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M & T Bank Complaints - Being forced to pay escrow shortage caused by another bank

This excerpt of a letter to the governor of my state explains the situation in detail. I've not included some information that is a bit personal in nature but the gist of it is here:

As you well know Wilmington Trust was bought out by M&T Bank and mortgages, including mine were transferred to M&T.....Suffice it to say I received little instruction on what would happen to my mortgage so I continued to pay and contacted M&T asking them if anything had changed. I was advised I should continue paying my mortgage as usual and did so.
On or around the end of September 2011, I received an Annual Escrow Statement dated 9/27/11 from M&T Bank stating my new mortgage payment was $1163.20! An over $500 increase from my payment of $667.31. I received an escrow statement each month after with the amount increasing to $1170.83. Subsequent statements had lesser amounts but still too much for me to pay....After numerous attempts over the next two months to contact M&T, I finally got a representative on the phone who couldn’t tell me anything besides my mortgage payment went up because I wasn’t paying the full amount which she said was the $1170.83. I asked how they justified raising my mortgage so much and she couldn’t assist me. She then sent me to the collections area who subsequently sent me to the foreclosure area where I spoke to a Heidi Bishop at 716 630 4847 who advised me that they had done an audit of my escrow account and that they had found a shortage and I was responsible now for paying it. Needless to say I was shocked and infuriated. I asked her why was this happening now and she repeated he same thing that they decided to do the audit. I asked her why Wilmington Trust had never performed an audit. She said she didn't know, that Wilmington Trust had never done an audit and repeated her reason again. She said Wilmington Trust was supposed to have. I said, so I'm being punished because Wilmington Trust didn't do something they were supposed to do? She said, no (although the obvious answer would be yes) and then the repeated reason. Every question I asked she repeated the same thing about the audit of my escrow account. She was like a broken record. Which was very annoying and frustrating.
I advised her quite firmly that I could not afford this amount and we had better work something out. She said she would send me some forms to see about lowering my interest rate but would do nothing else and didn't seem the least bit interested in the situation. I never received said forms.
After speaking with Ms. Bishop, I was certain by her attitude that she planned to do nothing so I filed a formal complaint with the CFPB on 2/6/12. On 2/23/12, I received a letter from M&T requesting I fill out some forms for a loan modification. M&T asked for some very personal information which I advised them I did not feel comfortable giving them but I did. On or around the middle of March of 2012 I received a call from Theresa in Homeowners Assistance who said she was researching the problem but could not tell me how the shortage occurred. Theresa said only the Escrow Department knew that and she had no way of contacting them. She gave me two options which we discussed, a third mortgage (I have a second one with HSBC) adding thirty years onto my present mortgage (which at the time would mean I would be ninety-four before I paid it off if I lived that long) or I pay the whole amount which she said by then was $3800.
I advised her neither option was acceptable and I would be contacting an attorney. Unfortunately at that time I couldn’t find one that was willing to work with me either on consignment or allow me to pay monthly so of course that didn’t work out.
I didn’t hear from M&T again until 4/7/12, I went back to Consumer Protection site and found a letter attached to the .pdf form from a Michael Kintz. He said now my shortage was $4944.22 again with no explanation as to why the shortage was increasing. They said they would credit $2511.54. Mr. Kintz implied it came from a bankruptcy I had several years ago and has since been paid off but still didn’t say how or why.
Because I had more questions I called Mr. Kintz at 800 724 2224 ext. 7592, the Monday after and two more times after that but got his voicemail where I left messages but my calls were never returned.
Around that same time I began to receive collection calls from M&T asking when I would be paying my bill. When I explained the situation to the representative I was told they didn’t know anything about the shortage, didn’t have any information on file and couldn’t contact the Escrow Department....On 4/4/12 I received some paperwork on how to avoid foreclosure. Needless to say I was furious and still had been unable to retain an attorney. So I filed a second complaint this time with the BBB of upstate New York on 4/19/12. Two days later I received a bill from M&T stating I owed $3307.71 and again with no idea how this came about.
Neither one of my complaints yielded any results and I was just going back and forth so finally I decided I would just have to accept the inevitable to keep my home. I called M&T again and spoke with a Chris Denzel who advised me my case had already been set up for research for a forbearance agreement (I hadn’t signed any forms at that time) and that he would request an escrow research. He thought perhaps a bill had “come due” and that may be the cause of the problem. After promising up and down he would do everything in his power to help me, I couldn’t get in contact with him again and his number is now saying it’s invalid.
I didn’t hear anything again until on or around the beginning of September 2012 where I received contract for a Loan Modification Agreement. I called the rep on the letter Dina Hessenthaler who said the modified amount would be $638.67 and I would need to send her a payment of that amount with the forms and an additional title fee of $384.50 by 10/1/12. I advised her I wouldn’t have that much until the end of the month and she said to send it as soon as I could and I did so on 10/31/12. I asked her what would happen now and she said starting in November, I should continue to pay the $638.67 until I heard from them with the new amount but she said it would “never be the $667 again”.
This continued on with my making payments each month. I continued to receive mortgage statements with increasing payments and threats of foreclosure. When I called to ask why I spoke with a Melissa at ext. 6330 who said they had to but I didn’t need to worry because they were still researching the modification. She then told me the regular payment would possibly be $745.54 but for now she said to continue to pay the $638.
I made the payments each month on time (and M&T accepted them) until about the middle of April of this year, I received a message from someone named Steve to call him. I did so, leaving three voice mail messages over the course of three weeks with no response.
Around the second week of May, I received another mortgage statement, dated 5/16/13. Since I hadn’t heard I called around the end of May with no response. Finally, I contacted an attorney at a personal injury law firm that I had dealt with last year and advised him that I wanted to file suit against Wilmington Trust and M&T. As far as I was concerned both banks were committing fraud. I sent him all of my information on 5/28/13 and after keeping my hanging for three weeks he said there was nothing he could do because the judge would just say I should have been watching the escrow account? Who on Earth does that? How does someone do that? The escrow statements I received from Wilmington Trust didn’t hint at anything wrong and I didn’t even receive any during the merger. I figured as long as I’m paying your mortgage you should be a responsible business and hold up your end.
Unfortunately things went rapidly downhill from there. Imagine my shock at receiving a letter from M&T dated 6/5/13 stating that I was in default of my loan and owed them $1975.22! I was furious of course and called that same week to the person who had sent the letter, Lisa Wilson. I called her left an irate message on her voicemail (never heard from her) that I would eventually pay that amount and after that I never wanted to hear from them again.
I also called their general customer service line, spoke to a young man named Chris who said, as usual, said he couldn’t help me and would put me in touch with someone else. I then gathered all of the previous numbers I had in my records and their voice mails would say the representative was either, out of the office, on vacation, no longer worked there or the number was invalid or disconnected.
Then M&T began to send the “how to avoid foreclosure” packages every week and at one point, coming to my house and shoving two copies in my mailbox on a Sunday! To me this is now harassment. Also the amounts continued to rise the last one saying I owed $3300. Each letter had a deadline which changed with every new copy.
My attorney suggested I call the Department of Justice...
After going down the list of agencies (where I either never received a return call or was told there was a six month backlog) I spoke with a very nice lady at CCCS of Delaware. I made an appointment with her on 7/8/13 and went to speak with her. From then until today she left a total of four messages to various representatives at M&T. During my appointment, we called M&T and she put it on speaker. We spoke with a young woman whom if I recall correctly, was named Diane who told us she couldn’t assist us but she was seeing that the Loan Modification Department was still researching my account. That was news to me.
Diane said we needed to speak with Melissa Brunner. She transferred us and the advocate left her a voice mail. Melissa called her back and left a voice mail after I had left. Here are the email responses I received from her copied and pasted:
7/8/13

