Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The $9.95 Breakdown

You know those little annoyances in life that you could totally do without? The ones where you are at your breaking point anyway. You are holding on for dear life, trying to keep your head above water  and then something out of your control comes along and knocks you down that last peg?

This is one of those stories...

Our mortgage was transfered. Not because we requested it or tried to refinance or something. It was just sold to another company.

In nearly 10 years of "owning" this house, our loan has been transfered 3-4 times. Each time a new company with a new set of rules, new due date, new fees...This time, though, the mortgage company has ridiculous fees to pay my bill. Yes you read that right, No Matter How I Pay My Mortgage, They Charge a Fee. I called to pay over the phone - after hanging out with a lovely lady, forever. (She had to get us all registered in the new system) I was told it would be $20 to pay by phone. $20 and that was the cheapest option she could give me!! I bit my tongue and paid it that one time. Asking of course if there were other cheaper ways to pay in the future. She assured me there were.

Fast forward to June. I was told by that lovely lady that we would receive all of our new loan information by June 1st and we would be able to login, on the internet. Which would carry no charge for payments.

Great. The loan payment was due by June 10th. I received our new loan information June 17th.

That's okay, I remember the lady saying there would be no late charges or additional fees for the first couple months as everyone got settled into the new system. No worries, I will get it all figured out just as soon as I have a few extra minutes.

So, this is where I was at when I had an extra minute...After a very long couple of weeks of IB deadlines, a 4 day-physically demanding fundraiser, 3 children, still healing from knee surgery, complete with physical therapy appointments and of course the thoughts looming over Ian's health and upcoming surgery. To top it all off, my husband gets a call from work saying It has hit the fan. Not by his fault by any means, but he would need to help fix some things while still working on his original deadline. Which means long(er) nights, little(er) sleep, children that still wake up at 6:30 and more stress all by itself, than most people can handle without flipping out...

...After all that, I went to pay my bill...online...for free.

As I get to the site I see there are several payment options. Multiple ways to pay through Western Union, Auto Draft, Money Gram and something called Equity Accelerators. Now that sounded interesting! I could pay off my loan quicker with BI-weekly payments and no monthly fees! How could that be any better? So the next day I call to inquire about that option :)

After another painfully long conversation  where my name is read back to me as "Morsac" even though  I have carefully spelled it out twice. We finally get down to business and I am ready to sign up and make my payment! At - this - point I am informed that there will be a small, tiny really, one time sign up fee of $295. That they will kindly take out the next time we have a 3 paycheck month.

Are they serious?? Nearly $300 to sign up for a program to PAY my mortgage? How is it okay to charge people to PAY their bill??

Do you remember, years back when Taco Bell tried to charge people a fee to use their debit cards? Here in Bloomington it was something like 75 cents on top of your bill.

People got angry. They can't do that anymore!

Anyway, Since we are attempting to sell that home, I went ahead and opted out at that point. Choosing to go back to the online payment options. The least expensive being Western Unions "Web Payment" option.

The fee? $9.95 each month...I had no choice.

After pushing Enter on the payment, the world crashed down on top of me.

All I wanted to do was pay for my mortgage, like I have every month for the past 10 years. Faithfully. Just pay it. As easily and least expensive as possible.

Is $9.95 a lot of money? No, It's not.

But why, why after everything else that happens in our life on a daily basis, why did our mortgage get transfered? Why are there new numbers and login information that I have to remember? Why do I have to pay an additional $9.95 a month, indefinitely, to PAY my loan?

So I cried. Maybe a lot. Stomped my feet a bit and wrote some nasty feedback which the company will probably never read because they have a crappy website that gave me an error code when I submitted my well worded message.


Ladies and Gentlemen, that is the story of the $9.95 Breakdown. Please stay tuned for the follow up rant entitled "What I could have done with that $9.95"