The intent of our contacting your firm is in response to a mailer from your firm concerning Tort Litigation Lawsuit naming Wells Fargo for faulty and fraudulent lending practices.
On November 15, 2010 my wife and I met with the Wells Fargo Mortgage department located at 5340 Kietzke Ln., Reno. Wells Fargo already held our mortgage on a 20 year 5.727% fixed, which they purchased from another lender. We were paying in excess of $2,300 per month. However, $2,300 a month was leaving us with no extra income for any meaningful savings or other expenses over and above day to day living such as food, utilities, and car payments.
Our mortgage payments are set up to be automatically paid from my checking account. I am a retired firefighter from the State of Alaska; my retirement checks are automatically deposited to my Wells Fargo checking account. We are never late on our mortgage payments. My wife has been a full-time teacher for the Washoe School District for 12 years.
We met with Robert Imbasciani to discuss refinancing to a lower interest rate (See my wife's notes). The interest rate at that time was 4.75% on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage which would put our monthly payments in the $1,500 to $1,600 range and the refinance charges within reason. We asked to initiate the process to lock in the rate at 4.75%. We were told by Imbasciani that we were looking at a closing before the first of the year. We were told at that time that since our mortgage balance was less than $250,000, and that although property values have been dropping in Reno we should still be good without needing an appraisal. We were also told that we were within the percent range between our application request and our property value to have no reason for concern.
On 12/7/2010 a fee of $445 was charged to my checking account for Wells Fargo to hold, and pay for an appraisal of our home just in case it was needed.
On 12/8/2010 I received an email/fax (copy enclosed) from Imbasciani requesting additional information. I delivered the requested information and documents on 12/9/2010. I was assured at that time that we were locked in at 4.75% and there were no foreseeable concerns in our application.
During one call Mr. Imbasciani said we might be put into a new program initiated by the Obama Administration to help homeowners.
I called or sent emails to Mr. Imbasciani each week inquiring about our application. I was assured that everything was in order. Many calls and email inquiries were not answered. I began making calls every two weeks.
On February 14, 2011 we received a letter from Wells Fargo stating that we were locked into a loan rate of 4.875% along with copies of forms, we had never seen nor signed, with a date of December 7, 2010. This is about the same time an appraiser came to our home. About this time I got a phone call from the Wells Fargo mortgage department in Minnesota wanting to know why I had not sent them the additional information that was requested on December 8th. I informed them that had I given all requested information and documents to Mr. Imbasciani on December 9th, and that they should call him.
On February 21st the appraisal came in at $225,000. I inquired as to the low value and was told items such as the view-deck overlooking the mountains and the city of Reno, nor the new solid hardwood flooring was no longer is considered.
On February 25th Mr. Imbasciani emailed a pdf file of additional forms for us to sign and pay $400 plus for an extension. Neither I nor my wife was willing to sign anything without some of our questions being answered. Then on February 28th we learned that the interest rate for our "new" fixed 30 year mortgage would now be at 5.25%.
Between March 1st and 4th my wife was getting phone calls from Mr. Imbasciani in a threatening manner demanding that she take time off from work and come in to Wells Fargo to sign the loan agreement now.
After numerous corrections we did sign a 30 fixed mortgage at 5.25%. We were not pleased; however it did lower our monthly payment from $2,309 to $1,698 giving us more flexibility for other living expenses.
I do not know the proper terms as to whether this was a "Loan Modification" or a "Refinancing of an existing loan." In my opinion -- the Powers-at-be" in Wells Fargo were fully aware in advance that the value of our property would go down in the four months after December 1, 2010, and that interests rates would go up. I believe they intentionally took advantage of our desire to relieve our monthly costs and that they took less than honorable means to accomplish their goal.
In recent weeks I heard on the news that Quicken was offering 3.9% on 30 year fixed mortgages for refinancing. I called them and was told that we came under a "one-time-only" clause in the Government's homeowner refinance program; and that we are not eligible to any other program. I told the guy at Quicken that it looks like we have been screwed, and he agreed.
This is our home, I am retired but working part-time, my wife has a full-time position as a teacher and has had her wages cut each of the last two years. We have no desire to sell our home or move anywhere else. We would be satisfied if our present mortgage with Wells Fargo was re-written to the original 4.75% with no additional fees of any kind for the re-write. I heard about Obama's speech in Las Vegas today offering to restructure home mortgages. We don't ask for a principal reduction. It is our debt and we will pay it. All we ask is that Wells Fargo be honest.
Everett A. Long
Product or Service Mentioned: Wells Fargo Loan.