I’m sorry, but folks, isn’t this your FUCKING JOB?
Isn’t this why you’re getting paid?
Today I close on my first house in a little over five hours.
My loan officer (more on him later) didn’t get me the loan that he’d originally promised me, so instead of paying next to no closing costs, I’m looking at paying about $2200.
Okay, great. Well, I’ve already put in $500 earnest money. So, I’m looking at needing around $1700 at closing. Specifically, a cashier’s check.
Well, I’ve managed to come up with the necessary money. Probably. See, budgets were made and money spent on other things because I was acting on information that I was given by people who supposedly know what they hell they’re doing because, well, this is their motherfucking job.
Why do I say ‘probably’? Because my closing is five fucking hours away and nobody can tell me how much I’m supposed to bring!
I talk to my realtor who was supposed to call me this morning with the amount. She didn’t, so I call her. She calls the closing attorney. Realtor calls me back and tells me that they’re waiting on stuff from the mortgage officer.
This is the same mortgage officer who called me on an almost daily basis this last month because I needed to come to his office to sign “just one last form”. After the eighth or ninth extra visit I really don’t have a whole lot of patience for you, especially when I’m 400 miles away at a client’s site and you’re trying to convince me to get ahold of their fax machine so you can send me something that absolutely has to be signed today, but for some reason you didn’t know existed two days ago.
Not uncommon, I’m sorry to say. My wife and I bought a house last month, and we came to closing with no idea of how much to bring. At the actual signing, we learned the figure. So, after the “sign every paper on God’s green earth” ceremony, we had to trundle over to the bank, get a cashier’s check, and mosey back to the title company’s offices to complete the actual sale. No idea why they waited until the last minute to cough up the actual figure.
Man, do I feel your pain! My husband and I just bought our first home together and closing was a NIGHTMARE TIMES 100! Like yours, our lender misled us as to the interest rate he could secure for us, as well as promising us a no-points loan, then at the last minute whining about not getting a fee and charging us over $5,000!! Then, the “Estimated Closing Costs” statement he provided was missing a ton of fees and charges that he damn well should have known about, so that when we walked into our escrow office to close, the statement they provided us with was higher by $10,000 (NOT including his fucking fee)!!! Excuse me, but we don’t happen to have $10,000 cash just hanging around to piss away unexpectedly!
We were at the escrow office for over 3 HOURS negotiating stuff down (like them trying to impound 2 YEARS worth of hazard insurance, at some arbitrary rate they pulled out of their asses that was 3 times the actual rate, which they knew because they had the quote from our insurance agent right there). By the time we left there, we still had to borrow $7,000 from my boss to cover unexpected closing costs. Thank Bastet I have a generous boss, who happens to have the money to spare, and whom I was able to track down on his cell phone at the time, or we’d’ve been completely screwed.
Closing is now less than an hour and a half away (it got pushed back half an hour, presumably because that’s how long it will take these people to pull their heads out of their asses).
Half an hour ago I get a call from my incompetent assclown of a mortgage officer.
IACOAMO: Joe! We just checked your bank account and you don’t have enough to cover the closing costs.
Joe: No shit. I have several checks, including my last pay checkn and a sizable expense check that I haven’t deposited because I need to cash them at their native bank so I can get the cashier’s check.
<<Time warp back to Tuesday>>
At Joe’s irritating place of employment if payday (1st and 15th) falls on a weekend or holiday, you get paid after rather than before. Therefore, Joe gets paid on Monday. Monday is MLK day, and therefore Joe needs to wait till Tuesday before he can do anything involving banking.
Being the clever type, Joe figures, 'Aha! If I deposit them on Tuesday there’s a possiblity that the bank will say, “Sorry, Joe, funds depositive may not be available for up to five days.” Instead, I’ll keep hold of the checks, wait till I find out the closing costs, cash the checks at their native bank, and then go to my bank for a cashier’s check in the correct amount. It’s brilliant! Nobody can trip me up now!"
<<Time unwarp back to today>>
IACOAMO: Let me call you back.
