My elderly mother received a letter from Embrace Home Loans stating that she was pre-approved for a low interest, fixed rate loan up to $100,000, which could be used for a variety of things including refi, repairs, etc. We were in the process of looking into refinancing our primary residence to a lower interest rate so this letter was in response to a refi inquiry we made. They ran our credit reports and said the Mom could get a loan but I could not due our different credit ratings (we are both on the current mortgage/deed). The new loan is supposed to be in Mom's name but with me on the deed/title as co-owner. We've submitted all paperwork requested, had the house appraised and it has gone to the underwriters. The house appraised for $84,700 (we paid $74,900 six months earlier when we purchased the house) and we are only borrowing the balance still owed of $54,000. The house had a bunch of new work/upgrades/remodeling done to it before we purchased it (roof is 6 years old, other upgrades are less than a year old of new vinyl siding, new floors, new electrical system, new heat system, completely new anti-freeze plumbing, new doors/windows, etc). The only thing not completed is 20% of a an addition/utility room still needs the dry wall put up, everything else is done. But Embrace won't give a closing date and the person we've been dealing with keeps changing things/giving us different info. Problem 1: We were told the appraisal would be $500 (area average is $150, so this is very high and we had to pay it up front), then they changed it to $650 after the appraisal was done but David (the Embrace person) said as a they would not charge the additional $150 but that $150 is now in the loan paperwork as an additional charge. Problem 2: The loan is supposed to be for 10 years, but David keeps giving us loan paperwork for 15 years and when we've demanded an updated one with correct numbers he keeps telling us we'll get the corrected paperwork at the closing. Problem 3: David keeps demanding the same paperwork over and over again, saying we can't proceed with out it. He's had a signed statement from our current lender that all payments have been in full and on time for weeks now and got all financial info from the current lender with our payment history. Now he's saying again that he doesn't have our payment history and needs it before we can proceed. He already HAS IT! Problem 4: Apparently the appraiser put that there was some "settling" in the roof, so the underwriter is demanding a roof inspection. We contacted the appraiser to ask her what she meant by settling and she was unable to give us an answer and couldn't tell us where this supposed settling was. So now we have to shell out another $250 for the roof to be inspected. Plus the roof inspector is coming from across the state as we had a hell of a time finding someone who would do just an inspection. A look at the roof has found zero issues with it, so we still dont' know what the appraiser meant by settling. Problem 5: David said he has some questions about the unfinished room (utility room that needs 20% of drywall still put up) but he didn't ask any questions! We've explained that the room is not in use, is a utility room and just needs the drywall put up, but he says it may still be a problem. Won't tell us why or what question he has about it??? Problem 6: David keeps telling us the closing will be "next week" but every time we've pressed for an actual date/location he comes back with "we need more information/another inspecting/etc". It has now been over 2 MONTHS of trying to get a closing date. Meanwhile we have been paying the current lender and every month that goes by is changing the pay off amount which makes the paperwork already submitted no longer accurate. David has not asked for any of the additional paperwork/inspections until we press for the closing date, then all of a sudden he says we need to submit more information. In one conversation David tells us everything is all set and we'll have the closing as soon as next week, then when we press for the actual date he changes the tune to, the underwriter needs this or that still before we can schedule the closing. We feel we are being jerked around but don't know what to do about it! Any suggestions? We just want this over with so we can get on with things!
Tory, the question that David has about your 20% unfinished addition is most likely being triggered by what was observed by the appraiser. Any time you have open walls, exposed electrical, plumbing, insulation, etc. the work will most likely need to be completed to finalize the appraisal and thus be able to move forward with the loan. Good luck. Thanks Ted, this version does a much better job of hiding the truth that the borrower is seeking out. You say it doesn't matter, but why not let the public determine this instead of editing and filtering what information/advise they get.
As you've seen, appraisers today hold great power over the loan process. They can make or break deals with comments such as "roof settling", or the description for a non-completed utility room. Lenders have little/no sway over the appraisal process, can't communicate with appraisers, etc. While it appears you have more issues than just the appraisal going on, that's certainly a large part of your situation. Is your lender not mailing/emailing you loan approvals stating the precise items needed for loan approval? If not, that's a big concern and compliance violation. I'd contact your state banking commission and make your concerns known to them. If your lender decided they "prefer" not to do the loan, they could just be adding items to your "to do" list, but that SHOULDN'T be done without a valid underwriting reason. Time to stop dealing with David, and start dealing with his boss, and/or state banking commission and the CFPB.