So, I'm accidentally refinancing the house.
Well, not quite, but it almost feels like it.
For a year, I waited to get sufficiently past a couple of hiccups in making house payments before trying to refi. Month after month, I'd call in the house payment — if I didn't actually write a check and mail it — to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. I'd trigger a recorded message that said something like:
“Heeey there, buddy, it looks to us like you might could stand to refinance your house! Wanna try?” (I'm paraphrasing).
So, the other day, I typed in an affirmative and before I knew it Geoff M. was on the phone asking me a bunch of questions, which kind of surprised me since, being an old dog, I expected Geoff to pass me off to someone with Wells Fargo locally. Nope. (Sorry, John S.)
Within the hour came an email with a filled-out loan application and other documents.
The next day came a FedEx package with the same filled-out loan application and other documents.
A day or two later in the U.S. mail came the same filled-out loan application and other documents.
Wells Fargo is anxious to refi people who can refi, clearly.
A day or two after that, Unknown, as it showed up on my phone, was ringing me up.
The nice lady was calling from Wells Fargo to make sure I had gotten all the stuff — and she seemed floored that I hadn't dropped everything and dealt with it. I'm pretty busy; and I don't sign anything without reading it; and, frankly, I'm suspicious of banks, which is something I inherited from my Depression-era parents that has been refreshed the past five years.
So, it was last Saturday, five days after I'd started the refi ball rolling, that I had time to sit down and read, initial and sign, in this order (because they were stapled in this order) the cover letter, Borrower's Certification/Verification Authorization/Financial Privacy Note, 4506T Request for Transcript Tax Return Instructions, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, Overnight Mail Charge Authorization, Price Range Protection Confirmation/Rate Lock Agreement, 3-Day Appraisal Delivery Disclosure and Waiver, Affiliated Business Arrangement Disclosure, Important Notice to Homebuyers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner, Energy Efficient Mortgage Fact Sheet, Special Information for Oklahoma Residents, Important Addendum to Uniform Residential Loan Application, Direct Endorsement Approval for a HUD/FHA-Insured Mortgage and, oh, the Uniform Residential Loan Application.
That last one is a riot. Adjustable rate? No way, no how. Life is uncertain enough.
It really wasn't as bad as it looks. In fact, it seems like the documents were clearer and easier to understand than the last time we refinanced, 10 years ago. But I wasn't going to let Geoff, or Unknown, rush me — not even in the quest for a rate drop from 6½ percent to 3¼. (For historical purposes, kids: We got a first-time buyer mortgage at 9 percent interest in 1999.)
On Thursday, Unknown called back to let me know that Wells Fargo had received everything required to go forward. In 20 to 25 days, she said, the loan processing department would be in touch to get us toward closing on or before Jan. 31.
Meanwhile, like so many others before us, my wife and are praying, sending good karma and happy thoughts to the skies in hopes of an appraisal that hits or surpasses the mark we need to do what we want to do. I'll keep y'all posted.