The Non-Update on My Escrow Refund

It’s been over a month since I received a rubber escrow refund check from my former mortgage provider, Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker. For those who didn’t catch the story the first time around, my husband and I refinanced and had a $1200 escrow refund due.

At the end of August I received and deposited the check into my bank. A few days later it was returned NSF, causing us to be charged a bunch of overdraft fees that were eventually reversed.

Here’s the update: there is no update.

The Status of Escrow Accounts at Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker

I have called TBW three times now to find out what is happening with my escrow money. Every time I was on hold for around an hour before being told that the money is there. It’s just frozen by the FDIC. According to Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker, I will receive the money, when the FDIC decides to unfreeze the money.

I’ve talked to the FDIC. The FDIC put is blaming TBW in the matter. And they had someone from TBW call me back, basically telling me the same thing TBW told me when I initiated the call.

So basically, nobody at either the FDIC or TBW is giving anyone a straight answer.

The Status of Former TBW Mortgage Holders

Former TBW mortgage owners are in a world of hurt. Some have had to come up with property tax payments out of their own pockets…after having paid a year of tax payments into their escrow accounts.

Some people can’t afford to pay their property taxes and have been assessed late fees. Some are even in danger of having leins put against their property, because they haven’t paid their property taxes.

Some people were part of an Equity Accelerator program that somehow ran through TBW. And payments they made to TBW didn’t make it to Equity Accelerator, so now they’re behind on their payments. Ironic, since the reason that they signed up with EA was so they could get ahead on paying down their principle.

Others still aren’t sure to whom they should make their mortgage payment. On one day they’re told that their mortgages are with Bank of America, and on another day they’re told their mortgages are with CENLAR. And still others have been told that they are part of TBW’s restructuring, under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, meaning that the need to continue making payments to a company whose funds are frozen. Not very encouraging.

Where are the Answers to the Taylor Bean Whitaker Crisis?

In doing a Google search for the status of Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker and the funds they (or the FDIC, depending on who you talk to) are holding, I haven’t come up with much. Neither has anyone else.

Other than local Ocala, FL papers, there hasn’t been much news on the third largest mortgage provider’s bankruptcy, other than the fact that they have indeed declared bankruptcy.

Basically customers are forced to get information from other customers. My last post on Taylor, Bean, and Whitaker has over 160 comments from mortgage customers sharing what they know and what they’ve been told. One reader mentioned that a ruling had been made in the legal case between the FDIC and Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker, but I’ve had trouble coming up with an online source to confirm that.

You’d think that there would be a better way to keep consumers, some of whom have thousands of dollars at stake, better informed about what is happening and what to expect.

I also think it’s sad that here we have a situation that is affecting hundreds, if not thousands, of people: people, who have done everything right, but are paying a high price for the failure of their mortgage company. Yet in the national news, Jon & Kate’s unraveling marriage is of more concern than what happens to people when Taylor Bean & Whitaker doesn’t pay property taxes and insurance.

Search Results:

  • CNN: 0 for Taylor Bean Whitaker, 7 pages for Jon & Kate. A search of CNNMoney.com produced 2 results for Taylor Bean Whitaker.
  • MSNBC: 29 for TBW, 1,580,000 for Jon & Kate
  • Fox News: Difficult to tell, as there doesn’t seem to be a good way to do an exact search. However a search for “Taylor, Bean, and Whitaker” returned two results for the mortgage company on the first page. Other results included Taylor Swift and Green Bean Casserole. A search for Jon and Kate turned up at least three pages of results that were purely about Jon and Kate Gosselin. I stopped looking after three pages.

Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

Photo by lrargerich.



Author

By , on Oct 5, 2009
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.

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{447 Comments}

  1. Stacy:

    rec’d our refund check in the mail today. Let’s hope that it clears:) thanks to all that provided info and updates, it’s has been a long, hard, rocky road for all of us. I wish you all still awaiting a resolution the best and results soon.

  2. Marc:

    I’ve called Cenlar about a dozen times over the past 10 months they keep telling me the same thing……that the funds are tied up in BK and that they expect to be able to resolve my escrow acct in a few weeks.

    General Correspondence Including Customer Interaction:

    Mail request to: P.O. Box 211091, Eagan, MN, 08628
    Phone: 1-866-305-6949
    Fax to: 1-609-538-4005

  3. Cindy:

    Question for Bartt…Who did you talk to at Cenlar? I can’t get anyone from the US on the phone.

