Monday, February 25, 2013

Crossing fingers and toes ...

I have the mortgage company in a tizzy and I'm hoping that works in my favor.

It started when I got my annual escrow statement this weekend. Our homeowner's insurance went up about $100 last year, so I knew there would be a slight adjustment. Taxes are the same, so no other variables. Imagine my reaction when I saw that they wanted me to cover the escrow "shortage" of ... are you ready? ... $712!

Now, math is not my strong suit, but even I know that doesn't add up. So I sat down with the four page statement and all its fine print and tried to learn their math. The only thing I could see is that last year, for the first time EVER, they decided to pay our tax bill in October instead of December, throwing us into a 2-month shortage. Since we also receive a copy of the tax bill, I checked and the due date had not changed, so there was no reason for them to pay early. And so I did what I hate to do. I called them.

I spoke with a very nice woman who was suitably surprised at the amount of the shortage given the slight insurance increase. She ran the numbers herself and couldn't make them work either. I pointed out the early payment and she said, yes, that could be the issue. She then started babbling about they must have gotten a notice from our tax assessor with a new due date. I assured her that the due date had not changed. Off she went to talk to someone in the tax department. When she came back, she said the person told her they were getting a lot of these calls from my area and they couldn't figure it out so they were "checking in to it." Hmmm. So, she says, my case is with them and they will get in touch with me. Meantime, she could spread out the shortage over three years rather than one year, thus making the monthly payment increase not as painful. OK.

As I'm getting ready to hang up, she says "Wait! Your interest rate is quite high. Have you thought about refinancing?" Well, ma'am, yes I have. I even tried to do it with your company some time back but was told I couldn't lower my payment because I had too much debt (love the logic there). I told her we still have a very high debt ratio and I didn't think we qualified. Well, would you let me ask someone about it? Sure. A few minutes later she comes back and tells me she has great news and she is going to transfer me to Benjamin. Benjamin asks a few questions and says he doesn't see why we wouldn't be approved. There is a new no closing cost program, he says, that doesn't look at debt ratio, only that the income is sufficient to make the payments. (Please explain to me why it worries them to make my payment lower when I've been paying them a higher amount for years??) He says I'm to expect a FedEx packet in a few days. If it goes through, the time left on the loan will stay the same, but the monthly payment should drop by quite a bit. Our current rate is 5.85% and the new rate would be 3.375%

I'm trying not to get too excited. ... But how awesome would that be??!!

Sarah

13 comments:

  1. A drop of over 2% in your interest rate will mean a huge drop in your payment so I am crossing my fingers for you! (although I must add that I have never heard of a lender saying that they don't look at debt to income ratio so that sounds a bit odd...). Hopefully you get the new loan!

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    1. Thanks! Apparently, it's through the HARP program and it would be streamlined since we're using the same lender. I still won't believe it until it's final, though :)

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  2. Wow, that would be awesome for you Sarah, I really hope this is all true!! I have also learned though...the bank is NOT your friend, so tread lightly and you are a smart woman for not getting too excited....yet!! Here's to hoping :)

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    1. I am waiting to see it in writing before I dance around the house :)

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  3. I was told the same thing, and that I would qualify as I owe less than 74 thousand on my home. Being that we are a one income family of five, I thought that it was great news. My interest rate at the moment is 6 percent. I was offered 3.25...however, they pulled my credit report, and my husband's..due to HIS very poor scores, I ended up not qualifying, despite the fact that I paid 200 dollars a month every month in 2012 towards principle in addition to our regular payment. I was so upset. I hope it works in your favor.

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    1. That stinks, Debbie! I hate it when I get my hopes up for something and it falls through. Too much importance placed on that FICO number, if you ask me.

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  4. That would be great. In philly they just raised all of our homeowners taxes and while I live in a nice part of the city and expected my taxes to go up...surprise surprise our Mayor who lives in a VERY nice area of the city taxes went down...mmmm

    Hope things go weel

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  5. There are quite a few new refi programs which do not consider your debt to income ratios at all. These are part of Harp and the National Mortgage Settlement.

    That's so awesome, Sarah. Good for you!

    You ARE carrying a lot of debt, and you are making all of the minimums, not adding new debt, and even paying extra. You're doing a great job. It's quite impressive. :)

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    1. You are correct, it is the HARP program - I'm hoping it is as good as it sounds! Thank you so much for your encouraging words. My journey is such a long one that sometimes it doesn't feel as if I'm making much progress. Thanks for reminding me of the big picture.

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    2. I did a Harp refi last June. My lender (Wells Fargo) promised it would be quick, easy, and no cost to me. And....it was! :)

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    3. WF is our lender, too, so now I'm hoping ours is as easy as yours!

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  6. YES YES YES!! I am so excited for you - I really hope it all works out for you...keeping my fingers crossed!

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