Home Mortgage Collector Confessor Responds To Your Comments

In response to some of the comments posted on 12 Confessions Of A Home Mortgage Collector, the confessor has sent in a followup letter to answer your questions, and clarify some of his statements.

I have noticed a lot of comments on my Confession from yesterday, and thought I would follow up on some of these.

First of all, anything that I mentioned having to do with bankruptcy was what I learned in investigating bankruptcy laws. I am not a lawyer, I am not in pursuit of a J.D, etc. If you happen to know bankruptcy law I would be interested to learn about it. From experience I have never seen or heard of a mortgage being forgiven by chapter 7. I guess I wouldn’t unless they had called to gloat. I implore anyone to seek legal advice please! Don’t take my word for it at all. I was told that when someone mentions bankruptcy (at all) to stop any collections and cease the call, even if they needed help. That’s the reason I warned against it.

Secondly, it would seem that a majority of people think that I am either a homeowner with a bad experience or a disgruntled employee. I can admit that I was frustrated with Wells Fargo, hence me quitting, but that I did indeed work there. Collections, sixth floor, disaster, escalation, and some loss mitigation (cross trained to help out loss mitigation).

Now I don’t know the site that Stanwell is referring to, but it could not have been my site. In my training class there were 4 people (myself included) that were over the age of twenty. My training class consisted of twenty-some people. Do the math. Out of those 20 or so people me and one other were the only ones with any college experience. Most of the people in that class had graduated high school the summer before. 2 of my 4 supervisors did not have college degrees either. I don’t mean to insinuate that they were not intelligent because of this, it’s just that I would like the biggest investment in my portfolio (the mortgage) to be handled by someone who knows what they are doing and can spell. The last part is no joke: in loan comments there were misspellings that would make E.B. White spin in his grave. One rep wrote “homeowner diseesed as of 05/07.” Really?

Morale is low because, compared to everyone else at my campus, they treated us collectors like crap. The other WFHM collector mentions that time between calls isn’t counted. It was for me. I was a part of a team that blended (because time between calls had been getting extended), which means that in between taking collections calls I was making collections calls. On a typical day I would say that any given “blender” would talk to (not necessarily collect on, though) 100-200 people. A good deal of those were frustrated people that would hang up. I was told that they needed to turn up the speed (how fast the calls come) because I had about 10% down time the day before. There were probably 9 or 10 of us that did this, all the while being paid the same as those of us who didn’t.

As for QA: Wells records all their calls with date and time stamps, however *most of the time* they monitor the calls that they grade live, if it isn’t a busy month. I have no doubt that they monitored a call as late as 9:30. I didn’t mean to insinuate that they NEVER graded anyone after 12pm, they just listen less and less as the day goes on.

Loss mitigation is indeed overwhelmed, but they aren’t doing anything to help themselves out either. I was told on more than one occasion to “just handle the call” when a borrower would call on an active loss mitigation account (which prime inbound collections at my site was told not to handle). I was also given information that I knew to be wrong at least half the time. On a few occasions loss mit reps would place me on hold but forget to hit the mute button, and I would hear them talking about me. This wasn’t common at all, but if it happened to me I would imagine it happened to others.

My supervisors stressed to me that Wells Fargo wants to help your call, so long as it is within the 6-7 minute average handle time. That’s not a lot of time to give customers the individual attention they need. Anything after 6 minutes and I was told “transfer it to customer service.” Customer service was used as the panacea at my site, even though we would frequently transfer calls that had nothing to do with customer service. It wasn’t uncommon to get a call from C/S that had originally gone to collections. It frustrated people, and frustrated people get mad.

There are multiple collections sites. I can tell you that from my experience, Fort Mill, SC is the worst. San Bernardino, CA seemed to be the best of them, and as always there are exceptions on both sides. I can only speak for my site, and the experiences that I had with others. I will say that I had a great experience with a rep in CA. She went totally above what she was expected to do and helped me out a great deal.

There are a few things I forgot to mention in my confession as well:

1. Make sure WFHM is reporting your credit correctly. More than once I found accounts where the credit reporting has been messed up by a representative. They aren’t supposed to touch it, but frequently will. WFHM will dispute it for you, but it seems to be a long road.

2. WFHM’s SCRA (Serviceman’s Credit Relief Act) was changed about a year ago to reflect the new policies that they were putting into place. If you have the SCRA active on your account ask what is covered. From the calls I received it would seem that WF did not communicate this. I believe they changed the way the fees were assessed, interest rate, and ability to make collections calls. I am not 100% sure on that though. If you know more about this, Stanwell, please share. I don’t agree with it, but there wasn’t much I could do. I wasn’t a part of Special Loans.

PREVIOUSLY: 12 Confessions Of A Home Mortgage Collector