On Dec., 17, 2008, I contacted Lisa A. Burke at JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 1111 Polaris Parkway, Columbus, OH 43240 (866)-766-2165 EXT. 70532 about refinancing my existing mortgage with Chase . I was told there should be no problem as my house was only 2 ˝ years old and I only owed approximately $244, 000 on a house that was originally appraised at $370, 000. My credit score was checked and was 777. I was assigned loan application #?????????. Included in the application packet was an “APPLICATION DISCLOSURE” that stated the application fee was non-refundable. My understanding was that would apply only if my credit was no good or I lied on my application or I decided not to go through with the refinance. At no time was I told that it was absolutely necessary for me to have at least 80% loan to value as there was no PMI available for Fayette County, TN.
A drive by appraisal was done which was too low and an appointment was set for an appraiser to go through my house. While the appraiser was there I pointed out all the custom features of my home, most of which were disregarded. That appraisal also came in low. I spoke directly with the appraiser and pointed out that he was low on his square footage computation, had missed a fireplace and had not taken into consideration many of the other amenities of the home and although he compared me to homes that were close to and sometimes over $100.00 a square foot, he only valued mine at $72.00 a square foot. Additionally, he was penalizing me for my location based on his opinion that my rural location was detrimental to the value of my home. He promised to relook at my appraisal on 2 different occasions and report to the bank. According to Chase, that never happened.
I was told that Chase denied my refinance because the appraisal was $290, 000 which is less than needed for 80% loan to value. Furthermore, I was told that there was no PMI offered in Fayette County, TN because it’s a declining market. Most homes in this market have been devalued 10-15% due to market conditions. Chase’s appraisal devalued my home 24.32% in a stable area where no homes are for sale, there are no foreclosures and all the homes built in the last 5 years have been custom built.
At this point I requested my application fee be refunded because of Chase’s failure to perform. I have been in contact with Joshua Brandon by telephone and e-mail several times about this situation. The latest was 27 March 2009 when I emailed a 3rd request for a refund based on the inability of Chase to provide me with a product. He indicated by telephone that there would be no refund and refused to give me the name and contact information of his superior to escalate this to another level. I have checked with several bankers in the local area and have been told that PMI IS available with less than 80% LTV. Apparently, Chase only wants to do business with 3 lenders and is unwilling to look elsewhere. My understanding is that when I paid the application fee they are supposed to be working on my behalf. Their job is to find the right lender or mortgage insurance for me.
After being notified if Chase’s denial, I went shopping and finally contacted First State Bank, 100 East Reelfoot Ave, Ste 2A, Union City, TN 38261 and have been working toward a refinance agreement with them. During my conversation with the bank, I explained what had happened with Chase and I was assured that there was mortgage insurance available in the event the next appraiser came up with an equally low value. They sent another appraiser who valued my home at $325, 000..
It seems to me that Chase stands to pocket an enormous amount of money in application fees based on their policy of no refunds. In today’s market, almost every county in the country is declining. Does that mean no mortgage insurance is available to anyone with less than 80% LTV? I don’t think so.
I paid my application fee in the good faith that Chase Mortgage would find and supply me with a financial product that suited my needs. At worst, I figured they’d at least make me an offer that was unacceptable. That way they could justify keeping the fee. This is just like stealing!
Additionally, I have been a customer of Chase Mortgage since November, 2001. I’ve never been late on a payment and almost always send extra principle with my payment.
Just think of all the people trying to either get new mortgages or doing a refinance -- if the bank only keeps $100.00 of their money. 10, 000 turn downs = $1, 000, 000.00. Great scam!!