Monday, March 3, 2008

A Disappointing World

The past week and a half has really been a draining whirlwind of emotion. And it seems so strange to say that about a mortgage process, but it is the only way I could describe it accurately. We have gone from excitement about freeing up some money each month, to disappointment and confusion about our house being in a declining market, to absolute anger because we had been lied to from the very beginning. I am, by nature, non-confrontational. So dealing with Quicken Loans, who owns a basketball team and arena and makes more money than should be legal, has proven to be exhausting. But I am determined that good will prevail this time. This company will not get away with their unethical practices no matter how many phone calls, letters, or emails it takes.

Here's the short of what has happened: Our rep from Quicken got all our information over the phone (which was what appealed to us - you do it all over the phone and then schedule the closing which can take place inside your own home) and sent us two Good Faith Estimates. I called him with questions and he answered them. But he didn't tell me the truth, or the complete truth, and we agreed to pay Quicken $500 for our certified appraisal and the title research fee. Our first appraisal came back a little low, and he encouraged us to get a second appraisal at no additional cost to us to try to get more money back at closing. Then, they told us our house was in a declining market. Because of that, we would have to pay the closing costs out of pocket or the loan would not go through. Something just didn't feel right, and we started making phone calls. Two mortgage brokers told us that the loan we were promised could not have gone through. There are strict federal guidelines on mortgage lending, and right now, guidelines prohibit a company from lending over 90% of the value of a home and receiving cash back at closing. So, that is when I started calling and asking questions and found myself in a he said/she said battle with the rep from Quicken. He claims we lied to him about the value of our home because, apparently, he inflated the value in his computer to make the figures work on paper. In complaining and raising hell with the rep and his "team leader", I demanded to see a copy of the appraisal. And, to my surprise, they overnighted it to me. On top of the appraisal was a copy of a press release dated November 29, 2007 that generally reported on the decline of the real estate market throughout the entire country. I read every word of the appraisal, and the appraiser had marked that we were in a stable market with stable values. Basically, we were lied to about the appraisal and about the loan in general. So, I spent the bulk of my time last week making phone calls, typing emails and letters, and going over phone calls in my mind. It has truly been a draining experience. I guess I knew that things like this went on, but I just never dreamed it would be this blatant. To lie to someone and then send them written proof that it was a lie is pretty bold. And I can't help but think about the hundreds of thousands of people who just take a loan rep's word for something and end up being taken for thousands of dollars.

I do expect a call today from Quicken. It will be interesting to see what they have to say. And I have emailed all the information to the appraiser. I also wrote a letter and attached a copy of the email sent to the help center to the CEO and Chairman of their company. I mean business. I am getting my $500 back and bringing these unethical practices to the attention of anyone in my path. But honestly, I will be glad when I can put my brain back in a box a relax a little. I am certainly not accustomed to this much brain activity.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

That is terrible. Good for you-not letting these people get away with what they did.