Washington Mutual Complaint

July 28, 2001

Washington Mutual Customer Service Department
P.O. Box 1093
Northridge CA 91328-1093

Subject: Loan Number 0804352466

Dear Customer Service Department,
Thank you for your letter dated July 17, 2001 regarding the $60 payoff fee. However, I reject your reasoning. Please refute the following facts and circumstances regarding my loan:

It is now more than one month hence, and I have still not received any full accounting of this transaction, so I do not know if a $60 fee has been tacked on or not.

My case rests on the following four points:

  1. I was not informed of any charges being incurred at the time I requested the payoff amount.
  2. My loan contract clearly states I may payoff the loan without incurring any other "charges".
  3. I believe the tacking on of other fees for early payoff is different from a loan terminating normally and is therefore a de facto penalty.
  4. I think it is possibly illegal to tack on these fees not specified in any way in the loan agreement, as they are subject to abuse. Even if I had agreed to "reasonable fees", who is to decide what is reasonable? I don't think $1800 an hour is reasonable.

If you have billed me $60 I ask that it be refunded immediately. If you have not billed me, I thank you in advance.

Marc Auerbach

cc: California Department of Justice, Public Inquiry Unit
David Robbins, Federal Reserve Bank of SF


I received a letter from WAMU dated September 25, 2001 stating that this fee was authorized under California Civil Code Section 2943. I checked it out, and they are correct.

"(6) The beneficiary may make a charge not to exceed sixty dollars ($60) for furnishing each required statement."

Oh well. Live and learn.