Customer Service certainly isn’t what it used to be…So apparently my second inquiry online with Countrywide regarding my Mortgage Insurance got some notice.

I received a reply! I received a reply! And it only took a few hours! How about that?

Here’s my original inquiry from July 16 that they never responded to:

Hello!

I’m wondering if my PMI will be dropped automatically when my Loan to Value percentage reaches 78%.

I recently broke the 80% threshold and requested that PMI be cancelled, but received a letter asking for me to pay for an appraisal to make that happen. I didn’t find that an acceptable offer so now I plan to hit the 78% mark.

The law states that once the 78% mark is reached, the mortgage company is required to cancel PMI and I just wanted to make certain and verify that that is the case — without me having to schedule an appraisal or spend additional money out of pocket to make it happen.

Thanks very much!

Never got a response. So yesterday, as detailed here, I tried again:

Just thought I’d try this again since it’s been more than 1-2 business days and I haven’t yet received a response.

I’m wondering if my PMI will be dropped automatically when my Loan to Value percentage reaches 78%.

I recently broke the 80% threshold and requested that PMI be cancelled, but received a letter asking for me to pay for an appraisal to make that happen. I didn’t find that an acceptable offer so now I plan to hit the 78% mark.

The law states that once the 78% mark is reached, the mortgage company is required to cancel PMI and I just wanted to make certain and verify that that is the case — without me having to schedule an appraisal or spend additional money out of pocket to make it happen.

Thanks very much!

A couple of hours pass, and wham, they respond with:


Posted 07/22/2008

Reply : Dear Brainy Smurf:

Thank you for your recent Internet inquiry addressed to the Customer Service Department.

As per our records a PMI deletion letter has been mailed to you on July 09, 2008 asking for the Certificate of Value to confirm Market Value and LTV Ratio. You are requested to either fax or mail the appraisal report for further research.

You can fax the Certificate of Value at (805) 520-5019 or mail it to:

Address:
Countrywide Home Loans
SV-314B
P.O. Box 5170
Simi Valley, CA 93062-5170

Thank you for communicating with us electronically; we appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance.

OMFG! Thank you, Captain Obvious…

Yep, that is true that I requested PMI deletion on July 9.

See, the thing is, I KNEW THAT ALREADY!

I even went so far to predict that this was going to be a long drawn out hassle.

So, I respond with:


Hello again!

The response I received today didn’t actually answer my question — just stated what I already knew. I am fully aware that I requested PMI deletion on July 9 when I reached the 80% threshold.

The PMI deletion letter arrived and asked that I schedule and pay for an appraisal of my home. To me, this was unacceptable, so I will not be taking that route. More hassle than it’s worth — even though $130 is a very reasonable fee for an appraisal.

My question now regards whether or not the PMI will be dropped when I reach the 78% LTV ratio. As I understand it, at that point, the law requires that the PMI be dropped based 100% on the original value of the home — NOT the current market value, which is obviously higher anyway — I just don’t want to pay any extra to prove it.

I’m asking now if that is indeed the case — when my mortgage balance dips below $109980, will the PMI will be dropped without any appraisal fee required?

Thanks much!

Seems pretty simple, right? Just looking for a yes or no answer. Right?

Overnight, they responded (I’m now impressed with their response time — though it took them awhile to get going…)


Posted 07/22/2008

Reply : Dear Brainy Smurf:

Thank you for your recent Internet inquiry addressed to the Customer Service Department.

Our records indicate that we have requested the escrow review department to mail you the list of requirements if it is eligible for PMI deletion. Please allow 7-10 business days for receipt. If you should require any additional assistance, please contact our PMI Department at (800) 669-9092.

Thank you for communicating with us electronically, we appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance.

So much for a simple yes or no answer… This is like a Presidential debate. They totally dodged my question. Sheesh…

I’m all but certain that this apparently too-confidential-to-have-online “list of requirements” that they’re mailing me *still* won’t answer my question simple yes/no question.

In fact, I’d bet it’s the exact same letter they mailed me back on July 9.

Looks like I’ll be camping out at the mailbox waiting, again, for Countrywide to respond (and swindle another $85.15 from my account).

Sigh…

(Oh, some may wonder why I don’t just pick up the phone and ask a customer service rep… Reason is, I want this in writing, or email, or online on THEIR message center. In the past, this has saved me a lot of trouble when it comes to billing disputes. Playing he-said/she-said has *never* gotten me far. And if I do pursue this all the way up to a complaint with FTC, I want all of Countrywide’s claims in writing.)

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