    • Bartt:

      It’s been more than 6 months ago, so my recollection is a little fuzzy…

      I’m pretty sure I just used the main, toll-free number. If memory serves me correctly, there was one call or two that ended up overseas, but one morning, someone from the U.S. answered & said (at the time) during working hours, the U.S. would handle all the calls they could & overflow would go overseas. That may have changed since then. I got the idea they weren’t really prepared for the number of calls they were going to get when they “inherited” the TBW stuff.

      I’d suggest asking to be transferred to someone in the U.S. Seems like I remember someone posting about success with that somewhere in this thread.

      I’ll look thru my file, though, & see if I can find a number different from the toll-free one.

      • Bartt:

        Try 877-680-5583.

        IIRC, it went overseas a time or two, but I eventually talked to someone in the U.S.

  4. Zach:

    *FINALLY* . . . just took our Escrow check to the bank today. It was from Ginnie Mae and BOA, and I am grateful it is all resolved. Thank you to everyone here who provided information and support in this mess!

  5. Matt:

    Still waiting……. anyone else?

    • Mary:

      Yes…we are still waiting too. BoA supposedly told our contractor that our check was going to be issued last Friday. Of course, originally they didn’t have the funds for our check so I don’t know what story to believe. Like you, I just wish this would get resolved. It is frustrating to know some people have checks but yours is nowhere to be found. But, I am extremely happy for those people who do have their checks because I know what it’s like to be in their shoes. Maybe today.

  6. Melissa:

    We received our check from Ginnie Mae and BOA on Thursday. Finally! Good luck to everyone that is waiting. This has been a phenomenal resource and a big thanks to everyone who provided important information in getting this resolved.

  7. Paula P.:

    I called Bank of America yesterday. I was told that the checks that are being issued now are for the people who paid off their loan and still had an escrow balance remaining and got rubber checks the first time around. The estimated completion date was June 7. He was unable to tell me when or if they might get around to issuing escrow checks for those who got hosed on the misplaced Lender Placed insurance.

  8. Gart:

    I’ve been reading this website weekly for almost the last year. I had an escrow check that bounced. I never filled out any court papers or anything. But I got home yesterday and low and behold a new check from Bank of America.

  9. Stacy:

    I got a call back this morning from Paul at Ginnie Mae. He told me that my refund was probably sent with the batch of checks on 6/4/10. He told me if I don’t get my refund in the next week to call him and he’ll put a tracer on it. He told me that a lot of people have called him telling him they rec’d their refunds already. I am still hopeful, this guy has been nothing but honest with me.

  10. Marc:

    I paid off my TBW loan last August and refinanced into a loan with BOA. On or near the day of the payoff, TBW transferred by loan and escrow to Cenlar. Cenlar has not been bugging me on the loan balance but they also won’t refund my escrow balance even though I have provided documentation that the loan was paid off by the title company.

    I would welcome any advice as to how I can get one of these checks that seem are being paid the past few weeks.

  11. Megan C.:

    Did they stop issuing checks or what? No one who has a Ginnie Mae loan has gotten one in a while.

    • Mary:

      I was told they sent some more out on June 4th. But….they said they don’t have the funds for mine even though they know the amount and they are both Ginnie Mae/BoA issues at this point.

      I don’t know what the story is. I thought everyone was supposed to have theirs by the end of May and yet they are still issuing and have not issued and are not ready to issue some.

      It sure would have been nice to even get a status letter.

  12. matt:

    Has anyone else got their escorw checks yet or does anyone know when they will re issue them?

  13. cc:

    Lodge a complaint against BOA http://www.occ.treas.gov/customer.htm. This is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. You can do it on line and your issue has to be addressed by the office of the president and CEO. You will be assigned one person to help you get a resolution and even be given the direct number to reach him or her. After almost one year my issue was addressed and resolved within a week after filing the complaint. There may have been a deadline for filing with BMC but I am not sure. Check previous posts. My resolution had nothing to do with filing with BMC.

  14. AR:

    Ok, I just want to be sure i’m not missing out on anything. I’ve been reading alot lately about people whom were with Taylor Bean and now with BOA (Bunch Of …A…nevermind) that have had their funds released. Did you all file with the BMC group? I have not, and i want to make sure that is not something i MUST do to receive those funds. I’ve been receiving calls from BOA telling me that they have completed research on my account, but nothing as of yet in regards to the missing(held) August payment!? I faxed all my docs, bank statements etc…but i’m still receiving harassing calls from debt collectors. I cannot wait until I am one of the lucky ones who no longer has to deal with this headache!!!!!!

    • Debby:

      I have did all the same things u did but BOA is trying to forclose on us for the missing payments. Do u know who I should contact. I HATE BOA.

  15. Paula P.:

    I just got a certified notice from the post office today in my box. There is no sender listed (thanks mail lady!). I was wondering if any of you who received refund checks received theirs via certified mail? Thanks!

