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Wells Fargo refi is DOA in Oklahoma

The lender, coming off record earnings, looked at an opportunity to improve my situation, thereby improving its own, and decided: Naah. Principalities and powers trump flesh and blood.
by Richard Mize Published: January 19, 2013

In other words: My situation, while not ideal, was not that bad, considering; and refinancing would have improved my situation as a borrower, therefore improving your situation as a lender.

But you decided: Naaah.

Back in 2000, when Wells Fargo acquired Norwest Mortgage (which granted the original loan in 1999), I wrote:

“See, I feel like I know Wells Fargo. I don't, of course. The conglomerate barely resembles the company Henry Wells and William Fargo founded in 1852 in San Francisco. Their aim was to provide banking and express service to Western pioneers. ‘Wells Fargo' — the name sings: grit, determination, integrity.”

Well, two out of three ain't bad. Grit and determination have left y'all smelling sweeter than lots of others in the wake of the global financial crisis. But not that sweet, because of forces that appear dark or light to us depending on where we are in the lending lowerarchy.

Wells Fargo, you just agreed to pay $766 million and set aside $1.2 billion to actually finally help struggling homeowners, to settle charges of wrongly foreclosing on people. And you just reported record earnings for the fourth quarter of last year.

Now, I know you didn't get where you are by being overly concerned about individual borrowers, your marketing people's sweet wooing notwithstanding — otherwise, you wouldn't have been foreclosing on people who didn't warrant it. And you wouldn't now be forced to do the right thing and help borrowers who are in trouble.

Everybody knows it's all about numbers. My mortgage is not in trouble, and while it would have been good and right, you weren't forced to work with me. So you didn't. I'm just one of the numbers.

Nothing personal, I know. It's business. Not personal. Business. Not personal.

Principalities and powers of credit and underwriting on your end. All flesh and blood on mine.

by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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