<< Time passes >>
IACOAMO: Joe. I need you to take those checks to your bank, deposit them, then have the teller stamp and sign a statement of your last 30 days, and fax the statement along with your check stubs to my office. If we do that they’ll take a personal check.
<< In a killing mood, Joe does this, although at least the teller at the bank is a nice lady. She even does the faxing for Joe. Joe leaves the bank, his cell phone rings >>
IACOAMO: How many pages should there be?
Joe: (counting) Seven. No, wait, six, one of those was the confirmation sheet.
IACOAMO: She didn’t sign and stamp it.
Joe: Yes she did.
IACOAMO: No she didn’t. Oh, wait, she only signed and stamped the first page.
IACOAMO: So she didn’t do all the pages?
IACOAMO: We need them all signed and stamped.
IACOAMO: I’ll call her and have her do it. What branch is she a…
Joe: (Hangs up cell)
In general, closing costs amount to 3 percent to 6 percent of the sale price.
The best approach is to get a copy of the good faith estimate before you make a commitment to any lender. Obtain good faith estimates from two or three lenders and compare the costs. Then be prepared to ask the lender you choose to meet the best offer.
I’m sure I will. I just fear that every moment I get closer and closer to my “new home” being a prison because of my incarceration for multiple homicides…
Another fun fuckup/lie/whocaresathispoint(?) that just came up a couple minutes ago.
IACOAMO: It looks like your costs shouldn’t be too bad. Looks like it should be under $X.
Now, being capable of basic arithmetic (unlike everyone else in this scenario, apparently), I instantly realize that 14 months of insurance plus my loan origination fees (1% of the total) is higher than X.
I’m flummoxed that you’re agreeing to close on a loan that’s not meeting the terms you were offered.
When I bought my house, my loan officer quit in the middle of the process and my case was passed off to another lady who evidently didn’t give a crap about anything. She worked up the wrong loan (FHA instead of PHFA) and when I got my closing papers in the mail to review, the interest rate was wrong. I called to find out why, and discovered her error in the loan processing. She said to me “Well, you can close on the loan I worked up, or I can send through for the other loan, but PFHA takes another 3 weeks or so.”
I said “I’ll wait. The difference between Loan A and B is approximately $20k out of my pocket over the life of the mortgage.”
I’m sure she was pissed, but hey…it was their incompetence, not mine, and I certainly wasn’t going to pay for it. I had definitely secured financing, so the seller (who happened to be a bank, in this case…the property I was buying was a foreclosure) had no choice but to wait.
If I were you, I’d have told them to either give me the loan you’d agreed to, or taken my business elsewhere. Fucking closing on time if it means thousands of dollars out of your pocket.
The answer to your question, Jadis, at least in our case (and I assume in general), is that by the time closing comes around, all the contingencies, including loan approval, have been removed, and backing out would mean forfeiting whatever you’ve already put down (in our case we would’ve been out about $20,000), and for us, that was not an option.
Aren’t there banking and mortgage regulations that protect the buyer in that situation? Everything I’m reading says that you’re supposed to received a Good Faith Estimate of closing costs within 3 days of applying for (or approved for? I’m not sure) the mortgage, and you should bring your GFE to closing. If the fees differ significantly from your GFE, you have the right to refuse or delay closing.
Any real estate experts out there who can chime in on the legality of heaping extra undisclosed fees on to the mortgage on the day of closing??
I have no idea if we had the right to refuse or delay closing without losing our deposit money, because nobody involved wants to disclose the legal rights that are to your benefit, since if you do refuse to close, everyone involved loses their precious commissions. All I know is that we were told that if we didn’t go through with closing for any reason, after the contingency period had passed, we would lose our deposit money.
Three HOURS we spent arguing with everyone we could get in the room or on the phone; from the escrow officer to our mortgage lender to our real estate agent. We did have the GFE with us, but all the escrow people would say is, “Your lender is an idiot who should’ve known to include all the Title Co. charges (amongst other missing or vastly different items). What do you want us to do about it, we aren’t waiving our fees?!” Getting a reduction of $3,000 seemed quite a victory at that point.
