WELLS FARGO & COMPANY – CFPB Complaint ID 2889058

Date Received: 2018-04-27T00:00:00

Product: Mortgage debt

Issue: Attempts to collect debt not owed

Consumer Consent Provided to Share Complaint: Consent provided

Consumer Complaint: Dear Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Please accept this letter as a request to file complaint against XXXX XXXX XXXX regarding charges assessed to an escrow account, and request for restitution of charges. Please also accept this letter as a request to file complaint against Wells Fargo for request of property charge reimbursements, and for dismissal of reimbursement request with prejudice.
Accounting We hold a conventional home mortgage loan with XXXX XXXX. It was established XX/XX/XXXX and matures on XX/XX/XXXX. The property ( also later referenced as parcel ) under mortgage is the primary residence. Property taxes are assessed via XXXX County. XXXX XXXX XXXX, since the loans inception in year XX/XX/XXXX, has collected the parcels taxes and held them in escrow, as part of the propertys monthly mortgage payment. XXXX XXXX XXXX biannually issues XXXX County payments to cover the propertys taxes out of the escrow account.
The mortgage holders received an escrow overage check in year XX/XX/XXXX. They called XXXX County Treasurers office to confirm the property taxes had been paid, which they had. The mortgage holders then called XXXX XXXX XXXX to confirm the overage check was not a mistake. XXXX XXXX confirmed the taxes had been paid, the escrow account was not negative or in an Advance position with XXXX XXXX XXXX, and that the overage reimbursement was indeed valid.
The mortgage holders continued to received escrow overage checks until year XX/XX/XXXX. The same process was followed by the mortgage holders with every check received : the XXXX County Treasurers Office was called to ensure taxes were paid, and XXXX XXXX XXXX was called to ensure it was not a mistake. Every inquiry had the same results : the taxes had been paid and XXXX XXXX XXXX confirmed the overage reimbursement was valid.
In XX/XX/XXXX the mortgage holders received a letter from Wells Fargo Real Estate Tax Services division. The letter stated Wells Fargo had mistakenly paid property taxes for the parcel from XX/XX/XXXX through XX/XX/XXXX. Wells Fargo requested reimbursement in the amount of {$13000.00}.
The mortgage holders were astounded. The mortgage holders did not know the parcels taxes were being paid by any source other than XXXX XXXX XXXX. There was certainly no expectations Wells Fargo would ever pay the parcels taxes. Neither mortgage holder had ever held accounts with Wells Fargo ; not loans, bank accounts or any other form ( s ) of credit. Wells Fargo had never been requested to pay the property taxes, nor were they obligated to do so.
The mortgage holders directly contacted the XXXX County Treasures office and inquired to how this might have occurred. A clerck, in the XXXX County Tax Department, noted it could be a result of a misapplied parcel payment. The clerk further explained that Wells Fargo likely had a typo in a parcel number, and it could have resulted in payments being made on the property taxes accidentally. At the mortgage holders request the clerk put a flag on the property to ensure that only the mortgage holders or their lender ( XXXX XXXX XXXX ) could pay the property taxes for the parcel going forward.
The mortgage holders immediately following the phone call with the XXXX County Treasures Office, called XXXX XXXX XXXX. The mortgage holders alerted XXXX XXXX XXXX of the likely reason for the escrow refunds that had been occurring. They may be a result of misapplied parcel payments by Wells Fargo. XXXX XXXX XXXX was unaware this was occurring. XXXX XXXX Services was able to confirm their system showed they had sent funds to XXXX County for the parcels property taxes biannually. XXXX XXXX XXXX documented that they had later received refunds from XXXX County Treasury, for overapplied parcel tax payments. The overapplied funds returned by Whitman County were then sent out to the mortgage holders as escrow overage reimbursements. XXXX XXXX XXXX put a note on the account to ensure the parcels taxes were paid to XXXX County and that should overapplied escrow funds be identified going forward a review would take place. XXXX XXXX XXXX also immediately started an escrow review on the mortgage holders mortgage account.
The mortgage holders sought legal counsel regarding the funds Wells Fargo was requesting reimbursement of. The attorney counseled the mortgage holders to deny the reimbursement request from Wells Fargo as there was no legal obligation for reimbursement. A letter was sent to Wells Fargo, via attorney, on the mortgage holders behalf denying the reimbursement. This was at a personal cost to the mortgage holders of {$990.00}. Inherent in the denial for reimbursement was the denial of Wells Fargos request to speak to the mortgage service company ( XXXX XXXX XXXX ), who was responsible for paying the parcel taxes.
The mortgage holders followed up with XXXX XXXX XXXX once the letter had been sent by attorney to Wells Fargo XX/XX/XXXX denying the reimbursement. The purpose was to confirm that recent property taxes due on the parcel had been paid by XXXX XXXX XXXX, confirm an overapplied funds situation had not again occurred, check in to see if anything was found in the audit XXXX XXXX XXXX was performing on the account, and to notify XXXX XXXX XXXX Wells Fargos request was being denied.
A few days after the mortgage holders called XXXX XXXX XXXX, XXXX XXXX XXXX called the mortgage holders. XXXX XXXX XXXX notified the mortgage holder the escrow account now had a negative balance. The mortgage holder was asked if they wanted to pay the balance due in full or have it divided up into monthly installments, which would be added to the mortgage payment. When the mortgage holder inquired as to why there was now a negative balance, XXXX XXXX XXXX confirmed that XXXX XXXX XXXX had contacted Wells Fargo and issued a reimbursement to Wells Fargo in the amount of {$13000.00}.
Again, the mortgage holders were astounded. XXXX XXXX XXXX had given no indication in any form ( call, email, text, portal message, letter ) they may/would contact Wells Fargo regarding the reimbursement request. The mortgage holders had never asked/authorized XXXX XXXX XXXX to contact and/or make a reimbursement to Wells Fargo regarding the reimbursement request. As noted above, according to counsel, there was no legal obligation for the mortgage holders to reimburse Wells Fargo. Yet XXXX XXXX XXXX issued reimbursement to Wells Fargo in the amount of {$13000.00}, had already added this amount to the mortgage balance as an escrow advance, and had done so without notice and without the consent of the mortgage holders.
The mortgage holders arranged a call to speak with a XXXX XXXX XXXX supervisor. The purpose was to voice concern with the process, its legality, and to negate the {$13000.00} XXXX XXXX XXXX had charged to the escrow account without authorization from either mortgage holder. The supervisor noted it was done and that XXXX XXXX XXXX acted in its own best interest to protect the asset from a possible lien ( against the parcel ) originating from Wells Fargo for reimbursement of the mistakenly paid property taxes.
No documentation was ever provided by XXXX XXXX XXXX on the {$13000.00} charge. Further, no documentation was ever provided by Wells Fargo noting XXXX XXXX XXXX had reimburse Wells Fargo. The only documentation evident of the {$13000.00} transaction is reflected in the XXXX XXXX XXXX portal, in viewing the Mortgage Accounts Annual Escrow Statement.
Conclusion Reasons stand that the mortgage holders did no harm, and also conducted due diligence in : paying into escrow to cover their parcels property taxes ; vetted parcel taxes were paid with the XXXX County Treasurers Office ; vetted the mortgage holder, XXXX XXXX XXXX, was paying the taxes and processes were being followed in paying the parcel taxes ; never requested payments be made on their behalf on parcel taxes by Wells Fargo ; immediately notified XXXX County Treasurers office of the unintentional payments by Wells Fargo to prevent future occurrences ; immediately notified XXXX XXXX XXXX of the unintentional payments by Wells Fargo to prevent future occurrences ; sought out and paid for legal counsel to determine if there was legal obligation to repay Wells Fargo for unintentional property tax payments ; never requested XXXX XXXX XXXX reimburse Wells Fargo for unauthorized payment of property taxes.
Complaint & Restitution The mortgage holders request the following complaints and restitutions be made : The complaint against XXXX XXXX XXXX : XXXX XXXX XXXX made a non-obligatory payment to Wells Fargo and then assessed the amount to the mortgage holders mortgage, in the form of an escrow advance. Prior to XXXX XXXX XXXX taking any action with Wells Fargo, the mortgage holders denied Wells Fargos request for reimbursement and informed XXXX XXXX XXXX of this denial in a phone call ; the denial notifying Wells Fargo was sent by mail via attorney. Despite the notice given to XXXX XXXX XXXX regarding the denial, XXXX XXXX XXXX contacted Wells Fargo and made a non-obligatory payment to Wells Fargo, without the knowledge or consent of the mortgage holders. The amount XXXX XXXX XXXX paid Wells Fargo was the amount Wells Fargo had requested reimbursement for, because of unintentional tax payments Wells Fargo made on the mortgage holders parcel, {$13000.00}.


