Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our refinance stress finally taken care of

Sorry...this is going to be a long one.

Back on September 11, 2008, we started our refinance process in hopes we would be able to close in October.

Let me back up a little bit though, two years ago we refinanced and got into a loan that had an Adjustable Rate (that would adjust after 2 years) and a pre-payment penalty (that we would have to pay if we paid it off before 2 years). At the time we were trying to get some credit issues cleaned up so we did what we had to do and it was a time when the housing market was great, sales prices great, construction going on great, etc….

In October, our loan adjusted all right, up almost 2%, so we knew we needed to get out of it. Well when the appraisal came in, low and behold in 2 years we lost $15,000 in equity in our home, we were quite disappointed and knew in order to get out of that loan we would be coming in with funds to close.

The underwriting that we went through was so grilling, we were beginning to feel violated. We had to provide copies of EVERYTHING; any deposits that were showing up in our account we had to show proof of (now mind you because we started this in September the 2 prior bank statements were from July and August – a time when Scott was unemployed here and there throughout the summer because of construction jobs). So every unemployment check stub, any personal deposits, any deposits we had from our medical savings account, we had to provide them with the EOB’s we submitted for re-imbursement…see what I mean…I was getting very frustrated with them and my stress level was going up and up. I was starting to have health issues because of all the added stress so then Scott started to deal with our lender, me being in that business alone was weird to have to pass it off onto Scott to deal with. But in the same respect, I had seen tons of loans go through that I would just shake my head and wonder, wow, how did they ever get a loan, so that was another reason I was getting so frustrated, I knew we weren’t as big of a risk as others I had seen go through.

A few other things that started to happen in September/October…We were in the process of modifying Scott’s child support, since 13 years ago it was set up for 4 children and now he only has 1 he is paying on we knew it would be lowered. We had to submit a letter to the lender as to why we were doing a modification…you mean that isn’t obvious…hello….so we had to provide them with all the documentation between us and the attorney regarding the modification. Then Scott’s employer that he had been with for 2 years is having some major health issues (terminal) and he wasn’t looking for any new work, going into the winter months, we knew if Scott didn’t find something else FAST we would be in big trouble again. He had applied for a couple of jobs and a small, family-owned construction company, in our own little small town, really wanted to hire Scott but we knew if he switched jobs in the middle of our refi, we would be facing more issues and questions, etc…so Scott kept trying to put them off another week…and another week…and another week. Finally the beginning of November he told our lender, I can’t keep putting this off, if I don’t switch jobs now, I may not have a job at all, so he went to work for Small’s Construction. WOW…what a blessing in disguise. They are BUSY…in the winter months. They are nice people. They reimburse Scott for his cell phone usage and for his gas if he has to do a bunch of running around on several jobs or picking up materials for them. He had only been there a month when we went to their Christmas party and they gave him a Christmas bonus even. *I also noticed at their Christmas party that they said a blessing over the meal before we ate and it being in their own home they had things up on the wall that made me believe they were Christians. They have let a couple of guys go in the last couple of months but they’ve told Scott they are impressed with his knowledge and his work and he is guaranteed a job and they have given him a couple of little raises (Scott had to take a pay cut to take the job but they told him if he could prove he could do the work they would make it up to him). I believe that this job came directly from the Lord.

A couple of weeks after Scott started a new job… I get laid off from my job of 7+ years. I could feel it coming, I was seeing everyone else that they were letting go and I knew they were getting down to the nitty gritty and I was one of the remaining few who hadn’t been there as long as some others. So I definitely figured our loan was dead.

In the meantime, rates are coming down and our loan officer hadn’t given up (she is a praying woman and was really trying to help us out because she also knew we needed to get out of the loan we were in). Because the rates came down and Scott had gotten his little raises, they were able to get underwriting approval off of the ratios based on Scott’s income alone. PRAISE THE LORD.

Our loan officer also gave us credit for so many of the fees that normally would have been charged to us. She had to do up to 4 lock extensions, and didn’t charge us a processing fee, took a reduced loan origination fee, etc… I had balanced the checkbook this last weekend and was calculating in what my unemployment, that I will be getting on Thursday would be, the bills I still needed to pay and I told Scott that our figure to come to closing couldn’t be over $.... It came in $200 under the figure I had told Scott…even better.

We went to sign our documents on Monday and we are praying that Friday we will record without any problems. At closing, our loan officer stated, “You know if we had closed back in October/November…the rate you were locked in at was 6 3/4 % and now we have a rate of 5%; the Lord knew what He was doing when it didn’t happen in our timing”. I have to say AMEN to that. I did have to apologize to her though because with all the frustrations I was having over this whole process I felt I was taking it out on her and she was just the messenger for their underwriting department, she had no control over what they were asking for.

I do have to say…I’m so glad that the stress of that is over with. We are doing okay too with what I get on unemployment and Scott’s income, saving on gas not running into town or going shopping all the time, not eating out so much, we haven't been stressed by the lack of money…we just don’t have any health insurance, so be praying with us that we both remain healthy.

Thank you to all of you who have been praying for us, I get teary eyed thinking about and knowing I have family and friends who have been praying extensively for us.

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