Goodbye Washington Mutual

My already bad day was made a little worse today when I got a call from WA Mutual saying that they hadn't yet received my February payment. I checked my checkbook and discovered that I had mailed the check on the 5th of February.

Since they "hadn't received it," I called my bank and put a stop-payment on the check, which cost me $17.

After stopping payment, I called WA Mutual's 1-800 number back and after two fruitless attempts to reach a live person was told that I had to make a payment today in order to avoid being "reported to credit agencies." Of course, in order to make the payment I would have to pay an additional $10 for making the payment over the phone, and that was in addition to the $27.67 late fee that was assessed for being late.

Now I haven't missed a house payment in the 15 years I've owned this house, nor in the 17 years I owned my previous home, though I must admit I was assessed a $17 late fee for this house by Fleet when the payment was delayed in the Christmas mail rush.

I wonder why the late fee went up $10 when WA Mutal bought the loan from Fleet? I wonder why I can't just pay the bill plus the late fee the next month when I mail in my regular check without being "reported to the credit agencies?"

As I was doing taxes this year, I wondered why so many people had refinanced WA Mutual loans through another bank.

Are you surprised that I stopped on the way home from WA Mutual and enquired about refinancing the loan at another bank? I guess WA Mutual will be losing an 8% loan shortly. Somehow I would have thought that maintaining a good customer would have been more important than $37 in late fees. Maybe not.

5 thoughts on “Goodbye Washington Mutual

  1. I don’t know how your banking system works in the US but here in Canada whenever I’ve had a mortgage or a loan payment to make I’ve always arranged for autodebit out of my account in order toprevent just this sort of problem. I haven’t written a cheque in months. Everything is either paid online through my bank or auto debited.

  2. These things happen–big deal, what does “being a good customer” mean to you? Big flippin deal! You make your payments hopefully on time–that makes you a good customer?. Thats what you said you would do when you signed the mortgage note. So, living up to what you contractually agreed to do makes you a “good customer?” So, I guess I’m a good employee of my job because I show upt to work everyday like I’m supposed to. Or I’m a good citizen because I pay my taxes, like I’m supposed to. Or that I don’t cheat on my wife makes me a good husband?–If you think so, you’re an idiot! Being a good customer, is a lot more than doing what your expected to do. “What a wonderful water company we have, I turned on the faucet, and water came out–as it is supposed to.!”

    Your thoughts?

  3. Well, after 15 years without missing a payment I expect to be treated with respect, not threatened. After all, as you say, “these things happen.” It’s one thing to be charged a “late charge,” which I didn’t object to. It’s something quite different to be threatened.

    I solved the problem. I went to a new bank and saved 1.75% on my loan at the same time.

    As long as WA Mutual didn’t want my money I guess we didn’t have a problem.

  4. If you are sending your payment on 2/5/03 and you were contractually due on 2/1/03 (all conventional and FHA loans are DUE on the 1st of every month) then technically you are still late with your payment. The bank gives you a grace period of 15 days to make your payment without penalty. More than likely you are afraid of direct debit or you would have signed up for autopay through WAMU. Sometimes life gives us little lessons and punishments to make us grow as people. I’m sure the time you spent complaining and making phone calls more than came out to over $37. Refinancing your mortgage is your right and seems to have worked out in your favor. Don’t confuse your life lesson with your petty issues. You were asking for trouble by sending your payment 5 days AFTER the actual due date. Surely you don’t think WAMU was out to get you?…

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