Have you heard the HARP Music?
HARP music is the sound you hear when you hear on the other end of the phone when you call your lender and ask for a mortgage modification. The HARP – it is supposed to mean Homeowners’ Affordable Refinance Program, which is pushed by the federal government, and implemented by the banks. What’s the HARP music? That’s the customer service people singing “yes” and typing keys as you are talking, and telling you all you have to do is fill out the paper work and send it in. Oh, such sweet HARP music. – Understand? (This blog is a sequel to Big Banks – Phone Nightmares)
So, who are these people you are talking to?
They are not the most highly educated bankers that understand all your financial debits and credits, sacrifices and business struggles over the last several years. These are well-meaning, rule-following, CYA (covering their financial institutions’ interests) entry level employees. Many have been at this same job for five years. Some are new at it, and some are comfortable at it. Picture a hundred cubicles with workstations seated with individuals with pink hair, blue hair, several piercings, and other normal looking people. They have great phone voices, unless you get one that is hung-over.
What is the clicking of the harp? Oh!? Is this bank-person typing? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they’re actually listening to your story, because that is not happening. The typing is CYA vernacular, something like: “IC: ID caller, Prime Sign, ver ssn. Auth good. TICC ACBU4CP. Bor w Mod Mort – 1st time. Told to fill out form and send in. Gave address, sent PDF. bor email firstname.lastname@example.org” No 2nd lien. No Bnkc planned. 2 paymts behind. NEXT ACT: Foreclosure – send to ATTNY.
Not at all what you expected, right? You’re giving your story and they’re typing business as usual. This is my short hand, and not from any bank’s instruction manual. Oh, you don’t read collection short hand? Here:
“In-call, I identified caller, The primary signature on the mortgage called in. I verified the Social Security Number. I made sure the he / she is authorized to talk about this account. I gave the warning that: “This is a Collection Call, All Calls may and will be monitored for training AND collection purposes”. The borrower wants a modified mortgage. First time for such a modified mortgage plan. I Told borrower to fill out the form that I sent via the computer email system. I got his/her email address, it is …. @xx.com. There is not a second lien on the property. The borrower says that they are not planning on filing bankruptcy. They are two months behind on payments. I am sending this case to be recommended for FORECLOSURE TO THE LEGAL DIVISION. (Notice I did not give the borrower a deadline before I would forward this account to the legal division. I’m just sending it to the pipeline now, because the borrower called. Thank you very much for calling.)
That concludes our HARP Music Concert for today. Stay tuned for more HARP music melodies… This is the music Jeff heard, and others heard in my last blog when he called in several times, and the bank couldn’t find time and time again is paperwork. . . meanwhile his account was in progress to FORECLOSURE.
Let me know if something like this happened to you, or someone you know. Let’s hear the music!
I was in “automated collections for several years, (no hair dye or piercings for me) and I have total respect for these people, but you need to know the truth!