EDMOND — Here we go. The mortgage refi I “accidentally” started last month is inching along — “accidentally” because I actually didn't realize until I was into it that it would be done mostly by email, fax and phone call.
Silly me and my pre-Internet ways: When I inquired about a refi by phone while making a house payment, I thought Wells Fargo Home Mortgage would refer me to a local guy. (Apologies again, John S.) Nope: Geoff M., the Wells Fargo rep on the phone, in San Francisco, just got the ball rolling.
That was early November. By mid-November, applications and a short stack of other documents also had been to'd and fro'd between Wells Fargo somewhere and my mailbox in Edmond. This week, Wells Fargo's John C. called from Des Moines, Iowa, with a few questions.
Could I get him W2 forms for 2010 and 2011? And my most recent pay stub? And a copy of my Student Loan Obligation Statement, which shows how much I woe and when the payments start? (“Woe” was a typo, but I'm leaving it; it fits.)
“Why, sure,” I said. “Tell me an address and I'll get 'em in the mail.”
Whereupon I swear John C. stifled a snort.
He got it back together quickly and responded that, of course, considering the “urgency” of the loan process, etc., etc., I might want to take care of it digitally.
Whereupon I muttered something about not being sure how to use the fax machine at work — so he asked if there wasn't a Wells Fargo branch close by, because I could have someone there fax the stuff to him.
And that strained my '80s brain because I am imagining it taking more time than I can find to get copies of the W2s, and the student loan document — paper copies in my hands — then find a Wells Fargo branch, and drive to it and, and, and I started to get hives. And I muttered something further about how I've needed to upgrade my iPhone — and can do so for a few bucks — for weeks now and can't seem to make time to get to the AT&T store, which is 0.4 mile from my house.
None of which makes any sense whatsoever. For crying out loud, I have worked as a multimedia journalist ever since media went multi! But this refi is not work — except for these updates — and all the decisions, and hope, and potential disappointment and trauma of this process is anchored in my analog thinking and personal experience. We bought the house in 1999, and we last refinanced in 2001 and every bit of it was on paper.
I am just an old analog dog, although this refi is letting the dog out — barking.
Heh. It took one phone call, one walk down to the HR department for the W2s, and one co-worker to remind me how to use the fax machine, to get them to John C. And it took one phone call to a nice lady at my student loan servicer in Wisconsin who walked me through how to get a copy of the right document, which I then emailed to him. It took 20 minutes. Heh.
But first John C. started on about the second mortgage and how they're going to have to words words words subordinate mortgage words words words lien word words words — and a lot of it got past me at first.
Huh? Not because I don't know that the second mortgage holder would have to sign an agreement to subordinate its lien to the new mortgage — and probably would not, derailing the whole deal — but because I do know that, but one of the reasons for refinancing in the first place is to pay the second mortgage off.
“Oh,” John C. said. “That makes it easier.”
“Yes, yes, it does,” I said.
Meanwhile, I keep holding my breath, hoping for the best from an appraisal, which is yet to be scheduled. It may never be scheduled. That's in the hands of the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage loan processing department. I'll keep you posted, pain or gain.