The remuneration request against XXXX XXXX XXXX : the mortgage holders request the {$13000.00} charged to their mortgage as an escrow advance be stricken from their account permanently, and any payments the mortgage holders made toward the advance be refunded them, without harm. It is further requested that XXXX XXXX XXXX actions may not result in any harm to the mortgage holders, should attempts be made by XXXX XXXX XXXX to reclaim the {$13000.00} from Wells Fargo.

The complaint being made against Wells Fargo : Wells Fargo requested reimbursement in the amount of {$13000.00} for unintentional payment of property taxes on a XXXX County parcel. The mortgage holders did not request Wells Fargo to pay their taxes and were not aware of the taxes being paid by Wells Fargo until so notified. The mortgage holders should not, under any circumstances, be held responsible for the actions ( mistake ) of Wells Fargo.

The remuneration request against Wells Fargo : the mortgage holders are denying the request for reimbursement to Wells Fargo. The mortgage holders seek written confirmation the reimbursement request made by Wells Fargo is dismissed by Wells Fargo without reimbursement and that no further request/attempt for reimbursement may ever be pursued. Should XXXX XXXX seek to reclaim the {$13000.00} reimbursement payment it made to Wells Fargo, no actions may be taken to seek reimbursement by any party the reimbursement request denial stands under any condition ( s ), without financial remuneration to Wells Fargo, and with prejudice.
Enclosures/Documentation In the form of attachments : Wells Fargo Reimbursement Request WellsFargoReimbursementRequest $ XXXX Attorney Letter Mailed to Wells Fargo Denying Reimbursement XXXX Attorney bill for counsel and letter to Wells Fargo XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX Escrow Statement showing additional charge of {$7400.00}, {$1800.00}, {$1500.00}, {$1500.00}, and {$1400.00} totaling {$13000.00} XXXXEscrowCharges $ XXXX Respectfully, Mortgage Holders


State/Zip: WA 991XX

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Company Response to Complaint: Closed with explanation

Was Company Response Timely: Yes

Did Consumer Dispute Company Response: N/A

Complaint ID: 2889058

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