US Bank: Annoying customers as a strategy

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My home mortgage is serviced by US Bank. The payment is due each month on the 1st, but no penalties are assessed until the 15th. I’ve always paid my mortgage as close to the 15th as I can arrange. I’ve never had a late payment.

Starting last summer, roughly coinciding with the start of the mortgage market decline, I started getting a call on the 6th or 7th of each month, asking about my payment. I tell them it will be there by the 15th, they say thanks, verify my home address, and that’s the end of the call.

Today’s call prompted me to ask them how to make these calls stop. I was told my only option is to send them a legal cease and desist demanding that they stop contacting me by phone at all. No matter what the problem is, I wouldn’t get a phone call. They’d send me a letter in the mail instead.

It’s all or nothing. Either I continue to get annoyed by a monthly phone call or I stop all calls—even important ones—from them.

I’ve always assumed they started the calls in response to rising missed mortgage payments as a result of the subprime mess. The customer service supervisor I spoke to said they added this "feature" after many customers asked to be notified before they were dinged with a late fee.

Unfortunately, you can’t really choose who services your mortgage. Otherwise I’d switch to someone who doesn’t use customer annoyance as a service strategy.

JD
February 6, 2008 1:06 PM

You could actually choose. Just refinance with a different bank. Of course if your mortgage is sold to another lender then yes, you lost your choice.

Adam Kalsey
February 6, 2008 1:14 PM

Unfortunately, US Bank is one of the largest mortgage service providers. A large number of investors who buy loans have them services by US Bank (the company you send your mortgage check to doesn't often actually own your mortgage, they just collect payment for the investor who does). I've had three mortgages, and all three of them have been serviced by US Bank at one time or another. Refinancing isn't often an attractive option if your only goal is to swtich providers. Rates, fees, etc can make this a non-starter.

Stu
February 7, 2008 7:06 AM

Just pay earlier.

M Erickson
February 17, 2008 11:51 PM

Geez, get a life! Why not have some fun with the call every month? On another note, why not just pay the payment on time? It's due on the first, late on the second. The 15th is just the date when penalties acrue.

Sara
March 7, 2008 8:32 PM

Just because late fees are not assessed until the 15th, it doesn't mean you are not late. This is a way for most banks to stay ahead on collections. I was once 3 days late on a credit card bill, and was happy they called me to let me know. I had the same card for more than 5 years and had never been late. I found it a courtesy.

Mike
April 18, 2008 2:28 PM

I have my mortgage with another company and they call right after the due date and I tell them " look at your notes and when my payment is received , it is by the 15 also " ANd yet I get calls each month, So don't hate USBANK, other banks do that also.

Meg G
March 7, 2009 3:31 AM

We have our mortgage with US Bank (and are seriously shopping another carrier because the mortgage lady doesn't understand I have a 45 minute per day window to deal with her). At anyrate, by holding off until the 15th of the month, your avoiding late payments but more interest is accruing, you're effectively making your mortage take longer to pay off. If its a cash flow issue, I would try to set-up bi-weekly payments to reduce the interest you are paying.

Kevin
March 13, 2009 9:36 AM

its easy. Pay on your due date. You only have one due date a month. Morons, read the contract. Plus it isn't customer service calling, it is collections.

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