12 Confessions Of A Home Mortgage Collector

A former Wells Fargo Home Mortgage home collector has stepped forth from the shadows to tell you what’s really going on. Here’s his confession:

I was the best at what I did at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (WFHM) for years. What did I do? I was a collector. At Wells, collectors are in charge of most aspects of a loan, notably ability to repay (like repayment plans) and loss mitigation aspects (loan modifications, etc). I was also part of WFHM’s disaster team. I no longer work there, thank god (and can take bathroom breaks that total more than 6 monitored minutes a day!). Here’s what I learned that can save you from people like the kind I used to be:

1. Chances are your mortgage is serviced (worked) by someone who has just graduated high school. A large majority of WFHM employees in major call centers have no college experience.

2. WFHM Training barely mentions loan laws and regulations. I had to download my own copy of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and even then most people in WFHM have been told that they are “legally outside of the FDCPA.”

3. Do not threaten bankruptcy. Legally we had to get the names of all those who mentioned bankruptcy to corporate attorneys, and that results in a fee. Bankruptcy will not forgive a mortgage debt.

4. Fight your bankruptcy fees with a passion! WFHM tacks on all fees regarding bankruptcies on to the loan, but these fees are not simple document fees. They are normally multiple $600+ fees regarding attorneys. WFHM will not talk about these practices with collectors. I have seen upwards of $4500 in fees regarding ONE chapter 13 bankruptcy, and when I was asked to send documentation of these fees I was told we “could not.”

5. WFHM wants to appear concerned about foreclosure, but their actual policies tell a different story. In the two years that I worked in the servicing call center the repayment plans constantly went DOWN in number of months available. In other words, when I started we could spread out a missed payment or 3 over 18 months; when I quit it was only 6 (on a Freddie Mac loan). Making things harder to repay does not help people avoid foreclosure.

6. WFHM does not actively investigate instances of deceptive lending practices. More than once I got an account that was a predatory loan, and WFHM will not do anything about it (even after telling us they would).

7. The Loss Mitigation department has NO CLUE what they are doing. The department that is supposed to be in charge of Load Modifications and such will almost always “lose” key documents to the modifications, and you will go into foreclosure. I normally kept track of loans that went to Loss Mit and 85% of the time 3 months later it had not been touched. If the loan was 4 months past due that now makes it 7 months past due. These are not low numbers either, we are talking about 85% of tens of thousands of loans.

8. Call center employees frequently hang up or transfer homeowners back into queue to avoid work. I would say it happened on 1 out of 3 calls. If someone needs to “transfer” you for a simple question, politely ask why. If you detect any attitude whatsoever speak with a supervisor.

9.Call early in the day. Calls are monitored by Quality Assurance (QA) in the mornings. All the reps know this. Low QA scores for collectors means no end of month bonus (if other criteria is met). In some cases that means an extra $300. Collectors take this very seriously.

10. Morale is dangerously low at WFHM. Most employees leave without notice or give 1 days notice. WFHM wants to achieve 98% utilization, meaning that only 2% of the day can go without talking to someone (in other words, 540 seconds without talking to someone in an 8 hour shift). Nepotism is also rampant at WFHM. The employee handbook states that family members are not supposed to have a superior-subordinate relationship in the same department, yet on my floor alone there were at least 2 supervisor-underling families.

11. Don’t argue about the due date. The due date, on 99.5% of loans, is the first. I cannot count how many people, on a daily basis, argue this. As soon as you argue the due date, don’t expect any help from the collector. Collectors at WFHM hate this more than anything else. A grace period is a GRACE period, not a blanket due date.

12.Know what you are doing when you call, because likely the collector will not. Also, if you can, deal with a local agency about your loan being past due. It’s not something to be embarrassed about. At the end of month Wells has a delinquency rate of something like 2.5% (grossly inaccurate). With an 8.5M loan portfolio that means 212,500 people are late with you. Use this website to find a counselor.

Comments

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  1. Pylon83 says:

    Doesn’t seem terribly useful. More of a rant by a pissed off ex-employee than the truly useful “Confessions of a Sprint Rep” posts. Further, he seems to indicate that Wells Fargo erroneously tells its collectors that they are outside the FDCPA. This is probably true, as the FDCPA only applies to 3rd party collectors, so those who work for Wells Fargo who are trying to collect Wells Fargo loans are not bound by the FDCPA.

