Background: We purchased a home in December 2004. Both the 1st and 2nd notes were held by the same lender. Said lender sold our 2nd to another bank in October 2005.
We received correspondence from Bank #1 that there was an error on the 1098 from our 2nd mortgage and a corrected one would be sent out shortly. I got so busy with work and life and such that I let February and March slip by without following up on the fact that we hadn’t yet received the corrected form.
A couple of weeks before the tax filing deadline I phoned the bank to inquire as to the whereabouts of our missing 1098. The person asked me for some basic identifying information, such as verifying my zip code and my husband’s date of birth (he’s the primary on the loan) and said he’d FAX a copy to me right away.
Two days go by and no fax, so I call again. The woman reassures me that the request has been processed but it takes several days for them to be pulled from the records department, so please give them some time.
On Thursday, April 13th I call yet again. This time the representative tells me that I had been misinformed – they would never fax a document of that nature due to their strict privacy policies, it had to be mailed to the address on file. She then inquired as to whether either of the other representatives I had spoken with had at least told me the corrected amount. No, they had not. So she gave me the amount and apologized for the miscommunications. I suggested that she speak with her supervisor regarding the need to retrain the employees who were giving out false information to clients, thanked her for her assistance and hung up.
Problem: Day before yesterday I received 2 items; a FAX of our 1098, albeit not the corrected one! and a manually created “corrected” 1098 by standard mail with a very nice and apologetic note for the poor treatment I had received.
I brought the letter and the incorrect 1098 to work yesterday and tried to call the bank. It’s kindof superfluous information, but just to illustrate what complete morons these people are, the phone number that they provided in the body of the letter was not a working number. Once I looked up the correct phone number, now I needed my 16-digit account number to get through their automated system. Well guess what – the account number they’d referenced in the correspondence was also incorrect, as it only had 8 digits. And there was no apparent way to get around their stupid system without entering a number, so on a whim, I punched in Mr. Alexandria VA’s number, verified his zip code and voila, I’m in!
The person I spoke with was dumbfounded that I was not, in fact, Mr. Alexandria VA and had no clue what to say. I had asked him to put me through to the head of their security department, but instead he put me on hold for 10 minutes waiting for his supervisor. At that point he said it would probably be a significant wait and that he would take my phone number and have his manager call me, with a guaranteed return call time of 30 minutes. I still haven’t gotten that return call yet.
I’m furious and also quite concerned. Somebody likely has my husband’s social security number, our home address and our HELOC account number. I tried to find a phone listing for Mr. Alexandria VA to contact him directly and see if it was as straightforward as just mixing our 2 documents up when they were stuffing envelopes, but he’s not listed anywhere – even Googling his name returns zero hits (not just no “relevant” hits, but no hits on that name at all).
So what recourse do we have? What steps should we take and how should we pursue this? How do we go about protecting our identity now that there’s a strong likelihood that some stranger has our personal identifying information? Do we need, or should we hire an attorney to deal with the bank? Any advice would be much appreciated!
(Mods: We couldn’t decide if this was a GQ or an IMHO – please move as appropriate. Thanks!)