This week was the week of dealing with billing-related BS – namely, clearing up why the city is still sending tax bills to GJM (in Texas), a discrepancy between the written and printed oil bills we got, and suspicious charges on my last mortgage statement. The first two were quickly and easily resolved. As for the last…
I rang up GMAC Mortgage this Friday, after finding they’d
double triple quadruple-billed me for a Payoff Statement, a routine piece of refinancing paperwork. (A refinance is basically taking out a new loan and using it to pay off your old one, usually on finding that you can get one at a lower rate than your current one. The payoff statement tells you–or your closing guy–given a near future date, the exact amount to pay on that loan on that date to pay it off. In other words, an interest calculation that’s done by the computer at the click of a button. How mortgage companies can justify charging $20-$100 for one of these is anyone’s guess**, but that’s a whole different rant entirely.)
I’ll spare re-recounting the details, you can read all about it in my demand letter to GMAC (after repeated calling to customer service reps got me nothing but elevated blood pressure and a contact Indian accent).
If ever you’re planning to contact GMAC about an error they’ve made, do yourself a favor and don’t bother. Type out your complaint on its own sheet of paper with your full name and account number, jam it into an envelope with any evidence, and send it certified mail in accordance with RESPA Section 6 (12 U.S.C. Section 2605). (It may help to include text such as “Qualified Written Request under RESPA Section 6” at the beginning of the letter, but this isn’t necessary for your letter to be a qualified written request they are required by law to respond to.) My experience thus far is that the reps are generally pleasant and inoffensive (though maybe worthless*) until you suggest the possibility that GMAC has made a mistake; then they start stonewalling. After the first rep refused to hear it I wrote him off as the occasional bad apple (curry), but after the same from a completely different rep I pretty much have to conclude that it’s policy.
* I had to contact them once before to make sure a tax payment they were supposed to send actually got sent. They were polite and quick to verify it, although I never did receive the proof of payment they promised to fax “within 24 hours”.
** one could also wonder why I’m making a stink about a whole $60 in spurious charges when compared to the loan amount, but I’m not one for swallowing bullshit, whether it comes by the bucketload or the spoonful.