The Joy of Mortgage

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There’s a reason no sane person has ever written a book with the same title as this column: it would be lying. Now, granted, fiction is basically an acceptable lie (in as much as it’s something that didn’t happen, but we feel like it’s OK since we told everyone ahead of time that we were just making it up).

Mortgages—and the application for them—is a pretty joyless business. From the consumer standpoint, anyway. Maybe mortgage bankers really like it. They must, because a] they are in the business and 2] they seem to spend way more time on it than is reasonable.

Take my recent application for a re-fi. Please. It’s not like the bank will!

Seriously, several months ago—6, to be exact—I contacted the bank with which I have my mortgage and asked about refinancing my loan. I have had a mortgage with them for almost ten years, which—from their perspective—means absolutely nothing. Never mind that they have been the primary expense on my ledger for most of a decade, they still have to run a credit check and see if I’m good for lower payments.

In keeping with this, they sent me most of a ream of paper for my wife to sign in January. Then, in February, they emailed me all of those documents and had me print them with my own paper (and ink!), so my wife and I could sign them and send them back, in addition to the last couple years of tax filings, bank statements, any other loan documents, urine samples, our individual predictions for the next three World Series, and some other, less important, documents.

In March, we repeated all this, as well as adding in the February bank statement and the March bank statement up to that point. In April, we repeated all this, as well as sending in the whole March statement and the April statement up to that point. On May 1, they asked me to send the April bank statement as soon as I got it. Today, May 21, they emailed me and asked me to send the April bank statement. When I wrote and asked why they needed it again, they said it was because the loan rate they were applying for (making it sound as if this were on my behalf) had changed and, therefore, they needed a new copy of the April bank statement. Never mind that it hasn’t changed since the last time I photo-copied it and sent it in.

I have the feeling they’re just yanking my chain. The house was probably paid off years ago and all that money I have been sending them is just going to support the bank manager’s gambling habit. That time they sent me the $35 dollar check that was supposedly because of overpayment on my escrow account? That was probably just because he won 3.5 gazillion dollars at the blackjack table and was feeling generous.

I would complain more, but I have to go put another copy of my April bank statement in the mail.