Warning: This is a rant about my anger at a bank. Read at your own risk.
Recently, my husband and I were taken for 465 dollars. No, we weren't taken in a confidence scheme by a man with a mysterious scar named Lefty. We didn't buy a share in a hot new resort being built in Haiti. We didn't invest money with a man promising big returns named Vernie Manoff. Instead, we were swindled by our mortgage lender, who is probably your mortgage lender too: Citimortgage.
It started in August. Ryan and I were thinking about the future and how we could start saving. We had just adopted Meg, and wanted to start thinking not just like adults, but parents. When the letter from Citi arrived, offering us a lower rate if we would take on a 20 year mortgage, for just a slightly higher monthly payment, we thought it was a sign. We jumped at the chance. After all, how could we lose? The letter called us "good long standing customers." It was like getting a financial hug.
I called the number. I talked to Kimberly. She applauded our responsible decision and congratulated us on the baby. She told me there would be a $465 application fee, but that it was "no big deal" because when the refinancing was finalized we would skip a month of payments. It would all be even Steven. We signed the papers, we paid the money, and we waited.
And nothing happened. Really, the silence was deafening.
Finally, at the start of this month, I got a call from a new loan officer, Vanessa. Everything was fine, she said, the underwriter was just finishing up. Then, she disappeared. Oh, she was virtually there, with an email account and a phone number where we could leave messages that were never returned, and a fax line that was always busy, but we couldn't actually communicate with her.
Today I called, and, instead of leaving a message, pressed "0" to talk to another agent. It was then I was told the refinance had been rejected, earlier this month actually, and that the application fee, you know, the one that was "no big deal" was non-refundable. I argued with the woman, and then I asked to speak to her supervisor and argued with him. I asked why we hadn't heard from them. He told me a letter had been sent out, and that he had no idea why we hadn't gotten it. I was amazed he was using the "lost in the mail" excuse, but I regrouped. I told him we would good customers. I told him about my conversations with Kimberly (who he claimed no longer worked there), I told him we would take our mortgage elsewhere. He didn't care about any of it. All he seemed to care about is that Citi got to keep my $465.
I don't really know what to do now. I filed a complaint with the FTC, and will file one with the Better Business Bureau. I do not expect to get my money back, or to take my mortgage elsewhere. After all, if my own lender does this to me what will happen elsewhere? Also, I kind have had all the fight knocked out of me. I guess that's what they were counting on.
Still, it would have been better if my loan officer had been named Lefty. At least it would have been a better story to tell.