Former mortgage lending giant Countrywide Financial has been accused of a number of bad practices over the years, but this is perhaps the most egregious.
The letter begins with, “As a valued Countrywide customer, you shouldn’t have to worry about rising monthly payments. That’s why we would like to extend a special invitation to review your current financial situation at no charge, to see if refinancing your mortgage may help meet your family’s changing financial needs.”
There’s just one problem, the borrower who received the letter claims he has a fixed-rate loan that can’t “possibly adjust.”
While it may be one of Countrywide’s many clerical errors or perhaps a hybrid loan, the borrower, identified only as “Graham,” feels it could be “fear based tactics” aimed at getting him and other borrowers to refinance their existing loans.
That may or may not be true, but less sophisticated borrowers could be fooled into inquiring about their phantom interest rate reset, only to end up in a new mortgage with loads of related fees.
I suppose the saving grace here is that most Countrywide borrowers probably wouldn’t qualify for a refinance nowadays anyways, so there may be no harm done.
It’s unclear if this is an isolated incident, a common mix-up, or worse.