Today’s posting is a bit of a complaint and a cautionary example. Before we explain the situation, we wanted to give you a bit of context. You may know, one long term goal we have is to pay down the second mortgage on our condo. We owe approximately $312,000 on our apartment, of this, approximately $20,000 is in the form of a second trust. That is it’s a second mortgage on our apartment. The interest rate on our second is 8.84%. This is most expensive debt we owe.
Because it’s the most expensive debt, our primary focus for this year will be to aggressively pay this down.
However, our bank, Washington Mutual isn’t making this easy. So, we want to explain the problems we’ve received with WaMu, so you don’t have to go through the same experience.
WaMu’s mortgage servicing has been a total headache. We’ve had continual problems with deposits into our mortgage account, challenges reaching customer service, difficulty working with customer service after they’ve been reached, and we’ve had a very hard time getting WaMu accounts integrated with the rest of our banking via on-line deposits and withdrawals.
For example, today we checked our accounts and found that payments to our second mortgage had been instead been credited to our first mortgage. Please note that checks were sent in specifically said that they were to be credited toward the higher interest loan. Real person phone customer service is not available on the weekend. We then attempted to email, but WaMu’s email system was down. We were eventually able to reach a sales representative, who seemed disinterested in helping us, stating “Do we really have to handle this today?”
Our major concern is that WaMu has had a history of poor customer service. I had a problem with a loan overpayment back in 2004, which was never successfully resolved. My wife Miel has been consistently disappointed with their level of customer service since we took out the loan two years ago.
In conclusion, we are advising that our readers research their lender’s level of customer service before taking out a loan. Customer service for new customers is always better than for existing customers. Make sure that there is telephone access to a real person during the hours you will actually call. This is important because you may have your loan for a very long time, and continued problems are often not worth the hassle and can cost you money.
Best wishes in getting the service you deserve! Enjoy your weekend!
Miel & James