the difference just to get rid of the PMI. I’m just super ticked off the Countrywide and BOA for making the process so complicated. I’ll post updates when I have more info, as the cost savings are worth pursuing.

    Good luck to you as well, if you choose to continue with the PMI battle!

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