  2. qcgallus says:

    Most servicers (like BoA, WFHM, etc) have very little of their own loans. To me a servicer is the same as a third party collector.

  3. Yurei says:

    “1. Chances are your mortgage is serviced (worked) by someone who has just graduated high school. A large majority of WFHM employees in major call centers have no college experience.”

    And? How is that relevant? Just because I couldn’t afford to send myself to college and I had no family help to fall back on, deosn’t mean i’m stupid. Far from it. Besides, i’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t learn any “real world” skills in college, just booklearning.

    Booklarning does not teach you how to use a multiline phone, you can’t learn real customer service in college, you get it by experience. So I don’t see what the big deal is about not having a college degree. College degree does not = intelligence. Ask my mom sometime about the ditzes she went to school with several years ago who didn’t even nderstand the simple concept of moving a decimal point over 2 spaces….

    • kingmanic says:

      @Yurei: It juts means that the person you are speaking to has little extra training besides high school. While the egalitarian streak much of America has regarding education is interesting, it’s also extremely counter productive. Education correlates but does not cause intelligence. So the relevance is that the odds the person helping you is intelligent is lower.

      Education != intelligence, education suggests intelligence. Intelligence != competence, Intelligence suggests intelligence.

      Your rustic anecdote do not disprove the general statistic correlations. Your anti-intellectualism doesn’t make a lack of education a positive trait.

      • kingmanic says:

        @kingmanic: As always it’s ironic that someone speaking about intelligence and education has grammar errors but here is the correction:

        “Education correlates but does not cause intelligence. So the relevance is that the odds the person helping you is not as intelligent.”

    • agnamus says:

      @Yurei: Did you just insinuate that customer service is an actual skill? I think you did.

      • Coelacanth says:

        @agnamus: Customer service is an actual skill. Of course, for anyone who really has such skills, are the working conditions suitable to keep such talent?

        …Chances are, no.

        • bwcbwc says:

          @COELACANTH: Yes. You’re more likely to meet such people as concierge at a fancy hotel.

          @linus: Well you know what’s going to come down eventually if you don’t pay it. Is not paying it worth the hassle, impact to your credit rating, higher interest rates and everything else? Can you afford to live without credit or with interest rates above 25% for the next 10 years or more?

          And if you really want me (as a taxpayer) to help bail you out, at least have the respect to ask for a handout rather than coerce it from me as taxes. Not paying your debt is just as evil (and costly to the rest of us) as returning your old junk to a store for a refund as a purchased item.

    • nataku8_e30 says:

      @Yurei: In some cases a college education is useful because it develops a person’s ability to think critically and effectively analyze a situation. Unfortunately, like most education, the student only gets out what he or she puts in – you can’t force someone to learn and develop intellectually. I think the large number of college students who are only there for a degree and don’t really get anything out of their education may contribute to the misconception that higher education isn’t useful.

    • kingmanic says:

      @Yurei @MrMold: On a further practical note, much of what I do now for work I did in University. I prepare presentations. I analyze data. I troubleshoot my peers computers. I suck up/show value to those in authority to get ahead. I get evaluated on my performance semi regularly. I co-ordinate my peers in meetings etc… It’s not much of a leap to find the similarities (good and bad) between university/college life and work life except work life tends to be a lot easier for most people. I only need to think about 1 presentation at a time. I don’t need to decide which project I need to finish because I lack time to finish all of them. I don’t need to stay up until 6:00am and go to class at 9:00am every day for a month like University.

      In comparison work life at the 3 companies I’ve worked for was and is astronomically easier then university and university prepared me and qualified me to do what I do daily. Thankfully my job has great benefits and is extremely bullshit free.

    • ideagirl says:

      @Yurei: I may be wrong here, but I think the point of that statement was that the call center employees may not be equipped with all the knowledge consumers may assume they have. I don’t think it was a rip on anyone’s intelligence (at least that’s how I read it).

  4. SuffolkHouse says:

    Wells Fargo screwed me.

    I purchased a property, my first, with Wells Fargo.

    I was set for an adjustable-rate mortgage, which, I was told, for a fee I could fix on the anniversary of the loan at any point in the five year ARM period.

    When rates dropped, and I called to fix the loan on the anniversary, I was told that I signed for no such loan. The lender switched the forms at the closing, and I had no reason to believe that I needed to read everything over again at the closing.

