On September 17, 2009 Nationwide, our Homeowner's Insurance Company, mailed a bill to Cenlar for our annual premium. The payment was due on October 17, 2009. On October 17th Nationwide did not receive payment from Cenlar and cancelled our policy. On October 27, 2009 Nationwide prepared a letter and sent it to us informing us that a payment has not been received. On Friday, October 30, 2009 we received the notice in the mail. I immediately got on the phone with Cenlar to demand that payment be made. At that time, Cenlar requested that we mail a copy of the bill to them and that a payment would promptly be made. Not knowing what kind of business practices Cenlar followed we mailed the bill and assumed that our insurance was paid. It was not until December 8th that we received notice from Nationwide that our insurance had been paid. At that time I called Cenlar and requested to have a check number for my records. They were able to give me a check number and I was satisfied with that.
In the meantime, late October we received a notice in the mail from Cenlar explaining that our escrow account was going to be short in 2010 if our payments were not increased OR if we didn't pay a lump sum amount to be deposited into our escrow account. In the letter it stated that if we mailed a lump sum check our payments would be decreased by about $10.00 a month. If we didn't mail the lump sum check though our payments would actually be increased by about $10.00 a month. We decided to mail a lump sum check to cover the shortage in our escrow account since we figured we would save about $20.00 a month by doing so. In Mid-Late November a check was mailed to Cenlar for the lump sum amount requested. On December 4, 2009 the check cleared our account.
On Tuesday, December 8, 2009 we received an unpleasant notice in the mail from our local tax collector stating that they have not received payment of our school taxes. Payment was demanded in cash due to the delinquency and if it was not received within a week our delinquency was going to be turned over to the county and a collection agency for collection. Once again, I immediately got on the phone with Cenlar and that repeatedly told me that they never received our tax bill and that's why they weren't paid. I continued to argue with them as I know for a FACT that the tax bill was sent, since I'm the one that sent it. As a resolution they then told me that if I faxed them a copy of the bill that day they would get a check sent out in the mail the next morning and the tax collector would have it by Friday, December 11th. I continued to tell the gentleman from India that the tax collector was no longer accepting checks and would only accept a money order or cash due to the delinquency. He stated that they would be unable to provide the tax collector with either of those. I even offered to pay the taxes out of my pocket in cash, provide proof that they were paid, and then Cenlar could reimburse me for the money paid. Once again, the Indian gentleman refused to allow this. While I had the gentleman on the phone I called the tax collector and got her in on a 3-way call. She stated that she would accept a check from Cenlar AS LONG AS it was received by Friday, December 11th as promised. While I had them on the phone I had also inquired about our new monthly payment since we mailed them a lump sum check. I noticed that when I called in it was reflecting the higher payment as if we never mailed a lump sum check. It was explained to me that the computer system was going to update at midnight and the next day I would be able to see the new lower payment online. After we came to this agreement, I drove the bill to my husbands work so he could fax the document to them.
On Friday, December 11th I contacted the tax collector to verify receipt of the check from Cenlar. I unfortunately was not given confirmation since they did not receive a check from them. I then once again immediately got on the phone with Cenlar and spoke with an Indian girl. The girl assured me that the check had been sent. In order to verify that the check was sent I demanded a check number. Surprise, surprise she was unable to give me a check number. I told her that I was not going to get off of the phone with her until I had a check number. She then transferred the call to a supervisor. After transferring the call to her supervisor I was told that they need a few hours to research this and that they would get back to me by 4:00pm. At 4:00pm I did not receive a phone call back so I once again get on the phone and ask to speak with the supervisor I had spoken to in the morning. After getting him on the phone I was told that he needed until 5:00pm to continue researching and that he would give me a call back. Surprise, surprise Cenlar once again did not live up to their promise. 5:00pm came and went and we heard NOTHING back from them! In the meantime I figured out that we own so much of the house that it wasn't required of us to have an escrow account. I figured we can apparently pay our bills better then Cenlar can, so why give them our escrow money every month when we can be earning interest on it!
I called Cenlar and asked what needed to be done to cancel our escrow account. I was told that we had to simply write a letter and fax it to them. After they receive our fax they would recalculate our payment and just like that the account would be cancelled. At 4:30pm on Friday, December 11th my husband faxed a letter to Cenlar requesting that the escrow account be cancelled. At 5:30pm on Friday, December 11th I called Cenlar to verify that they received the fax. They verified that they had the fax in front of them and that if I called them on Monday morning they would give us our updated payment amount so we can mail in our payment for January.
Friday evening as I was doing research on Cenlar I stumbled upon this website, http://www.njleague.com/DirectoryFiles/Members/Cenlar.pdf. I found contact information for all of the executives. I decided that I was going to e-mail ALL of the executives and make them aware of what is going on with our unpaid taxes. I not only contacted the executives but I also contacted the BBB, Fox 43 local news and our NBC local news. I also called my Congressman's office to get their assistance as well.
On Monday morning, December 14th, 2009 I called Cenlar to not only get our updated payment amount but to also check on the status of our unpaid taxes. I refused to speak with anyone except the supervisor since I never received a phone call back on Friday. This supervisor was now claiming that they never received our lump sum check, they never received our fax requesting to have our escrow account closed AND they still had no answers as to why our taxes weren't paid yet! I told Jon where the fax had been sent to and he repeatedly told me that they never received it. I called my husband at work and got him in on a 3 way call to verify that he had faxed the bill to Cenlar. While on the phone with Jon, the supervisor from India, my husband faxed the bill 6 times to 2 different numbers that were given to us and once again surprise, surprise, they didn't receive ANY of the faxes! The supervisor told us that we need to "bear with them" because everyone is sending them their delinquent tax notices and that they would get to ours when they got to ours. Obviously I was VERY angry at this response and proceeded to change my tone with him. I will admit that I did scream at Jon explaining to him that it was their job to pay our taxes and if they would have paid them on time in the first place this never would have been an issue. Jon then hung up on me!
