The Audacity of Nope
Dear esteemed Senators Dodd and Schumer and U.S. Dept. of Treasury members:
My wife and I just turned fifty. We’ve been together for 30 amazing years. We have an excellent credit score, have never missed a payment of any kind, have zero credit card debt and own one car, a Prius.
We are two very thrifty, very responsible people, who live in a 1,500 square foot house in Florida that we bought in 2006. It’s the biggest house we’ve ever lived in. It’s all we need.
WELLS FARGO owns our mortgage. Qualifying for the mortgage was a snap. WELLS FARGO didn’t even ask for a survey. Not even sure they required an appraisal. Stated income was all WELLS FARGO required. We complied. Then the economy went south.
In March, the Obama administration launched a $50 billion plan to give the lending industry financial incentives to modify mortgages, lowering payments for struggling borrowers such as ourselves. We qualified for a loan modification, so, hat in hand, I called WELLS FARGO to ask about modifying our loan. I would have had better luck calling Donna Fargo. Or Fargo, North Dakota . How ‘bout Fargo Feed & Seed? I called again and again and got nowhere. I bypassed the 800 numbers and called WELLS FARGO headquarters. Did I get any help?
So I contacted the WELLS FARGO EXECUTIVES via e-mail. Not just any executives mind you. I’m talking about Howard Atkins CFO, John Stumpf CEO, Richard Levy and Mark Oman, both VP’s. Out on the links a caddy must have been alerted and my phone rang minutes later. Wow—the power of the internet.
We were told we qualified for the loan modification but first had to go through an application process. Nightmare doesn’t begin to describe it. We slogged through piles of paperwork. We jumped through hoops of Ruthian proportions. We did everything asked of us. Then we waited. And waited some more. Weeks passed. Then months.
We wondered if our loan would ever be modified. And we wondered. And wondered some more. Fed up, I tried the numbers WELLS FARGO left us and – you guessed it – nothing. So I tried e-mailing WELLS FARGO EXECUTIVES again.
Bingo. I suppose the brass doesn’t like being bothered when they’re having their hair done. We finally got an answer to our question about the loan modification. And here’s what WELLS FARGO had to say:
When I asked why, I wasn’t given an answer. So I e-mailed the WELLS FARGO EXECUTIVES again and again and again. Over fifty times. They handed me off to a representative from Hell. So I asked her why we were denied a loan modification. Her reply stunned me and I’m thinking it will stun you:
“Mr. C., we cannot modify your loan because you do not make enough money.”
I told her that was exactly why I needed a loan modification. Her response?
“Mr. C., even if we modified your loan, it wouldn’t help you.”
Theater of the Absurd? Lost episode of Candid Camera, perhaps? Punked by Ashton Kutcher maybe?
This is what STEPHANIE SANTI, EXECUTIVE MORTGAGE SPECIALIST, WELL FARGO’S OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT actually told me. She called it "WELLS FARGO POLICY."
It gets crazier. STEPHANIE SANTI further explained that saving money would not matter to us. That avoiding foreclosure would not matter to us. That ruining our perfect credit rating would not matter to us. She suggested a short sale. She suggested bad credit rating for years to come. She suggested foreclosure.
She suggested shame.
Then, as punishment for even broaching the subject of a loan modification, WELLS FARGO began inundating us with threatening letters and voice-mails. Tons. For no reason. We had not fallen behind on payments. Still haven’t. But the calls persisted. And the letters. And they persist to this day.
Meanwhile, on August 6th, WELLS FARGO said it was increasing the salaries of its top four executives, including CEO John Stumpf (firstname.lastname@example.org). Executive compensation at banks has been a hot-button topic in recent months, especially for firms like WELLS FARGO that received government bailout funds last fall. WELLS FARGO received $25 billion as part of the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was launched at the peak of the credit crisis. Some of that money is mine.
WELLS FARGO is also raising the salaries of Dave Hoyt, Mark Oman, (email@example.com) and Howard Atkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) . Hoyt serves as head of wholesale banking. Oman is the bank's head of home and consumer finance, while Atkins is WELLS FARGO’S chief financial officer.
But none of these extremely important, overpaid, self satisfied, well groomed and manicured executives with such wonderful teeth will allow us to modify our loan. And that just doesn’t make sense. Here’s why:
We qualify for a loan modification…
We pay taxes…
WELLS FARGO took TARP funds…
Nevertheless, all we get from WELLS FARGO is:
“NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.”
Can somebody please explain this to us? It defies comprehension in our opinion.
WELLS FARGO EXECUTIVES can be reached at:
Senator Chuck Schumer
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Julie <email@example.com>; Gary Waid firstname.lastname@example.org;
Eddy Hartenstein email@example.com
Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 11:37:18 AMSubject
BRAVO SHAWN C!
STEPHANIE SANTI? I believe it was time for you to go home
a few months ago.
WELLS FARGO YOU'RE LOSING IT! And, did you really even ever have
it to begin with?
Shawn, beautifully put. Thank you for including me in your e-mail distribution.
I am featuring you up front in 'WELLS FARGO CAUGHT!' a blog for people uniting to share support, stories, and now joining together in class actions suits all across the country because instead of being treated like the valueable customers and homeowners they are, they instead are walked on and made to feel about as important as the dirt on which their homes sit. One thing I know for sure...WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND. Wells Fargo WILL REAP what they have sewn. Shawn, you and Mrs. C are in my prayers. I believe you will receive the help you seek.