Tags Posts tagged with "PMI – Mortgage Insurance"

PMI – Mortgage Insurance

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    Confusion and FrustrationBack at it. On Sunday evening, I submitted another online inquiry to Countrywide:

    Hello, I’ve called customer service twice and spoken to three people this past week, all of which have been unable to answer my questions:

    1. Does Countrywide acknowledge the Homeowners Protection Act in regards to the automatic cancellation of PMI.

    2. At what point will the PMI on my account be automatically cancelled. I’d like a specific date please.

    Please answer these two questions for me.

    Not holding my breath on the response to this one.

    By the way, thanks for all of the emails of encouragement over the past couple of weeks!

      3 2411

      Countrywide Home Loans
      The more I think about my conversation with, well, I never caught her name, but the more I think about the entire discussion yesterday, the more I wish I’d at least gotten a solid answer to well, anything.

      Does Countrywide acknowledge the existence of Homeowners Protection Act?

      From what I can tell, no.

      Does a scenario exist where PMI is automatically terminated?

      Again, it doesn’t appear so.

      Had yesterday’s conversation gone differently, even with the same negative result, I think I’d still consider myself a satisfied customer.

      Unhappy, but satisfied.

      I mean, had she said something along the lines of, “Yes, Mr. Smurf, you have indeed reached the required loan to value percentage, but PMI will continue until the date that your original amortization schedule would have had you reaching that percentage. By the way, would you like to discuss refinancing options?”

      Yeah, that’s still a BS response, and still a rip-off, but at least it would have been some solid information. All I have now is a bunch of jumbled worlds — COV, market conditions, however, and Smorf…

      This morning I’m going to try the online customer service method again asking bluntly, “Is Countrywide aware of a law called the Homeowners Protection Act?” and “At what date will my PMI be terminated automatically.”

      I’ll also ask them not to send my another letter in 7-10 days. And I’ll also ask that that they not ask me to call customer service again. I’ve spoken to three people and no one has answered my question.

      5 4082

      Ben KenobiYep, this PMI cancellation thing just isn’t going to happen.

      Apparently the Homeowners Protection Act never existed.

      The idea of PMI automatically cancelling on it’s own is complete fiction.

      I made my call this afternoon to Lisa — who, if you recall, asked that I call back to check on the status of my request. She had given me her direct line.

      I called the number. Six minutes on hold and then the call dropped.

      Hmmm… This isn’t looking good already, I thought.

      I tried again. This time I was on hold for three minutes and woman named “Willa” answered. Hmmmmm… Willa didn’t sound one bit like Lisa.

      She asked if she could help, so I anxiously told her that Lisa has requested I call back to check in on the status of my PMI cancellation. Willa put me on hold.

      A minute or so passed and she came back on the line, “Mr. Smurf, our records indicate that a letter with further instructions to cancel mortgage insurance was mailed to you on August 27 and you should be receiving it within 7-10 days.”

      “Really? Well, I’ve already received that letter three times,” I responded. “I know what it says and that’s not what I’m calling about. See, Lisa said that she had emailed the MI Deletion department and that she’d likely have a response for me today.”

      “I’m not sure why she would have emailed them, I’ll transfer you — please hold.”

      I began to pace. I tried to rock out to the hold music but it wasn’t working. Nine whole minutes passed. Four extra seconds too. Yes, my phone at work is freakin sweet.

      Finally a woman’s voice spoke to me from the other end.

      I had to confirm my name and account number and SSN again. She spoke softly and had traces of an Asian accent. Had I not been on hold for so long, I would have hung up and tried again. I hate soft-talkers. Always have, always will.

      I didn’t catch her name, unfortunately, and she apparently didn’t catch mine either as she addressed me as “Mr. Smorf” three times in the first 30 seconds and for the duration of the call.

      I explained my whole situation again and guess how she responded?

      Yep, more nonsense about submitting a request to the MI Deletion department (isn’t that who I was just transferred to?) at which point a letter will be mailed to me detailing the blah, blah, blah…

      I calmly explained that I’d gone through this process multiple times already.

      I just wanted to know why my PMI hadn’t been cancelled.

      I explained that there is apparently a provision in my original mortgage agreement that states that once I reach 22 percent equity or a 78 percent loan-to-value percentage, PMI is supposed to be terminated automatically. That hasn’t happened. Why?

      She stammered a bit, I couldn’t understand (or hear?) her, and then she put me on hold.

