I've been trying to refinance a mortgage, a no-doc, 7/1 interest-only ARM at 5.375 percent, from Chase, which readjusts in August 2012. I'm trying lock in a 30-year fixed-rate conforming loan that ensures I'm able to keep the property until it's paid. I'd rather do this now instead of wait until 2012 when rates may be higher. Current monthly payments are at $2, 248.
Due to falling home values, however, a large part of the 20-percent equity I initially put down has been erased. Whereas the home was originally appraised at $580, 000 in 2005, the Chase blanket-appraised value is now $495, 000. In 2005, I put down $116, 000, financed the remaining $464, 000 and that balance now stands at $461, 789, leaving just $35, 211 in equity remaining. However, I believe that a full appraisal will determine that my Redondo Beach, Calif., property in fact is worth substantially more. But a Chase mortgage counselor, Josh, informed me on 22 January 2010 that I'm not 'streamline eligible.'
Though I'm experiencing no crisis, I consulted with an independent mortgage-crisis counselor to explore what I might do to improve my ability to qualify. They informed me that my chances are nil - unless I want an FHA loan with PMI, which I don't, or unless I experience a crisis (missed payments, default, possible foreclosure, etc.), which compels the bank to take some action. I don't care for that option either. I'm not looking for a rescue.
Why is a responsible and sophisticated financial consumer, such as me, forced to choose between those two equally undesirable options? Unlike many these days, my finances are in decent shape. I asked Chase to consider my:
- Good credit: my FICO score is in the 790-800 range;
- Timely repayment history: I haven't missed or been late on a payment to any creditor in many years.
- Property improvements: we made substantial upgrades to the residence. Additionally, our HOA invested nearly half a million dollars in improvements to the complex;
- Equity: we're not underwater. In fact, property values in my neighborhood are stabilizing;
- Higher income: my income today is roughly $20, 000 more than it was in 2005;
- Greater personal savings: despite the financial crisis of 2007–2009, my retirement accounts all have higher balances than in 2005;
- Lower credit balances; again, despite the crisis, I've paid down my balances. All my credit balances trend downward historically;
- Financial savvy: as a successful, independent, institutional asset-management marketing consultant, I treat my assets and liabilities as an institution might. I've been a long-term consultant with a leading financial firm since 2001 and this gives me access to large amounts of sophisticated and forward-looking financial insight, which I put to use in my personal life;
- Income property: I also have a tenant who covers the mortgage on a second property in Hermosa Beach, Calif., which is due to be paid off in nine years. This provides tax benefits, but unfortunately impacts me negatively on my mortgage application.
I'm certain I represent extremely favorable credit risk to any bank that works with me to refinance this loan. Further, it would enable Chase to remove a risky, 7/1 interest-only ARM from its books and replace the loan with a safer 30-year fixed-rate loan to an AAA-type borrower with the capacity and intention of repaying the obligation - which might look good to regulators. If Chase offered me a rate at or near 5 percent, without PMI, it would increase my current monthly payment amount by only a few hundred dollars, which is very manageable.
Chase Home Finance has denied my refinance application and basically is penalizing me for being a proactive borrower who's working to prevent a potential future problem with my home. They're forcing me to roll the dice in 2012 and hope that I can refinance or sell by then. Apparently, no one at the bank has the foresight or the authority to look more closely at my unique circumstances, do some community banking, make a sensible move, and offer me a refinance. As a result, I have to continue sitting on this 'time bomb' of a mortgage.
As a consumer, evidently all I can do is complain loudly and often.
I became involved with homeowners assistance in california, this was a scam stating that you give them $2500 and they will have chase give me a lower interest rate. They advised me not to pay my mortgage and they would work all of the details with chase. None of this is true, they were closed and I received notification from the attorney general of this status. I contacted chase in 6/09 about my mortgage, chase did not offer any assistance or help, I paid back from my 401k over $40, 000 to catch up. I would contact chase numerous times to see the status of my account. Chase never contacted me and when I would contact chase it would take me over 3 hours and I would be transferred to over 12 diiferent numbers. No one would take resposibility or ownership. The reps were ignorant and not caring about customer needs. I was an assistant v. P. At wachovia for 42 yrs. , if I ever handle a customer in the manner chase did, I would of been on probation. Various numbers I would be transferred to: [protected], [protected], [protected], [protected], [protected], [protected], [protected], [protected], this is a disgrace. Today, 1/13/10, I conatacted chase to ask when will they be generating my 2-1-10 coupon payment bill for my 2-1 payment, all of the above numbers could not give me a direct answer. This is unforgiveable, not only could I not get an answer, I was transferred back and forth to all of the above numbers. This happened anytime I placed a call to see if I my payments were received. What happen to the bail funds from the president, this bank did nothing to assist me.
We have spent the last few months dealing with the same issue: Chase shows us as being behind on a payment, despite the fact that they have read through the payments with me over the phone and they are all there! We have faxed proof of payment, I have had at least three separate 'customer care' representatives tell me that they can't find a problem, but I continue to get statements claiming we are behind. I have left 6 messages with a supervisor (no one ever answers that line) and have not gotten a single call back! To top it off, I've had to go through a 45 minute rehash EVERY SINGLE TIME I've called in!
At this point, we have decided to involve our lawyer. I cannot believe the nerve of this company and its 'supervisors.'
About 5 years ago, my mortgage was sold to Chase, I did not choose them. I have paid every single mortgage...