Monday, October 01, 2018

The “Joys” of Having Your Mortgage Sold to Another Company, Part II — They Decide Not to Pay Your Insurance

The home owner’s insurance saga. Here it  is.

It started when I received a notice from my insurance company, Nationwide, that my payment had not been received. This notice came September 21. It said I had a month to get this situation resolved or the policy would be canceled.

I called the mortgage company. I was told that no that had been paid September 12 (the date the bill was supposed to be paid). I was told maybe they passed in the mail. I was then transferred to the insurance department. It happened to be closed. I should have gotten a clue from the fact all the recording said was the office was closed. Usually in those cases the hours are then given but not in this case.

I call Nationwide. They say the bill has not been paid. I said the mortgage had been sold so maybe that’s why it was late. Nationwide didn’t have any idea that the mortgage had been sold. I then gave Nationwide all the information on Shellpoint. The address, phone number etc.

I called back Shellpoint. I was told by them that they didn’t know why I was told it was paid. This person, the only one at Shellpoint that seemed concerned about what was happening, told me where to email a copy of the invoice. She also got me the hours the insurance office was opened.

There is a great deal of back forth which I won’t go into full detail (but will elaborate a little). Needless to say Nationwide was helpful at every step of the was Shellpoint wasn’t.

I called Shellpoint on Monday morning. I was told they had sent me a letter dated September 19 about the insurance not being paid. I said that’s great but the payment was due on the 12th. I then got an excuse and justification that was used throughout this entire experience: the loan had just been transferred to them.

This is a funny excuse because in all the information I received on the mortgage transfer I was told not to worry about anything.

The Shellpoint person told me what I needed to send to get the insurance paid. I was a little confused by what she said after I hung up. I called back Shellpoint and got that information. While I had Shellpoint on the line I gave them my insurance information: The name of the company, the account number, the name of the agent as well as address and telephone number.

Back to Nationwide. I told them what I needed. They said they would be happy to fax it over. I was worried that Shellpoint wouldn’t know my account number. The Nationwide person said if I had the loan number she would add it to the fax. I also asked her to send the second requested document to me. I said I was going to email that along with the bill. I wanted to make sure they got this as many ways as possible so they could do their job.

I called Shellpoint that afternoon to make sure they received the documents. I was told they wouldn’t be posted to the account for 48 hours. I then asked why the insurance was paid in the first place. I was told they didn’t have the information on my insurance company. I was just so annoyed by this. And again we didn’t get the loan until June. He also added since the insurance hadn’t been canceled and “we” were taking care of the problem everything was fine.

I could not believe what I was hearing. First off there was no “we” in this situation there was me. I made sure the proper information was exchanged. I got Nationwide to send the necessary documents to get the insurance paid. There was no we. This guy did apologize for what happened but then wanted to get me off the phone as quick as possible.

Later that afternoon someone else from Shellpoint called. I think she was responding to the initial information I sent in on Friday. She said she had been in contact with the insurance department and was told what information was needed to process the payment. I said I had already sent that in. I then asked again why the insurance wasn’t paid. Again I got the well it can take 30-60-90 days to get all the information in the account. I responded that none of the information sent out about the transfer of the load said anything about that at all.

The bottom line in all of this is that Shellpoint had ample time to find out the my insurance information. All they had to do was contact me. They certainly had no problem doing that when they informed me my insurance had expired. In fact this is the opening sentence in the letter they sent to me:  Our records show that your hazard insurance expired and we do not have evidence that you have obtained new coverage. So in other words they are blaming me because they didn’t do their job. The reason I don’t have insurance is Shellpoint didn’t pay the bill.

So from now on I’m going to be following very close when it come time to have my taxes paid and my insurance paid. I will have to contact both the tax office and Nationwide because there is just no reason to believe Shellpoint can do their job.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The “Joys” of Having Your Mortgage Sold to Another Company, Part I

It happens all the time your mortgage is sold to another company. In fact it is possible to have your mortgage sold several times over the life of the loan. But don’t expect a smooth transition. Don’t believe the information sent to you by the new loan company that it will be a smooth and easy transition.

This is what happened to me. The first part of the story takes place right when the loan transitioned to the new company. While what happened is not really terrible it was a precursor to part II which was an eye opener of just well how unprepared my new mortgage company was to handle my loan.

The mortgage company was New Penn Financial c/o of Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing. My understanding is that Penn Financial holds the mortgage note while Shellpoint actually takes care of all the administrative duties of the loan like collecting the money.

