Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Letter to my Mortgage Company

To you desperate people in the refi and home equity department:

Please share notes about customers. Please read the customer history. It will save us both endless amounts of time, money and the lives of several trees in bulk mailings, if you would just do a little looking around before contacting me.

I realize it drives you home equity people nuts when you see that, according to your records, I have over $80,000 in equity in my house. That's equity I could be paying you interest on!

And I have the audacity not to have contacted you asking to have my debt load increased!

You feel you are doing me a favor by contacting me and telling me all about how I could borrow against that equity and pay off high interest credit cards or remodel the house or pay for the kids college. 

There are a couple of problems with this pitch. Please, make note of them in your customer database.

First, those high interest credit cards of mine that you are so worried about? There is one, and it would cost me more in fees to you to get the loan than I actually owe to the card itself.

Second, remodeling my house would be a SERIOUS undertaking requiring more than the equity you believe I have.

Third, my kids are in grade school. College loans are a bit premature & we’d just blow them on unnecessary electronics, dental care and power tools well before they were needed.

Last and most important, what you don't know is that I already have a home equity loan.

With another company.

I actually only have about $30,000 in equity and no, I have no interest in cashing it out. You really ought to talk to the refi department. They seem to have more information on me than you do.

I also know that I am driving you refi people nuts because I have a $50,000 home equity loan with another company and you desperately want me to be paying that interest to you. (Why do you know about that loan and your home equity department does not?) But the thing is I have a great low rate with you all (Why don't you know that? You should know that. You are my mortgage company after all.) and a great rate with the other company (I've told you that on more than one occasion), so refinancing my mortgage to include the HELOC at a higher rate makes no sense. Please make note of that in your database.

Do you really think people are going to take on tens of thousands of additional debt in this economy? The government may be bailing you out of your fiscal irresponsibility, but no one is going to come rushing to pay off my debts if I overextend myself.

I realize you don't make notes so you both keep calling and calling and sending mailer after mailer, promising fast turn around, low fees, great rates but the thing you all are not understanding and should be able to see in your database record for my account history is:



You never have and you never will. Despite the fact that I have paid 152 out of 157 mortgage payments to you, on time 100% of the time, you will not give me a loan. Those 5 payments were made to 3 other companies who would. You have bought my mortgage, on 3 separate occasions, as part of package deal from those companies. You did give me a no cash out refi once, that got me the great low rate I have. But you will never ever give me cash, not even to roll in closing costs.

This is why

back 009

That is my house.

My earth bermed, sod roofed house.

It gives your underwriters fits that the company holds the mortgage in the first place and sends them into paroxysms of horror at the very thought they might lend me MORE money against it.

It's unusual, they think it is hard to value (trust me the county tax assessor has no problems with that), there are no comparable properties in a 50 mile radius (That have been appraised in the past 18 months. There are comparable properties but we unusual home owners don't sell very often and since refi-ing is a PITA we don't do that much either.) It is, to your underwriters, practically unresellable and entirely too risky (unlike those sub prime interest only loans to unqualified borrowers, oh but hey, they were buying normal homes, so that makes it ok I guess).

Since you won't stop calling or mailing me, please put this photo in my file. Attach a .jpg to my database entry. Make sure it pops up immediately after my number is dialed in the system so everyone can see what they are dealing with before any of us waste our time in fruitless 'cash out' conversations.

Better yet, save a few trees, and yourself a few bucks and just stop mailing me and calling me. You are not going to lend me any money and even if you were- I don't want it.


The no cash out homeowner


SciFi Dad said...

Mortgages sound a lot more complicated in the US.

I'm in the process of renewing my mortgage (we have terms here; our first one was 3 open/3 closed, and in year 4 we renewed to a 3 open which expires at the end of the month). We've been with a big bank since the beginning, and even now their "best rate" (I'm on a variable rate mortgage, so my rate is actually an offset of prime) is better or at least as good as the "no frills" lenders (mortgage companies here tend to be like this whereas banks will have early payment options, payment increase options, missed payment forgiveness, etc). So, I'm renewing with them.

I can't imagine having my mortgage purchased, let alone three times by the same company (how does that even work?)

mapsgirl said...

First off... I LOVE your house! It must be cool in the summer :) But a quick question, do you get to mow your roof??

And I too hate mortgages. Mortgage companies. Banks. Any one who makes millions of dollars on the debts of millions of people. The fact that one department doesn't share info with other departments is more than frustrating. I hope for your sanity, that they stop contacting you.

Andrea Chamberlain said...

You go! If I had a nickel for every freaking refi offer that comes our way, I wouldn't have to mortgage my house at all.

Rinda1961 said...

LOL! The punchline for this story (your awesome house) is fantastic.

LizzieMade said...

Oh so funny... but I can feel your frustration! I also get tired of repeated mailings, calls etc from companies whose departments never bother to communicate. So much of the mail that comes through our door goes straight in the recycling bin...
You have such a cool house. But in the UK it would also be hard to mortgage/remortgage, as it is what they call "Non-standard Construction". It costs a lot more to get a mortgage for that type of home. I don't blame you for wanting to stick with what you have and not increase your debt either!
I suppose you just have to grit your teeth and do that fingers-in-ears, "la-la-la, I can't hear you..." thing with the mortgage people.
The one that makes me most fed up, is the guys who ring the doorbell and try to sell us replacement double-glazed windows. I point out that a) this is a "no cold-calling zone" and they can be arrested for trying to sell door-to-door ("Oh no, we're not selling... we're just telling you about our products." !!!; b) we already Have replacement double-glazed windows (duh, take a look at my house!!); c) we have just completed a building project, which used up all our savings - we have no money and don't intend to buy windows any time in the next 5 years. Off they go... until next week, when the next lot of guys come round! Grrrr..!
So, feel free to share your frustration with us - I am sure we can all relate to it. You must be feeling the waves of cyber-sympathy oozing from your computer!
Thanks for making me laugh by the way!

LizzieMade said...

Hi again, Stacey! Please drop by my blog and read the post about the Shimelle Course Prize (you have won!). I need some info from you asap. I have also sent you an e-mail about this, if you want to reply. :-)

Carrie said...

lol - I hear ya! Unsolicited anything is annoying!

Michelle @ Mommy Misadventures said...

OK, you officially have THE coolest house ever. I have never seen a sod-roofed house and now all of a sudden thinking Laura Ingalls Wilder and whichever book featured them living in the dugout. I always thought a dugout would awesome. (DO you mow your roof?)

Swistle said...

I really like this. We get SO! MANY! letters "offering" us the "opportunity" to borrow our home equity, or to pay interest-only, or to switch from our fixed-rate to a variable rate, and it's like, "NO NO NO NO NO!!!" Why do they think we're sending little bits of extra whenever we can? WE DON'T WANT TO CARRY THIS LOAN FOR LONGER, NO THANK YOU.

Also, I love your house. LOVE. Am going to go scurrying through your archives to see if I can read more about it.