    The guy I worked with was an asshole, and after I closed I called to bitch, and he never returned my class or came to the phone when I called.

    Wells Fargo is shit.

    • mythago says:

      @SuffolkHouse: absolutely not blaming you for what happened, but it’s definitely a cautionary note to always, always assume you are going to get screwed and read legal documents in detail before you sign them. There is enormous pressure on people to sign without reading thoroughly. I wish I had a buck for every time some sales type or receptionist has gotten huffy with me for actually taking the time to sit down and read whatever it is they want me to agree to.

    • @SuffolkHouse: There is never an excuse for not understanding your mortgage and reading it before you sign it. You are putting yourself in debt of $100,000+, you better understand what you are signing.

      There is no ARM loan that allows you to get a fixed rate, you ALWAYS have to refinance.

      Stupid people really shouldn’t be homeowners.

      Yes a lot of the expectations of collections agents at WFHM can lead to bad customer service but if people paid their bills on time like they agreed to, the collections department wouldn’t be so busy and you would get better service.

      //Ex WFHM collections agent.

  5. Um sounds like your company sucks a lot. 98% useage? If I ever worked for a company that thought I should be actually working 98% of my day, I’d quit. People aren’t machines. I put in a good days work, and I work harder then most of my piers, I’d be dammed if I had some piss ant boss telling me I was only the phone 97% of the day.

  6. I think this demonstrates another element of the broken mortgage system. The first problem is that lenders sell off the loans to investors. The second is that the investors contract out the servicing to the servicers. So the servicers only care about sustaining the loan insofar as they can continue collecting the servicing fees, but the foreclosure losses flow back to the investors who bought the mortgages.

    Much of what the poster above described is SOP in call centers. Wells Fargo probably manages this as well as anybody in the business.

  7. BrianDaBrain says:

    I don’t and will never bank at Wells Fargo. Too many horror stories from friends and coworkers. I do, however, appreciate the tips. Perhaps they’ll come in handy when dealing with other financial institutions.

  8. Bladefist says:

    I almost got a loan through them, but realized they were horrible. Love the confessions stories.

  9. smirkette says:

    I used to work in a financial call center as a summer job when I was in college, and the OP is right about #8 & 9. If you hear a click on the phone, it means you just got sent to the back of the phone queue.

  10. jaydez says:

    I’m actully kind of pissed that Wells Fargo just bought my mortgage from the bank I got it through. I personally dont think mortgages should be able to be bought and sold without the borrower approving it.

    • Canino says:

      @jaydez: I personally dont think mortgages should be able to be bought and sold without the borrower approving it.

      You did approve it when you signed the original loan papers. It’s standard in all mortgage loan documentation. You won’t find anyone who will give you a mortgage loan without that clause in the contract.

      • parnote says:

        @Canino: That still doesn’t make it right. As a consumer, I have a right to purchase my “goods” from any company I choose. Yet, when my mortgage is sold, I am then forced to do business with someone I did not want to do business with, and may have initially, avoided doing business with.

        Perhaps it’s time to revisit this practice and make it illegal. It takes rights away from the consumer, forcing them to do business with some rather unscrupulous companies, instead of giving the consumer a choice over whom to do business with.

        • kill9cowboy says:

          @parnote: I really think you are looking wrong at this. Banks sell of loans in securities, or to other financial institutions, and that is the entire backbone of the mortgage industry.

          Banks NEED to offload loans, because that is how they generate the capital needed to support more loans. Are you suggesting that once a bank makes a mortgage, that they should have to hold on to it indefinitely?

          If that were to happen, it would generate a capital problem with banks like you couldn’t even imagine. You think the market is depressed as it is now? If they were to do what you suggest, it would be worse, 10 times worse.

          You really need to look at the whole pressure. The system works by originating, bundling, and selling off – and then repeating.

  11. varro says:

    3 & 4 – You can’t discharge mortgage debt in a bankruptcy, but you can make up arrearages in a Chapter 13.

    Judges are pretty much on to mortgage companies and no-look attorneys’ fees – they’re not going to approve a “for services rendered” fee for mortgage company counsel. Any questions from the attorney get them knocked down like that.