But we had other issues, too, that were preventing us (or at least making it extremely difficult for us) from walking away from the deal, not the least of which was that we were living in a motel because our asshole slumlord had allowed our apartment building to deteriorate to the point where our unit was infested with rats, and in spite of several written citations from the Health Department, refused to fix the problems. We needed to move into this house, so we were ripe for the screwing.
Sigh…sorry to hear you’re having such a hard time, Merijeek . But yes, unfortunately your situation is more common than most of us in the industry would like to see. When purchasing a home, usually there are so many people involved (one or two realtors, a lender, sometimes a mortgage broker as well, and a title company). Less than stellar skills on the part of any or several of those people can make life interesting indeed. If those people are good at what they do, they will keep you informed, hold your hand when necessary, and realize that buying a house is stressful (no matter how many transactions THEY are part of every month).
Standard disclaimer: not legal advice, always consult your attorney, YMMV, etc. etc.
Just for educational value here:
Folks, if you don’t know how much to bring to closing, you can always get your cashiers check for OVER the amount you think you will need and have a check for the difference cut back to you at the table. It’s amazing how often this fails to get mentioned, and the poor buyers are having a heart attack trying to work out the logistics of getting their check and making it to closing.
If you get to the table and your loan is not what you expected, you can decide not to close on it. BUT…that does not necessarily relieve you of your contractual obligation to the seller. In other words, a lot of what can or can’t happen depends on your contract. In some cases, the seller can keep your earnest money and/or sue you for “specific performance”. Ask your attorney about that one.
Originally posted by Shayna :
Without getting more specific than I should here on a message board, let’s just say there are Federal laws regarding how much your lender can impond for taxes and insurance. And it ain’t two years. There are also laws about how much a Good Faith Estimate can vary. If you’re getting a loan, it is prudent to educate yourself about these.
Of course Title will not waive their fees…nor should they. They are a neutral third party in your transaction. They do not work for you, or the lender, or the realtor (although one of those folks usually chose them to serve as closing agent). They perform the search, receive and disburse the funds, clear any liens, and provide insurance that your lender requires, and insurance that you as the buyer want to have to be sure that you have clear ownership of the property.
In other words, Title performs services vital to the transacction and should be paid for what they do (not to mention the responsibility/liability) they have. Maybe I am biased because that is my primary area of work, but I also know that most people have no idea what Title actually does or what they are responsible for, so they don’t see why we are needed and never want to pay for that part of things.
But I digress… point is, if your lender was a stupid head dum-dum and didn’t tell you about other expenses, it’s the lender’s fault and your beef is with him.
Anyway…hope it all worked out ok with a minimum of bloodshed. Enjoy your new home!
I hope you did get it signed off, too. Sounds like a mess. And I thought it was bad when they sent us the wrong amount and neglected to follow up with the right amount only mere business hours before closing (not to mention calling us while we were in the parking garage to their building, insisting we were 15 min late instead of 15 min early).
I think you misunderstood. It was the escrow company and my mortgage broker, not the Title Co., who both copped the attitude of “what do you want me to do about it?” (the escrow company added a $900 charge they charmingly called “padding,” just in case… who the hell knows in case of what). In fact, there were charges from the Title company that ended up getting waived because they were charged to us in error (a sub-escrow fee – we weren’t selling a house, so there was no sub-escrow for us) and they were even nice enough to reduce one of their fees a few bucks at the request of our real estate agent who negotiated a reduction on our behalf (she was the ONLY one in this entire transaction who actually advocated for us at every turn – we LOVED her!). It should come as no surprise that it was our mortgage lender who passed the buck to the real estate agent, claiming it was her responsibility to have negotiated better rates with the Title company, which he claims he would’ve done had he handled that part of the transaction, in spite of the fact that it was his incompetence in not even including any Title charges in our GFE! It was absolutely infuriating dealing with these people.
