Over the past six weeks our attorney has been working to contact the bank (Ocwen) to turn over an insurance check for a claim that we filed against their forced insurance. Before we ever filed the claim, for my own sanity, I did the research on what happens when homeowners make claims against these forced insurance policies. I discovered that, what seems to be the habit, is that the bank takes the check and processes it against the homeowner’s account; leaving the homeowner to fight for the money that was intended for home repairs. So to say that I am surprised or shocked, I am not. They are doing exactly what I expected, as revealed in this email we received today from our attorney.
I have made numerous telephone calls to the insurance company and Ocwen in an attempt to resolve this, all to no avail. While the local insurance agent was helpful with some Ocwen contact information, Ocwen’s Mumbai, India-based staff has been not so helpful.
We will send a letter to Ocwen’s insurance office in Springfield, Ohio to advise it that unless we have the check in hand by Monday June 17 we will file a lawsuit in the Ingham County Circuit Court [Lansing] to compel Ocwen to turn over the payment to you. I intend to file this in Lansing because this is the most convenient court in which to file it, Ocwen most likely does business in Ingham County, and Ocwen was not a party to the US Bankruptcy case. We will also obtain a quicker response from the Court in Ingham County than we would in the federal court.
I will update you if/when Ocwen replies. I will also send you a copy of the complaint when we file it.
I am amazed that the banks can get away with this type of tactic, but then again, I am not surprised. They force insurance where they are “named insured”, as in our case, on a property that they have absolutely no interest or security in. They are told repeatedly that they have no right to do that. We file a claim against the policy and the check was sent to the bank. There is a wee bit of a hitch for them though, because not only are our names on the check, I also requested that the insurance company put our law firms name on the check as well. The logic behind this was, we have already had our names forged once for gain and I can’t trust that it will not happen again. It would be highly brazen to sign the law firms’ name, don’t you think.
There is, however, a little devil at my left ear whispering, “You know you want them to sign that check!”…and yes (head hung low with a smirk-ish grin), in a silly little way, I pray that stupidity will strike twice. It won’t, but it is fun to imagine how we would rip them apart if they did. Once, signing homeowners’ signatures to a legal document, as I said before, for monetary gain, is outrageous enough; however, twice, to the same homeowners would be the mark of insanity. Unlike before, we are forearmed with legal representation.
My logic tells me that they will just “lose the check” for a while; at least long enough for it to expire. Someone within Ocwen, after seeing that the law firms name is firmly affixed to the check as well; has most likely put it at the bottom of their intake bin, and that will be where it sits until it expires. Of course, we won’t be waiting around for that to happen.
It is amazing how empowered you feel when you are forearmed. I don’t have a problem with being patient at this stage of their game (I wish I could say the same for my poor, damaged home that those funds are expressly for). By educating myself to the worst case scenario, before I made any choices in regards to filing this claim, I saved myself plenty of outrage. The fact that they can do this does make me mad; but I knew what I was getting into when I got into it, and that makes it better.
For those who have been following this blog, you may recall that six weeks ago I was telling you that our lawyer had stated that the bank could cancel the insurance; stating that the banks would consider it a “mistake of mutual fact” that US Bank sold Ocwen an avoided mortgage. However, in this case, timing was everything. I filed the claim six week before the policy was set to expire and had the inspection within days. Within two weeks of talking with the lawyer, the check was in play and the policy expired. Game changer!
Six weeks ago the bank was informed not to re-insure our home; yesterday I received my “letter” informing me that my home has been re-insured at a rate of $300 higher than last year’s premium – business as usual.
This is actually another “you’ve got to be kidding” moment in our saga of mortgage fraud victimization. However, this time, there is no high-level stress. It’s more of a focused understanding that we are in the best shape (legally) than we have ever been in since this debacle began. The mere fact that I was able to file a claim against their insurance; sidestep them on the time frame and get a check in play, took my attorney from saying “it’ll never work” (in my best Eyore voice) to “we are going to get you that check!”. I can only consider that a blessing. Thank you God!