  12. Haplo9000 says:

    I completed a Loan Modification with Wells Fargo two days ago. I STARTED the process for a Loan Modification exactly 11 months and 7 days ago. I literally called Loss Mitigation over 100 times, did EVERYTHING I was asked to do, when I was asked to do it, and was told over and over that it was being “worked on”. Meanwhile, I got kicked into foreclosure, twice, and had to get the sale date kicked back 30 days three or four times. The whole process was unreal. No one ever knew what was going on, and all anyone could do for me was to e-mail “negotiators” who might do something, or maybe not.

    All in all, I wish I had just taken out some sort of loan a year ago and just paid myself current then…at least I would have had 11 less months of stress.

  13. Adisharr says:

    I’ve had pretty good experiences with WF CS mortgage reps. They also don’t charge a fee if I pay online using my own bank (which I was surprised at).

    This is the best bank I’ve dealt with yet involving my current mortgage which has been bought/sold three times already in 7 years. Who knows who I’ll be dealing with next year.

  14. MrMold says:

    If I only had a dime for every person denigrating “booklarnin’”. Sorry, but college usually means smarter, harder-working, and more ambitious.

    Since High School requires only breathing to graduate, it might be sensible to assume that a degree from any accredited college would be prima facie for above average.

    One should not confuse Uncurious George with Al Gore/Barack Obama/Tom Ridge/Hillary Clinton/Bill Clinton. One is a legacy.

  15. humphrmi says:

    Just my $0.02:

    Legally we had to get the names of all those who mentioned bankruptcy to corporate attorneys, and that results in a fee. Bankruptcy will not forgive a mortgage debt.

    Ummm… No.

    First, you cannot charge the customer a fee simply because they file (or threaten to file) bankruptcy. You can only charge a fee if they (or their attorney) asks WF to “re-affirm” the loan and mortgage.

    Second, Bankruptcy (at least, chapter 7) forgives all debts. I love collectors, even former collectors, who think that they are special under BKL law, but it’s just not true. Every civil debt is erased in a BKL, only some government debts are not erased.

    What can happen, however, is that your house can be sold by the BKL trustee, and the proceeds used to pay off your creditors. BUT there are a bunch of exceptions (called exemptions, actually) that allow you to keep certain dollar amounts or even property that fall under those exemptions. Although I am not a BKL attorney, I have experienced it firsthand and I can tell you to never trust a collections agent who tells you that they are not subject to federal bankruptcy laws. Go talk to an attorney! I have seen cases where people kept their homes after both Ch7 and Ch13.

  16. lymanjt says:

    Re: FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act)

    If you’re servicing collections for a company that owns the debt, you’re not subjected to this regulation.

    The FDCPA only comes into play if the collection is taking place by a company that has no relation to the original obligation.

    Not saying it isn’t sleezy, though. And it’s a best practices issue to treat the FDCPA seriously with in house collectors.

  17. And why, exactly, does WFHM not give a care about defaulted home loans?

  18. qcgallus says:

    “First, you cannot charge the customer a fee simply because they file (or threaten to file) bankruptcy. You can only charge a fee if they (or their attorney) asks WF to “re-affirm” the loan and mortgage.”

    I believe the point was to call attention to this.

    “Not saying it isn’t sleezy, though. And it’s a best practices issue to treat the FDCPA seriously with in house collectors.”

    Oh it’s definitely sleazy. Open question: what’s to stop someone from holding my account information in case of a “missed payment” someday? FDCPA protects against that.

  19. Landru says:

    I appreciated the post and it was fun to read, but people should remember that from this guy’s own admission, he received very little training and likely has no formal education. So anything he says about the bankruptcy laws I would ignore – not take with a grain of salt, but totally go elsewhere for information.

  20. junip says:

    I used to work at Wells Fargo as a personal banker. I agree that the morale is dangerously low. I was only there for 8 months and in that time, more than half the store had quit. (Oh, they like to call the bank locations “stores”).
    I was repeatedly pressured to open accounts that people didn’t need, and was asked on a number of occasions to actually start calling a list of people the manager gave me about signing up for online banking because the store was too slow. Since I have a conscience and I didn’t take the job to be a telemarketer, I refused to do either, and continued to be harassed about these non-ethical practices until I finally quit.