      I fully expected to be disconnected.

      But then she came back.

      “Mr. Smorf, your current loan to value is 77 percent, however, a COV certificate is required in order to…”

      I cut her off and said, “The law is pretty clear — the loan to value is supposed to be based on the original property value at the inception of the contract. You just said that my loan to value percentage was at 77 percent. That number would be based on my original property value which, by law, means that I shouldn’t be paying for PMI anymore.”

      She stammered again and repeated what was obviously on the computer monitor in front of her — “However, um, market conditions are such that, however, LandSafe will have to conduct an appraisal but you, however, shouldn’t send the payment along with your regular mortgage payment.”

      What? “Yeah, that’s not what I’m calling about.”

      I told her that I’d heard all of that before.

      She then began to tell me that “the appraisal is only $130 and with that, PMI could be cancelled.”

      “Could be? Or would be?”, I asked.

      She stammered a bit and then responded with, “A real appraisal is usually over $300.”

      Yeah, see, I don’t care.

      I bought my house before prices skyrocketed. It hasn’t dropped in value. My tax records show that — and Countrywide pays my taxes for me.

      Even the neighbor from hell has their house on the market for $192k. My lot is bigger, my house is bigger, my house is, well, it’s just nicer. Even using that dump’s price, which is much lower than mine is worth, my $109k balance clears the bar by a good 30%.

      Market conditions? You want to talk about market conditions? Well, apparently, for customers like me who actually pay their mortgages each month, the current market conditions only benefit Countrywide. I have to pay additional fees when the market tanks? I don’t remember signing up for that when I bought my house.

      Sure, your business is in the crapper, but you know what? That’s not my fault. That’s not my problem.

      And hold on, the law and my mortgage both reference the original purchase price — NOT the current market value!!! Why are we discussing this?

      I didn’t say any of that, but continued to vent and argue my case.

      I even laid out a scenario as an example — my current balance on the mortgage is $109k. If next week, I submitted a payment of $108k, would Countrywide still not cancel PMI.

      “That is correct, Mr. Smorf.”

      “So, I could, infact have a balance of under one thousand dollars and I’d still have to pay PMI each month?”

      “Due to market conditions, however, a COV, um, investors are, however, at 78 percent, um…”

      That was the response. Can you believe that?


      “So, PMI will never be cancelled automatically, is that what you’re saying?”

      A long pause… “That is correct, Mr. Smorf.”

      I went pretty crazy at this point.

      I even started talking to the point that I needed to take a breath but I didn’t stop to take one. My palms were clammy. I even had to wipe my brow. That never happens.

      I asked if she was kidding — I mean, I had to.

      When I finally allowed her to get a word in, she suggested that I refinance.

      I told her that refinancing costs even more money than an appraisal. I don’t need to refinance. I’m perfectly happy with my rate. I don’t need to cash out and I don’t need to lower my payments.

      I just want my PMI cancelled which, according to the law, is supposed to be automatic and FREE!

      She then went back to her script saying, rather, she went back to reading that a COV certificate was mandatory due to market conditions.

      Every third word or so, she’d use the word “however”.

      If I had to write a transcript, it would real like Caitlin Upton’s “uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as” response in last year’s Miss Teen USA pagaent. Seriously.

      I responded that I, quite frankly, didn’t care about the current market conditions. That’s Countrywide’s problem and not mine. My mortgage agreement was for a 30-yeard fixed rate mortgage with PMI to be dropped at the 78% mark.

      I then bounced another scenario off of her…

      What if I had made this request, and this phone call, two years ago, you know, before Countrywide essentially screwed themselves over to create the current “market condition”.


      She didn’t have an answer.

      It was an awkward moment. And it lasted, oh, maybe 10-15 seconds.

      Wow, I was actually acting like a certified arsehole. This was a new feeling for me.

      As the silence continued I thought she’d hung up on me…


      “Yes, Mr. Smorf, however due to current market conditions…”

      Wait a minute — I basically just got out of you that this actually has nothing to do with “market conditions”… This is apparently standard policy for Countrywide Home Loans. And how is it that they can just ignore the law like that?


      I was at the point where I realized that I wasn’t getting any further today so I tried to wrap it up as politely as I could.

      I thanked her for her help — though my tone was less than sincere — and told her that I’d research my options, though she provided me none, and call back at a later date.

      She went back to her “script” and sheepishly asked, “Are there any other concerns I can help you with Mr. Smurf?”


