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LAWSUITS NEWS & LEGAL INFORMATION

Debt Collector Harassment Costs Green Tree Millions

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Washington, DCDebt collector harassment can come in many forms and from many different purveyors of angst and unfairness. In this case, the harassment came at the hands of a mortgage servicing company that was alleged to have stooped to various forms of bill collector harassment, including multiple calls per day and sometimes as early as 5 am with threats of arrest, seizure of property and foreclosure.

Well, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) refused to allow that kind of behavior, and summarily slapped Green Tree Servicing LLC with a debt collector lawsuit.

On April 21, the parties agreed to a $63 million settlement. According to terms of the proposed settlement, the defendant will pay $48 million to affected customers, together with a civil penalty in the amount of $15 million.

There are various reasons why homeowners will get behind on their mortgage payments - sudden illness, unexpected job loss or unforeseen financial hardship. Few, if any, will ever allow mortgage payments to lapse deliberately, or with malice. And yet, Green Tree was accused of bill collector harassment practices that included abusive language, name-calling (“deadbeats”), mocking illnesses and hardships.

There are various tenets and statutes that govern just how and when a bill collector can pursue a debt. For example, requests for payment have to be polite and reasonable. Debtors should not be bothered at work, especially if bill collectors are specifically requested not to do so.

And yet, the bill collector lawsuit brought by the FTC and the CFPB accused Green Tree of doing just that - making calls to the workplace and leaving several messages per day. The FTC claims that Green Tree debt service agents at times used loud and abusive language.

Green Tree is also accused of withdrawing funds from the bank accounts of consumers without their prior consent. There were also allegations that debtors were pressured into making payments via a third-party service known as “Speedway” that charged a $12 “convenience fee” on each transaction.

And it doesn’t stop there. Green Tree was alleged to have told consumers they owed fees they actually didn’t owe at all, and that they were required to make higher mortgage payments than their mortgage contracts actually spelled out.

“It’s against the law for a loan servicer to lie about the debts people owe, or threaten and harass people about their debts,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement. “Together, the FTC and CFPB are holding Green Tree responsible for mistreating homeowners, including people in financial distress.”

The bill collector lawsuit is Federal Trade Commission et al v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, Case No. 0:15-cv-02064 in the US District Court for the District of Minnesota.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I did file with CFPB and the FTC and I got a check for $10.00 after I lost my house I am still setting in my driveway living in my RV. I would like to have my house back. I was forclosed on just before the lawsuit was awarded and Ditect are still sending me statements to pay morgage payments? what do I do now?

Posted by

on
I am not just being aware of the lawsuit by receiving a check for 32.28 cents, this does no way compensate the nightmare I had gone through with Green tree since in 2011 BOA sold my mortgage to them while I was just approved for Florida Hardest hit Program,when Green Tree acquired us it took 3 months to even be able to contact a person even the HUd encounters were having problems by the time we finally got a human she procedure to demean me tell me it wasn't my home it was basically hers , they called me 20 times a day from the 1st of the month,b4 a payment was even late ,they refused to honor or carryover my Total Protect protection, My mortgage Catastrophe Program and my Monumental life policy,so I lost almost all them years since 1996 of paying those premiums, then when I asked them not to call as my husband was very ill just Diagnosed with cancer ,I was told everyone sick and going to die sometimes, this went on up until a few months ago when I got a notice saying Ditech took over Green Tree, i also every month was told had to pay with speedpay, I was basically on the verge of a nervous breakdown and still suffer from severe anxiety and stress they caused myself and my husband who is still battle , i have all kinds of documentation and I am sure if they were to pull up my phone number and listen to the mean vile things there Jody J said to me or Carol as she threat hen to remove me from my home, Also called my place of wok even after the employer told them not to, constantly on my cell phone and all this b4 the 3rd day of each month even if did not have a past due balance but in the beginning they almost caused me to lose my home as when said transfer was first made from Bank Of America To them for # months no one would take my payment as BOA said I wasn't there client any more and GreenTree kept telling me I didnt exist with them yet, i have so many witnesses, As they were even calling my daughters cell phone at work and she is a RN. So what I am wondering is there any lawyers taking them on individually because this has just been a nightmare.

