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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

Dear Wells Fargo: Thanks for nothing.

My attempt to refinance the house online and by phone was a bust.

No hard feelings, Geoff M. in San Francisco.

Nothing personal, I know, John C. in Des Moines, Iowa.

Y'all are probably good guys, decent people — just tangled up, like so many of us are, in the dark principalities and powers of our time.

I knew that trying to refi was a roll of the dice. But Wells Fargo, your marketing people made it sound so easy to refi, and so likely that I'd qualify.

Month after month, for more than a year, I dutifully called in to make my house payment, and a nice-sounding person on a recording would say something like: “Hey, friend! Our records show that you might be a candidate to refinance!”

So, I took the plunge — almost by accident, you made it so easy. Before long, y'all had my credit score, which was within two points of what Geoff told me was the no-way cut-off point. But the score was on the doable side of the line.

And y'all decided you'd rather not do.

Your Notice of Action Taken and Statement of Reasons said: “We have carefully considered your credit application and sincerely regret that we are unable to approve your application at this time for the reason(s) listed below.”

OK. And the box next to this was checked (by hand, in blue ink, a nice touch): “Excessive obligations in relation to income.”

Oh, do tell! My less-than-stellar credit score might have suggested that. On the other hand, it also suggests that I'm making it all work, despite some financial setbacks that put my credit score so close to the no-way cut-off point in the first place.

If you did the math, you saw that making the loan would enable me to pay off the second mortgage, as I'd planned, eliminating a big chunk of monthly debt. And you saw that refinancing from a mortgage at 6.5 percent to a new one at 3.5 percent — the one you teased me with — would reduce my monthly obligations even more.

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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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