Or instead of scorned, her family harassed. Something like that. I think I’ve turned into the ultimate Mama Bear at this point, even when it is not my kids I am protecting. Consider this a warning to anyone who’s bought a life insurance policy as part of a loan they’ve taken out (car, mortgage, etc). I’m not saying not to do it – but what I am saying is that in this economy, it may cause you a lot of problems and headaches trying to actually collect on it before the loan is put into collections. Indeed.
As you all know, my father passed away in January. He and my brother co-owned a car together that was financed through GMAC financing. When my father got the car loan, the dealership (which, by the way, my dad worked for) sold him a life insurance policy on the loan that if he died before the car was paid off (it is a five year loan) that the car would be paid off by the policy. My dad was obsessive about paying bills ahead of time, so when he died on January 19th, the January 28th payment to GMAC had already been paid. We started the process on collecting this life insurance policy to pay off the car, and went on with things. By February 28th, when the next payment was due, the life insurance claim was still “in process” (through a third party company the dealership contracted with to do life insurance) and we had turned in, according to them, all the paperwork and information we needed to, but they were still processing the claim. We also sent GMAC, at their request, a copy of the death certificate. Twice actually, because the first time I faxed it they… lost it. Yeah. Okay.
Then 2 weeks ago, GMAC billing sends a letter to my mother telling her that the account is overdue. So I take the information from the letter, and call GMAC billing. They apologize and put a note on the account. Supposedly.
Then yesterday GMAC collections calls my brother at work to harrass him about paying. First off, even if the account was overdue, it isn’t even 30 days overdue. And really, it isn’t overdue. Why sell someone a life insurance policy if they aren’t supposed to actually use it. So, first I call GMAC billing. They tell me there’s a note on the account already. Then I call GMAC Claims (where I sent the death certificate) and they tell me, oh, look, the account is in collections, and give me that number (why billing couldn’t tell me that, who knows). So I call collections, which is a third party company by the way called Superior Credit. They won’t even talk to me. I can’t get a supervisor who can do anything on the phone and eventually they hang up on me. Undeterred, I first call the life insurance company (Central States Health and Life Co of Omaha) to confirm that there is nothing more we can do other than wait for them to move faster, and then I call GMAC billing back. And that is where the real fun begins.
I talk to person #1 and tell them I want billing to call collections and get them to leave us alone. They tell me that billing can’t call collections, there is no way for the billing deparment to contact the collections department. I ask them how the account ever got to collections if billing didn’t send it there. After some hemming and hawing, they move me up the chain to a “Quality Assurance Specialist”. The Quality Assurance Speciatist basically gives me the same story, and keeps saying “there’s a note on the account, we know there is a pending claim” but obviously, I point out, that isn’t stopping them from harrassing us. So they move me up the chain. I then talk to an “Executive Customer Service Associate” and get the same exact story. I tell them to give me the next person, and that I’ll continue until I get the actual person who sent it to collections, if that is what it takes. At that point, I’m transferred to their manager.
The Executive Account Service Manager, magically, can actually contact collections. Wow. They must have super powers, because I was assured that billing had no way of doing that, but yet they can. Heh. After being put on hold for about 10 minutes (I got to listen to three soft rock ballads on the hold tape, so I figure about ten minutes), they come back and tell me that they talked to the collections manager and our account has been pulled from the collections report so we should not be called again.
Hey! You can do that? You mean all your underlings who said that billing has no authority over making collections do anything were… wrong? How about that.
Who knows what will actually happen in regards to collections continuing to harrass my family – what is said to you versus what is actually done are two different things. But just be aware – if you get one of those life insurance policies on a loan – it may be a lot of work for your heirs to actually enforce it if push comes to shove. Not that I think, at all, that you shouldn’t get a policy if you want to. Just be prepared for someone to fight for what you are due. Less than 30 days after a “missed” payment, they’re already sending it to a collection agency. A sign of our economic times, indeed.