I am too busy to go into a big detailed and researched story on Banco Popular and how it got started in Puerto Rico. What I can tell you is this, don’t open an account there. My experience with them in the past two months has convinced me it’s time to change banks, and now I may even have to get a lawyer involved to be able to cash in on the 2 year CD I opened with them two years and 8 days ago. So, that is the premise for two separate rants about my experience with Banco Popular and why I recommend you opening an account somewhere else (please feel free to suggest other banks based on your experiences. It will help Summer and I and all the other readers that come here everyday researching Puerto Rico Banks).
Popular Mortgage | Banco Popular Mortgage Division
As everyone knows that pays attention to the sensationalism passed off as news on the television everyday, the world is in a financial crisis. The sky is falling and chicken little (strong rooster in PR) is running around confused causing hysteria. Well, such is capitalism, and those of us who did not live over extended on our credit and ‘perceived’ value of our homes for the past ten years can now reap the benefits of being financially responsible consumers. Right? I don’t think so.
I filled out the paperwork and payed Banco Popular over $700 to survery, appraise and do all the paperwork associated with refinancing our Rincon home (primary resident) and just last week (after multiple phone calls and visits) they told me the offer has changed, I need a second appraisal (another $150) and they raised my required hazard insurance (equivalent to home owners insurance) from $65 a month to $281.53 a month! They also added a $2,000 fee that they labeled as a mortgage loan discount (FYI Banco Popular: if it’s a discount, you subtract money, not add it, it’s the little button on your calculator that looks like a plus sign, without the vertical line) and they added a $2,600 cancellation fee for canceling my old loan to refinance with the new one. All this has been making me furious. I am dealing with mortgage brokers who answer yes/no questions with a 10 minute explanation that always ends up with some sort of sales person style tie down and a question back to me along the lines of: “are you ready to move forward. sign the paperwork today!”
You have got to be fricking kidding me. Four months and counting on a refinance with Banco Popular? Aside from all the new fee’s they added, they are trying to ignore them and just get me to close the deal. Here is what I have for your deal Banco Popular. I curse you to eat Noni for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of your life. When you get sick, I hope some comes out your nose and it burns and you smell that noni puke for days and days.
Banco Popular | Investments and CD Accounts
When we bought our house, we agreed to place 20% of the value of our home in a 2 year CD Account with Banco Popular as collatoral that we were not going to default on a home that was not finished construction. Heck, all our property and the unfinished home wasn’t enough, which I was cool with. I make interest off the money for two years, Banco Popular doesn’t have to worry about selling the frame of a house and we’re all good. Well, now it’s two years later and they won’t let me cash in my CD Account with them. They tell me that they need some collateral for the mortgage. Hmmm, Isn’t my 5 bedroom, 3 bath house (marble, granite, mahogany) the type of collateral most banks have on mortgages? More over, I received a letter two weeks ago saying that I had a 5 days grace period to pick up the check (cashed in CD Account) or it would be automatically re-instated for two years. But now, I go in and ask for my money and they say there is a hold on it from the office in San Juan. I have been in the Rincon office of Banco Popular 3 times this week and everytime they say they are working on it.
Today, I contacted a Puerto Rico real estate lawyer and then went into the bank. I told them I was not going to leave until the ‘mix up’ was resolved. The Rincon branch manager did not know what was going on and passed the task on to someone else earlier in the week. Today, I walked right into his office, sat down at his desk and told him that if they couldn’t provide a reason (contract with my signature on it) to continue holding my money without me making interest on it, I was not going to leave his office. I told him I would ruin his day if he didn’t pick up the phone and start making phone calls.
Ultimately, the reason for all this is because they can not find my original Popular Mortgage paperwork. I told them that I have a copy and I’ll bring it in so they can give me my money. They said that the paperwork had to be internal Banco Popular paperwork. Ok, so let me get this straight here; Banco Popular is disorganized. Banco Popular lost my mortgage paperwork. Banco Popular is unsure what is going on, so instead of giving me my money that I signed into a two year account (they have copies of the two year CD paperwork), they are going to hold on to it until they can get their business more organized.
I thought putting all that in writing would make me feel better. The only time my blood pressure even dropped a little bit was at the mention of our daughter. And now it’s back up again. Here is how I classify all this, and this is the end of my rant. I need to get back to work:
Puerto Rico Bank Banco Popular is Stealing From Us