Sometime in May of this year I got a letter from Capitalone (I’ll have a post about them at a later date), saying that the loan was sold. It said what the name of the new company was and when this would all take place and when the last date it would accept mortgage payments. The letter essentially said there was nothing to be concerned about that all the information would transfer over to the new company and I would not have to do anything.

A couple weeks later came a letter from New Penn Financial that said just about the same thing. When it could receive payments, where payments should be sent to etc. Again all I would have to do is go online and set up my account. That’s all I’d have to do. Don’t believe that for a second in part two of this tale you’ll learn you need to be very much on the ball. And I ended up doing the mortgage company’s job.

June arrived and the problem started. I started getting automated calls saying that the mortgage company needed to get in touch with me. The message seemed to imply that if I stayed on the phone I would be transferred to someone. So I waited for a couple of minutes and was disconnected. This happened a couple of times. Finally I quickly wrote down the number I could call to contact someone. The number was said in the automated call but was said only once and said very fast so it was hard to write down.

I called one day. I said I was getting these calls and I wondered why. I was told they needed to update the information on my account. And that’s what we did updated the information on my account. I’m not exactly sure why this very basic information like my phone number didn’t carry over when the information was transferred by Capitalone but no matter.

I specifically asked during this call if it was all right to mail in the first payment. Also would there be a payment coupon included in the introductory information I was supposed to receive sometime mid-month. I was told there would be a coupon in that packet and mailing in the payment would be fine.

Problem solved right? Nope.

The phone calls continued. One coming as early as 7am.

I called again. The guy on the other end of the phone said it was because they needed information to set up my account. I said I’d already done this but fine we could do it again. There were a couple of questions that were different from the last time but again it was basic information that they should have had to begin with and that I’d given them in the first phone call.

I again asked if it was OK to send in the first payment by mail once the introductory packet arrived later in the month. I was told that would be fine.

So now everything should be fine. Right?

No. Phone calls continued.

I called back for a third time (it was a Friday and I was at a baseball game but I was fed up with all the calls). And again there was the request for my account information. But there was one more thing as well. My payment was late and needed to talk to someone about that.

As quick back ground the introductory packet had arrived. It did contain the payment coupon. I had not gotten around to sending it in yet. I’d written out the check but hadn’t mailed it. It arrived on a Thursday and I was going out of town that weekend. I mailed it the middle of the following week.

I got sent to a supervisor to discuss my late payment (it was supposed to be paid by the 18th). This is what I told that person. I said I had asked repeatedly if it would be fine to wait until the introductory packet came which would have a coupon and mail the first payment in that way. The packet came on the 15th the payment date was the 18th. So even if I had mailed the payment on the 15th it was doubtful that it would have gotten there in time.

I was told well the payment was still late. My response was I should not have been told it was fine to wait for the packet and use the coupon to mail in the payment. I further asked if I was the only person who had waited. I got no response from that one.

I was told they would put a note in the account that the payment was on the way. I responded by saying why wasn’t a note put in earlier saying how I would send in the first payment. If it had this could have all been avoided. There was no response to that at all.

Again not all that bad but it should have put me on my guard about these guys. Part two of the saga is about how
New Penn Financial and Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing didn’t pay my home owner’s insurance.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

The Joys of Job Hunting

Just going to vent a little here on the “joys” of job hunting (tongue firmly in cheek on this) on this Labor Day.

I’ve been job hunting for a while and it is really not much fun.

At the end of June, I happened to find an ad on Indeed for a position that well in my opinion I would be perfect for.

So I set out to write my cover letter. I will say I’m not very good at these. I’m never sure how specific I should get on what I do since I have no idea who will read the letter. If you get really in depth on your previous jobs and this ends up on the desk of an HR person or a job site will they even know what you are talking about. What I usually do is come up with a letter and then send the letter along with a link to the job ad to a couple of friends and ask what do you think.

I did that for this particular ad and heard back from a couple of people. I then heard from a friend who had essentially rewritten the entire letter. It was  nothing short of brilliant (thanks Tom for you help with it).

Off I sent letter and resume via Indeed to potential job. A couple of days later I got an email back from the actual firm. The guy asked for samples and what my hourly rate was. I sent back some samples and what my rate was. (I went back and looked at the ad and at the very end of it, in smaller type no less, was the request for samples and hourly rate. I felt a little bad but it really was not all that easy to see.)

A few days later was another request for further samples to get an idea of the different types of layout I’ve used in the past. I sent them along and told him to let me know if he needed anything else. He emailed me back and said “we are evaluating candidates and I’ll be back in touch soon one way or the other.”

