Shortly after Thanksgiving in 2009 my husband and I placed an offer on a home in the Reno, NV area. It being a short sale we knew it would take more time than usual to bring the deal to close. What we did not know was the toll this process would take on our lives and how far down on the "bad end of the stick" we would end up. I am going to give you a short run down on the situation and ask that you help us by telling our community our story. It is our hope that the publicity will force someone somewhere to make this right.
My husband was pre approved for a home loan on November 30, 2009 via Wells Fargo Bank. On December 7, 2009 he made an offer on a house in the Reno area. The offer was in limbo for months, but was finally accepted and we were moving to closing. The date for the appraiser to come out was set for April 13, 2010. After the walk through we were given a list of things that needed to be completed on the house before it could close. This is the list:
1. Exterior painting
2. Kitchen countertop
3. Finish upstairs bath, sink shower and floor tile
4. Trim out all exterior windows
5. Balusters on back deck railing including stairs
6. Roof corners on back deck
7. Trim out house
8. Heating duct adequacy, hopefully will pass
9. Floor tile in entry and downstairs bath?
10. Complete basement, wiring, sheetrock tape and texture, floor covering
11. Replace broken window upstairs
12. Any health and safety issues no matter how minor, we may have missed
13. I would make plans to remove the hot tub if necessary as a backup plan
14. Basic housecleaning
Also, the house itself had never had a Certificate of Occupancy. We did all that was needed to obtain that and were given one on May 26th.
We did it all, with our money. We were lead to believe that the effort would pay off in the end. The appraiser came back on May 26, 2010 and with the C of O gave the house a clean sweep. Our closing date was set for June 30, 2010.
On June 17th, our loan officer at Wells Fargo sends my husband an email asking if he pays child support. He does, $750.00 every month. That information is all in the paperwork. Our loan officer put the payment in the wrong column and the loan accidentally made it through underwriting the first time around. Having to do all the work on the house, made it so that we would have to go through the process again. No problem right, we were pre approved and once the work on the house was done it would be ours. Wrong. The underwriter found our loan officers mistake the second time through and we no longer qualify for the loan. Our loan officer had the Child Support listed as a deduction the first time through. It was supposed to be listed as debt. Now that it is, our income to debt ratio is so far out of alignment that we need $50,000.00 in cash, gifted to us. This is not going to happen, so we are out. Our money, time and passion? Gone. Wells Fargo will foreclose on the house and make a mint off of the work we did and we get nothing. We can't even claim a mechanics lien to get our $21,000.00 investment back. Gone. We are left with nothing. And they get to sell the house for more than they would have without us. How does that work? Without the C of O the house was un-sellable. The bank would have had to invest the money to get it right without us. WE did it for them thinking the house would be ours. And we will end up with nothing for it.
I have five kids who all call this their home. My four year old picked out the colors she wanted in her princess room. It is the greatest thing ever to her, she is in love with it and now, it is gone???? How do I explain that to her? My 16 year old artist daughter designed her walls and they are so "her" you can feel her presence in there even when she is nowhere around. We have sat in our dining room as a family and eaten dinner together for the first time as we finally have enough room to do so. This home means so much to all of us that having it taken away after all we have done would crush my children, not to mention my husband and me.
It is our hope that by sharing our story we will prevent this from happening to another family.
Misty and Jason VanHavel
Product or Service Mentioned: Wells Fargo Loan.