Deciding You Don't Want A Particular Mortgage Loan

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I have questions to ask you about the loan for house. I have been work with one broker since DELETED and I just tell her on the phone that I chose her and that she can start to do the escrow but I didn't sign any application and papers for her. Two weeks later, the appraisal had been done. Can I stop to work with her because she promised me to look for lower rate later, but she didn't do anything about it. If I stop to work with her, do I have to pay any fees for the appraisal and bank approval for the loan and how much it may costs? (she had only done the bank approval and ordered the appraisal). Thank you very much for helping me.


This is pretty open and shut. Usually it's less clear. You haven't signed anything committing you to the loan. She probably has civil recourse on the appraisal - if she wants to spend thousands in lawyer fees to recover a few hundred. Since that's silly, I don't think it's likely she'll pursue it. Her case hinges on her having ordered it because of your verbal representation you wanted the loan. One more thing in your favor is that the date on the California MLDS needs to be within three days of the date she ran your credit report, not to mention the Truth In Lending Advisory and everything else. Not likely, if you haven't signed anything.

Most loan providers, ethical or otherwise, won't start work without a loan application package. Ethical ones because they've got legal obligations to meet, less ethical ones because there will be an origination agreement in there obligating you to pay their expenses if you don't go through with it.

If you have signed such an agreement, there's probably something in there obligating the loser to pay the prevailing party's legal fees. Since you're likely to lose if they push their case, this shifts the presumption as to what you want to do, which is pay the appraiser. You can fight it in court if you want to, but you're likely to end up paying for both sides legal expenses in addition to the appraisal bill. Since the chances of you winning in court are pretty miniscule, you would be well advised to just pay the appraiser.

I've said it before, but it's likely that lenders who promise to pay for an appraisal are going to more than recover those costs elsewhere in the loan. Suppose you've got a $300,000 loan. If all you see is the fact that you're not writing a check for $400, that loan provider can, by being willing to loan you the $400, trivially make two extra points on the loan, or $6000. Just because you're not writing that check directly doesn't mean you're not paying every penny of it via higher rates, or higher origination. Furthermore, they're not likely to pay for the appraisal without an origination agreement that obligates you to make good their expenses.

The true low cost mortgage providers won't pay for the appraisal. If you've got a low cost provider, they're either going to have to absorb the costs of the appraisals that don't pan out, or they're going to have to charge their clients whose loans fund for the ones who don't. In either case, this means a higher loan margin. Usually, there's a good margin there on top of the appraisal. I can point to providers who use the fact that they pay for the appraisal as a wedge to extract thousands of dollars in junk fees as well. Most of the people for whom that is a selling point only understand money when they write a check or fork over cash. They don't understand about how money they roll into their loan balance is every bit as real.

If you do decide you don't want a loan, the appraisal is the vast majority of the money you should be out, because that and the credit report (somewhere between $13 and about $30) are the only third party expenses. This doesn't mean that the less ethical won't try and soak you for other fees, because they will, and junk on top of those fees. Depending upon the origination agreement you sign, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars - more than a low cost provider would make if they actually fund the loan.

I need to say this again, also: Just because you paid for the appraisal, and are therefore entitled to a copy, does not mean you are entitled to take it to another loan provider. The appraisal must be in the name of the correct loan provider, and if the prior loan provider does not release it, the appraiser will not re-type it. The games that are played by loan providers who refuse to release appraisals are legion. Most will want money to release it, money such that you may be better off getting another appraisal. Even the most ethical will not likely release the appraisal just because you find a better deal - or think that you have. They've spent anywhere from hours to days of time - time they have to pay for, even if they can't show a receipt - on your loan. Expecting a loan provider to release the appraisal without money is like expecting your mechanic to release your car without being paid. Therefore, you want to be the one that controls the appraisal, if you possibly can. Some appraisers don't like this, because it's in their interests for you to pay for more appraisals, but the law in most states isn't nearly so hard nosed as most appraisers would like you to believe.

One final thing: As of the date of this writing, rates have risen quite a bit in the last few weeks. I have a purchase client whose transaction hit a snag in a defect that has to be corrected before any loan can be funded, and it's much more cost effective for them to pay for rate lock extensions than it is to float the rate. A tenth of a point per five calendar days is a lot less than the almost half of a percent re-submitting the loan to a new lender would make in the rate. Any reasonable loan that's been locked for a couple weeks is likely to be better than anything available today. I can look for a lower rate all I want. It's not likely to be found, unless their current provider is pretty high margin.

Caveat Emptor

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on May 30, 2007 10:00 AM.

Do I Need A Deposit With 100% Financing Offers? was the previous entry in this blog.

Real Loans for Real People May 30, 2007 is the next entry in this blog.

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