RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It was a stunning revelation — thousands of dollars taken from individual bank accounts by a mortgage servicing agency in unauthorized transfers, leaving people overdrawn and panicked.
That’s what happened over the last three days when the company Mr. Cooper/Nationstar overdrawn bank accounts belonging to thousands of people.
Homeowners across the country were shocked to see thousands of dollars pulled from their accounts.
CBS 17 consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia was one of those victims. He woke up Monday morning to find overdraft notices from his bank regarding his checking and savings accounts.
Mr. Cooper/Nationstar Mortage had pulled out a half dozen $1,572 payments from his account –payments totaling more than $9,400, leaving him massively overdrawn. He wasn’t alone.
Calling Mr. Cooper/Nationstar resulted in this message:
“We are aware some customers are experiencing payment processing issues. We understand how concerning it is to those who are impacted, and we are currently working with banks to have this resolved.”
People took to Twitter enraged. With accounts drained, bills to pay and no money, people were frustrated and vented on the social media platform.
The company claimed victims would be made whole.
“Unauthorized charges will be corrected and an all customers affected will not be responsible for any fees or other negative financial impact this has caused,” the company said in a voicemail.
Although Sbraccia’s bank was able to reverse the unauthorized withdrawals, it wasn’t an instant remedy. It takes time for bank systems to process the updates — leaving thousands of victims without access to cash.
Like others, Sbraccia wanted to know why it happened and was the company hacked? He also wanted to know what Mr. Cooper/Nationstar was doing to make sure it didn’t happen again.
Their reply said it wasn’t a breach, instead blaming their third party electronic payments vendor.
The company claimed everyone would be made whole “by the end of the day on April 27.”
CBS 17 also wanted to know what they were doing to make sure it didn’t happen again.
In its response, the company referred to their blog which had a non-specific answer claiming that the company was “working with their payment vendor to correct the issue and prevent recurrence.”
There are federal as well as state statutes to protect consumers from unauthorized deductions.
The North Carolina Attorney General’s office told CBS 17 over 14,000 North Carolinians were among the nearly half million people affected by the Mr. Cooper/Nationstar payment withdrawals.
They are asking people with complaints to do so online or to call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.