Lien on my property???

Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 07:28 am
I decided to get pre-approval for a mortgage from a major bank. (I'm looking to downsize and just wanted to be ready if a good deal came along)

I got a call yesterday telling me that I was not approved becasue there was a $69,583 lien on my house from the State Dept. of Treasury filed about a year ago. I just about freaked out, since I have never been notifiied of any lien against my house.

After spending an hour on the phone with the State Dept. of Treasury - who could not find any such lien on my name or my late husband's - I was referred back to my county Register of Deeds. It seems that there is a woman with the same name as me - but not having the same middle name - living in a nearby community. Yes, there is a a lien on her property in the exact amount. I was able to get her last four digits of her SS number - nowhere near my number.

So the mystery is solved, but I am pissed. How could an application get so screwed up? I am concerned about my records now and don't trust this bank anymore. What is incredible is that my branch rep insists that the lien is "showing up" on my property and that's how it was found. I told her that was impossible and that the "research" was probably just my name - incomplete and without my SS number or address. Sloppy investigation, I think.

Have you ever fought with a powerful financial institution or business in this manner?

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Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 08:31 am
Sympathy from here - man, what nonsense that they didn't check the SSN (and apparently not the street address either, which should be pretty freakin' obviously Job One).

All I can suggest is, when going to their competitor down the street, tell them, there's a woman with a similar name who has a lien, but she isn't me. That is, head a second problem off at the pass.

I'd check my credit rating, too, if I were you, as this might have seeped into that as well.
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Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 08:53 am
Not quite the same, but yrs ago, I was in the NWT, visiting family and working, thinking of leaving my then husband. I'd managed to save a fair bit and went to the bank to see about getting a loan. I didn't need the money, as it was already in their bank - I just wanted to see if I could get a loan and what I could qualify for.

Anyway, long story short, they contacted my home branch and we had our discussion. Right after our talk, I went to deposit a paycheque and found they had already charged me $17 for a credit check with my home bank. I was pissed as nothing was said about a charge and what was the $17 for? Was it for a phone call? A telex? A fax? None of those would come close to $17.

Is this not the business they're in - issuing loans? (I've had loans since then and not one of them has charged me for a credit check.) Anyway, I marched right back into the Manager's office and demanded they remove it. He said No, that was what the bank charged. We argued for a while and then I told him my family and I would be picketing his bank every day until he removed it. Upshot: they removed it and I went to another bank.

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Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 09:17 am
Banks are getting just like lawyers - you have to ask if there are ANY charges for even talking to them . . .

I had to lay down after yesterday's fiasco. I was almost sick to my stomach. (My husband had over two years of VERY expensive cancer treatments that were supposed to be covered by insurance and my worst thought was that some hospital attached my house for payment. But I had never, ever, gotten any paperwork.

The bank official insisted that the lien was "attached to my property" and even after I did all the research, she defended her corporate finding.

I have a VERY common name - as common as Smith or Jones. But I have a middle name AND a SS number and address wasn't even the same.

Makes me wonder if this "qualifying" was even done in the US.

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Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 11:58 am
The only similar incident in my history was over an allegedly unpaid gas bill. Seems someone with the same name except for the middle initial hadn't paid. Mine is the letter V, and his was a C. In long hand, they can look very similar. The address could not. Nevertheless, I spent nearly an hour arguing about this in the company's office.

Any guess as to whether they apologized for their shoddy research?
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Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 12:15 pm
This didn't happen to me, but to my friend's dad. He was a beekeeper and every year he would drive down to California, buy a million bees and transport them back to northern Alberta. It was cheaper to kill off his bees each year than to feed them throughout the winter.
So, he's about to cross the border back into Canada and he gets stopped. A guy with a similar name, Smith had just escaped from a jail in Texas, 5 hours earlier...
Mr. Smith was thrown in a holding tank for two days while they shuffled the paper work, meanwhile the bees were dying in the heat. How the authorities thought anyone could get to this lonely outpost in a few hours is beyond me... maybe they thought the excapee had superpowers, but the kicker, aside from him being a Canadian with all the right papers, was the escaped convict was black.
This was before the advent of the internet but still.. I think one phone call could have cleared up the matter rather quickly.
Mr. Smith never bought American bees again.
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Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 12:19 pm
No one has apologized to me. In fact, when I told my local bank officer about my own research yesterday, (that it was another person in another town with same name) she was a little insistent that the lien was filed "on the property" - as if that was the beginning source of the lien.

I had called the state treasury and they also looked it up by my NAME, not the property ID. number. The county also looked it up by my name, then double checked it with my SS number (compared with hers) and then the property ID number.

I am mostly afraid that this large institution will spread this lie and affect my credit report or ability to get a loan/CC approval in the future.

This must not be my week: I tried to make two CC payments on line and they didn't "take" - so after an hour on the phone, going thru endless automated choices (non fit) I finally was able to talk to someone who had such a thick East Indian accent I could hardly understand him. I managed to get my payments posted.

WTF. . . Cup of coffee and I'm going for a walk. It's 60 degrees outside.
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Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 02:16 pm
These errors are pretty common. You might want to go down to one of the title insurance companies in your county and request a preliminary title report for your property.

This will confirm to others that your property is indeed clear of the lien, no matter what the bank says. It will also verify whether it was just a bank error or if there was actually an error in the county recorder's office that applied the lien to the incorrect property. It will also tell you if there are any other mis-recorded items on your property.

Don't know if it is still true these days in this economy, but when I last worked for a title insurance company in the 1990's preliminary title reports were mostly free to realtors or about $25 to consumers. If you have a realtor friend, they can probably get you the preliminary title report for free, especially if there is a possibility you will use them when it comes time to sell your property.

If you haven't done so recently, you might also want to get credit reports from the three major credit reporting companies to see if anything else has been recorded in your file in error.
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