Washington Mutual Strikes Again…

Washington Mutual, whom I’ve mentioned a couple of time before, currently hold the mortgage on our home and, after hopping our checking account around for various reasons, is also home to our checking account. Since we have both accounts with them, they’re kind enough to give us a “Platinum” account for free provided we allow them to rob us blind auto-deduct our monthly payment – this service normally costs $12/month. When we bought our home, we didn’t have enough to put 20% down (uh…who actually does??) and we didn’t qualify for a second mortgage at that time so we had to get PMI. A complete and total crock but necessary at the time. After saving up for some time, we were able to pay down to 80% and get the PMI removed – simple enough procedure and something that I’m sure happens all the time. So here’s where it goes sideways, we also asked about having our monthly payment reduced – basically, they just re-evaluate your loan and the payment should drop. The kind lady told my wife that she’d be sending the paperwork along and we could just fill it out and send it back at our convenience. Great! The following week the paperwork arrives and we were disturbed to discover that there was a $200 fee involved in the recalculation. No way are we paying so they can “click a button” (I know that there MAY be a little more to it than this but it still can’t be all that complicated) and start charging us a lesser amount. So, in accordance with the documents, we decide not to fill them out so our account should remain the same, right? Wrong. The next payment stub arrives with the “new” amount so we immediately call and are told that it was a mistake and will be corrected. We proceeded to pay the original amount with the directions to apply the “extra” to principal since their system would see the difference as such. This routine proceeds for the next couple of months – get payment stub, call and be reassured that everything has been corrected in their system (for real THIS time), pay the usual amount, rinse, repeat.

After the third month of this insanity, Darlene gets a phone call from Washington Mutual’s collections department. They’ve locked our account and sent it to collections for “non-payment”. Whaa?? Well, it turns out that their cashiering department decided that they would “back out” (an accounting term I swear) all our payments for the past three months thus making us “late” for the past three months. So after being harangued by this awful lady, Darlene finally hung up on her and called back to speak with someone else. Basically, they had no idea why this was done and, get this, the cashiering department doesn’t take incoming calls so we can’t even speak to someone about it. We were assured once again that everything would be corrected within a week. No luck – the payments were re-applied incorrectly. So Darlene and I figured out exactly how and where each payment should have been applied and relayed this information to the customer service rep (slowly so as not to spook the skittish creature) only to be told that it would take ANOTHER week. After speaking with a manager, I was assured that the issue would be resolved with 2 business days and would be correct. To be safe, I got the manager’s direct line and contact information in case there was any problems in the future. *sigh*
Fast forward 2 weeks and about a dozen unreturned phone messages later, since the account “magically” righted itself well enough – they actually still didn’t have it quite right but it was close enough that it wasn’t worth the effort. Oh, and my “written formal request” (per RESPA, Section 6) for an explanation and assurances that it wouldn’t happen again – IGNORED!! Basically, I’ve decided that all loans moving forward will NOT be with Washington Mutual and as soon as we’re clear of this home loan, we’ll be moving all our other accounts as well.

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22 Responses to Washington Mutual Strikes Again…

  1. Ghosty says:

    Wow, you guys and this bank … personally, I avoid the things, having gotten burned under somewhat similar circumstances in the past. I have a checking account where my paychecks land, and if I can’t pay for it in cash I don’t get it. Not so much as a single credit card, just a Visa debit tied to the account. Sure, I live a bit on the frugal side, but I don’t get the run around by wierdos who live in the accounting depatment either.

  2. mortgageguy says:

    WaMu Bil/Loan Pay feature on its On-Line Banking has been inoperable for about eight days as on 1500 PDT Sunday 30 July 2006. Today it’s site indicated bills could be paid one at a time using a temp fix. I tired twice a got a freeze at step 2 0f 3, i.e. never got to step 2.

  3. robert bodie says:

    Washington Mutual, if you have a choice do not ever bank with them.
    They have denied a deposit I made for 3500 dollars which was paid by host bank. WAMU is takeing mor than a month to rectify this problem.
    The wrost service ever.

    Stay away.

