Ethics and death

Or perhaps it is greed that drives Wells Fargo to be thoughtless. Are they so large the left hand doesnt know the right hand is already deep in their “customers” pockets? Ok, maybe I should back up. Bear with me here because even after mowing the yard (in the damn dark because the sun just wouldnt stay up), I am STILL pissed off.

Some years ago, my loving husband co-signed a loan for his son for his education. From what I understand, the words “I promise I will pay this off Dad” were spoken. Mark always ALWAYS had faith in his son. Well lucky us, we got to start paying that loan about 10 years ago. To say I was a bit put out about paying this loan is an understatement. I probably woudnt have been so bitter if the education was used for something. (Here’s my positive comment- his son had an incredible talent with music. His degree was whatever those people get who do music in background -movies, commercials, etc. This kid had a great ear.) But.. that wasnt the case.

Ok, getting back to the thought… remember those dodo birds… they are playing with me right now, the thoughts are zooming around! When Mark went to Europe for work, one of the primary things he kept talking about was… “if something happens and I die in a plane crash, no more payments go to the student loan”. I cant tell you how many times he reiterated that. He even went so far as to show me (because you know I didnt trust his word- he thought) the information on WF’s website stating the same. Thank God, Mark didnt die in a plane crash and we kept paying. His son made ONE payment of $25 to Mark. Mark said, as long as he paid something, he would accept that, at least he was doing SOMETHING. Well, ONE payment was it. So… still WE paid. Every single month. Not a single late payment. For nothing.

When Mark died, the only thing I had ANY imediate control over was that damn loan. Literally, the next day in the maddening silence of the chaos around me, I called WF. It didnt take me long to get the phone number and the loan number as it was in Mark’s wallet. I was angry when I called. Angry that Mark died but I didnt quite know it or how to deal with it. Angry at this loan and how long we have been paying on it. Angry because the payment was due in a few days. I explained NICELY even though my anger, that Mark (as co-signer) died and from what I understood, the payments now stopped. The woman I spoke with agreed and said they would need the death certificate when it was available but she would annotate the file and no payment would be autodrafted from our account. I then told her I would be happy to given her the son’s address so they could try to get their money since we have paid half of it already. She flat out said NO, most likely we will just write it off at this point. WHAT? Can you imagine what was going through my mind? I was quickly loosing my nice, the anger flared up like an inferno. The other signer on a loan is alive and available and you wont even TRY to get your money? Of course, they may not get any anyway but dammit they should have at least tried. I did not yell… I did not scream… I did say something like I cannot believe they would suck the money out of us but then let it go now that the money bag father is dead. A soft “yes ma’am” was the response followed by the obligatory conversation ender “Mrs. Brewer, we are so sorry for your loss and there will be no more payments taken out of your account. If you have any other questions, please call us again.” CLICK!

If I wasnt talking on my cell phone, I would have thrown the phone across the room. BUT… no more payments and that was verified with the bank. So this leads me to 5 months later Today /Mark gets a letter from WF saying he is delinquent in this loan and they are going to pursue collections. They go so far in this letter to say how interest is calculated but if he will pay just the interest, they will consider him “in good standing” and will work with him on payoff options.

WHAT THE HELL??? Ok, I wasnt even out of the car when I was dialing them. While I spoke to a nice gentleman, I am sure this is going to explode again before it is over. I explained who I was and at first he said he wouldnt be able to talk to me about this situation. I put on my smart ass hat and told him if he could get my dead husband to speak to him, I would pay the loan in full. That kind of startled him. He didnt have any notice that Mark was dead or that I had sent the death certificate along with the Letter of Appointment from the court. He couldnt say he was sorry fast enough. I KNOW he was lost. I did tell him that I know it wasnt HIM but since he is the one I was talking to , he was the one who had to listen.

Mark is dead. They cant ruin his credit history (that he worked so hard his entire life to build to its high standing). Their own policy states if one of the co-signers dies, their obligation stops, it doesnt go against the estate. Their OWN POLICY. He said he was sorry (again) and he would ensure this was all annotated in the system. Then suddenly, I broke. I am sorry I did that to him but through the tears I told him getting a letter like this was like a slap in the face. It is hard enough trying to move forward, to not feel the hurt with every single breath. Then you get this… He said he was going to take this to his manager right away and ensure I would get no other correspondence from them regarding this. I asked him why they didnt put this much effort in to finding the other signer on the loan. He actually asked if I had that address. He might be the one redeeming employee at WF.

So, my frustration… They KNEW Mark died. They had all the information. They simply CHOSE to try to guilt me in to paying the loan. Let’s see if the widow is a sucker and is simply too stupid to realize their policy protects the debtor’s rights…even if he is no longer breathing.

Hey, here’s an idea… go after the other breathing person on that loan.

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