We bought our house 3 years ago as the housing market was starting to cool, but before the bottom totally dropped out of it. Since then the mortgage rates have come down considerably, and there has been a new program instituted to allow homeowners a better opportunity to take advantage of the lower rates, we decided to see if we could refinance our house and lower our monthly payment. We started the process back in April. We had to wait a few weeks to order our appraisal because the comps in our area weren't high enough to bring our home's value into the right range. Between the time we signed our loan application in April and had our appraisal done in early May, a new rule concerning appraisals went into effect where all appraisals had to be ordered by the lender and private appraisals were not acceptable. But, since we signed our application prior to the new rules taking effect our appraisal was supposed to be grandfathered in. So everything was submitted to the lender and there it sat for over a month.
Finally we were contacted that the bank was working on our loan and they started asking for all sorts of things from us, making us jump through one kind of hoop after another. But nothing was too difficult and we were able to give them everything they needed.
Then last week I was contacted by our broker who told me that they bank had approved everything, and that they were just waiting for copies of our tax returns from the IRS. The problem was that the IRS couldn't find our tax returns. So of course I had to call the IRS to try to get it straightened out, which I think must have been hoop number 87! But we got it done and should have been sitting pretty to close.
That brings me to this week. I was contacted by the broker on Monday who told me that AFTER approving our appraisal and supposedly being ready to deliver the documents to title to sign, the bank decided that our appraisal was not sufficient because it was not ordered by the bank, so we would need to get a second appraisal and spend another few hundred dollars, and most likely come back at a lower value (I just tend to get suspicious in situations such as these). So after trying to fight with the bank over the rules of the program, the bank told our broker that they were not going to budge on this issue. So in the end, I told her to forget the whole thing. We did not want to be bound for 30 years to a bank that uses these fishy business practices! What have we learned from this? Don't associate with certain banks who shall remain nameless but who use the initials WF!
To top it all off, our homeowner's insurance is coming up due at the end of the month. Last week we received our new policy and declaration page showing that our mortgage lender had been changed to WF. I called our insurance carrier who told me that WF had contacted them and said that our loan was going to close on June 29th... a week BEFORE they decided the appraisal was no good. Give me a break! It really burns me that they would change our insurance and then pull a stunt like this. Absolutely ridiculous. So of course I had to cover our butts and make sure everything got switched back to our current lender so that we know our insurance gets paid for the year. In doing that I got some new information from our current lender that could hopefully benefit us. We can attempt to refinance through them, and they might be able to use the appraisal we already have, and it would cost us close to half as much out of pocket as it was going to with WF. So we'll see where this goes, but we're getting the process started!
Is this all God at work? I think so! Even if we can't refinance, we are so thankful that He answered our prayers. Whenever making a big decision such as this our prayer is always the same. "Dear Lord, we believe that this decision is the right one and what You are calling us to do. But if it is not right for any reason, Father, please intervene and put a stop to it. We welcome your roadblock if we are heading down the wrong road." God is good and faithful all the time! It's strange because we were SO wanting this refi to go through and save us some serious money every month. But as we continued and the costs continued to rise, we were both growing increasingly uncomfortable with it and now that we have pulled the plug we feel absolutely nothing but relief. No disappointment, no regret, no "maybe we shoulda..." Just pure relief and peace with our decision. We know we've made the right choice and we continue to pray for God's direction in this and everything else!