  4. Peter says:

    WaMu are the WORST. I have a LOC with them. I am cl;osing this LOC and using another one I have with them. Because I close the LOC 30 days before the 3 YEAR time period they are charging me $300 penalty. The second LOC I have earns them $800 per month in interest. I asked them to waive the fee. They said no. I said that this will likely cause me to close all my accounts (I have 3), and they said they can’t help me. This is a business no-brainer but they have lost my accounts.

  5. Jesse Bratcher says:

    I to will be ending my business with Washington Mutual. Here is my story I called Washington mutual the middle of September to get a payoff on my home mortgage and told them I would be selling my home and closing at the end of September. After getting all the info I closed on my home the 29th of September and paid my property tax at the time of closing. I was told I would be receiving my escrow account in approx. 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks I had not received it so I call the wamu customer service number and here is where it all started. They said I would be receiving my escrow funds but it wasn’t what they had originally told me. Come to find out they had paid my property tax which had already been paid. Now wamu received their money $172,000.00 and now they are 6 weeks later telling me that there is nothing they can do. That a second party vendor handles their property taxes accounts. Now after numerous calls to wamu and speaking to customer service managers which have been several I then asked for them to assign a manager to my case and keep me updated. Well three different managers have agreed to keep me updated which has led to nowhere. I was told to call November the 14th that they would have an answer for me. Well I called on the 14th and they said there was a work order in process to get my money back for me to call November the 17th. I called again on the 17th and this manager said I would be getting a decision in 48hrs. Well I call back on Monday and yet another manager told me the work order was put in wrong that it would take another 2 to 3 weeks. I have spoken with several managers and the majority of them after I give them my info and they pull my information up on screen they are very sarcastic or unwilling to help me for they can see I have call numerous times. Sometimes they purposely put me on hold for long periods of time so I will hang up. Well I now have filed a formal complaint with the Better Business Bureau for their unprofessional attitudes and unwillness to help me resolve the issue. How simple can this be they can verify that the taxes have been paid so why not pay me my money. If it was me late on my payments to them they would be calling and harassing me everyday and asking for a payment over the phone shouldn’t I have the same right to demand my money paid back to me.

  6. Jesse Bratcher says:

    I found this on Washington Mutual website. what happened to the say what you do and do what you say???
    These are powerful words if they truly took their core values to heart.

    Vision, Mission & Values Our Core Values

    Fair

    Ethics of absolute fairness, honesty, and integrity guide everything we do.
    Our actions match our words.
    We balance the expectations and earn the trust of our customers, employees, communities and investors.
    We offer our customers products and services which fit their needs and provide great value.
    Caring

    We ensure that every human interaction is caring, courteous, and respectful.
    We expect leaders to make difficult decisions, and to carry them out in a way that allows all involved to maintain dignity.
    We value and respect diversity of background, thought, and style and know they are a competitive advantage.
    We speak candidly and listen openly.
    Human

    We are positive, energetic, and committed to achieving our objectives and living our values.
    We celebrate our successes and learn from our failures.
    We keep our egos in check and maintain a sense of humor.
    We believe in the power of talented, committed individuals—working as a team—to make an extraordinary difference.
    Dynamic

    We are never satisfied with the status quo and know that we must continually reinvent our organization and ourselves.
    We break down silos and bureaucracies in order to serve our customers efficiently as one company.
    We continuously drive operational excellence to innovate our products, processes and services.
    Driven

    We are committed to excellence and the achievement of superior long-term returns for our shareholders.
    We set high, measurable goals and hold ourselves accountable to achieve them.
    We recognize that addressing challenges head-on is a requirement for success.
    We benchmark from our customers’ viewpoint and deliver what is most important to them.
    We look both within and outside our industry to learn.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Our Vision & Mission

    Vision:
    To be the nation’s leading retailer of financial services for consumers and small businesses.

    Mission:
    To build strong, profitable relationships with a broad spectrum of consumers and businesses.

    We will do this by delivering products and services that offer great value and friendly service, and by adhering to our core values of being fair, caring, human, dynamic, and driven.

  7. Brenda says:

    The only possible reason why a company like Washington Mutual could go from a trustworthy, fair bank to the cluster-hack it has become, is that WAMU, is about ready to fail.

    I am so angry right now that I can’t even begin to list all of the failures, and ball-drops this bank has done in the last few weeks.