      Then, in apparent closing, she said that “Countrywide appreciates your business and…” well, that set me off again…

      “Wait a minute. No, you don’t appreciate my business. I pay my mortgage payment every damn month. I’m not the reason for the current market conditions you speak of. I’m not calling about some hardship I’m facing or to re-negotiate the terms of my original loan or crying ‘woe is me, please don’t take my house.’ I’ve been asking Countrywide to hold up their end of the original deal for nearly two months now and I’ve gotten nothing but a bunch of bunk. I’m the ideal customer, and you know what? Yeah, I am a little bit upset about the situation Countrywide has put me in — not that you hadn’t noticed.”

      “I understand Mr. Smorf, however…”

      “No, however nothing. You’re screwing over your best customers by ripping them off. I am being ripped off. To the tune of $85 per month, I am being ripped off. How dare you ask me about refinancing with Countrywide. Really, why on earth would I give a company that rips me off any more business that I need to? And you know what? I am going to be a thorn in Countrywide’s side until this matter is resolved.”

      She apologized for the fact that I felt that and I ended the call. In case you’re wondering — no I didn’t hang up on her.

      Of course, I was just blowing off some steam.

      I’ll be honest. Hefty Smurf, I am not.

      Richard BlumenthalI’ll probably just end up paying the $130 for an appraisal but before that happens, you can bet that I’ll send a boatload of nasty messages their way, file a complaint with the FTC, and pass along the details of my ordeal to Richard Blumenthal, the Attorney General for the State of Connecticut.

      What’s that? You’ve never heard of Richard Blumenthal?

      Well, make a mental note, someday you will see his name.

      When it comes to Attorney Generals in this country, he’s the biggest badass around making national headlines on a regular basis. I’ve heard he uses Jedi mind tricks as well. Not sure if that’s true, I’m just sayin’…

      And not that he’ll pursue this, but he’s already sued Countrywide once and he’s the type that likes to pile on.

      Even if a letter written by a junior staffer full of fluff threats arrives at Countrywide’s door with Dickie B’s return address on it, well, it’ll get some attention. Of that, I’m sure.

        1 2598

        In acknowledgement of the DNC taking place this week, here’s LBJ sitting on hold with customer service.This afternoon I printed out all of my documents, got myself all pumped up to bestow my plight to an actual person, and dialed 1-800-669-9092.

        I took a big deep breath as I awaited a voice on the other end.

        “Thank you for calling the Private Mortgage Department. If you’re calling about a PMI deletion letter you’ve received, press 1.”

        Great. An automated system…

        Beep. I pressed “1”. I guessed was about a PMI deletion letter I’d received. THREE TIMES!

        A few bizarre clicks and a few computer whisper tones later, I was connected to Lisa who asked if she could help me.

        “Yes, I’m calling to try to cancel my private mortgage insurance.”

        She asked for my name, account number, and the last 4 digits of my SSN. Easy enough. Then she put me on hold.

        As the seconds became minutes, I began to pace. I tried to get into the funky acid jazz muzak I was being subjected to, but the anxiety I was feeling made it slap bass more annoying than anything else.

        Click — Lisa was back. She explained that she’d submitted a request to the MI Deletion Department and that I’d receive a letter in 7-10 days with further instructions.

        Wow, where had I heard that before?

        I’m pretty sure she thought her job was complete…

        Now, I didn’t turn on the rage. I just politely said that I’d thought that I’d already received that letter three times and then detailed to her that I’d submitted this request three times already.

        I went on to say that it was my understanding that once I’d reached 22% equity in my home based on the original value that the PMI would be cancelled automatically and that it hadn’t happened yet.

        She put me on hold again.

        This time the muzak had more of a country-rock sound to it. Really, it was like wimpy Lynyrd Skynyrd. Then it faded into the funky jazz.

        Lisa came back. She said that she was researching it and that it would be a few more minutes.

        “No problem”

        I paced.

        I paced some more.

        I started to nose whistle with the tune.

        Click — Lisa was back again. She said that there was a provision on my mortgage documents regarding a “78% Loan to Value Ratio”.

        To me, this was good news as I hadn’t used the number 78, so it wasn’t like she was just regurgitating what I’d already said — she must’ve actually read that somewhere when I was on hold. Things were looking good.

        She stated that she’d emailed the Mortgage Deletion people to see about getting it cancelled and that they usually take a day or so to respond. She gave me her direct line and asked me to call back to check on the status tomorrow.

