I have refrained from writing about this, but it's time.
I have three children. Unfortunately, I only hear from the youngest one, my only daughter, when something is wrong.
She and her husband are in mortgage trouble. I don't need to share the details of why, as it's not important.
My knight (knightess?) in shining armor is my friend Germaine LeBourveau-Smith. Germaine owns Guardian Settlement Services, a company that helps folks who are in the situation my daughter is in. She helps by talking with the financial institution to negotiate a way for all involved to hopefully have a postive resolution from the situation. She charges for her services. Germaine has not been able to obtain any meaningful PR because of that last part. She charges for her services. (And believe me, she doesn't charge enough.)
The comments she get from the media and other government folk are, "But why are you charging for something that people can just do for themselves? After all, they could call their bank and talk with them. They don't need you."
So let me give you an idea of the roadblocks she has run into with CitiMortgage already. She faxed the powers of attorney over to the number listed for such things, got a confirmation.....three times. And still CitiMortgage said they didn't receive it any of the three times. (Could they be stonewalling?) She finally asked to speak to a supervisor. She was told that they (the powers of attorney) would not become active on the account for somewhere between 24 - 72 hours. That's customer service for you.
Because she can't get a clear picture of what is happening on the account and keeps getting different answers from CitiMortgage; on Wednesday of this week Germaine asked for them to send her a payment history. It is now Saturday and she has still not received it. In the meantime my daughter sent a payment at the end of March for April. Yesterday, CitiMortgage sent a "goon" to her home, to hand-deliver a message saying, "Call Ranger Fairbanks at this number. Your call is expected today." This was at 4:30 PM Friday. The man at her door would not identify himself. As far as I'm concerned, this is intimidation and harassment.
Additionally, previous to my daughter contacting me, CitiMortgage, engaged a law firm (they did not identify themselves as a law firm, but as a professional corporation) that demanded a $1200 payment for their services, "or it was inferred that the mortgage very likely would go to foreclosure." $1200! That made me livid. Of course, my daughter and her husband thought they had no choice but to pay it, so they used their income tax return and you know that they'll never see that money again. That was almost a month and a half of mortgage payments.
And the media won't give Germaine the time of day because she charges $250 for the first three hours of her services.
That shady law firm's solution was to add $300 to the monthly mortgage payment, (if daughter and her husband can't pay now, how will they be able to pay more?) It's that same shady law firm that holds people hostage for their fees that are over four times as much as Germaine's fee. I would say that the media is actually criminal in not letting people know that Germaine is a low-cost alternative to highway robbery.
Germaine's contact information should be on every billboard right now. Instead of paying for such marketing, she'd rather charge a small amount so that most people can use her services.