    Oh, and to top it all off, when my grandfather died and I had to fly across the country for the funeral, FIRST the manager said they wouldn’t pay me the bereavement leave pay that is stated in the employee handbook, and THEN when I pushed the issue, she accused me of lying about the death and demanded a copy of the death certificate before they would pay me.

    Needless to say, if you treat your employees like crap, then they will, in turn, treat your customers like crap, either because they just don’t care, or because they don’t have the energy to care.

  21. mike says:

    I’m actually beginning to wonder why I should even pay for my mortgage. There is no incentive to now that there are bail-outs. Granted, I have a very attractive mortgage (30-year at 6.125%). Why should I pay when other people aren’t?

    And I’m being absolutely serious. Has anyone else had these thoughts?

    • mugsywwiii says:

      @linus:
      Because you signed your name on a piece of paper saying you’d pay back the money you borrowed?
      Because you want to keep your house?

    • magic8ball says:

      @linus: Why should you? I dunno … legal obligation? Personal sense of ethics? If you have a mortgage, then you have at least one of the above.

  22. samurailynn says:

    Here are some tips for people who want to have good experiences with Wells Fargo Mortgages (these apply only if you are paying your loan on time every month):

    *Talk to your mortgage broker in person, and get a feel for how they work. Try calling and emailing them with questions to make sure that they are good at following up on things. Only purchase the loan through this broker if you are happy with their service. Keep this person’s contact information.

    *Sign up for online banking and make sure that if you have a checking, savings, or credit card account that they are all linked and available from the same sign on with your mortgage account.

    *Do not have Wells Fargo set up a bi-weekly payment plan for you. You can easily take your mortgage payment and divide it by 12, then add that much to your monthly payment.

    *Make your payments online. It’s fast and easy. You always know that your payment got there on time.

    That’s pretty much it. Of course, if you are in default, this probably doesn’t help. Sorry about that, but I don’t want to go into default myself to help you figure out how best to handle that.

    • samurailynn says:

      @samurailynn: Oops, I left off one thing.

      *After you have your loan, if you have questions, contact your mortgage broker. They’re usually easier to get through to and more knowledgeable than the people on the 1-800 number.

  23. njovin says:

    #7 sounds right in sync with how Countrywide does things.

    I recently worked on a loan mod. with them. They originally told us it would take 30 days (ha!). The whole process ended up taking SIX MONTHS with us making daily phone calls for the last three of them.

    We had to send in our supporting documentation twice (they lost it), and the only way we got it to go through was to have our case re-assigned both times, because the servicers were simply not doing anything with it.

    The first guy actually denied ever having talked to me about my loan and called me a liar even though I had his name, extension, and copious notes about our conversation.

    In the end we went to a local Countrywide office and basically begged the people there to help. We knew they didn’t have authority or any incentive to help, but they were very nice and were good at getting higher-ups on the phone for us.

  24. mac-phisto says:

    WFHM Training barely mentions loan laws and regulations.

    this right here is 95% of the problem in every industry. i wish i was there at the exact moment that some management yahoo got the bright idea that an unskilled, untrained worker would be just as productive as an experienced, trained employee. i would’ve socked him right in the mouth.

  25. Marshfield says:

    Wells Fargo helped us out when we got behind a month. If we made 3 pmts on time, they would rewrite the whole loan, and it went from variable soon-to-jump to Fixed. And we didn’t have to “make up” the payment, they just re-wrote the whole loan. It worked out super. No complaints here.

  26. WraithSama says:

    “…and can take bathroom breaks that total more than 6 monitored minutes a day!”

    I thought it was illegal to restrict bathroom access to employees. Wasn’t there some big lawsuit years ago over employees who sued their employer because they were only allowed to use the bathroom during break time? I thought I recalled the outcome of that being a ruling that employers could not prevent employees from using the restroom as needed.

  27. kapow! says:

    **Shudder**

    I was a collector and pre-foreclosure rep for Wilshire and this made me have flashbacks.

    This is not limited to WFHM only….all major servicers have the same deal going for them.

    Lesson: dealing with the mortgage company just sucks in general.

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      @Kristinap815: Wilshire is the worst of the worst. They make the Mafia look customer-focused.

      When we got in deep trouble on a reset (from $2700 a month to
      $5100), we arranged a short sale that would only have cost whomever
      Wilshire was servicing the loan for $10,000 on a $577,000 loan.
      Wilshire took 4 months to make a decision — demanding that we resend
      the file 6 times, despite having FedEx and fax receipts proving they
      had received it six times.

