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Contributor

I came to USAA in 2005 when my ex-husband and I first seperated from the military. We bought our first home and USAA said a regular mortgage was a better choice for us at the time, so we worked with USAA and became homeowners in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2005 it was BOOMING. I divorced my husband in 2007 when he was unable to control his drinking and our home was appraised at $150k - (we purchased it for $129k). I kept the house in the divorce but was unable to have him removed from the mortgage. Sometime in 2008 I started to receive correspondence from GMAC (yet Nowhere on any orginal mortgage document was GMAC listed and when I was informed that my mortgage was through them all the paperwork stopped having the USAA letterhead (which was the only correspondence I ever received regarding my mortgage previously).

 

Then after some time of dealing with GMAC they filed for bankruptcy and  company named Ocwen began sending me correspondence about my mortgage. Now a company named GreenTree owns my mortgage. It has been nothing but a nightmare. I can't even afford to live in my own home and have a collection agency as the holder of my mortgage. 

 

I thought I was entering into a relationship with USAA, but disgust is all I feel at the moment. I had a collection agency call me during an important business meeting on Friday to tell me that GreenTree reported my deliinquent payment to the credit bureau - after an hour with both their "customer service" and "collection agency arm" they determined that they misapplied funds and failed to withdraw the appropriate amount. In 9 years I never missed a payment - 16 months of unemployment (female veterans don't seem to be a "risk" most employers are willing to hire) and $64k in student loans (the Post-9/11 GI bill came out right after I graduated from law school and it was not made retroactive), and I never missed a payment; now I have a collection agency ruining what credit I managed to salvage throughout my contested divorce, the housing crash and the flooding of law students at Florida Coastal. I am in financial ruin all because I had the audacity to buy a home and get an education. 

 

USAA- I wish you did live up to that "taking care of service members" mantra which had me come to you and trust you when I was starting my new life as a two war veteran, pursuing the American Dream. 

4 REPLIES

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So what did usaa sell the note on your house. Or did your ex do something
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USAA does not keep any mortgages in-house, just as many regular banks do not hold mortgages on houses of any kind normally. Once the mortgage is written, many times the bank will sell the note. This is not exclusive to USAA these days. If GreenTree made a mistake of any kind with your payments being credited timely (as long as the payment was paid on time), then they have an obligation to repair any issues caused by this inaccurate reporting. Do not let it go. Move quickly to force them to make the correction. Approach as a concerned customer first and if necessary, get an attorney involved to force them to correct the inaccuracy.
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Most banks only service a loan. they take the first few Mainly Interest payments then convert the loan into a mortgage backed security, for a fee, and then sell it in a package to investors. They keep their letterhead as long as they're servicing the loan, meaning they receive your money with their face and relationship on the loan. Take their fee, then send the rest to whomever bought it. When liability and risk become an issue, you become a hot potatoe, with high school drop outs, wearing suits, answer a Craigslist ad for a telemarketing collection job being the only ones willing to talk to you.
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There are so many things you should consider in your case. First no matter what, do not take out a second mortgage or even try for a HELOC. The last thing you need to do right now is go into more debt and lose any security in the equity of your home. My first suggestion is try to seek out refinancing if at all possible of your current mortgage to a lower % and at a fixed rate. This way you can have a set monthly payment without risk of increasing interst percentages, also it gives you peace of mind that you are in control of your house and your ex cannot do anything about it. Another possiblity is to short sale your home and find some place more affordable. You may have to count your losses but at least a big portion of your stress can be relieved. Try to sale it for what the house is worth. You never know. You may get more than what is expected. It would be best if you could come out on top. As for your student loans, unfortunately those do not get written off in a bankruptcy. These unfortunately follow federal laws and regulations and have the ability to garnishment of wages, intervene on tax returns and so on to collect on payment. They are not going away anytime soon. Yes it is possible to change your payment to the amount of your income or lower your payments, and even defer or put them into forberance. In the end this may seem like a good idea but you will be paying more interest and its not a financially intelligent decision. I suggest you seek help from a CFP or someone who has experience in financing that can help you with your situation. They can look at your specific financial problems and help you plan or come up with ideas to get out from under this. One thing you may do if you do have credit card debt amongst it is to call your credit card companies and tell them you have or are having problems and may not be able to make your payments. They may be able to temporarily lower your APR or even your payment. Of course it helps that you are up to date on all payments. If anything else try to make a settlement on your debt. Anything is better than filing bankruptcy. You credit can always rebound easier from a charge off than a bankruptcy. The biggest thing I suggest is to sit down, take a deep breath, budget your income to expenses. See what you can afford and what you can not. Rememebr you need the basic necessities to survive. Decide what is a want vs. need. Build a small savings (emergency fund / rainy day fund) for unexpected expenses. Then work on a plan to get out of debt. See where you can cut costs and put a little more money towards you debt. Rememebr its a temporary sacrifice for a lifetime of happiness of not working for others. Invest in yourself!!!