After Jon hung up on me I had had about enough with this company! I pulled out my list of executives and proceeded to call the CEO. At this point I was in tears and could barely speak and the person that answered the phone could tell how upset I was. I was told that this was not how they run their company and that if I gave them 10 minutes they would have my problem solved. Once again, 10 minutes came and went and I heard NOTHING back from them. I gave them an hour to get back to me and when I still didn't hear back from them I called again. This time I was given the name and direct extension of the women working on this for me.
I called the women working on it and she told me that she was getting a check together as we spoke and that they were going to overnight the check to our tax collector and that they would have the check in their hands by tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15th . I was told the check was going to be sent via over night mail. She also told me that she was sending a request to have our payment lowered since she could see that we mailed a lump sum check AND if I faxed a letter directly to her requesting the close of our escrow account she would get that process started as well.
Monday, December 14th in the afternoon my Congressman's office got back to me about the problem we were having. They called Cenlar and put us on a 3 way call to make sure this problem was solved once and for all. We of course got someone in India and they had NO idea what a Congressman even was. They thought Congressman was the gentleman's first name! After going around in circles for about a half hour they hung up on my Congressman!!!
I continued to call my tax collector's office every day that week to verify receipt of the check. It wasn't until Friday, December 18th that they actually received it. I was told they were going to be placing the check in overnight mail but it took an entire week for them to receive it!!
On Monday, December 21st I called Cenlar once again to check on the status of having our escrow account cancelled. I was informed that all they were waiting on was our payment history. As long as our payment history looked ok it was going to be cancelled. I was told to give them until the end of the week to get this information. I once again wasn't happy with answer but just had to accept it. Later that day I did receive a phone call stating that it was approved to be cancelled. They updated me on what my new payment was and that they were going to issue me a check that day for the remaining balance in my escrow account. I was told I would have the check by the end of the week. While on the phone I also told them that I had received a coupon book in the mail with our old payment amount on it, our original payment from TB&W, and had just requested that I get an updated coupon book now that the escrow account has been cancelled.
On Tuesday, December 22nd I received a letter in the mail stating that enclosed was a copy of my payment history as per my request. I was happy to get it and look at it but it was not something I requested.
On Wednesday, December 23rd I received a letter in the mail stating that my escrow account had been cancelled.
I finally felt like I was getting somewhere with this company. I knew that as soon as my escrow account was out of their hands that I would be free from all of the drama associated with this company. I checked my mail EVERYDAY until Wednesday, December 30th. I had even given them 3 extra mail days trying to be understanding with the Holiday. After I didn't get it in the mail on Wednesday, December 30th I decided to give them a call.
When I called Cenlar on Wednesday, December 30th I was transferred to someone in the incorrect department. She informed me that the reason I didn't get the check yet was because the check wasn't requested until Tuesday, December 22nd. The checks don't print until overnight and that the "check collector" didn't get it off the printer until Wednesday, December 23rd. The check collector then had to interoffice the check to the person that requested the check which is located 3 blocks away from their office to another office and that as soon as they got the interoffice mail they would put it in the mail to me. I was told that most likely the requestor did not receive the check until Thursday, December 24th and with closing early due to the Holiday they did not get around to mailing my check and that they probably didn't mail it out until Monday, December 28th. I told them that it didn't make sense that I received letters on the 22nd and the 23rd only a day or 2 after being mailed so it didn't make sense as to why I didn't receive the check. Judy, the lady I spoke to, said that she was going to get in touch with the check requestor to discuss this with me and that I would get a phone call back that day. By 4:00pm I still did not have a phone call back and I called Cenlar once again. This time when I called I spoke with someone named, Deb, and was informed that the process that was explained to me earlier was completely wrong and that there is actually a vendor that mails out the checks. Deb promised me that she was going to get in touch with the vendor to see when the check was actually mailed out and would get back in touch with me on Thursday, December 31st.
Thursday, December 31st came and so did the mail. Unfortunately, my check did not! I then contacted Deb and she informed me that she was STILL trying to get in touch with the vendor that sends out the checks. She promised me a phone call back by the end of the day with information in regards to my missing check. I gave Deb until 4:00pm and when I didn't hear back I proceeded to call Cenlar and get someone on the phone that could actually help me. I spoke with 4 different people in the matter of an hour and a half and ALL 4 times I was hung up on!!!! Finally at 5:30pm Deb called me back with no more information then what she had earlier. She STILL did not get a hold of the vendor and STILL had NO idea where my check was! I insisted that I did not want a stop payment placed on my check and that I just wanted the money wired into my account at this point. She told me over and over again that wiring is not something they can do it actually needs to be a check mailed to us. I have now waited 2 weeks for my check in the mail and they are doing NOTHING to help me! Every time I speak with Deb I get nothing but, "I know. I know. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." I don't want to hear that! She doesn't know what it's like to have this fraud of a company steal her money!!! I don't want to hear I know, I don't want to hear I'm sorry I WANT my money!!!!!
On Saturday, January 2nd, 2010 I sent an e-mail to the executives once again demanding resolution to this problem by 5:00pm on Monday, January 4th. If I do not get my money I have no other choice but to contact a lawyer. We will see where that take us. I'm now in the process of finding a lawyer that I want to deal with.
Fortunately, I have EVERY phone call documented with time and date along with the persons name that I spoke to.
Product or Service Mentioned: Cenlar Mortgage.