        Now I’m thinking things are looking sketchy again. They’re going to say I need to pay $130 for an appraisal or something… I just have that feeling, you know?

        I said thanks, and then she tried to upsell me with a re-fi offer! Too funny…

        I declined, said thanks again, and ended it with, “Talk to you soon!”

        Total time on the phone was 12 minutes and 29 seconds. I *almost* recorded the call, but I’m pretty sure that’s illegal…

        Anyhow, with any luck, by the end of the week, my mortgage will be PMI free.

          3 2581

          He has the power of causing great pain!So Countrywide responds late last night to my inquiry in a timely fashion:

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

          Our initial research shows that we can best resolve this inquiry for you by speaking with you in person. We appreciate that you have initiated this inquiry electronically but to ensure that we can fully resolve your concern. We ask that you contact PMI Department on the contact number provided on the letter or at 800-669-9092. On behalf of Customer Service, we would like to apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you.

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

          Hmph! They dodged my question again…

          The good news is that it appears that this most recent response was written by an actual human being — with the typo where a comma should be instead of a period.

          And since when it the word “internet” worthy of capitalization? Whatever…

          What’s upsetting is that I don’t want to call them. I want their response in writing, either online or through the mail. In my experience, he said/she said claims never get very far.

          It’s also very frustrating because I don’t believe that there’s anything to discuss anyway…

          The law is black and white.

          The math is simple.

          Over 22% equity means no PMI. By law, cancellation is to be automatic.

          Where’s the problem?

          I’ll make the call later today.

          3 2593

          Disgraced Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo — Where’d he get that un-natural skin tone?Guess what I received in the mail today from Countrywide?

          Yep, exactly what I expected.

          The same letter I received on July 14 and August 1.

          So now I’ve gone back to the customer service route that has failed me in the past.

          I’m not really sure why I bother.

          Oh yeah, because they bill me over $1k/year for something I shouldn’t have to pay for!!!

          Anyhow, I think I was a little more direct this time:


          On August 18, I submitted my third request online to have a Mortgage Insurance Review done on my account in an effort to have my mortgage insurance cancelled.

          Today, for the third consecutive time, I received the same letter from Countrywide stating that I need to schedule and pay for a home appraisal for my mortgage insurance to be cancelled.

          This is UNACCEPTABLE.

          According to the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998, Private Mortgage Insurance must be terminated automatically when the borrower reaches 22 percent equity in the home based on the original property value.

          Logging into my account and heading to the “Mortgage Insurance Deletion” section of the Countrywide website, it states that my current loan to value percentage is 77.879%.

          That means that I currently have 22.121% equity based on the original property value of $141,000.

          According to federal law, I no longer have to pay for mortgage insurance.

          Please explain to me why it has not yet been cancelled.

          Thank you.

          Of course, I’m not actually expecting a response that answers my one request for an explanation. I’m not that naive.

          In fact, if I were a betting man, I’d wager that Countrywide’s response will be:

          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.

          Yep, heard that before.

          If only the threat of filing a complaint with the FTC would get some attention… Sad, a threat like that is about as effective as a car alarm…

            10 4734

            Hopefully today is the day that my 40 day PMI saga concludes.

            Countrywide has corrected Friday’s $1500 mistake and the balance on my mortgage is now less than 78% of the original value.

            Even Countrywide’s website says so:

            Countrywide’s PMI Deletion Page

            Combine that with the FTC‘s claim:

            For home mortgages signed on or after July 29, 1999, your PMI must 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.

            So here goes nothing… I’m going to submit another request to Countrywide to have my PMI canceled.

            Hopefully this time I won’t get the same form letter that I’ve already received twice

            3 2738

            Countrywide Home LoansI logged in to my Countrywide account to submit my latest requested to have PMI canceled and it threw me into an internal rage.

            I’ve been sending Countrywide additional principle payments on a weekly basis for over a year now.

            Not a single hitch. Not one.

            Today, they decide to apply my extra payment (yeah, the one that will eliminate PMI) towards interest and escrow instead of principle.


            I put in a request for them to correct it and the response: “Your request will be personally reviewed, therefore, please allow 2 business days for your request to be processed.”

            This, being a Thursday, means they won’t do anything until Monday.

            Okay, I’m jumping on the bandwagon now…

            Countrywide sucks.

            Can You Dig It?


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