Refinancing, bank being deceptive?

houseofdaisyFebruary 25, 2013

I'm trying to refinance my home right now and feel like something is not right but not sure if I'm just being paranoid and unreasonable.

My current mortgage holder (Chase) called and said that I qualify for the government HARP program that assists homeowners who have a LTV of 80% or greater to refinance to a lower rate.

Let me stress, that I have no problem paying my mortgage and have never made a late payment. This was completely solicited by the loan officer.

Here is the pitch:

- simple deal, I don't have to provide any paperwork
- reduce interest rate to 4.125% (from 6.5%) & a payment that's $600 per month less
- skip a mortgage payment in the closing month
- Pay $395 application fee upfront and NO MONEY AT CLOSING. Closing costs rolled into the loan

So it all goes pretty smoothly, they did need a copy of the survey and that's it. Also, the LTV came in right at 80%. Within a month I get a call from the processor to set up closing, which we can do at home with a notary on Saturday afternoon. The processor says that we might have to bring "a couple hundred dollars to the table but they were working on getting that down to zero." I said, uh okay. Get off the phone, tell DH and he wants to talk to the processor. I call back and leave a message to that affect and never receive a return call.

Saturday rolls around, the notary says she's running late because they just sent the paper work over moments before. She shows up and the paperwork has us handing over a check for over $1000 (of which we do not have readily available). Notary kindly calls the bank and puts a lady on the speaker who says, "I'm very sorry, there was obviously a mistake but we'll have to wait for Monday to figure it out."

Monday rolls around and no calls from anyone. This afternoon I called the local loan officer who originally solicited me and he's acting like we're the ones with the problem and we should have expected that we were going to have to have some money at the table. I told him that I'm feeling like something not quite right is going on and perhaps I should go to another bank. He politely tells me that's my prerogative but he would make some phone calls.

DH is totally livid and I'm just confused. I mean, in the end it will benefit us greatly but their actions (deceptiveness?) just doesn't feel right.

What should be our next step? Or just close and be happy about it?

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Usually big banks like Chase don't go to the house etc, are you sure the people are really from Chase/ Years ago we were dealing with a mortgage co. and he came to the house once and after that met at a restaurant and later things were notarized without our being there. We were lucky and didn't get stuck with anything, but looking back did pay fees we shouldn't have paid. This was on a second. I would not have any money at the table and sure have a lawyer look at the paper work. Just my thoughts. Why is this not being done in a office, with the notary present, and who do they want the check made payable to. I agree, maybe another bank would be better, or even a credit union. Just be careful. What have you paid so far.
Good luck

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 6:21PM
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We recently went through the same thing with Chase, who has had our mortgage for many years. The process was similar to what you describe. They utilize the services of a local notary to come to your home, as a convenience to you so that you don't have to go to a Chase branch, unless you want to. In our case, we had the option to have a notary come to our house or go to a local Chase branch for closing.

The issue we had was that the closing costs, rolled into the new mortgage, were greater on the final closing documents than described in the phone call from the closer and in the preliminary documents we received from Chase. We objected and everything turned out satisfactory, but it was a hassle.

At the end of the day, we did reduce our mortgage payments and got a new 30-year fixed mortgage at a lower rate.

Hope your situation turns out well. Best wishes!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 6:48PM
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Not true that big banks don't send a notary out to the house. That's exactly what Wells Fargo did for us when we did a streamline refi with them.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Just sounds like the (increasingly) normal snafu type of thing. Chase was so late getting the closing documents to my closing agent (not a Chase employee) that he had to print them out using his fax equipment at my dinner table.

But definitely the processor should have let you know what you would need to bring to the table ahead of time.

Normally on refi's of existing customers, Chase tries to work it so there is no out of pocket money necessary. Obviously, that was not your experience.

I went ahead and closed even though the process was not as smooth as I would have liked. They gave me 3% fixed for 15 years - how could I complain?