Posted by

on
I am a homeowner who had repeatedly appealed to CFPB regarding the intentional bad-faith and fiscal malevolence enacted upon me by Green Tree Servicing/DITECH (GTS), as well as Bank of America who sold my home’s mortgage to Green Tree while telling me my hardship-driven Making Homes Affordable loan modification application was continuing being processed (as I had been told repeatedly for the preceding approximately 18 months prior to the note-holding sale to GTS).

As I had reported to CFPB in extensive detail, GTS had been decimating my credit with bogus allegations of missed payments, and harassing me with an incessant barrage of phone calls (including Sunday evenings) harassing and threatening me to submit to signing an asinine, “so-called loan modification” proposal they had offered in a complete bait and switch to the original modification I had both initially underway with Bank of America, and then subsequently that I had submitted to GTS when they flat-out refused to recognize the original modification with B of A, and insisted that I re-submit my request with them.

After a couple of years of this incredibly enervating hardship causing damaging physical and emotional stress, coupled with my finances being eviscerated by GTS’s mysterious mishandling or theft of my submitted mortgage payments, I was finally able to extract myself from this fiscal slavery and get my home loan refinanced by Yolo County Federal Credit Union last winter.

However, I recently read that CFPB had dutifully enacted penalties to GTS/DITECCH/Bank of America pursuant to their collectively abusive “lending practices”, and whereupon compensation payments were supposed to be awarded to impacted homeowners such as me.

I have only just learned of this today, yet I have NOT received either notice of or any payments of restitution whatsoever from this living nightmare.

Posted by

on
I just submitted a request for legal help with greentree on here i was dual tracked and told i was in review for a mdoifcation for 4 months only to find out i had a sale date on my home that week they called and harrassed me told me lies when i would call every day about my payments and my modfication request to be told everythign was fine i had to pay thousands of lawyers fees to try to save my home Please take on my case i have tons of documentation

Posted by

on
Green tree has harassed me by phone and by sending a person to my home. That person has gone as far as threatening to shoot my dogs on my property. When I stood my ground and refused him access to my property to take pictures because they said I was past due on my account. Which I was not they have opened escrow accounts to place forced insurance for yrs and I can not get it stopped. I am now in foreclosure due to this and fixing to loose my home because of medical complications and there refused to lower my payments or refinance.

Posted by

on
Definitely harassed continually for YEARS by Green Tree - called numerous times every day to home, cel, employment - even after I asked them not to do so without the risk of losing my job. They forced insurance on me even when I had coverage, then didn't remove those fees. Always insisted I do Speedpay at $12/pop. Used horrible collection practices and made derogatory remarks. They would leave THREATENING messages on my answering machine and would send repossession letters. Lost a payment that was applied to someone else's account - I had to prove that I made it.
Granted, I became past due, but it was because of extenuating circumstances. During that time, my husband had cancer, and eventually passed away. There was no need for them to treat us like they did. I want to know if there is a class action lawsuit against them. They deserve it!!!!

Posted by

on
In April, 2014 the organization I worked for almost 20 years filed bankruptcy, I was about to loose my job, so I contacted Green Tree in July, 2014 to see if I can refinance my loan or do some modification because I did not want to loose my house. Since then, I got phone calls 3 to 8 times a day demanding money from debt collector. But I did not skip any monthly payment yet, I continued to make monthly payment, but they kept calling my home phone, cell phones day and night, demanding money. When I told them I paid every month, they told me I was lying to them and did not believe me. I said I could send them bank statement showing what I paid, still they did not believe me. One debt collector told me, "we heard the same story many times, all are lies." Besides, my monthly bill statement was adding up as if my payment was not there. Every time I called, trying to talk to their customer service people, when I entered my loan number, the call automatically transferred to debt collector. This situation went on for 10 months, I stopped making payment, and started to file complaints at State General attorney's Office, until today, I am still fighting with them.

