Well, I'm getting the house, but that means I need to refinance it so that he can get his VA loan back. Fine, ok, no big deal.
So here comes the refinance saga.
I really wanted to do the refinance through Chase, to save money and because I'm used to working with them. So I call up Chase and get a friendly refinance guy by the name of Nathan (I could give his last name, but that would just be mean). Nathan starts me on the refinance path. Nothing other than the appraisal fee is out of pocket - all the closing costs are going to get rolled into the new mortgage. Gravy, all good.
Nathan sends me all the paperwork and also sets up the appraisal, telling me in the process "The appraisal fee of $395 is non-refundable." Also that we'll get a copy of the appraisal 4-6 weeks after it's completed. Okay, no problem. I fax him back all the paperwork, and the appraiser comes out, four days before my girlfriend and I are leaving for a weeklong vacation. I'm thinking things will be all good - we'll get the refinance figures back after we get back from the cruise and we can set a closing date.
Oh, that it would be so simple.
The appraisal was on a Tuesday, I think. I get home from work on the Friday after that around 7 in the evening, with plans to pack and leave on the trip early the next morning. Note that it is now after business hours, and the following day is not a business day. There is a message on my answering machine from some chick at Chase telling me "The appraiser has determined that your home is a manufactured home, so we can't do the refinance. Have a nice day."
Obviously, I'm fucking pissed off, because Nathan neglected to mention that little bit. He had asked me in the original set of phone calls between us if the home was a trailer, but did not ask about other forms of manufactured housing. Trailers are *also* manufactured homes, but our house is not a trailer. It's on a solid foundation. But segments of it were put together in a factory, so it's considered manufactured. Whatever.
So it's 7 p.m. on a Friday, I'm leaving for a trip in less than 10 hours. Not a lot I can do about this right now, so we go on our trip and have a lovely time.
Get back from trip. Call Nathan back. Leave a voicemail asking him what the status of this is - if they can't do the refinance okay, but I need the appraisal so I can shop around to other mortgage companies.
A week passes. No call from Nathan. I leave another voicemail.
Two weeks pass. No call from Nathan. I leave another voicemail.
In the third week, I finally get a hold of Nathan. He says that *his* department can't do the refinance, but there is another department of Chase that can. Cool! So he gives me that information. I ask him about the appraisal and he says "oh, I said within 4 to 6 weeks, so give it a couple weeks." Note that it's now been about 4.5 weeks since it was done.
Ok, no problem, I'll wait. I call the other department where it is confirmed that they *can* indeed do the refinance, *BUT* the house can only be refinanced for 75% of the appraised value. So now the appraisal becomes even *more* important, because I'm almost certainly going to have to pay some of the principal balance off in order to be able to refinance it. And I need to know if it's $1000 or $20,0000 I'll need to pay, ya know?
So new mortgage guy (Jason, I think) tells me to wait on the appraisal figures and then call him back.
So I settle in to wait. I give them about another two weeks, and no appraisal figures have shown up.
I put in another call to Nathan. Get voicemail, leave message.
Another three days or so go by with no call from Nathan. I call again, leave a message.
Three days go by, no call from Nathan. I call again, leave a message.
A week later, when I *still* haven't heard from Nathan, I call Chase directly. Politely request a copy of the appraisal, and am told I will have it within a week.
Well, true to their word, an appraisal did indeed show up in the mail within a week. The appraisal from when we ORIGINALLY CLOSED ON THE HOUSE in 2002. Aargh. This would be on Wednesday of this past week. Note that we're now more than 2 months from the time I started this whole process.
Naturally, this means another call to Chase.
I'm polite but clearly angry telling this whole story to the first CSR chick, and get escalated to a supervisor. After a total of about 40 minutes talking to CSRs, supervisors, and being on hold, I get told that they have no other appraisal on file, and I need to talk to the original refinance department. Okay, great, but we're now again beyond the "normal business hours" bit for the refinance people, so I have to wait until the next day.
So on Thursday, I call the original refinance department. Not even gonna bother with Nathan, just send me straight to a supervisor. I explain the situation and she pulls up my file and then tells me - get this - that they never did an appraisal.
Oh really? Then who was the guy poking around my house for half an hour? And did you then consult a Magic 8 Ball instead of the appraiser to determine that my house was manufactured and therefore not eligible for refinance through you guys? And what was the $400 fee you charged me for then? She tries to claim that that was an application fee, when I clearly was told otherwise. But I'm polite to her and explain all that. So she says she'll look into it and get back to me.
Yesterday, she calls me back. Hallelujah, someone actually returned a phone call. She says that yes, the appraiser did come out, but as soon as he saw it was a manufactured home he stopped, so no appraisal report was ever filed. So she's going to refund the fee (which they apparently decided *was* an appraisal fee after all).
Joy. I got my money back, but now I'm at square one again. Time to call an appraiser myself and get it done so I have an idea of what I'm working with.
Chase is really *not* on my happy list right now.