Tax service coming after me....or a hoax?

girlgroupgirlNovember 16, 2005

We have a mortgage, and at the time the mortgage company was responsible for paying our taxes out of the escrow account.

Today we recieved a letter from a company claiming they were responsible for making the escrow account payment for the taxes on behalf of our mortgage company (previous to this, I did not know there was any sort of "middle man" to do this). They claim that they made a mistake, and paid our taxes from someone elses account for the year 2004. Now they want a lump sum cash payment immediately.

I checked on the company, and all I could find out is that they do exist (have a web page). Nothing else mentioned about them on the internet at least.

So I'm wondering, are we responsible for paying this? We basically already paid this amount to our old mortgage company to make the payment. This 2nd company says that the taxes show that they were not recieved in the mortgage companies name at all, just company #2's name...somewhere along the line we are already "out" the tax payment. It's been awhile, I figure this company has probably tried to get the cash from the mortgage company who has refused, now they are coming after us. I'm wondering how "liable" we are for their mistake?

"Documentation" was sent to us, but it is completely illegible, and there is some information blacked out. That makes me very suspicious.

I've never ever had a bill collector come after me, never missed a payment before on ANYTHING we own or pay for, so I'm not really sure how these things work.

Has anyone else ever recieved anything like this? It seems hokey.

THANKS!

GGG

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susanjn

Why don't you check with the mortgage company?

Also sounds fishy to me.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 12:24PM
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jlhug

Call the mortgage company ASAP and get a copy of your escrow account activity for the last 24 months. Then, call the second company and request a legible copy of their documentation and ask why they did not get the money from the mortgage company and what they did to get the money. Then, call the real estate tax folks and to see if they can tell who/how the real estate taxes were paid.

Document every conversation and don't send anyone any money until this gets straightened out.

I wonder if the second company might not even be connected with your mortgage company and mistakenly paid taxes on your property instead of the other property.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 2:19PM
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girlgroupgirl

I am suspecting that the tax paying company also made a mistake on something that is not connected with our mortgage company at at all too. Luckily, we have a nice mortgage broker and the lawyer who closed the house mortage, the two of them are looking into it. They hadn't heard of anything like this before.

GGG

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 2:40PM
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talley_sue_nyc

It's got to be screwy.

You paid the mortgage company; if the mortgage company (or its agent) paid your taxes out of someone else's account, your money would still be there.

The ONLY way this could be legit is if you were given the wrong dollar amount for what your taxes would be, and you put that amount in escrow.

The illegible documentation w/ blacked out parts just doesn't sound right as documentation.

Good luck! And now that you've got us all interested, let us know the upshot, will you?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 6:02PM
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scryn

Just because someone has a website doesn't mean they are a "real" company. I would work with your mortgage company. They are the one that should fix the problem, not you!! The middleman should approach your mortgage provider as you don't have the ability to control where your escrow money goes, you don't see it after you send it in!
I believe our account is paid by the mortgage people.

-renee

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 5:03PM
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jlhug

GGG,

Any updates?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 6:06PM
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cindyb_va

No, call your bank/mortgage company immediately. Do not contact this other company. Keep any documentation that is sent to you and send copies of it to your bank's employee.

For peace of mind, ask the bank for a year end statement showing your escrow balance.

Financial service companies often outsource routine tasks like this to third-party vendors. This is not uncommon at all. But most banks do not allow such vendors to have direct contact with their customer.

This sounds like a scam. It also sounds like the bank's customer data might be compromised.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 11:33AM
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scryn

You would be suprised what is a public record now! You can look up anyone's house deed on line where I am and this is a public record. This would tell you the mortgage company they went through, the person's name and address and cost. This is all easily obtained now.

Our county clerk on line office has the following listed:
Land records (Deeds, Mortgages, Assignment of Mortgages and Discharge of Mortgages) can be searched from February 1984 to present.

I can sit here and look up any info I want on someone. Also my local town has a site where I can type in any address and find out their house value and land value , that is used for tax info.
When we first bought our house we had mail everyday about how much we had our mortgage for and what another bank could save us and why would should refinance.

Since all this info is out there for the taking I really doubt that the bank's data is compromised.

-renee

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 4:49PM
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