    Advertising that their bank machines are free, and then having none of them in working order is a joke. But then keeping $6000 of the $12,000 dollars I just deposited for a 14-day hold is beyond what I can tolerate. A check from Fidelity is obviously not going to bounce, and keeping that money has crossed what I consider ethical lines.

    Customer service lines that hang up on you, or fraud reporting services that tell you they can’t take your call, are one thing, but holding my money for no reason other than the fact that they can…

    I’m pulling my home loan, my savings account, and my checking account out of wamu this week.

    I recommend everyone else do the same.

    Brenda

  8. Michael Maston says:

    The $2 billion dollar program to assist borrowers with subprime loans is a joke! In February 2002 I lost my job and was unemployed for 15 months. The job I started in June 2003 paid about 30% less and in order to lower our monthly debt we refinanced in November 2004. Because of our credit situation due to the lengthy unemployment, the best we could get was a 2/28 mortgage at 7.95%, interest-only for the first 2 years. In November 2006 when we went to refinance, the value of our home had dropped by over $8,000. Despite a 680 credit score and a 21% debt to income ratio, the loan to value kept us from refinancing. Our interest rate has jumped to 8.95% in January 2007 and will jump to 9.95% in July 2007. Despite being current on the mortgage and taking a proactive approach to heading off a situation where we can no longer afford the payment, WAMU does not feel compelled to take any action. I even got a letter in March 2007 from the office of COO Stephen Rotella letting me know there was nothing they could do. The only suggestion was to call loss mitigation when the payment got to be more than we would pay.

    What a joke!

  9. Its interesting to hear some of the experiences that people have had with Washington mutual. My wife and I have recently had a very unpleasant experience with them as well.

    We recently purchased a house before selling our current house. In order for us to do this we had to open a line of credit with WAMU in order to put the needed 20% down. So we had a couple of shady people come over to our house , very late in the evening so that we could sign papers for this line of credit. So after signing all the necessary documents for the line of credit they approved us for the amount we needed to purchase our new home.

    We closed on a new house a month and a half later, assuming that we would have no problem selling our townhouse in a timely fashion. We have never taken a risk like this in our lives, but because we got such a good deal on our future home we took a chance. Well basically the realty market plumeted as everyone knows, the worst market in something like 40 years.

    To make a very, very and stressful story short, we dropped the price on our townhouse tramendously over a 6 month period of time and finally got a contract on our townhouse, so after paying double mortgages for 6 months, which basically tapped us out completly, we got a contract. We calculated that we were going to come up short by about 4,000.00 at the closing after paying back the mortgage, and the 62,000 line of credit, boy were we wrong.. Little did we know that Washington Mutual had taked on 1500.00 worth of interest to that loan that had to be payed off at closing, we after making double mortgage payments for 6 months did not have an extra 1500.00 at the time… So basically we had to borrow that money from a relative that really saved our ass. Now if we had not been able to borrow that money we would not have been able to close on our house.. And if that happened we would have had no choice but to let the house go into foreclosure, which would have ruined our credit, so on and so forth…

    Thanks Washington Mutual for nothing. We probably would have been better off borrowing the money from a loan shark, rather than the scumbags at washington Mutual….

    Please do yourself a favor and never borrow money from a mortgage company, especially Washington Mutual, or you too could be in the same predictament as we were…. Thats how easy it is folks to coming within a hair of losing your house and destroying your credit for life..

    I would like to give a special thanks to all the scumbags a Washington Mutual for not helping us out at all….

    Thanks Washington Mutual ( Assholes)….

  10. American Broker says:

    terrible experience with the whole wamu processing center out of lake success, ny.

  11. holly Gunnette says:

    Fri, July 13-received levy release from Riverside California Court for 2 bank accounts at WaMu. These accounts hold over $100,000. Each-that is $200,000 that they had not released. I faxed to WaMu’s levy release department at 818-775-2327.

    Monday July 16, check levy release from WaMu–bank accts are NOT released.

    Re-faxed levy releases, duly signed by a Riverside County California Court office and the Riverside Co DA’s office. This is 2 separate legal documents release 2 separate accounts in 2 separate business names.

    Tues. July 17-levy release on one account. I have $104,000 released; the other account for approx. $101,000. is not released.

