Wells Fargo Home Equity Line Payoff Phone Number – In March, Tammy Wilson was checking her family’s mortgage online at Wells Fargo when she saw a link to information about COVID-19 on the bank’s website. After clicking, she provided contact information so she could get information about the bank’s programs. A few days later, she said, she and her husband, David, returned to the payment page to transmit what they owed on their loan. A message popped up saying she had no active accounts and could not make the payment.

Then Wilson learned what happened. Unbeknownst to her, the bank had placed her in a program that suspended payments on her federally backed loan. Called forbearance, it’s a CARES Act program that aims to help borrowers who are having trouble making their payments because they’ve been affected by COVID-19.

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Because she didn’t ask for forbearance, Wilson continued to make her family’s mortgage payments. She has spent hours on the phone with Wells Fargo trying to get out of the program. Finally, on July 1, the bank sent her a letter confirming her request to “opt out” of the program, which she said she never opted out of.

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Still, Wilson’s credit report, dated July 18 and reviewed by NBC News, shows the family’s mortgage remains “in forbearance,” and the April and May payments were not credited to the account, even though Wilson submitted them.

Because most banks don’t offer new loans to borrowers who have suspended mortgage payments, Wilson and her husband couldn’t refinance their mortgage while in forbearance. As long as the forbearance notation remains on their credit report, the Wilsons can’t take advantage of rock-bottom interest rates and are stuck with Wells Fargo.

Pelham, N.H. Wells Fargo’s Wilson family affected Liz Hogan’s credit report for debt forbearance without their consent.

“I click this button and the next thing I know, I get something telling me I’ve procrastinated and I can’t undo something I didn’t want,” Wilson said in an interview. “If you’re going to help people, there’s a super simple first step — ‘Do you want our help?’ Ask.”

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Under the CARES Act, which provides assistance for loans sponsored by government-sponsored Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae and other companies, borrowers harmed by COVID-19 can request a moratorium on mortgage payments for up to a year. During this period they paid off their dues either at the end of the loan or before it. No additional fees, interest or penalties may be charged while the loan is outstanding.

Last week, NBC News reported on debtors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy that placed Wells Fargo into forbearance programs without their consent. But the bank’s practice extends beyond such specific borrowers, some of whom NBC News contacted.

Wells Fargo is one of the largest US banks that underwrites and services home loans. Debtors in at least 14 states have told courts, attorneys or NBC News that Wells Fargo has forced forbearance plans: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

“In the spirit of being supportive, we’ve misinterpreted customers’ intentions on a small number of occasions,” Wells Fargo spokeswoman Mary Eschett said in a statement to NBC News. “In those limited circumstances, we will work directly with customers to ensure they receive the support they need and make any corrections to their accounts that may be necessary.”

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“As soon as COVID began to impact our customers, Wells Fargo was very focused on helping any customer who needed help, and as a result, we deferred 2.5 million payments to consumer and small business customers early on in the crisis – passing the CARES Act.” Relief was provided to mortgage and home equity customers we learned were affected by COVID even before – by phone, through our secure email channel or through other means. Patience customers received notifications. The action was through multiple channels, and their request We removed them with patience.”

It could not be determined whether Wells would benefit from voluntary borrowers for forbearance, and the bank’s statement did not answer that question. By retaining borrowers who can refinance their mortgages with other institutions, Wells Fargo keeps their business going. For example, Wilson said she would like to move her mortgage to another bank but is afraid she won’t be able to provide her credit report.

This isn’t the first time Wells Fargo has signed up customers for unsolicited services. The bank has come under pressure in recent years for opening unsolicited bank and credit card accounts for clients; It forced others to buy auto insurance they didn’t need and, in some cases, weren’t told about.

The sun rises behind a Wells Fargo building on March 30, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. Lucas Jackson/Reuters file

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“Once again it appears that Wells Fargo’s sloppy service and poor management are hurting consumers,” he said in a statement. “Wells Fargo must immediately address each of these complaints and make changes to ensure that no borrower is left worse off by actions their client takes without their consent or notice.”

Eileen Roth, a math teacher in New Hartford, New York, is another Wells Fargo customer who has been subjected to unnecessary forbearance. Like Wilson, Roth’s patience shows in her credit report.

Because her mortgage payments are automatically deducted from her bank account, she said, she usually doesn’t worry about them. She did not ask the bank to suspend her payments, but on June 22, she received a phone call from Wells Fargo. The representative said that since March 20th, she has been patient and has stopped reducing her mortgage payments.

Roth said she was shocked and angry and told the bank she was not interested in the program. The Wells Fargo employee insisted that Roth had applied for it on the bank’s website “by mistake,” Roth said; She added that it was not her fault.

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“I was never asked to be in that program,” Roth said. “I’m starting to worry that now, through no fault of my own, I have this on my record.”

Eileen and David Roth of New Hartford, N.Y., didn’t ask to stop paying their mortgage, but Wells Fargo put them into a relief program anyway. Courtesy Roth Family

To protect troubled borrowers from damage to their credit reports during the pandemic, the CARES Act states that if a bank offers a consumer an accommodation — such as suspending mortgage payments — it cannot report a change in the borrower’s status. Long term on loan. But when Wells Fargo reports that borrowers are forgiving, it signals a change in their situation, raising questions about the practice.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman said the bank’s “loan reporting for customers in COVID-19 forbearance is consistent with CARES Act requirements, Consumer Data Industry Association guidelines and the expectations of our regulators. These requirements include reporting customers who have been in their mortgages or are currently in a COVID forbearance. ‘ is a special comment indicating that the home equity payment account is tolerated.”

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In late March, Gerald Forsberg of Mount Jackson, Virginia, visited the Wells Fargo website and quickly engaged in a forbearance plan. The plan destroyed the loan modification he received from Wells Fargo a few days earlier, which reduced his monthly payments by $200.

Forsberg said he went to the Wells Fargo website to check the status of his loan modification. “This button shows up — if you’re affected by COVID, click here. I don’t remember clicking anything else,” he said.

On May 1, when he went online to make his first down payment under the loan modification, the system wouldn’t let him pay. His account showed only the higher amount due under his previous loan. Then, in June, Wells Fargo sent him a letter extending his mortgage moratorium for another three months.

“When I clicked on the home button, I didn’t know I was going to get a tolerance,” Forsberg said. “There was no explanation of the legal ramifications of clicking that button. It’s very scary for me and my family. We don’t want to lose our home.”

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Thad Bartholow, an attorney with Kellett & Bartholow, is representing Forsburg in a lawsuit against Wells Fargo. He said: “Tolerance is an extremely powerful drug. It’s like putting opioids on someone for a minor headache after being told they don’t want or need anything.”

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, before a bank granting forbearance will grant a loan, it must receive a certificate of financial hardship related to COVID-19 from the borrower. But none of the Wells Fargo borrowers who shared their stories with NBC News had provided the bank with such documents.

Gretchen Morgenson is the senior financial reporter for the NBC News investigative unit. A former stockbroker, she won the Pulitzer Prize

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