I don't even know where to begin with these people. First was the aggressive marketing. They wrote to us, called our house, called our offices, showed up at our door, all to tell us what an amazing house we had and how undervalued it was. We were told that we could refinance and pay off all our debt. Because this was OUR asset, OUR money. We weren't really "borrowing" money, we were just shifting our assets around!
We were told that our house was worth $175, 000, even though we only paid $70, 000. Naturally, we were suspicious, so they sent in their "independent appraiser". Sure enough, she valued the house at $175, 000! Her supervisor also signed off on that amount. We were amazed at our good fortune and were too naive/inexperienced to wonder how they could have come up with that value independently of each other. Turns out the appraiser knew the number Nationstar wanted long before she showed up to appraise the house.
Next came the tremendous pressure to borrow the full $175k. They were very insistent, told us to take a vacation to Europe. "It's YOUR money!" they said. We thought better of it. We decided to be prudent and only take $115, 000, way below the value of the house. The value that had been certified not only by a mortgage company, but by two independent appraisers!
We were told not to worry about the ARM. We could always refinance before the rate adjusted. Over the next two years, we paid Nationstar over $50, 000 on this loan, and at the end of the two years we owed more than when we started. Not exactly the glowing terms that had been described to us by the brokers. We talked to Nationstar about refinancing, but they were not agreeable (surprise!). We decided to refinance with our local credit union before the Nationstar loan adjusted. We had been very careful with our bills and money in that two year period and had improved our credit score drastically. Our bank approved us for an extremely reasonable fixed rate mortgage. We were thrilled, until their appraiser came and we found out the house was actually worth $60, 000! We were not able to refinance and were stuck with the Nationstar loan, which then adjusted to nearly 15%!
So, now we owed $115k on a $60k house and had mortgage payments of over $2, 000/month and 15% interest. We told Nationstar that we were going broke fast and asked about a short sale. They weren't interested until they found out that the NY State Attorney General was interested in the case and went after the appraisers for fraud. The appraisers lost their licenses (turns out they had been "working with Nationstar" on many refinances in our region). Then they said they would consider a short sale. We got an offer for $70k and Nationstar said they would only accept it if we paid another $25k out of our pockets. We told them that was not possible. They dickered and [censor]ed and complained and eventually the buyer walked. Then we found them ANOTHER buyer who offered $65k. Still over the value of the house. They hemmed and hawed and dragged their feet for a month and then we lost THAT buyer.
By now we had moved out of the house because Nationstar, without telling us (although we were talking to them nearly every day), started foreclosure proceedings and we knew as soon as the foreclosure hit our credit, we would not be eligible for a mortgage. We bought another house by the skin of our teeth (thanks to our local credit union, who were aware of the situation) just HOURS before Nationstar's first negative report to the credit agencies. Over the next few months, Nationstar's reports to the credit agencies lowered our credit nearly 200 points.
The house was empty and was vandalized. People broke in and stole all the copper pipes, stained glass windows, Victorian hinges and even the door knobs. EVEN THEN we found a buyer and Nationstar refused to accept the offer.
Very long story short, the house went into foreclosure and Nationstar ended up selling it for $28k. Our credit is destroyed. We have no idea what the long term consequences to us will be. We're waiting from them to garnish our wages or go after what little equity we have in our current home. Meanwhile they share in the bailout money while we deal with the consequences of their thievery and lies.