News 6 helps close escrow account homeowners 'never wanted'

Wells Fargo admits mistake, blames training error

Kathleen and Rob Cirnigliaro told News 6 that a simple inquiry about mortgage escrow accounts with Wells Fargo started a banking nightmare that left them with an unwanted account and a shortage of $1,800.

“I felt hopeless, helpless,” Kathleen Cirnigliaro said. “They had all the cards and they were completely ignoring me.”

Kathleen and her husband, an insurance fraud investigator, said they had called bank representatives for six weeks trying to resolve the banking error. 

“It was very frustrating," Rob Cirnigliaro said. “We weren’t getting anywhere, we were running around, spinning our wheels.”

Kathleen Cirnigliaro, a science teacher, said the bank paid their home insurance bill twice causing the escrow account to show a shortage of $1,800.

They were able to secure that money, but when they designated the funds for the escrow shortage, the
bank made another error.

“Apparently, something happened," Kathleen Cirnigliaro said. “The money, that check, did not go to the escrow mortgage, it went to the mortgage.” 

The couple called News 6 to help them sort out the red tape and end the financial fiasco.

After News 6 contacted bank officials, the account issue was resolved in less than 24 hours.

A bank spokesperson said, in part:

“We apologize for the errors that led to adding escrow to the Cirnigliaros’ account, and for the time it has taken to resolve the issue. We have closed the escrow account as requested by the customers and have ensured that the Cirnigliaros’ concerns are resolved.

"Please note that there are no fees to open an escrow account.  

"Nonetheless, we honor our customers’ preferences to pay their property taxes and insurance directly whenever possible.”

Banking experts say setting funds aside for taxes and insurance “protects the lender from tax liens and uninsured losses that the borrower can’t repay.” 

For more information on escrow accounts, click here.

About the Author: