December 27th, 2002

self portrait

The mortgage run-around

This morning, I stayed up a few hours later than usual in order to take care of some mortgage bits. The combination of my current mortgage payment and home equity line of credit payment is more than I can manage on my current salary. No big deal, I just need to refinance. Well, I started this process last month when it became abundantly clear that it was going to be necessary if I was going to continue to make mortgage payments.

The fellow I talked to then was generally helpful and took my application information over the phone. I started calling the mortgage company (Wells Fargo) in early December, hoping to get things taken care of before I fell further behind on payments.

At first, it went to the underwriting committee. Then to a second one. Today, when I called in I was told that they couldn't approve the loan I wanted but had a counter offer. I was a bit confused because I had my property tax statement saying that my house is worth about $150,000 and what I wanted to do was refinance $130,000 and change. But I figured I should find out what the offer was and asked the person on the phone to tell me what the interest rate on the loan they were offering was.

Bizarrely, that person couldn't do that. Sales quotes interest rates. Did I want to go with the counter offer, then?

Well, no, not until I knew what I was getting into. So off we go, transferred to sales. Sales appears confused and wants to give me a loan at 12% (!!).

All this time, the representatives are talking about the cash out I'd be taking with this refinancing. I guessed initially, that this was how they were handling the paying-off of the line of credit. I was growing suspicious, however.

So I called back in. I got the same information about the counter-offer again. I was getting a bit tired at this point and asked the person I was talking to why I was talking to them if they couldn't tell me anything about this loan they were offering me? I try to be polite. Really I do. I'm a pleasant guy. This was straining my patience, though.

So another transfer to sales. This time, the fellow was not even from the correct department. He was taking overflow sales calls due to the holiday. So he quoted me the rate I had originally been quoted 6.125%. He was cheerful enough to deal with, so that steeled me to call back in to the refinancing people one more time.

And this time, I hit the jackpot. Initially, it was a bit frustrating as the connection was quite quiet, making the woman difficult to hear. When I went through what I wanted, however, explaining that I didn't really want any cash, what I wanted was one loan where I now have two, she clued in to what was wrong with my application. Rather than make it for the amount of my mortgage with cash out to pay the line of credit, she changed the application to be for the loan amount of the two added up. In addition, she had authority to underwrite the loan, so there was one less step to get done before it got approved! So now the application is off for approval and I will supposedly hear back early next week.

  • Current Music
    Baby Heartbeat--The Suburbs--Ladies and Gentlemen....