    Wed July 18-second bank account is still not released. I call Bonnie the manager at the branch office of WAMU in Pedley California at 685-5864 at approx. 9:38, she has just walked in the door. She needs to know where the levy release was faxed to or she cannot assist me. I tell her I will check and call her right back.

    Phone Call back to Bonnie at 9:43. The levy releases had been faxed to 818-775-2327. She took account numbers and names of both accounts. One was released, one was not, and she will call me back.

    Bonnie doesn’t call me back. I call her at 11:00. Leave a message that I need to know why my account wasn’t release so I can tell my attorney and he can get the courts to issue the correct paperwork to release the money. Bonnie is on the phone and can’t take my call.

    Bonnie calls back at 12:00. She gives me the number to the levy release department. She is sorry, but the branch cannot assist me with getting my money released. I need to call the levy release office myself and speak to them. The number is 818-775-7450.

    12:10 P/C to levy release office at 818-775-7450. Man answers, asks who I am, I tell him a customer; he tells me this office does not speak to the public and hangs up.

    12:25 P/C to Bonnie. She is out to lunch. I request the number of Bonnie’s supervisor so I can get this resolved today. No one at the branch knows who Bonnie reports to. The Asst Manager is too busy to speak to me right now, but will call me back. They suggest I call the 1-800-788-7000, where I finally reach someone, no name given, who tells me he just spoke to the levy department, and they told me I have to call the Riverside Dist. Attorney to get my money released. I ask about the court ordered release and am told he doesn’t know.

    1:20 Checked on line. Account is still not released.

    1:30 P/C to my attorney. He tells me that WaMu has to tell me why they won’t release my funds. They cannot refuse to talk to me because it is still my account. He can’t go to the Riverside County Judge without knowing what is wrong with the court order. He wants to know why WaMu is refusing to honor a court order.

    1:40 P/C to Bonnie at Pedley office.

    1:45 to 2:30, I keep calling the levy office.818-775-7450, I speak to Araceli, who refuses to talk to me and connects me to the 800 number.

    P/C back to the levy office, I speak to Abigail, who puts me on hold when I ask for a supervisors name and instead, connects me to the 800 number again.

    P/C again to levy office, I speak to Carla. She gives me “Charles” the supervisor’s voice mail. He is in a meeting and can’t be disturbed. L/M re: account numbers, legal document signed by the courts. I need to know why they released one account and not the other.

    3:15, Bonnie, from the Pedley branch calls me back and gives me the number for the executive office. That number is 1-800-225-5497. She tells me that her brother is dying and someone else at the branch checked my message for me. They were told that one account was released because I was the signor on the account; the account was not released, because I owned it and was the signor. That does not make sense to me. She gives me the executive office number to call. That number is 1-800-225-5497.

    3:35, P/c to executive office, speak to Sherry Jordan at ext 470. Explain my problem, including my attorneys request to know why WaMu won’t release the money in the second account even thought they have a legal signed document telling them to do so. She tells me she will e-mail the levy office and get back to me within 24 to 72 hours. I tell her that is not acceptable. They have had a court ordered release for over 36 hours and have not released my money. I cannot wait. She says she won’t call back until she hears from the levy release office and she has to get them time to research the problem. I ask for a supervisor. She tells me she reports to the President “Kerry” and has no one else she reports to and “Kerry” will not take any phone calls. I ask who she calls in sick to, and she tells me Kerry and has no other supervisor. I ask her again, to call me back today. It is now 4:00 and they have at least an hour to before closing. Please call and let me know even if she hasn’t heard anything. She finally agrees that she will.

    4:25, Sherry calls me back. The levy has been released as of today. I told her I just checked on line and the account was not released. She told me that the levy office had released it today. I asked why it wasn’t released before and she did not have that explanation, nor would she find out. I asked what to do if my money wasn’t released and said it was. 5:00 per the website, my account is not released. I will start in tomorrow to try to get my $100,000 out of that bank.

  12. Deborah Baird says:

    The word for the decade, “Credit Union”. Many credit unions are open to anyone who wants to join. I have never had a problem that wasn’t quickly resolved. In fact, I have never had many problems, period.

