Blend and extend offer was negotiated with property tax portion included. The amount has been paid by client, but not directed as agreed, by bank.
Mortgage renewal was due in June 2013. In March, I began my search for rates, etc., in foresight of this pending renewal. I had never had my property tax portion included in my mortgage, which had caused many problems. I was looking forward to finally addressing this issue and having it included in my bi-weekly payments. After a consultation with another bank, and a great offer on the table, my next step was to contact Tangerine (formerly ING Direct), to see what offer they had for me, and to discuss what my payment (mortgage and property tax portion) would be upon renewal. A blend and extend of the current terms was offered, at an acceptable rate, specific amounts were discussed (e.g. $299/bi-weekly to mortgage; and my estimated $120/bi-weekly to property taxes). The suggestion was made to keep my current (prior to renewal) bi-weekly payment amount at the same $426.31/bi-weekly, which would now also include my property taxes. I heard everything I needed to hear to agreed. One year elapsed, my payments were made on time, and upon receipt of my property tax bill, upon contacting the bank to learn about this procedure and how to provide payment to my municipality, was told that "no amount has ever been set aside for property taxes and the homeowner is responsible for making the payment". I did not and would not have agreed to that contract. The terms were clear and I accepted them. Another year has elapsed, I've been trying to find a resolution to this problem and another bill will now make its way to me. I do not have additional funds to pay this bill. The bank has only offered to extend my amortization, which does hint at a manipulated error, much like predatory lending, to force me to accept any offers they extend once they've manipulated and created a problem in my budget and finances.
As agreed upon, all payments that were made at $426.31 hold the amount of $120.00 for property taxes. I would like that amount refunded to me to provide payment to my municipality. I understand that if the error was made that the $120.00 was directed to my principle, that amount will also require equal adjustment. My mortgage should then be reduced to reflect the mortgage amount only of $306.31 ($299.00, plus those remainder amounts also negotiated).
Contact Name and Title: ****** ******** Complaint
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: *********@tangerine.ca
On January 7, 2013, our Client called and requested an early renewal with a blended rate and to also include her property tax payments into the final bi-weekly mortgage payment. The Associate gave her the new payment amount, where she told our Client at one point that the tax portion was included and in another point said 'no taxes'. Client received a late tax notice from her city in 2014, requesting for payments to cover approximately $4000, which resulted in the Client calling us on May 3, 2014 to find out what happened. On May 3, 2014 a supervisor spoke to our Client and advised her that he will investigate and call her back. On May 7, 2014 our Supervisor explained the details on the call that took place January 2013 where he determined that the tax portion was not included in the payment due to human error. He also advised her that he will come up with some options to resolve the issue.
In May and September (when the Client returned our calls) we provided her with a few options via email to resolve the issue and we sent her an Access to Personal Information form for her to complete in order to get access to review the call from January 7, 2013. On December 8th, we received the access form signed. Another detailed message was emailed to our Client February 2015 with her options, as well as, a date booked to review the call (delay in response due to that Supervisor now in a new position within the company). On February 26, 2015, we received BBB complaint. On March 3, 2015, the Complaint department reached out to our Client and offered her 4 feasible options (what our Client requested) and gave her a deadline (March 10, 2015) to call back with a decision, however, our Client did not call back. Options provided: 1)Reverse payments back to February 2013 and refund her approximately $4000 as well as increase amortization to approximately 25 years and waive the penalty if Client choose to discharge within 1 month. 2) CAP $4000 into principal of mortgage as well as increase amortization approximately 25years. 3) Put $4000 into a loan as well as decrease payment there taking the biweekly difference to cover loan. 4) To leave amortization at 18 years and by leaving the payment as is, we could advance her $4000 as requested. Client stated that she wanted to listen to the call. We confirmed that our Client could listen to the call, however, the options presented by the Complaints Officer will remain the same. Our Client understood. Our Client did not call on the day she make an appointment (March 5, 2015) to review the call. On March 9, 2015 we attempted to have the Client review the call, however, the call was not clear.
To date, no response has been received from our Client to the Complaints Officer. Our Client was given a deadline of March 10, 2015, in order to decide which option to choose. A Message was left on March 11, 2015 from the Complaints Officer to our Client advising her that if no response is received by end of the day (March 11, 2015), the matter will be closed with Complaints team and the next ladder of escalation would be the internal Ombudsman Office. In addition, any options provided to our Client would not be valid at the Ombudsman office. Please note, we mailed out two annual mortgage statements for 2013 and 2014 and both displayed $0 under taxes.
In January 2013, I called the bank for information purposes only as my mortgage renewal was due in June 2013. I needed to specifically obtain the bi-weekly payment amount with my property tax portion included at renewal to make an informed decision. The property tax portion had been previously excluded, and it was my sole focus and mission of the discussion. As specific payment amounts were identified, which included the property tax portion, I was satisfied and therefore accepted the offer.
In consideration of the fact that I was seeking information only in preparation for my mortgage renewal only due in June, I would not have accepted a renewal offer that maintained my current payment amount and excluded my property tax portion. Financially, that was not feasible option for me. I needed the amount reduced, or the property tax portion included to maintain my payments. I had been in arrears with my property taxes since 2008 and was ultimately seeking a solution.