Posted by

on
Yes I am a victim of these people also I would like to be included in any action that takes place with them I have been in this home for 11 years and it has been a nightmare started with country wide,then bank of America, now Greentree they are all the same they use big words and claim to want to help but in the end you do the same stuff over and over and then no help at all just demands for money and still behind/I think I owe double now than what I first purchased it for / confused and running out of hope 11 years how does this happen

Posted by

on
i was a victim of greentree and lost my home my husband and i seperated and he lost his job i called greentree and asked what i could do to keep up my morgage till i could pay it i asked if i could get a modification which i was told to send in a letter of hardship which i did and a letter signed by my husbans stating he lost his job , a list of our bills. i was lead to believe for at least 4 months i was going to be approved for the modification but was also harrassed by phone at least 4 or 5 times a day wanting payments they told me to ask my family for money for payments i did manage to send them some money and told them i would give the rest of the money when i got my taxes i was behind2 payments and asked if i could pay intrest till than which i was told no. around 930 pm around the last of oct i was contacted by a person from greentree stating i needed to send them mony he was ver un professional and had me crying stating i dont mean to be a smart ass but you cant live there for nothing if you dont send money you will have to be out by the 6th of november or you will be served papers and removed i told him i had 2 kids and it was in the middel of storm sandy and i had no place to go in which he stated like i said you cant stay there for nothing i was lied to by greentree financial about the modification satating i didnt make enough money to even pay a modification if they would give me one and harrassed everyday by them till i got sick from the stress of them and my situation and ended up in the er almost ready to have a heart attack and stroke from my bloodpressure i was never treated by a professional service of this kind before i together with my husband financed this home and had been paying on it for 13yrs and they couldnt do anything to help me my husband and i did a in liue of deed and i did end up moving and loseing my home over being 2 months behind . me and my husband settled our problems nut lost everything we owned we cant even get a loan to get another home as our credit is shot thanks to these monsters i didnt think a morgage company had a right to harras people in this matter but they do and did to me and my family

Posted by

on
Ditech (formerly Greentree Servicing, LLC) practices have not changed. They are financially binding their clients. I have documentation. This settlement does not address to the people what actions they are supposed to take to receive their settlement. It's been almost a year since this announcement and almost 2 years since my account was incorrect and still is incorrect.

Posted by

on
Greentree took my money for years almost lost my trailer behind their crookedness I paid thousands of dollars just to keep my trailertrailer

Posted by

on
I am a victim of Green Tree Servicing! Crooks!

Posted by

on
Im another victim of green tree

Posted by

on
After the Federal Judge ordered Walters Investment and its other companies to pay back Money . So what happened to the pay back Money ? I wanted that Federal Order so that I could get my Home Deed back free and clean .

Posted by

on
Greentree is a night mare they have caress me for years they call the neighbors they call my mom call my job they call me so much so early so late until I just cut my house phone off they had nerves so bad one time I don't even talk to them they don't even have my right phone number to get in touch with me anymore they sent someone to look at my home to come pick up my house we're getting ready to take me to court several times that company is just as nasty as they can be I wish I could get through it this home so I want to deal with them I wish I knew years ago who I could have sent this message to

Posted by

on
Green tree was harassing me. Calling and even went to my house to collect. We were having financial difficulties and they were very cruel. I even ask to see if they would help us work with us but they would not unfortunately we lost the house to foreclosed.

Posted by

on
My mother n father was harrassed by green tree. They, 80 years old would like to file a complaint. Please send information.

Posted by

on
Yes, I'm a victim of green tree servicing

Posted by

on
Green Tree Mortgage ,Investments ,Servicing Call me Harassing about payments that had been sent to another Green Tree Servicing in another State [ it was like they was Stealing from other Green Tree companies .Also Harassing about payments for an Scrow account that green tree owed .After paying the Monthly payment by Credit Card Green Tree would take Money out of our Bank Account without our Consent .And then send people to my house to get money that we did not owe [ the people would be High on Dope ]

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