I thought OK maybe a couple of weeks and I’ll know.

Well the way I found out that I didn’t get the job was that all of a sudden the ad appeared back on Indeed as a sponsored ad no less so it was listed at the top of the jobs listings (I signed up for emails from Indeed with certain key words and I get daily emails with potential job listings). The ad ran for at least two to three weeks. I looked at it make sure it was the same ad. It was.

I get an email today (six weeks after being told they would be back in touch soon) saying unfortunately, the company (the email actually used the name of the company but I’ve removed it) has moved to the next step in their hiring process, and your application was not selected at this time. The email didn’t come from the guy I’d been emailing with the company. Instead it was a mass email from Indeed. I’m going to assume everyone who didn’t make the round got one of these.

My venting is if you promised someone that you would let them know one way or the other soon then that’s what you should do. How long would it have taken to write thanks but no thanks and sent it to me. And if you had no intention of letting me know (or the other people who applied for the job) simply don’t say that. Say thanks for sending me the information I requested and leave it at that. Or you could just not respond which is what most companies do these days.

So now I’m off to do something really “fun” I’m going to clean the carpets upstairs with my rug shampooer.

Hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

The Poppy Memorial

This past Memorial Day weekend the The Poppy Memorial appeared on the National Mall:
Visitors to the National Mall on Memorial Day weekend will encounter a wall of bright red poppies, installed to commemorate the men and women who have died in uniform in the century since World War I.

Retired Navy Vice Adm. John Bird tells NPR the project uses 645,000 synthetic flowers — one for each American killed in an international conflict since the start of World War I — pressed against acrylic panels, which are backlit for dramatic effect.

"The Poppy Memorial visualizes the magnitude of that sacrifice and reminds us all of the price that was paid," said Retired Vice Admiral John Bird, the automobile association's senior vice president of military affairs. "We are grateful to the National Park Service for allowing us to display this inspiring and educational exhibit among the permanent monuments, as a testament to the enduring bravery of our men and women in uniform."

It was a very moving tribute and brought home how many people we're lost.

Birthday Baseball Returns

It was a tradition for many years that there would be a baseball game on my birthday.

One of my favorites was in 2012.

But last night's was pretty special too. In part because it was the first time in three years that I'd been to a game on my birthday. Mostly it was because of the performance of Max Scherzer. He is always amazing to watch. But tonight was something special. He had what is called an immaculate inning.

Here's how it unfolded:
The perfection began with a slider for a called strike against Johnny Field, who had doubled for the Rays’ first hit in his previous at-bat. Scherzer, taking no chances, finished him off with whiffs on a slider and a change-up. Next up was poor Christian Arroyo, tasked to pinch-hit against a revved-up hacksaw. Fastball looking, fastball swinging, change-up swinging. Strikeout. Two outs.

That brought up Daniel Robertson, Tampa Bay’s leadoff hitter and on-base-percentage leader. Robertson put up a valiant fight, fouling back a fastball, but that made it 0-2 and Scherzer wasn’t about to let him escape. He challenged Robertson with a 96-mph fastball. Robertson swung through it for strike three, giving Scherzer his second career nine-pitch, three-strikeout inning. The only other pitchers in baseball history known to have completed two such innings are Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson. All are in the Hall of Fame. Scherzer continues building his case to join them.

“I honestly didn’t know it happened,” Scherzer said. “Then I walked off the field and I was like, ‘Wait a second, I think that was it.’ So, yeah, that’s cool.”

We had two sets of sets too. A friend was going to go to the game. Her husband gets tickets from his office. She said she was busy every night this week and so wanted one day off. So she offered me the tickets. We sat in the seats through the 6th inning. Then we went for ice cream. After ice cream we sat in our regular seats. It was a really good night.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Visiting Arlington National Cemetery

It seemed very appropriate it being the Memorial Day weekend to visit Arlington National Cemetery.

More on Arlington:
The Army National Military Cemeteries, consisting of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia and Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., are under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army. The Secretary of the Army consolidated authorities and created the Executive Director position to effectively and efficiently develop, operate, manage and administer the program.

Arlington National Cemetery conducts between 27 and 30 funeral services each week day and between 6 and 8 services on Saturday. The grounds of Arlington National Cemetery honor those who have served our nation by providing a sense of beauty and peace for our guests. The rolling green hills are dotted with trees that are hundreds of years in age and complement the gardens found throughout the 624 acres of the cemetery. This impressive landscape serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest within the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.