The property tax portion in arrears was for the previous year, which was not included in my bi-weekly payment amount. Upon receiving the property tax bill from my municipality, I expected it to be a simple transaction and that the bank would forward the negotiated amount for the property taxes to me to provide payment to my municipality.
I did not anticipate that one full year after renewal, I would instead learn that the property tax portion had erroneously been excluded from the negotiated amount, contrary to the verbal agreement.
I then realized that, instead of a solution, my issues with my property taxes were further affected for the renewal period of five years and fully jeopardized my ability to afford my home.
I requested that the bank contact me on my cellular device or at my daytime number at work. I always returned the bank's telephone calls. The bank consistently ignored my requests to contact me where I was reachable and continued to leave messages on my voicemail at home, I assume to maintain records of failed attempts at reaching me, their client. This revoked my ability to connect with the bank and seek a fair solution to my affairs.
Considering all options to resolve the problem would further penalize me financially, no options were considered fair or financially viable. I declined all opportunistic and unfair offers by the bank as I felt they should not profit nor benefit from their human error. I was repeatedly told that we could not return to the lending department to adjust the interest rate to accommodate and honour our agreement. Yet, I received many offers to prolong my amortization period from 7 to 14 years, which would likely required returning to the lending department to make that adjustment.
When I did connect with the bank on March 3, 2015, I explicitly advised them that I would not be available the following week due to a scheduled procedure at the hospital. They insisted on providing the deadline of March 10, 2015, which I verbalized and advised I would be unable to connect that week. Again, all options provided to me were unfair and further penalized me. I also said, in plain language, that I was not satisfied with any of the options and if that facilitated the process to move to the next level of escalation sooner, that I was providing my rejection now.
I did connect with my complaint officer on March 5, 2015, and was ultimately given the fourth option during this call. I was scheduled to review my telephone call that evening. When I called that evening, I was advised that my complaint officer was supposed to provide identifying information for them to be able to assist and they did not have that information available.
I was then advised to call back on March 9, 2015.
I did call on March 9, 2015, and upon numerous attempts at listening and recording my call, I could not hear anything resembling a call. I could only hear the muffled chorus of other agents in their boisterous call centre.
The agent told me that she would call back that night, outside peak hours. This suggestion was made to help me to hear and record my call from January 2013. The agent also said that she would advise my complaint officer and seek further direction for me to hear and record the telephone call. I stayed up until 10:00 p.m., however, the agent did not return my call that evening, neither did the Complaint Officer.
Again, a message was left on my voicemail at home to advise me that I had a deadline to respond, which was for COB that day. Coincidentally, the deadline had already elapsed when I learned about it that evening, upon my arrival home from my work day and commute. Considering I was unable to meet that deadline as I was unaware of it, I did not contact the bank again at the voicemail message clearly stated that, upon missing the abovementioned deadline, my options had expired, were no longer valid, and my file would be forwarded to the next level of escalation.
I did receive annual statements from the bank. The first in December 2013, 12 full months after renewal and for the entire year that I was completely unaware of the error and was in no position to be able to prepare for the impact of having my budgeted amount for property tax portion deducted from my account, but not directed to the designated area.
And another statement was received 12 months later, for the second year after renewal, specifically the full period that I had been steadily fighting for a fair solution and for our legally binding agreement to be enforced accordingly.
Final Business Response
The Complaints department closed this complaint on March 11th, 2015 due to no response from Client on March 10, 2015. This deadline was mutually agreed on by the Client and the Complaints Officer on March 5th, 2015. The Client will need to follow the banks' Complaints Process. As a result, a written complaint to the banks' Ombudsman Office (Ombudsman email is available on banks website or by calling the bank directly).
In summary, this complaint has been ongoing since May 2014 due to limited action from the Client. The Complaint's department offered the Client four reasonable options in order to rectify this issue on March 3 and March 5, 2015 however, the Client did not respond to accept any options. On March 5, 2015, the Complaints Officer and the Client agreed that the Client would call the bank no later than March 10, 2015 to decide on which option to choose. Since no response from the Client, the Complaints Officer left a message for the Client on March 11, 2015 asking her to call as soon as possible. If the Client did not contact us, her complaint would be closed by end of day March 11, 2015 and she would need to take her complaint to the next complaint level, being the banks' Ombudsman Office. Consequently, the 4 options were no longer valid after the March 10th deadline. Due to no response from the Client, the issue was closed with the Complaints department end of day March 11, 2015.
Options provided to the Client on March 3 and March 5, 2015 by the Complaints Officer were as follows:
1) Reverse payments back to February 2013 and refund her approximately $4000 as well as increase amortization to approximately 25 years and waive the penalty if Client choose to discharge within 1 month.
2) CAP $4000 into principal of the mortgage as well as increase amortization approximately 25years.
3) Put $4000 into a loan as well as decrease the mortgage payment there taking the biweekly difference to cover loan.
4) To leave amortization at 18 years and by leaving the payment as is, we could advance her $4000 as requested.