Short sale payoff never recorded, so customer’s credit report still marred
D ear Fixer: I completed a short sale of our Jefferson Park home in June 2011. It was a huge relief for me and my family.
Due to the horrible economy, we no longer could afford to pay our mortgage and care for our family. After purchasing our home, we did not refinance and buy frivolous things. We thought we were being responsible. We just hit a rough patch.
About four months after the sale, I noticed that Ocwen Financial Corp., which was our second mortgage company, had posted information to my credit report indicating we had a loan that was outstanding and delinquent. The loan had a different loan number than my original loan, even though it was the exact amount that should have been taken care of as part of the short sale.
I have all the closing documents, the approval letters and copies of the wire transfers to prove them wrong. After several attempts at disputing the information and hundreds of phone calls, I was told by an Ocwen representative that I was correct and that a fictitious loan was entered into their system, he could do nothing about it, and I should seek legal help.
Dumbfounded, I spoke with an attorney who told me it could take years to resolve this. I am at an utter loss. We would very much like to move on with our lives, but I don’t think Ocwen will allow us. This column is my last resort. I hope you can help us.
Norm Osimani, Oakwood Hills
Dear Norm: It sounds like you got caught in one of those glitchy situations that seems like it should be simple to fix but somehow isn’t. The Fixer was happy to pluck this problem out of that hopeless cycle and get it into the hands of someone who could fix it.
We brought your story to John Britti, executive VP and CFO at Ocwen, who took it to their consumer ombudsman’s office. Within a few days, they straightened it out.
Apparently, the glitch occurred around the time of the short sale, when the servicing of your loan was transferred from Ocwen to another company. Ocwen got the $3,300 that was supposed to pay off your debt, but somehow, it was never recorded as such. They fixed this and are filing a satisfaction/release of mortgage. They also sent you written documentation, along with an apology. It may take several weeks for the erroneous delinquent debt to come off your credit report, but it will.
Speaking of credit reports, it’s a good idea for all of us to check our reports every so often. The place to do that is annualcreditreport.com, the official site to get a free report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus every 12 months. (Avoid sound-alike websites that charge fees.) It’s easy to do; just follow the prompts for the free reports, which you can print from your computer.
Get ready to shred this Saturday
The Fixer hopes to see many of you on Saturday at the annual free “Shred It and Forget It” event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the United Center, parking lot E. You can bring up to 10 boxes of unwanted personal and financial documents, which will be destroyed on-site under the watchful eyes of federal agents.
The event is sponsored by the Better Business Bureau along with the City of Chicago, Chicago Police, FBI, Federal Trade Commission, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and United States Postal Inspection Service. The Fixer will be there in the morning, so wave hello as you drive through!
You can also bring old or broken TVs, monitors, laptops, PCs, servers, data storage devices, printers, fax/copy machines, cellphones, VCRs, DVD players, video cameras and game consoles for recycling and safe disposal. Data is wiped clean and the parts are recycled or disposed of safely.
This is a great event that The Fixer has been happy to support for several years. For more info, check out chicagoshreds.com and register to win a free personal shredder.
Getting the runaround over a consumer problem? Tell it to The Fixer at
suntimes.com/fixer , where you’ll find a simple form to fill out. Letters are edited for length and clarity.