    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 8:07PM
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You should have received a GFE... Good Faith Estimate, that would have detailed every fee that you could expect. Tell them to send over a GFE before they send over the next notary.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 9:23PM
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It is most definitely Chase.

I forgot about the GFE. We received it on Thursday, two days before the scheduled closing. Then last night we received a revised GFE two days after the scheduled closing.

The pre-GFE numbers were completely different than the numbers on the contract. The post-GFE had the same numbers. Isn't that a little backwards?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:33AM
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Chase strikes again!

It will be well worth your time and $ to change to a locally owned CU with your mortgage.

We moved ours last summer. Chase couldn't meet the rate, and I had had enough of their games anyway. You'd think, after never missing a payment, paying more/mo, etc, that they'd want to keep your business, but they don't seem to operate that way.

It is just too darn bad that it takes forever to get moved OUT of a big bank like Chase. I've almost moved all my auto-draw accounts, etc.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Look at the GFE. There are certain cited fees that can change by x amount, and then there are some cited fees that can not change at all from the cited GFE quotes. Hold them to the GFE. It is part of your contract with them.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:34PM
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My preliminary PFE, from Chase, prior to closing matched the telephone verbal summary from the Chase closer. The post PFE, however, added a +$1,000 Chase closing fee (which was not allowed and so stated on the PFE), plus other added expenses above that quoted on the first PFE.

I objected in writing to Chase, and the final mortgage turned out to be consistent with the first PFE.

I never got a response from Chase to my written complaint, and would have certainly persued it further had they not honored the terms and monthly payment of the first PFE.

I have really lost faith in Chase, after being with them for 15 years or more.

My advice is check your initial PFE, your documents at closing and any subsequent PFE they send you.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:47PM
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"- simple deal, I don't have to provide any paperwork
- reduce interest rate to 4.125% (from 6.5%) & a payment that's $600 per month less
- skip a mortgage payment in the closing month
- Pay $395 application fee upfront and NO MONEY AT CLOSING. Closing costs rolled into the loan "

The $385 sounds odd.

I and a number of friends payed ZERO under HARP by keeping the same lender (they even rolled the escrows and lenders title policy over).

Of course you are dealing with Chase, probably second only to BofA for chicanery

This post was edited by brickeyee on Thu, Feb 28, 13 at 11:50

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 11:49AM
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Hi, just wanted to give an update. It's laughable to say the least.

- I spoke with the original "solicitor" (calling him a loan officer is just too much credit) on Wednesday, 27th. He said that they have it worked out that we will have to bring less than $200 to closing, which we agreed to. He said they are just waiting on the HUD but we can schedule again for Saturday, 2nd. He would call back to confirm.

- He never confirmed, so I sent an email on Friday, 1st. I received an immediate response saying, "I believe we are on track but I'll confirm and get back to you." Late in the afternoon he sends another email saying, "I just talked to the closer and processor. WeâÂÂre going to have to postpone the closing a few more days. We werenâÂÂt able to get the closing docs ready."

- Saturday, 2nd at 2pm the notary shows up with new closing papers. I tell her that this was cancelled because they said they didn't have the paper work ready. Anyway, we look at the paperwork and now they have us bringing over $2000 to close. What the what???

Honestly, I think that either the people working on this closing have been on the job for a month and are making minimum wage -OR- they are purposely doing this to make us go somewhere else. What else could cause this level of incompetence?

We decided to just let them muddle through it until they get it right. No skin off our nose either way. If they can't get it right and just admit to it, then I'll escalate it to their superior and the next if necessary.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 8:22AM
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The delay might actually work out better for you- we're hoping we can find a HARP lender without wiping out our emergency fund (our house is worth less than a decent new car at this point), but the rates I'm seeing with banks that will lend up to 125% of the value are sub-3.5% for 15 years.

I do feel like I should admit that I hate Chase more than Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner combined though.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 3:59AM
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