Jun 162004

Troubles in the economy have led to low interest rates; we wanted to refinance our mortgages while they’re low. Sounds quite fiscally responsible, right?

We shopped around. We compared rates. We started negotiating with the company that offered the lowest interest rate. I talked to a nice man who seemed to think we could get it all done in a couple of weeks. On Friday he said he’d get back to me the following week and let me know what progress he’d made.

Didn’t hear from him on Monday, so I phoned up. Turns out he doesn’t work there any more. I don’t know if he quit or was fired, but I never had any indication that he was likely to be gone. It was something of a surprise—and probably should have been something of a warning. But I figured these things can happen in every company, so we’d just try again. Our case was assigned to another loan officer and we started again with the loan process.

Turns out the initial rate quote was based on my credit score, and since I’m not the primary wage earner/slave, it has to be based on my mate’s. Which raised the rate somewhat since my credit score was better than his. Still, the rate was competitive with the others I’d seen. So we started again with the loan process.

We sent in paperwork and account statements. We got a good faith estimate. There were numerous errors in it; it listed our 30-year-old house as built in 2004, had my spouse’s salary wrong, did not list his 401k, and so forth. We made corrections and faxed it back. I’m not entirely clear on what went wrong with it after that; we got a form in the mail saying the loan had been withdrawn, although later the loan officer said it was rejected by the lenders. So we started again with the loan process.

Now she said she would be able to combine both our first and second mortgages into one low-rate mortgage. Obviously that would be great. A few days later we hear back: no, actually she can’t. So we’re back to square one with the loan process.

Once again we’re sent a good faith estimate for refinancing the two mortgages separately.

It has all the same errors it had the first time.

By now we’ve become convinced that we’re being serviced by a rookie who is learning how to do a refinance on our time. We began this process back in February and we still have not made any progress towards getting the mortgages refinanced. Small countries have changed governments in the amount of time it has taken us to be exactly where we started. Not to mention the mortgage payments that we continue to make at a higher interest rate while waiting for the refinance to be completed.

Fed up, my mate phoned the branch manager and explained the situation. He has taken over our case. Yesterday we received a loan package, and the information in it actually appears to be correct.

It also has a final payoff balance of about $1000 more than the good faith estimate.

We can’t figure out why. The numbers are the same, but the bottom line is different—before they were supposed to write us a check, and now we’re supposed to write them one. So my mate is going to have to phone back again today and find out what happened with that.

I think we would have been better off organizing the invasion and takeover of a small country. That would have been faster.

 Posted by at 9:49 am

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