ACE Mortgage Funding / Trask Munoz
In early July, 2007 I filled out an on-line inquiry for refinancing. I can’t remember the site. I received several responses. I spoke to several brokers on the phone and decided that Mr. Trask Munoz at Ace Mortgage Funding sounded very helpful and set up a meeting for July 9th at 4:00pm. Prior to the meeting, I went over all our financial specifics with Mr. Munoz on the phone. We discussed our earnings, home value, savings, etc.
On July 9th, Mr. Munoz established our needs including getting out of a 3-year interest only ARM and consolidating our credit card debt. He asked for some time to look over some options. He did some calculations on a piece of notebook paper showing that he would be able to get us a loan which would cover our expenses and include cash out for debt consolidation. I believe the amount of this first loan was to be $315, 000. However, Trask later called and said that we didn’t qualify for the first loan (which was more than 100% loan to value of our house, which we estimated at $298, 000 based on our recently received tax assessor’s note from the city of Englewood). About 1 week later Mr. Munoz called us with “a great option.” He had found something he called a “future equity value loan” with which to consolidate our debt. He said that this loan could be processed immediately following closing on our refinance. He showed us his computer screen on which there was a line item of our debts that would be covered by this 2nd loan and included most of our revolving credit accounts and approximately $25, 000 cash out.
He said that we would need to pay off a small second mortgage that we held with Household Financial for $15, 000.00 in order to close the first mortgage. At his urging, I borrowed this money from my mother, Louana George. Mr. Munoz said that he could not process the refinance without having this paid off. I stated that I could only borrow the money from my mother if he could get us enough on the second loan to immediately pay her back, to which he responded “no problem.” He said that the second loan would be approximately $50, 000.00, which would cover all of our credit card debit, plus the loan from my mother. He said that the payment terms would be approximately 14% for 20 years. Overall, the two products together were supposed to save us about $500.00 per month. We chose to take the mortgage with Ace Mortgage Funding because we were told that we would get the second loan to consolidate our debt which would make the higher payment on the refinance possible for us.
There was some concern about closing the first mortgage because Scott was going to be in Brazil for much of the month of August, so Mr. Munoz forwarded us a power of attorney from the lender on the refinance, which Scott signed. Mr. Munoz assured me that the loan would close quickly. However, over the next several weeks, there were several times that I contacted him asking when we would close and was told that “he was working on it.” On July 31, 2007 I paid off the small second mortgage and was told by Mr. Munoz that we would be able to close by the end of the week and the second loan “some time” the following week.
On August 10th I was scheduled to go in to sign the papers on the refinance, but at about 3:00pm, Mr. Munoz called and said that they needed a letter from my mother regarding a joint savings account. I informed him that I would get him the letter but that I was leaving for Canada that Sunday and would be gone until the 20th, when Scott also returned. On the 20th we finally closed on the first loan.
While in Mr. Munoz’s office on August 20, 2007, we said, “now this second loan won’t take as long, right?” We were assured that it would not as he “had all our information” and that the most we would need to provide would be updated paystubs. Mr. Munoz had us sign some paperwork having to do with the 2nd loan at that time and assured us that everything would be in place shortly. I have not been able to attain copies of these papers from Mr. Munoz at this point.
On August 30, I contacted Mr. Munoz via email to inquire about the second loan. I was told that he was “working on the approval” and would have some information in a few days. I heard nothing additional until I wrote to Mr. Munoz on September 19, asking for a progress report. I was told that he was “working on it as we speak” and that the lender was requesting clearer copies of my and my husband’s ids. We faxed those to him on September 20, 2007. On September 24, 2007 I wrote again asking about the status of the loan and was told that it was “getting close” and that Mr. Munoz was just “wrapping things up on his end.” On September 26 Mr. Munoz wrote asking me to sign three documents entitled “Consumer Caution Notice, ” “Additional Sums Refinance Disclosure”, and Program and Product Disclosure Notification Form.” My husband and I signed these forms and faxed them back on September 27th. On October 1, I emailed again stating my concern that the loan hadn’t been taken care of, and was told again that he was “working on it.” I requested something more specific and received no response.
On October 3, 2007, I emailed Mr. Munoz to inquire yet again on the status of the 2nd loan. He did not respond to my email, so I called and left a message. Again, I did not receive a response, so I called and left a message for his supervisor. On October 4, Mr. Munoz called me back and told me that the “product no longer existed.” I inquired as to when it ceased to exist and was told “well, the market changes a lot and I don’t know exactly, ” but that he had been “looking around” for something for us, that he was sorry that he hadn’t gotten back to me but that he “didn’t realize” that the second loan was “so important” to us. I expressed my displeasure with the circumstances in no uncertain terms, explaining that as he had assured me that it would be “no problem” to get the second loan, and that it was “in the works, ” I had not paid my September credit card bills, which were now late, and that I now owed my mother $15, 000.00 on his advice and had no way to pay it back. He tried to blame the situation on the market, but as he had had more than 6 weeks from the time of the closing of the original loan until the date of our conversation, “fast market changes” seemed unlikely. Mr. Munoz presented this second product as largely a de facto done deal, and my husband and I based our choice of broker and first loan on Mr. Munoz’s assurances that the second loan would be “easy to do” and would make the first loan payments bearable for our budget. At this point, we feel that Mr. Munoz both breached a verbal contract and misrepresented himself and the products at his disposal.
Since October 4, I have tried to get copies of my file including documents that I and my husband signed ostensibly for the second loan, to no avail. I was told to that the file had been “sent to corporate” and then later to contact Mr. Munoz’s supervisor, Damian Thornburg. I left a message for Mr. Thornburg on October 16 requesting the information. In addition, research has shown that the type of product Mr. Munoz claimed to be working on for us has not existed in the state of Colorado for more than 18 months.
This complaint has been filed with the state of Colorado, which investigated and determined that ACE and Mr. Munoz were in the wrong. I am not sure if specific action has been taken by the state as the company has now filed bankruptcy.