By Jessica R. Towhey
For the second straight month, Shellpoint Partners racked up the highest number of mortgage-related consumer complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to publicly available data on the federal agency’s website.
In April, 159 people filed complaints against Shellpoint citing various issues; another 101 people filed complaints in May. Wells Fargo had the second most complaints in May at 82, followed by Freedom Mortgage Company (66), Ocwen Financial Corporation (66) and Nationstar Mortgage (64).
Shellpoint Partners could not be reached for comment. In 2018, Shellpoint was acquired by New Residential Investment Corp. in a $190 million deal. Shellpoint is the parent company for several subsidiaries, including Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing and mortgage lender New Penn Financial.
The majority of complaints are classified either as “trouble during payment process” or “struggling to pay mortgage.
A homeowner in North Carolina wrote that applied for a forbearance due to the global pandemic but was initially told that the company would add a balloon payment at the end of three months instead of adding the missed payments to the end of the loan.
“And NewRez stated we cannot add the missed payments to the end of the loan,” the homeowner wrote. “We were lied to and completely mislead. … We do not want a loan modification. We want our payments put on the back end of our loan. That’s not hard to do and NewRez/Shellpoint mortgage is being difficult and misleading many consumers.”
Another homeowner in Virginia wrote that the company incorrectly reported the mortgage “as in forbearance to all relevant credit agencies.”
Despite asking Shellpoint to correct this with the agencies, the homeowner said they have spent more than five hours “arguing with customs service reps and supervisors who tell me they have no access to email, put me on hold for countless amounts of time, send me to voicemail boxes that lead me to a dead end, explain to me what their system CAN NOT do. It is an abomination. I have paid my mortgage – hundreds of thousands of dollars – on time every month for over 17 years.”
For all but a handful of listed complaints, the database notes that Shellpoint Partners’ public response was, “Company believes it acted appropriately as authorized by contract or law.”
A homeowner in Ohio was surprised to receive a letter from Shellpoint stating they owe $2,600 for bankruptcy legal fees.
“We have not filed for bankruptcy,” the homeowner wrote.
Another homeowner in Texas also expressed surprise upon learning that, after their loan was sold to Shellpoint and then transferred to NewRez, that their payment was increased for outstanding property taxes.
“I am 100 percent exempt from property tax,” the homeowner wrote.
A homeowner in Missouri write that they were “reluctantly submitting this complaint after making a good-faith effort to resolve this issue,” noting that Shellpoint became their mortgage servicer after refinancing. The new terms call for escrow for taxes and insurance, which is where the homeowners wrote they “have run into trouble with Shellpoint.”
The complaint explains that the insurance company did not receive a payment, but Shellpoint “reassured” them that it had been resolved. Despite that reassurance, the insurance company told the homeowner that it attempted to work with Shellpoint to no avail, according to the complaint. At the time the complaint was filed, the homeowner had been struggling to resolve the issue for seven weeks and wrote, “[M]y policy is severely overdue for payment and a cancellation notice will likely be sent out in the near future.”
Shellpoint’s public response as noted in the database was, “Company believes it acted appropriately as authorized by contract or law.”
Complains to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Shellpoint Partners LLC: 101
- Wells Fargo: 82
- Freedom Mortgage Company: 66
- Ocwen Financial Corporation: 66
- Nationstar Mortgage: 64
- Specialized Loan Servicing Holdings: 47
- LoanCare LLC: 43
- JPMorgan Chase: 42
- Select Portfolio Servicing: 40
- Quicken: 31
- California: 183
- Florida: 123
- Texas: 82
- Georgia: 49
- New York: 45
Mortgage Note reporter Jessica R. Towhey can be reached at [email protected].