      We ended up being fully discharged in a Chapter 7, and Wilshire has
      still taken no steps to take back the property — even though we moved
      out and offered to sign it over to them. Title is still in my name with
      no mortgage on the property. It quite probably will be sold at a tax
      auction before Wilshire gets title.

      At the moment, I own the house free and clear because Wilshire can’t get its act together.

  28. Max_Peck says:

    Couple of points of concern:

    What were the conditions of this person being a former Wells Fargo employee? (Well it’s almost as relevant as their #1)Seems they believe they were more than qualified, perhaps too…?

    “Morale is dangerously low at WFHM.”, couldn’t imagine with someone of their superior knowledge and “training”…”The Loss Mitigation department has NO CLUE what they are doing.” Sounds like the new guy in the Jack-in-the-Box commercials…instead of the corner office, he got the severance package…”Know what you are doing when you call, because likely the collector will not.” Does their hubris ever rest?

    Disgruntled ex-employee rants like these don’t seem to have the pearls of wisdom they seem to promise. Only good info was don’t threaten bankruptcy, (If you are going to, just do it, don’t use the threat to leverage your way clear), and call early (seems anywhere with a call center it’s best to get on when calls are screened).Besides those, the rest seems, well sour grapes.

    They paint a broad stroke for such a narrow view…

  29. the-perfect-face-for-radio says:

    lessee here…only 540 seconds of downtime per shift, and 360 seconds (six minutes) is in the can, which leaves 180 seconds…hey, do i get coffee and donuts on this job? i know, i’ll just have you get me my coffee and donuts so i can remain within policy.

  30. niteflytes says:

    You can’t forgive ALL debts in chapter 7 bankruptcy. Money owed to the IRS is never discharged and it takes an act of God to get student loans discharged. But mortgages can be discharged. I know this from my unfortunate personal experience which I only mention to emphasize that I’m not pulling this info out of my a$$. Although my mortgage was discharged and I “could” have walked away from my house, I chose to continue making my payments so I could keep it. I was never slapped with any fees from my mortgage companies (yes, plural. It was a bad experience renting out my mobile home I move out of that pushed me into bankruptcy).

    Point is…I had 3 mortgages that were discharged, 4 if you count the one that my ex and I had together that he never refinanced. No fees on any of them for filing, wasn’t legally required to tell any of them squat about the bankruptcy if I didn’t want to, however it was to my benefit to inform them. All I had to tell was the contact information for my bankruptcy lawyer and my case number.

  31. Me - now with more humidity says:

    FYI, because of the 4 month delay, we lost the fully qualified buyer.

  32. Lady Caca says:

    6 minutes of monitored bathroom break time!? That lucky fuck! I only get 4 minutes :(

  33. calyxx says:

    As a current Wells Fargo team member reading this article, all I can say is that the loss of this call center team member is not really a loss. It’s clear he’s disgruntled and his “confessions” are, for the most part, incorrect or misconceptions. The only thing I nodded my head in agreement with was morale.

    Of course WF investigates deceptive lending practices. And if he didn’t learn about the laws and regulations, it’s because he didn’t pay attention. Even team members who never speak to a customer, see customer data or work on transactions get trained.

    Any call center, regardless of company, is difficult to work in. Angry or confused customers, the endless grind of call after call, and quality assurance monitoring your every move. This guy clearly didn’t have the right personality and patience for that kind of work.

  34. lauy says:

    Not so sure about #9…

    Most large banks use call monitoring software that records calls at random. The OP’s statement may be true in regard to live monitoring, but, if you consider the fact that most call centers are open for at least two shifts, all live monitoring in the AM would not be possible.

    Most banks use both live and recorded calls to measure quality. As a former call center jockey at both Wells Fargo and BofA, I can say that my quality measurement was fifty/fifty between live and recorded calls at Wells and 100% recorded at BofA.

    Maybe most shocking of all is that quality rarely holds the accuracy of information provided to the customer at the most important factor in the call, which always bugged me. Even if you call in the AM, and the rep is super sweet to you because they know they are being monitored does not mean you will get the correct info. At one point at BofA I could give you complete crap as far as accurate info and still get an “Exceeds” score on my call, so long as I greeted you properly, used your name twice, etc.

