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The farce goes on

| To err is human, to really screw things up you need Fremont Bank. A week ago I was feeling pretty good: the bank had paid off my old mortgage and I had won the "re-draw the documents" skirmish.

Then I received in the mail what purported to be the Final Settlement Statement from Fremont Bank. Except:

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At signing, I had forked over $2901.43 but the statement said 0.00. What's up with that? I waited a few days to see if any additional documents showed up. None.

I called and got someone who seemed to understand the question but didn't have an answer. Could I hold, she asked, while she printed "some papers" to look "deeper" into the problem? Of course. Several minutes later she came back to report that "it's very complicated" and she couldn't really explain, but she would have Susan call back because "she was the one who funded your loan."

"This is Susan at Fremont Bank."

"I've been expecting your call."

"What can I do for you today?" she asked brightly. Now you know perfectly well that she's been told why I called and why she is to call me back. Let's not play games, OK?

I cut straight to the chase. "At signing, I handed over checks totaling $2901.43, but there is no number on this Final Settlement Statement that accounts for that money," I said, enriching my voice with undertones of menace.

At this point I could hear much teeth-sucking, tongue-clicking, and assorted sotto-voce mutters.

"You are correct," said Susan. "We cashed your checks but that was missed." Note the passive voice, the old "mistakes were made" dodge; and it was a dodge because supposedly she was the one who had done the final paperwork on the loan. "I'll get that refunded to you," she said, taking active-voice responsibility. But — there's always a but — she couldn't do it until Monday when her manager would be back. She would call me again on Monday when she had straightened it out.

How do they do this? You would think that all the numbers related to my loan — any loan — would be entered in an accounting system and this statement would be a standard report spit out at the click of a mouse. They obviously had a record of my checks; they knew there were two of them and the amounts of each. Yet, "that was missed."

I'm thinking the FDIC needs to look into this bank. Seriously.

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018

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