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Tuesday, May 21, 2024   
 

Biweekly Mortgages: A Reader's Personal Story
by Scott Bilker
Scott Bilker is the author of the best-selling books, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, Credit Card and Debt Management, and How to be more Credit Card and Debt Smart. He's also the founder of DebtSmart.com. More about and DebtSmart can be found in the online media kit.
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Scott Bilker

Scott,

Thanks for your informative article on Biweekly mortgages. It really helped to open my eyes when I was considering one.

Isn't this practice illegal? Seems like the marketing materials that I received are misleading and deceptive. Do you have any recommendations on what I can do to help stop this practice?

Kevin


Kevin,

Thanks for writing!

The practice of selling a biweekly mortgage isn't illegal, just not in the best interest of consumers if it costs more than their current mortgage.

Also, thanks so much for your positive comments about DebtSmart. I would like to include them on my web site and in-print.

Do I have your permission to do that?

Regards, 
Scott


Scott,

You have my permission to include my comments.

Just to let you know a little more on my biweekly mortgage saga... After researching info on biweekly mortgages, I contacted Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (I have my mortgage with them and received the offer for biweekly mortgage from them) to express my concern and displeasure at the program.

My first encounter was with a tele-sales guy named Ron. After inquiring on some details of the program, Ron proceeded to make some bold statements like, "You pay no more a month" and "Your monthly payment will not increase." I asked Ron, "How can you not increase your monthly payments when you make the equivalent of 13 monthly payments a year?" Ron stumbled for a reasonable answer and then conceded that you did in fact make two extra biweekly payments a year which was the equivalent of a 13th monthly payment.

After further discussion, I discovered that Ron worked for Paymap Inc. and not Wells Fargo. I made a simple request to speak with a Wells Fargo employee to discuss my concerns. Ron connected me with Carrie of Wells Fargo customer service. Carrie was very nice but didn't know anything about biweekly mortgages and really wanted to put me in contact with Paymap Inc. to help answer my questions and listen to my concerns. I repeatedly had to tell Carrie that I was a customer of Wells Fargo and wanted to speak with someone at Wells Fargo about my concerns.

Carrie asked me to hold and after a lengthy delay she introduced me to Denise. I was shocked to find out that Denise was in fact a Paymap Inc. employee. Denise went straight into the "sales pitch" which was irritating. She told me how "Easy and inexpensive their Equity Enhancement Program is (cool name for biweekly mortgage) and how they have 500,000 happy Wells Fargo customers." I asked, "Wouldn't it be easier and less expensive to divide my monthly payment by twelve and then apply that amount each month to my mortgage principle?" Denise agreed but said that most people don't have the discipline to do that.

I again asked for a Wells Fargo employee that understood their program to speak with. Seems that no one at Wells Fargo knows anything about their Equity Enhancement Program. According to Ron, Carrie, and Denise, only employees of Paymap Inc. know the details of the program. I expressed my displeasure. "Your telling me that no person at Wells Fargo understands or can speak with me about the Equity Enhancement Program?" They all agreed. It's kind of scary that as a consumer the company you trust with your mortgage doesn't know or understand the programs that it offers. I finished my lengthy phone conservation by asking for an employee of Wells Fargo to contact me to discuss the program. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for the phone to ring.

Kevin


Kevin,

I'm not surprised! I wouldn't expect their phone-drones to be able to understand the details of that mortgage "product." And they certainly don't know how it truly compares to your current mortgage so they could, and would, never tell you if it's better (cheaper) than your monthly mortgage.

Your story is very well written! In fact, I would like to use your article in print, online at my web site, or in the email newsletter, which is sent to 7,900+ people every two weeks. Articles posted online would have your photo (if you wish).

Do I have your permission?

Please let me know as soon as possible--thanks!

Regards, 
Scott


Scott,

Thanks for the compliment on my story. You do have my permission to use it.

Kevin Harvey

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