  13. Abel says:

    it is sad to see a financial institution that attracted its customers including me to the concept of, if you open an account with WAMU you will not be charged like scanning groceries at your local grocery store. I have 3 accounts with WAMU and i placed my money in their savings account. One weekend i made 4 transfers from my savings account to my checking accounts and came to realize that WAMU charged me $10 for every online transfer that i made a total of 40$. A bunch of robbers, no difference betweent them and someone who breaks into your house. Someone who breaks into your house you might never know who it is and it is illegal, how about someone who robs you and they have twisted the law using highly paid corporate lawyers and they perfectly can get away with it. Anyway i will be closing my accounts with WAMU and allow the GREAT ONE take care of them. WAMU IS A TOTAL RIP OFF.

  14. Austex says:

    Yea Abe, good luck on getting those accounts closed!!

    Not only are they a bunch of pin stripe banditos that hide behind low cost college freshmen interns in all the branches and the customer dis-service centers. They need to train the kids how to use the phone system before they turn them loose in the call center. My bad, that would raise the labor cost to train the chimps, easier to let it be free form.

    OK…..my bitch about wamooooo!! I needed to move a rollover CD that matured on Aug. 15. I asked it be moved to a retirement money market fund to not create a 1099 event, reportable to IRS. I then plan to have Fidelity request a transfer of assets to an existing rollover 401K. Trying to accomplish this has been a nightmare. For all the WAMU window dressing of the high tech place to bank, its a sham. Its more like a cartoon bank, where the Jetsons used to bank. They tell me it will take 10 days to give me the new account number of the money market account. I need this to give to Fidelity so the asset transfer can take place. Its interesting to note that there is a 10 day grace period to move the funds. I thought computerized banking to move money and open accounts should take nanoseconds, not 10 days. In short these crooks at WAMU are criminals that float my money 10 more days to maximize their profits.

    I will never go close to these corporate criminals again, kiss off WAMU!!!

  15. borrowing money

    borrowing money

  16. laid off wamu employee says:

    I was laid off from washington mutual this last monday. they are asking us to work until jan. 31/08. As expected it has pretty lax around the call center seeing that everyone including the managers have just been fired by wamu, but are being asked to continue to make money for the company. We were just called into a meeting and were told that if upper management found out that we weren’t taking calls or working on our pipeline that they would fire us immediate and make us leave without severance. It was already established that if we leave prior to our end work date which mine is jan. 15th, that we would not receive any severance regardless how long you had been with the company. Washington mutual says it’s core company values are CARING, FAIR, HUMAN, DYNAMIC, AND DRIVEN. I can’t say I’ve seen that from upper managment! All I know is what goes around comes around, and I’ve seen other major lenders treat they’re employees this way and they are no longer in business.

  17. Genna says:

    This is really not surprising to me! I was forced to quit my job and move over 500mi to take care of my mother who was terrible ill. At the time I asked to be placed in the credit protection program in which they did (this was Aug). I find out in late October that my account has been put in collections and sold to another company!!! I’ve been trying to get any info on how this happened but I get nothing. They even offered to help me settle my account with them and now have no knowledge of an offer that i am currently enrolled in! This company DESERVES to go down along with a certain few CSR’s that they have!

  18. Ed Mocarski says:

    I made a $12,000 deposit to my daughters wamu account, needed to make a tuition payment early in 2008. We deposited and saw it posted on Dec 24, 2007, but the funds had not cleared in 10 business days (Jan 8, 2008). When I called to talk to customer relations (1-800-788-7000), I ran into several very disturbing problems. 1. There was no opton in the electronic voice center to talk to a representative (I stumbled into a connection by simply not pushing any buttons). I suppose this is a strategy to reduce nuisance calls, but it is very bad customer service policy. 2. When I spoke with a representative, he was polite but could not give me any rationale for the delay in clearing the check, which I explained should have never taken longer than 10 business days (that would be January 8) but he kept repeating a line “the first $100 is available immediately, but the bank branch determines how long a check will be held until funds clear”. Also, he told me we “we needed to discuss when funds would be needed at the time of deposit” and that “customer service could do nothing to help”. Of course, we had no way of knowing that this would be delayed so excessively. 3. I asked to be transferred to a supervisor and spoke with a polite woman who sustained the statement that “customer service could do nothing to help” and described how the branch where the deposit was made was the only place that could help, but that would have had to have been “at the time of deposit”. I never imagined a less helpful discussion, so asked for her supervisor, who was not available. I have been promised a call-back within 2 days. I tried to explain that the problem needed to be resolved sooner than that or the university that we needed to pay tuition to would levy a hefty late fee. So how do I view what happened? This was a needless alienating experience for a customer who has done business with wamu for decades. When I called my old wamu bank branch in California (Portola Valley, three hours behind GA so still business hours) I got the explanation I needed, immediately and without any insulting repetition or blather. The manager there said “I would do this over the phone if the deposit was made at this branch, so just go to your the branch where you made the deposit and they will take care of it tomorrow morning”. We made the deposit in Toco Hills branch in Atlanta, and will hope to resolve this in the morning. In any eventuality, I will never call what wamu incorrectly labels \”Customer Service\” again! I am totally baffled why their customer service phone center could be so poor. I now see this is routine for them based on the blog.