    TRULY SCARY! LOL

  35. Stanwell says:

    I currently work for WFHM collections, probably at a different call center than the OP. Point by point:

    1. No one I work with is “just out of high school.” Most are in their mid 20s or older.

    2. I’m not sure where this “barely mentions loan laws” thing comes from. Apart from being covered in the month long initial training course, there are a number of annual required compliance courses that cover loan laws. Had to download a copy of FDCPA? Probably through a link on one of the online classes.

    3&4 I don’t handle bankruptcy calls, so i really can’t speak to this.

    5. The maximum time i’ve seen allowed on a repayment plan since i’ve been in collections is 12 months…and it’s been pretty constant, though i’ve seen some loans with a max of 6 months for a repayment plan. I suspect the length of a plan is determined by the investor on the loan anyway, and not WFHM.

    6. I can’t really speak to this.

    7. To be fair to loss mit, they’ve been overwhelmed. We’re doing LOTS more modifications than 3 or 4 years ago and they didn’t really expand fast enough, and when they did expand they added lots of new people…

    8. Sometimes, some people do dump calls back into the queue to avoid work…but nothing like 1 out of 3 calls. I know this because i have to transfer calls sometimes, and i might get dumped back into the queue maybe once a week or so.

    9. I, personally, have gotten QA scores from calls after 9pm local time. I know reps who have looked for a pattern in when calls are monitored, and haven’t found one. I HAVE seen reps who let loose at the end of the month though, after they’ve gotten all their QA scores in and know they’re done for the month.

    10. Of course morale is low in collections– it’s collections. Spending 8 hours a day talking to people who may lose their homes isn’t nearly as much fun as you’d think. That 98% utilization is for a 5 on your annual review– significantly above target– and time spent waiting for the next call doesn’t hurt your utilization. There is no nepotism that i’m aware of at the center where i work. Favoritism, now…

    11. Yeah, don’t argue the due date. you ‘ll get nowhere.

    12. It depends on the collector, but it’s true that some don’t know what they’re doing, and it might not hurt to call back and confirm what you’re told.

  36. ShortBus says:

    Have a Wells Fargo car note and a Wells Fargo credit card. No complaints, so I’ve been working with a WFHM broker (or whatever you call them) for a couple months to line up a mortgage in preparation for our first home purchase. The guy sounds overworked, but he’s pretty knowledgeable and even replies to my emails from his Blackberry.

    WF is one of the largest (if not the largest) mortgage lenders in the country. Pair that with the fact that more people are likely to complain about their mortgage company than compliment them, and suddenly there seems to be an inordinate number of people mentioning problems with them. It’s just all statistical noise though.

    Anyhow… just yesterday I locked in a 5.375% fixed rate on a 30 yr fixed FHA mortgage (w/ two prepaid points) with a much smaller lender. Despite their size and my hard nose bargaining, WF was only willing to give me 5.5%. Pays to shop around and negotiate, I suppose.

  37. loslosbaby says:

    What can I say, I live in a 300 sq. ft “house” that cost me 4500$, and, its paid off. We need to get real!

    okmusic.us/doghouse

  38. Jevia says:

    My only complaint with WF was over what township charges were ‘escrowed.’ I was initially told it was taxes only. So when I got my township bill that included trash and sewer charges too, I presumed I covered those, but I called WF to confirm. They said yes, I pay for those, they cover the taxes (which were escrowed). So I sent a partial check to the township and the bill to WF to pay the rest.

    WF apparently paid the whole bill so the township sent my check back. Fortunately, it wasn’t a problem, it was just annoying that either the WF person didn’t know the right answer, that WF did pay for it all out of escrow, or the person that paid the whole bill made a mistake.

  39. noncomjd says:

    I think this author is just a pissed off customer and probably has extrapolated an entire article from his bad experience.

    He is dead wrong about bankruptcy and in fact Congress has modified other laws to assist HO who have lost homes (ch7) or wiped out mortgage debt (ch11) in Bankruptcy.

    [www.irs.gov]

    • @noncomjd: Wrong, wrong and a bit stupid too. Congrats on three for three.

      This is really interesting — I work for a nonprofit that tries to help people fix mortgage problems, so we deal with mortgage servicers a LOT. I clicked on this really expecting to see something that would make me scream LIES! BLOODY LIES!–but that didn’t happen.