And although we didn’t know there were things they shouldn’t have been charging us, such as 2 years of hazard insurance, we at least recognized that it was extraordinarily excessive and was completely contrary to what we were specifically told by our mortgage broker to expect, so we felt confident in arguing to have it reduced, which they did, to 2 months, which was part of the reduction that constituted the $3,000 that got cut that day before we signed. And when all was said and done, we ended up with a refund of nearly $2,000 as a result of the escrow company returning the difference between their overly high estimates and the what the costs actually turned out to be (including their “padding”). Closing was still $5,000 higher than the bastard mortgage lender told us, but at least it wasn’t the $10,000 presented to us when we walked in the door.
But we have a house now, so we’re doing our best to enjoy it and not dwell on what a pain in the ass it was to make it happen. You can bet your hat, though, that if there’s ever a next time, things will be quite different, indeed!
So Merijeek, how did it go? Do you have a house now?!
Did you have a lawyer helping you with this? When I bought my co-op (which cost less than many cars do these days), I mentioned to my lawyer how I was having trouble with this or that form from the mortgage co and he said “Stop right there. Let me handle it. That’s what you’re paying me for.” and he did.
I may have been lucky, but my closing went smooth as silk. I was sitting in a break room signing where my lawyer told me to while some other poor schmuck was going through Closing Hell in the conference room. Did my sale with him too, that went smoothly, once I got a buyer past the co-op board.
I am never doing a real estate transaction without a lawyer on my side. Too much money and too much to go wrong to avoid spending a few hundred bucks to have a knowledgable guy working for me, securing my rights and interests alone.
I suspect that the CMHC makes things easier here. Closing on our house was nowhere near this hard or complicated, either. And the mortgage figures changing…? Hunh? Although I do notice that everyone is calling them loan figures, rather than mortgage figures - not sure why.
mmm hmm… and how much of her comission did she offer to give up? Not to sound like I’m picking on your realtor here, because it doesn’t sound like what happened to you was her fault at all, but I see this quite often and it really chaps my ass. It’s ok to ask another service provider to forgo payment for services earned, but damned if anyone wants to take responsibility and take it out of their own check. Part of what makes me so angry is that you, as the client don’t see what else goes with that. There’s usually a bit of…uh…well, blackmail involved. “Pay for this for my client or I’ll never give you any business again!”.
Heard that song before too. Nice to know he shops for his professional services like he’s at a flea market. Yep…pick whoever’s cheapest, not whoever’s most reliable and will do a good job for the client. I don’t select a doctor or attorney or even a plumber that way…why would I want to trust my house and a large amount of my money to someone who would negotiate “the best rates” without regard to the best service? Professional, competent service costs money.
Anyway…sorry for the hijack, Merijeek . I just get worked up about this stuff because I see situations like yours every day and most of the time the poor borrower doesn’t even know what really happened to cause the mess. Which means that the accountability isn’t there, and that’s what is needed in this industry if we’re going to make it better.
I really, really hope things worked out for you ok and that you’re busy unpacking in your new home.
Well, since the sellers were paying 100% of her commission, there really was nothing for us to negotiate with her in that regard. And in all fairness to her, she only asked the Title company for any consideration after she saw how distraught I was at how horribly the closing was handled, and after I told her that my mortgage lender was passing the buck and blaming her for not having done so in the first place. She’s never done that before (and probably never will again) and really did so strictly as a favor to me, and only as a, “Well, I’ll ask, but I wouldn’t count on anything,” kind of thing, and was actually successful much to her surprise. And IIRC, it was only something like $100 they waived (but still generous, given that they didn’t have to waive anything). Honestly, I couldn’t imagine for a moment that she would even consider strongarming them – it just wouldn’t be in her nature. It was more of an inquiry with no expectations (from us, either).
Sadly, so does unprofessional and incompetent service, as we unfortunately learned the hard way through this whole mess.
And I, too, hope things went well today for Merijeek.
I’ll second this. I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life, but paying extra for a real estate attorney when we bought our house was one of the smartest moves I ever made. There was plenty of sweat before the closing, but it was amazing how quickly some of the logjams cleared up after our attorney’s call.
And the relief of having an expert at the table who was on our side almost canceled out the panic we felt after the closing when it finally sunk in that we were now $150,000 in debt.