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??!!