Recently I had the distinct displeasure to deal with Lender Business Process Services Inc.(LBPS), a subsidiary of IBM.
One of the mortgages on a rental property we own is serviced by these jokers and it seems that I’m not the only one who feels like this. I’ve asked around about other people’s experience with this company and the sentiments all seem to be the same. LBPS is making a (bad) name for themselves by being incompetent, difficult to work with and annoying in general.
I’ll start with their insurance department: I have heard from no less than 3 property insurance agents who have expressed such frustration in dealing with LBPS that the mere mention of the name elicits groans all around. Apparently, if the insurance agent needs documents or escrow information from LBPS it takes an inordinate amount of time for them to produce these documents. When asked if the documents can be emailed to speed things up, the response from LBPS is that “they don’t do email.” Any documents will have to be sent via US Mail. Now remember, LBPS is a subsidiary of International Business Machines (IBM), one of the largest and oldest computer companies in the world….and their subsidiary “doesn’t do email?”
Next, I’ve heard from a number of their other customers that any request for information about their account is met by some pretty surly requests for unrelated information to “verify their account.” These requests include verification of home phone numbers, cell phone numbers, work phone numbers and email addresses. The last one is interesting because remember, LBPS/IBM “doesn’t do email.” If that’s the case why do they need to verify an email address? If you ask me, all of this “verifying of contact information” sounds like you’re dealing with someone in a collections department, especially the recorded announcement at the beginning of the call that says “we may use any information you give us to collect on a debt.” This leads me to my last point…
I recently received a call from someone at LBPS who again was calling to “verify contact information.” Basically they called and just started asking questions about contact information. Let me mention at this point that in the 6 years this loan has been active, not once have I made a late payment on the account. At the end of the call the LBPS representative asked me if there was anything else they could do for me today. I said that no, I didn’t have any other questions but that I never had a question in the first place and I was the one being called. I mentioned to the rep that he had still not given me a reason why he was calling. At this point he stumbled and fumbled over his words and told me to “have a nice day.” My conclusion is that if it walks like a collections agent and talks like a collections agent…..it’s probably a collections agent!
The main question is: Why is LBPS having their collections agents call customers who have not made a late payment on a mortgage since the beginning of the loan? And by the way, you can tell the difference between a collections agent and a customer service rep by their “polish”, or lack there of, over the phone. You know, typical collection agents don’t need to speak English properly and clearly, they just need to collect. In my, and others experience this is the only kind of person you’re going to interact with when you make contact with LBPS. In case it’s not clear, we’re not ALL stupid LBPS. We know a duck, or collections agent as the case may be, when we see/hear one.
EDIT: Around the time I was about to publish this post, I opened my LBPS monthly statement so I could make my payment, to find that LBPS had inserted a flyer notifying me that they were, wait for it…..rebranding! Apparently they’re changing their name to SETERUS, Inc. The amusing thing about this turn of events is that typically rebranding does not remove the stench of bad service, only time and actual change can do that. It’s almost like they’re following Wells Fargo‘s unabashed customer abuse tactics.
As a final note, IBM should be ashamed to associate their good name with an organization like LBPS/SETERUS. In another life, I did a whole lot of business with IBM and never have I ever encountered an experience like those described above. The IBM name has always stood for quality and innovation in my eyes and the eyes of the rest of the world. In my opinion, LBPS/SETERUS is diminishing that good name more and more everyday.