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Sun Mar 12, 2017, 07:15 PM

Looking for Mortgage Lender Recommendations

We just refinanced in 2016, and the mortgage lender broke their promise to us.

When I called them on it, they claimed they "hadn't understood" what we wanted, and wouldn't have been able to do it, if they had.

It's very simple.

We are looking for a fixed payment amount.

That is, if the escrow costs vary in the "increase" direction, the mortgage lender contacts us, and requests a lump sum payment to make up the difference for the year. If they vary in the "decrease" direction (hah!) the extra goes into principle.

So that the amount of the monthly payment never varies. Not by a dime.

When we discussed this with our current lender after kicking Chase to the curb for many good and sufficient reasons, we thought they understood. They have a local office with a local broker who worked with us and said that of course, we could always opt to pay escrow increases in a lump sum.

Then last month, our payment amount mysteriously increased by $13.

When I called them and asked "WTF?" they said the property tax rate had gone up and this amount reflected the increase. I said, "Waitaminnit, y'all were supposed to let us pay that in a lump sum if it happened. Can we send you a check for $156 and return the payment to the original amount?"

Nope. Their "system" couldn't handle it.

Anyone know of a reputable mortgage lender with good customer service with a "system" that doesn't piss customers off?

hopefully,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 07:29 PM

1. My mortgage payments varied year to year

and the bank that bought my mortgage (yes, they're usually sold) is one of the better local ones. They do go up according to the property insurance and rising property tax. One year they overshot it a bit and my payments went down. It was well timed, it was one of my poorest years when I was living on savings.

I don't know of any lender who asks for lump sums instead of monthly increases to keep the escrow fully funded to pay insurance and tax.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 07:38 PM

3. Seems strange, but there appear to be no local El Norte banks holding their own mortgages any more.

All of the local ones we checked with- Century, Los Alamos, First National of Santa Fe- essentially act as brokers for national lenders. They do not hold their own mortgage products anymore.

I guess that's no longer a 'thing.'

Which is probably also part of the reason why we can't find a lender who will work with us on keeping payments consistent using lump-sum escrow management.

But I still hope. I'd prefer to stay local, but even the "most local" broker we could find, bills out of Oklahoma.

So I'm reconciled to regional or national lenders, but want to stay away from the folksy cobras as far as possible.

wearily,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 07:41 PM

5. Yes, my wonderful local bank was sold to a Texas outfit.

Fortunately, it was just after I was able to pay off my note in full. I shudder to think what Tejas ownership has done.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 07:34 PM

2. If those are your only issues with your lender, count yourself lucky.

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Response to Doodley (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 07:39 PM

4. As I say, we kicked Chase to the curb for MANY good and sufficient reasons. n/t

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 07:43 PM

6. Switching to another lender means a new mortgage / refinance with huge new closing costs

and probably a higher rate....

Yes, it's maddening when they agree to something and don't follow through.

Just curious why having the monthly payments exactly level (and the lump sum payment at the end of each year being whatever is needed to pay the increase in property taxes and insurance -- an unknown amount until near the end of the year) is so vital, compared to having the monthly payments change when the property tax/insurance changes -- every 6 months or a year.

And any end-of-year lump sum payment would have some interest added on to it...

[font color = red]On Edit[/font]OK, I'm thinking of my electric and gas bills -- I'm on "budget plan" or whatever where payments are level for a year, and then in the new budget year they come up with a new budget amount. If my usage overshot the plan's assumption the prior year, then my new budget plan amount will be higher to make up for that shortfall. And vice versa. Yes, that's nice and seems like mortgage companies could offer something like that.

I have a friend who has a mortgage with {tiny font}Chase{/tiny font} and that's how they do hers, except on a 6-month basis rather than a yearly basis -- its level for 6 months, and then adjusts.

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Response to progree (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 08:39 PM

8. Yes, you see it.

It's the ability to budget and manage expenses precisely. And I have no need to pay the escrow difference at the end of the year... if they know the new rate that will apply I'll happily pay it in advance, as well.

I have a monthly 'nut' of predictable expenses, and the more I can use that to plan against, the easier it is to budget the predictable-unpredictables. And with direct payments from the checking account, knowing the exact amount to plan for each month helps keep us from unintentionally breaking into the overdraft protection.

Yes, I don't really want to go with closing costs and a higher rate, but it would be worth something to us to know who's a candidate if/when we do refinance next. We will be downsizing in the next few years, so it would be nice to have a target firm to work with.

Not Chase, though.

Never again.

There presumably are people they haven't screwn but we are not of that number.

anticipatorially,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 07:51 PM

7. What they did seems quite common, and doesn't seem to tick borrowers off. In fact,

I bet over 90% of borrowers prefer to pay monthly any increase in taxes. Including extra in your monthly payment -- to go against principle -- is simple too.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 08:42 PM

9. Not me.

We have the mortgage payment debited directly from the checking account. As it's scheduled during the first week of the month when a number of other automatic payments are debited, it is very important that the amount be predictable, so that I avoid activating overdraft protection. Our cash flow is usually very low then, and kicks in the second and third weeks of the month.

I do make an additional principal payment monthly, with a separate coupon, by check. We'll be downsizing in the next few years and I'd like to be able to zero out this mortgage in a timely manner when we're looking for a new one.

And I'd like to identify a lender who will provide simple customer service as requested.

wistfully,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 10:08 PM

15. Good luck.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 08:45 PM

10. We were faced with a lump sum bill of almost $4,000 or an increase of $600 /mo.

 

All because our mortgage company calculated our escrow wrong. This was 6 months after buying our house.

But fwiw, they (loan depot) *did* give us the option youre looking for. And so does Suntrust, who is the company they sold our mortgage to.

That said, we went through a broker: Mortgage Masters, and they were great.

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Response to bunnies (Reply #10)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 09:33 PM

13. Wow! Talk about unpleasant surprises!

Thanks, will check out Mortgage Masters.

appreciatively,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 09:48 PM

14. Good luck!!

 

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 09:07 PM

11. Maybe a Credit Union?

Here in Albuquerque Kirtland FCU services all of their own mortgages, which is UNLIKE almost everyone else. At least you have a local office you can go into and discuss issues with. We refinanced through them and it went quite smoothly except for the appraiser they sent who under appraised the property. Since we were refinancing and not selling that was annoying, but not critical. You might try a credit union. Not all of them handle fixed mortgages, but many do.

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Response to Desert grandma (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 09:32 PM

12. Good idea, thanks. I do have a credit union membership but it's back in Minnesota.

I'll have to look into what's around Santa Fe, I know there are several here.

interestedly,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 03:37 PM

16. Chase is the holder of my mortgage and I've had no problems with them.

I no longer recall who the original holder was.

And there are almost always small differences in the monthly payment from year to year. Also, more than once when there's been an increase of some sort, I've always had the option to pay the new amount in full or have an increase in the monthly payment. Always. As in ever time. And this, I will repeat, is Chase. So I'm quite puzzled that you're being told you can't do that.

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