      Instead, what this insider said is completely in line with everything I and my associates experience on a daily basis, dealing with at least seven different mortgage companies in a myriad of different circumstances (ranging from people who’ve missed no payments but will need help when their ARM adjusts, to people in foreclosure trying to get mortgage modifications).

      Bravo to the OP; I totally believe they’re telling the truth, and it’s a nasty truth to have to tell. (Probably not as nasty as having that job, though!)

  40. DanGarion says:

    1. Pay your bills on time and be responsible for your own actions.

    2. Don’t get a loan you won’t be able to pay back.

    3. Rinse and repeat.

  41. BugDude10 says:

    FYI, here’s the deal with bankruptcy and mortgage loans.

    There are two types of bankruptcy for individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 13 is a repayment plan, meaning that you will pay back a percentage of your debts on a timetable that you set. Once you have made all of the payments, then the balance you owe on the debts identified in your bankruptcy is erased. Under Chapter 7, though, qualifying debts are erased. If you have sufficient assets, some of them might be taken and sold, with the proceeds being distributed amongst your creditors; if not, though, then you just walk away from those debts.

    Just so you know, some debts are not dischargeable, such as debts to the government, most student loans, and others. Mortgages do not fall into this category.

    When you file bankruptcy, you have the option of canceling any contracts to which you are a party, such as a mortgage. If you elect to do so, then you must surrender the thing securing the loan (the house); however, you will not be responsible for any of the debt (the balance owed or any overdue payments). If you do not want to terminate the contract, then you will be required to catch up any missed payments and to make future payments as they come due.

    So, if you file bankruptcy and surrender your house, then you walk away from the mortgage with no further obligation; if you do not surrender your house, you’re still on the hook.

    This is the basics, for general informational use only. Anyone with serious financial difficulties should speak with a bankruptcy attorney for more specifics based on your own circumstances.

    Hope that helps. That’ll be $200.

  42. Anonymous says:

    I have a story to tell about Well Fargo Home Mortgage. I have been fighting with them for months to keep my home. I finally lost that battle last month when a Loss Mitigation processor failed to “put notes” on my account that we spoke on December 23rd and he told me he would go back to the “investor” to see what else he could work out – they continually refused to modify my loan and kept asking me to pay a large lump sum and make payments higher than my original payments. Obviously I couldn’t do that or I wouldn’t have fallen behind in the first place! I waited over the holidays to hear back from this guy (my mistake) and when I called back in, I found out that he had written on my account that I had never returned my calls and so unbeknownst to me, he pushed the foreclosure through and sold my house. I was out of town on business when that happened. When I called back in and finally got to speak with him, he said he had never talked to me. When I relayed the details of our conversation, he finally admitted that he had talked to me and was “sorry” that he hadn’t made notes on the account. I requested that the sale be rescinded (was actually sold back to Wells Fargo because no one else bid on it). Long story short, they refused to rescind the sale, would not formally admit to the mistakes and so we are now having to move out by the end of this month. I can’t get anyone to talk to me or return my calls and I’ve been calling daily. The general customer service reps start yelling at you that you should just pay your mortgage on time and everyone says “There’s nothing I can do”. Oh yes and to top it off, I received a call from Wells Fargo the other day and the telemarketor told me I was a “Preferred Customer” and wanted to sell me some bank account services! I’m still waiting for Wells Fargo to explain to me their justification for putting me out in the street when I am willing to pay – just need slightly lower payments and why they prefer to have a home sitting vacant (unlikely to sell it- many others in the neighborhood have been empty for months). They can’t answer my questions because they know it makes no sense. While it may be too late for me at this point, I hope that others can be helped. I really feel for others that are going through this. We need to fight back! Signed, an American Taxpayer who doesn’t appreciate funding Wells Fargo’s Las Vegas and Park City junkets.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Wells Fargo will try to steal your house if one falls behind in payments. They will say documents were not recieved, faxes came through blank, trick you into signing documents that help them foreclose and out and out lie, not to mention the complete incompitance of it’s workers. Their collection department couldn’t tell the truth if the outcome of the world depened on it. They have lied to me and have tried to foreclose while telling me I had a loan modification. I have cancer and am terminal, all of Wells Fargo’s loss mitigation or collections people, along with The suits should be advised, I just might decide to take a few with me to the grave.