  19. Chris Shaw says:

    Through an abrupt written notice, WAMU (Washinton Mutual) has now begun reducing contractually obligated home equity credit lines in the state of FL, much as it has done throughout other parts of the U.S. While I will acknowledge it is within WAMU’s rights to protect their interests in this unstable real estate market, it is the manner in which they have taken this action that I take issue, with regards to both its legality and its prudence. I received notice this week basing the decision on “a significant decline in the value of my property”. However, how WAMU defined “significant” cannot be determined, since WAMU, through their customer loan care center in TX, stated that they will not be disclosing or providing the “updated value” they are relying on to make this decision. The language included in my original loan documents define the basis of a “significant decline” as “the value they relied on at the time of application” – which was never provided to me at any time before, during, or after the loan application and/or origination process. Again, a disclosure issue. In addition, should you want to dispute this action, you as the customer, are required to pay for the cost of a full appraisal, which would cost $200-$300. Once again, a requirement that was never included or disclosed in the original loan documents. Is it at all possible WAMU is just making these rules up as they go? And none of this is helping those WAMU borrowers who faithfully and contractually met their obligations to WAMU without issue. Of course, contracts mean nothing as WAMU has seen fit to throw these right out the window with all these new, hidden, and misleading rules that have suddenly been conjured up. The worst offense though is that, in fact, these same high quality, performing customers are actually double penalized because as WAMU reduces their line, the customer’s utilization rate effectively increases, which will likely have an unfavorable impact on the customer’s overall credit score. Nice. Beware – folks, things with WAMU are not as they may seem. Make their primary regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision, aware of it. Send your issue(s) regarding WAMU to The Office of Thrift Supervision Consumer Affairs Department, Western Regional Office, P.O. Box 7165, San Francisco, CA 94120, visit http://WWW.OTS.TREAS.GOV (Consumer Inquiries), or call the OTS at 1-800-842-6929.

  20. Ken says:

    WAMU is known for some shady activity, one is the credit card side where they give you 0% interest for 12 months but will hold a payment for two or three days to make it late and hit you with the late fee.. So watch them.. I told wife NO MORE WAMU in this house.. WAMU is BAMU…

  21. Raman says:

    My equity on my house is less than the loan amount. If I had the same experience from WAMUQ I might have opted not paying to them anymore even if I could have afforded to pay. I am sure many in similar situation like me might have already done that when harassed like this by WAMUQ to the collapse of WAMU. Eventually we saw WAMUQ sold out for a bargain price.

    It is not yet digested why WAMU was sold for such a low price.

    Now Wachovia is trying to cancel the deal with Citi and wanting to go with Wells Fargo.
    Will WAMU sale be cancelled and someone else be ready to by WAMU at a higher price like as it happend for WB ? Somehow even that can happen.

  22. Avery Rains says:

    so I have a major problem going on with my WaMu credit card. I had thousands of dollars fraudulently charged in California and now they are saying I owe this money because the call came from the telephone number associated with my account. Do you have any advice? I just don’t know where to start. Each time I try, I hit a dead end. For instance, I’ve tried to get the telephone records to prove the call was not made from the phone number on the account because this is what WAMU requested from me before they will ever reinvestigate this case with there fraud department. the phone company will not release that information without a subpoena because this is a land line through qwest. I’ve gone to the police but they say there is nothing they can since the crime happened in California. please help me if you think there’s anything I can do im at my wits end.

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