I finally got a reply today from GMAC to the Washington DC Better Business Bureau. (Read my previous post for the back-story.)
It turns out that not only did they apply the $556 refund sent from our flood insurance company meant for our closed GMAC account to our new GMAC account, they also have been calculating our payments incorrectly for the new account. We would not have discovered this had it not been for their losing the $556 initially and drawing our attention as a consequence.
In their response, they claim to have anticipated the incorrect amount for our property taxes, which is of course impossible-- the correct amount was on our HUD-1 statement from closing, and it's the same amount they had been charging us when they held our previous loan. They went on to claim our taxes had "increased" (false) and that this meant we now had an escrow shortfall, tempered somewhat by the $556 they incorrectly placed in our new escrow account.
The tone of the response was unnecessarily condescending and attempted to place the blame for this miscalculation on us. It even insinuated that we hadn't been paying our bills.
I rejected their response. Here's my reply:
At least I know where the money is now.
I am rejecting this response because:
I am unable to accept a response from GMAC which contains false and misleading information and which omits critical details.
- GMAC's assertion that our taxes have increased is false.
- We have paid, on time, every time, exactly the amounts stated on all our bills from GMAC. Our payments have been made using GMAC's own automatic withdrawal bill payment system.
- If the escrow amount billed was incorrect, this mistake is GMAC's. They have not acknowledged that this is their error.
- The correct tax, insurance, and escrow information was made available to GMAC at the time they acquired our loan, which was prior to our first monthly payment. GMAC subsequently produced statements for the incorrect amount. Again, this was not our error; we paid the amount due on time using GMAC's automatic payment system.
- The escrow shortage we presently face was caused by GMAC's own error. GMAC has not acknowledged that this was their error, not ours.
- At the time this complaint was originally opened, GMAC had no idea where the missing $556 was. It was many days later before they finally discovered they had placed it into a different account. GMAC has not addressed their gross lack of accountability for incoming funds/refunds.
- GMAC took money that was destined for one account and placed it in a different account. This is an incorrect banking practice.
- GMAC has not acknowledged their woefully inadequate and incompetent customer service.
- GMAC has not apologized for their woefully inadequate and incompetent customer service.
- GMAC has failed to adequately explain why they billed us for the incorrect amount, especially in their light of their possession of documents from closing indicating what the correct amount should have been.
- This escrow shortfall issue is tangential to the reason this complaint was opened and would not have been discovered had it not been for GMAC's incompetence in handling the refund correctly. It would no doubt have continued until our next tax payment was due before it was noticed, at such time we would have found ourselves in dire circumstances. GMAC must explain why this happened and what it will do to prevent future errors of this magnitude.