Melissa Brunner called me when I was on another call. She left a message stating that "the modification was done" and that you need to speak with collections! I did try to call her back and I left another message stating that the modification had not been finalized and it is not a collection problem, but that the escrow problem should have been resolved with the modification. I asked her to call me again. We will see if she does. I will keep you posted.
And after I asked for an update from I received this response:
7/17/13

I did make one more attempt today to speak with someone at M & T Bank. The first time I called they referred me to Angelica Pollina at ext. 4812. When they transferred me, the message stated it was an unassigned number. So, I called back and spoke with an Evelyn who told me that I should have been referred to a supervisor by the name of Shannon Ormond at ext. 6346. I have left a message with her with my contact information. We will see if they respond to that call or not. I am cc. ...the DOJ on this email. My thought is that they would respond quicker to her. I will let you know if I do get a call back....when I called to check, they still had not responded to her inquiry. Unfortunately my advocate advised me that since she couldn’t reach them she couldn’t come to an agreement with them....

So right now where I stand is I received a call from an M&T rep a few days ago, I left two messages and I still haven't heard. The above letter has gone to various complaint agencies and politicians in my state. I want people to know about this and I'm hoping to find someone in the same situation and possibly be a part of any class action suits filed. All I want from M&T is to clear up my record and erase the debt. I don't believe that is too much to ask. Thank you.

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