Wow, Citibank Isn’t Evil

The last time I refinanced my mortgage, it got sold to HSBC, the most evil and impersonal bank on the planet. Any dealing I have ever had with them has been painful. As long as my payment gets there on time, there is no problem (except for the overpriced, blown-up ARM we’re stuck with), but if the USPS decides to deliver my payment a day late they start calling and demanding that I put the mortgage on a credit card that moment. Who keeps enough money on hand to make two mortgage payments in the same month?
A year ago this month, my in-laws asked us to consider selling our house and taking over theirs. We expected a quick sale, but a year later, we’re still on the market. Apparently, we’re overpriced but we’ve dropped the price to the point where if we go any lower, we’ll have to bring money to closing. The blown-up ARM is making things very tough, and with student loans coming due next month, we’re (at least I) are starting to panic.
I got a call the other day, but because my Pocket PC Phone was synchronizing and ActiveSuck (Microsoft ActiveSync, which may be the iPhone’s undoing) was busy duplicating thousands of records I couldn’t get the call to pick up. No message was left, so I figured it couldn’t have been that important. The same number called me today, and as I picked up, somebody came to my cube to ask a question. It was a Citibank computer wanting to verify my address. I figured being that impersonal I would disconnect the call and take care of my job first. Then I dialed back the number.
I expected to get another computer, but I was quickly connected to a living person. I verified my address, and she asked if I needed anything else. I have a bad habit of telling everybody all of my problems (hence, my blogs) so I mentioned that I have no clue how I’ll pay the student loans in light of my current situation.
She said she would send me paperwork for a forebearance. Wow! HSBC would probably demand I pay the whole $30,000 student loan on a credit card right there! At least that’s one less thing to worry about, at least until next year.
I like it when organizations, especially large financial institutions, still retain a level of humanity.


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