A close up of a sign

Mortgage Lender Calling Every Hour All Day Long!


Dear Mary: We are one month behind on our mortgage payments and plan to catch up this month. We have told our credit union we will pay half on the 1st and the second half on the 13th. This will bring us current. They call all day, every hour. When we answer they say they have to call us constantly until the amount due is paid. That is their policy. I say this can’t be true or allowed by law. It seems like harassment. Cindy, Maryland

A close up of a sign

Dear Cindy: I can certainly understand your frustration, but I can understand your lender’s policy as well. I know of no laws they are breaking by calling you at reasonable hours during the day. (You may be confusing this with laws that protect you when a debt is turned over to a  third-party collector.)

Look, when you signed the original loan document, you promised to make your payments on time, every month, in accordance with the agreement. You failed to do this. It’s not the end of the world, but you have to look at this from their standpoint.

If you broke your promise to make a payment on time, why should they believe that you will keep your promise to catch up on the 1st and 13th? If you didn’t have the money last month, what makes them confident you’ll have it this month in addition to your regularly scheduled payment?

Rather than feeling entitled to paying late on your terms, why not consider this through their eyes?

Untold thousands of people in this country have decided to walk away from their mortgages. But do they tell the lender this fact? No. They stop making their payments and then lie when the lender calls. They remain in the home until the lender can make it through the complicated and expensive maze called foreclosure. The statistics are staggering. Many people manage to eek out years of making no payments, while remaining in the home.

You missed a payment and that’s a red flag for your lender. Frequent calls are keeping them at the forefront of your every thought, which you have to admit is pretty smart.

Here’s an idea: Tomorrow, call them before they can call you. Be kind and once again express your remorse for running late. Tell them exactly the day and time that you will be bringing them money, even if you’ve told them a dozen times. Then keep your promise. Show up in person. And be grateful for their long suffering.

Dear Mary: Several years ago, I began following your advice use cash, not credit or debit cards for day to day purchases. On paydays I’d stop at the bank and withdraw enough money to last until the next payday. I then challenged myself to have some of that money leftover in my purse, which would then go into a piggy bank at home.

I just want to thank you because this has really worked well for me. I am way ahead of their game. I still don’t use debit cards for purchases―only cash. I feel like I have won and all from a lesson learned from you several years ago. Keep up the good work. We’re still listening! Carol, California

Dear Carol: Your letter just made my day. Thanks for writing.

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12 replies
  1. Bill says:

    Hi Mary, regarding the letter from Carol from CA paying in cash instead of credit/debit cards. I have a financial program, Quicken, on my computer that I use and update daily. How can I use it and cash alongside each other?
    Bill from IL

  2. Beck says:

    I see both sides of the story here I used to work at a bank for years three of them in the collection department. While it is true she signed the mortgage note and promised to pay things happen. Her best way to deal with this would be to call in get an arrangement made, get a deferment or extension to help her get caught up. Try to work with the lender. If you have an agreement and the calls continue contact a supervisor. Take names, times and what was said on the calls. Report them to the mortgage company supervisor and tell them you have made arrangements that you will keep and to stop calling. If that doesn’t work call the BBB.

    Second on the lender side these collection workers are told if we don’t get an answer to call repeatedly and to move your account to the top of the pile. We can skip trace you off of neighbors and use many means to contact you. Collection workers are evaluated on how many accounts they collect because it is cheaper to collect the loans then to foreclose or get a deed in lei, If you have an overzealous collection worker that doesn’t appear to stop change your number or unplug your phone. Collection workers have been told every story in the book to my dog ate my checkbook. They get frustrated that they have to repeatedly call and are often monitored or “listened” to while they call. It is a very stressful job. They are often cursed at as well. But if you make arrangements they should not call you back until the arrangement date has passed and you missed the payment again then you are back in their daily work to begin collection calls again.

  3. david artz says:

    I want to thank you, Mary, for the excellent idea, that you presented to Carol
    and quadzillion readers – I, too, follow a similar trend, of budgeting $10, a day
    and using “left-overs” for the piggy bank. Keep up the good work!

  4. DianaB says:

    I can certainly understand your frustration with all the phone calls. However, that is why the answering machine and caller ID were invented. You do not have to answer every time the phone rings, just like if you were not home to do so, unless you absolutely feel compelled to do so for some strange reason. Explain to the caller the first time your prepayment plan and tell them you will engage in no further conversation the remainder of the day. And then, simply don’t.

  5. Cindy from Utah says:

    Wow….Mary….you were really harsh and borderline rude on that reply. If I were the Cindy that sent in her question I would probably not be likely to send in another. I can understand the frustration of both parties; and while I don’t feel that you necessarily need to “sugarcoat” things I also don’t feel that giving someone this kind of advice isn’t advice at all.

    • DianaB says:

      I pretty much agree with you on that one. It did come across as bossy and rude and not helpful at all. If I wanted a lecture about being a deadbeat, I would listen to the dodo that calls multiple times per day. There is no need for constant daily calls when it has been explained to them multiple times of the plan to make the catch-up payment. Those notes are supposed to go into the account by the caller. And I would certainly tell them to review those notes via one phone call per day, as I noted above. As an alternative, call your mortgage lender and talk to someone in customer service (that would the the SUPERVISOR) and explain what is going on rather than ask Mary her her advice which seems rather overboard to me, as well.

      • Suzie says:

        Our calls are from a mortgage co. that wants to refinance my mortgage (which we have none)…they are on a tape so you can’t tell them anything and when I try to call their 800 # I get a looooong advertisement (on tape yet..). Guess I have to set aside a segment of time to get over my anger and see if (?) I can deal with this. Any suggestions?

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