More from Arlington

The mast of the Maine which blew up in Havana Harbor

Remembering the Challenger.

No matter what direction you look all the tomb stones are in a straight line.

The Tomb of the Unknows

More on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater.

The white marble sarcophagus has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classic pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. The six wreaths, three sculpted on each side, represent the six major campaigns of World War I. Inscribed on the back of the Tomb are the words:

Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God

The Tomb sarcophagus was placed above the grave of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. West of the World War I Unknown are the crypts of unknowns from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Those three graves are marked with white marble slabs flush with the plaza.

More from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Kennedys' Graves Sites

Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Scooter Scourge

Scourge might be a bit over the top to describe this new trend but it's not too far off.

Scooters and dockless bikes have shown up in DC.

And they're something of an annoyance.

You can see part of the problem from these two pictures. The scooter was just left right in the middle of the sidewalk. The bikes take up even more space.

I don't have a problem with the scooters or the bikes. I have a problem with the people who ride them and have no common sense when they do.

Here's what's happening in cities around the country:
Cities are struggling to figure out how to manage transport options that aren’t built around personal cars. Where, exactly, are scooters supposed to be stored — should you have to pay for parking? Scooters left haphazardly on sidewalks and in front of doors are a serious impediment for wheelchairs and the elderly. (PSA: To not be a jerk, the correct way to park is at a bike stand or against a wall, away from pedestrians and entryways.)

And this:
Tensions are particularly high in San Francisco, a dense city that was also the first to encounter Uber. Scooters dominated a meeting Monday in City Hall as lawmakers, citing hundreds of citizen complaints, weighed how to regulate them.

“It is clear that many of these companies continue to build their corporate empires off a basic premise: making massive profit always trumps protecting the public, and innovation is only possible by cutting corners,” said Aaron Peskin, a city supervisor.

Having encountered these my problem is people drive too fast on them. They weave in between pedestrians. There is the expectation on the part of the scooter rider that pedestrians should get out of their way. When actually it's the scooter rider who needs to slow down and stay out of the way of pedestrians.

I had the same problem when Segways came along. Nothing more enjoyable walking down a cobbled stoned sidewalk in Georgetown and have to get out of the way of one of these things. After awhile I didn't. I got some dirty looks from the Segway guys but it was worth it. I'm going to start doing the same thing with the scooters. They can slow down.

I have a feeling that in a year or so most of these scooters will be long gone. The fad will have faded

Monday, May 28, 2018

The National Museum of the Marine Corps

A couple Fridays ago Stu and I went and saw The National Museum of the Marine Corps. It's located in Triangle, Virginia. It's about an hours drive from DC. It was very impressive. Here are a few pictures from the trip.

More about the museum:
The National Museum of the Marine Corps, under the command of Marine Corps University, preserves and exhibits the material history of the U.S. Marine Corps; honors the commitment, accomplishments, and sacrifices of Marines; supports recruitment, training, education, and retention of Marines; and provides the public with a readily accessible platform for the exploration of Marine Corps history.
  • The Museum collects and provides responsible stewardship for objects related to the history of the Marine Corps; interprets the history of the Marine Corps through public exhibitions, collections-based publications, and other public programming venues; conducts collections-based research and shares the results of that research through publications, exhibitions, and public programming; and develops educational materials and conducts education programs for educators, students, and families to increase their awareness of the history of the Marine Corps.
  • The Museum contributes to the recruitment, training, education, and retention of Marines by informing and inspiring visitors through exhibitions and other public programs; by providing a backdrop for recruitment initiatives and an understanding of what it takes to “make a Marine”; by hosting classes for the Training and Education Command; and by providing opportunities for continuing education.

Marines the Early Years — The American Revolution

A little on the gallery on the American Revolution:
This is the first of six historical galleries. The Continental Congress authorized two battalions of Marines on 10 November 1775. According to legend, Captain Samuel Nicholas began recruiting men on that date at Philadelphia's Tun Tavern. Visitors follow the Marines from their beginnings during the American Revolution on through the long years of a country divided by Civil War. As Thomas Paine said, "Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered," but the first Marines did their part to win America's freedom from the British, usually from the fighting tops of ships. In early 1776, Nicholas led 234 Marines in their first amphibious landing in the Bahamas. This gallery portrays life aboard a fighting ship. Marines were not only expert riflemen, they were also good seamen, and they sailed to the "ends of the earth" fighting the enemies of the new republic. Weapons and tools of these first Marines, including muskets, swords, powder horns, and boarding axes, are displayed, along with art work and dioramas.