  16. Debra:

    I just received my new escrow check form Ginnie Mae/ Bank of America today. I took it to Bank of America to cash it to make sure this one went through. (It was worth their $6 fee for non-account holders). Everything Cleared. Paul St. Laurent at Ginnie Mae said they would be issuing checks between the first 2 weeks of June. Glad someone in this whole mess kept their word.

    • A.S.:

      is there a number for this guy Paul? I refinanced right before all this happened and have been in circles to try and find who to go to and where my money will come from.

      • Debra:

        The number for Paul St. Laurent at Ginnie mae is 202-475-4937. Good Luck. I hope this nightmare ends for all effected.

  17. Patti W:

    Yes – Nearly the same thing happened to me. Bank of America raised my pmt to cover my escrow shortage. I got a letter from BofA telling me my pmt would go up, then I spoke to a customer service rep at BofA who said they should be receiving the TB&W funds ‘soon’. After numerous calls, finally a BofA rep did an escrow re-analysis and the funds HAD been transferred. My pmt went down and I was cut a check back for the escrow overage on my account. Keep calling your insurance company to see if they received an ‘extra’ check from TB&W, in case they re-sent a check to them to cover the one that bounced. If so, you will get a refund.

    • Paula P.:

      My escrow shortage was the result of TB & W force plating insurance on us when we already had a homeowner’s policy in place. We are out over $5K. I placed numerous calls to BOA and the best they would do is stretch the shortage out over a number of months to keep the payment where it was at. Our escrow funds are supposed to be FDIC insured, and yet the FDIC responded to my claim by essentially telling me to go pound sound. I have since filed a claim with BMC group and have yet to see a check.

  18. Cindy:

    Money was taken from my escrow by TB&W to pay homeowners insurance. It wasn’t paid, so Cenlar paid it from escrow and said I had a shortage and raised my payment. Of course, to keep my ins. from being cancelled, I had to pay out of pocket 300.00! $784.00 has now been deducted from my escrow twice. Filed a claim…still waiting. Anyone with this problem? Suggestions??

    • Bartt:

      I’m with Cenlar and I’ve been made whole on my escrow account. My circumstances were different (TBW cut a refund check that bounced), but the point is that Cenlar appears to be sympathetic to our cause.

      My suggestion is to attempt to log on to your old, TBW account. You may be able to pull your escrow info from their website. If so, fax a letter to Cenlar, explaining your situation & a printout of the TBW escrow transactions (that show the insurance deduction). Ask them to find out what happened to the money that was deducted from your TBW escrow (assumed to be just prior to the meltdown).

      The first time I talked to Cenlar was early in the process (maybe Sep of last year?). At first, they just kept telling me I needed to go back to TBW. However, someone posted in this blog (maybe Nov?) that they had gotten a check from Cenlar for a bounced escrow refund. I called Cenlar again & they mailed me a check.

      Good luck.

  19. Margaret Rover:

    We did receive our Freddie Mac escrow rebate and it cleared.

    Thanks to all for working together to push for a resolution. To those of you not yet made whole, I do wish you the best.

    Margaux

  20. Jean B:

    Well, I deposited my Freddie Mac check today. Pray that it clears. It was dated 5/6/2010. The reason they owed me escrow funds was that my house sold last July 22nd. I got married, changed my name and moved twice. After all of the postings that people said they received their Freddie Mac checks dated 5/6/10, I called them again on May 25th. Guess what? They had sent my check to the wrong address and it must have been returned to them. They gave me NO information about my check, but it was mailed to my correct address on May 25th after I talked to them. I received it in yesterday’s mail (May 27th) and deposited it today. GOOD Luck to all of you still waiting. This blog has been the greatest source of information. Thanks to all who posted information!!

  21. Victor:

    My check from Freddie Mac did clear

  22. Megan C.:

    The number for Paul St. Laurent at Ginnie mae is 202-475-4937. Let us know what he says.

  23. Ray H:

    I had nothing but good to say about TBW, till like you all, I heard about being sent to BOA… I don’t like BOA.

    I to received a check this week… wasn’t sure why, I thought every thing was covered other than my payment going up. I thought it was because our local taxes increased, but I guess it was to cover the shortfall in the escrow that didn’t transfer.

  24. Todd:

    Just received a check from freddy mac. WOW I CANT BELIEVE IT. let you all know if it clears. Thanks to all for the help.

  25. ST:

    *For those tied up in Issue 4 of the protocol and Freddie Mac*

    I received an email from a Freddie Mac lawyer, stating that Freddie intends to opt into Issue 4 of the protocol by early next week.

    This is really good news. It’s almost over for us.

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