Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wells Fargo Clown School!

Never has anyone been more discontented or sick to their stomach than I have been over the last few days. Unfortunately I really have no one to blame for this situation but myself. After litigating away millions of dollars after my accident in order to settle for a measly $115,000 I instantly decide to reward myself with a brand new car. The way I figured it I had been to death and back and I deserved it.

My accident caused my house to be foreclosed on and as a result my credit was destroyed.

My current situation leaves only myself to blame though. Had I just been content with my current situation I would have been able to purchase my condo with cash. Not getting the banks involved would have been huge! Instead I spent $30,000 on a car. I never thought that I was going to own property again. I didn’t care about my fucked credit because I had the cash to get by until it was restored. An opportunity to nearly own a place to live in at the tender age of 30 could not be passed up though.

I initially tried to take a secured loan against the title on my car. Most banks will offer 150% of the value of your car. I thought with 80% equity in the house and a secured loan against my vehicle that this would not be a big deal. It turns out that I was sorely mistaken.

Next I contacted a loan agent that thought he might be able to figure out a work around. Of course being a loan agent (That is one step above a criminal defense lawyer on the ethics scale) he decided that he had good grounds to take advantage of me. He wanted to charge 2 points ($2000) to underwrite the loan and a 10% interest rate. I may be desperate but I am not an idiot.

All of this took place before I had even found a property. Then it happened. I found the perfect property. I submitted an offer and it was accepted. The amount agreed on was a strange number indeed. It was the exact number that I would have had, had I just sat on my money. But Nooooooo! I had to have a new car. My jeep ran just fine and it was a lot of fun. It even had A/C. I loved that jeep. But I was going through a difficult time and I just felt that I needed to spoil myself with a new car.

I found a real estate agent and submitted to him a list of properties that I wanted to look at. Five days later he had still not taken action to get me out looking at any properties. This is a turning point in the housing market and it is a time when action is necessary to take advantage of the immense amount of bargains in the market. I promptly fired this agent and hired a new one.

A week later Wells Fargo bank called and said that the power of the loan was offset. The problem that this presented is that anytime you transfer an amount of money over $20,000 the government imposes a gift tax. That means that at the end of the year I would be forced to pay a tax on an additional $60,000 over my current income level.

After getting the bank to agree that the money could pre-emptively be placed in an escrow account without filtering it I thought we were good to go. Then the bank came back and said that due to new regulations that my name could not be on the loan or the title at all. This was a pain but a work around was easy. After the close of escrow it would cost $50 to go down to the recording office and have my name added back onto the title. Once again Wells Fargo claimed to be O.K. with this.

Next Wells Fargo said that they wanted us to purchase a flood insurance policy. So we did. This wasn’t enough for them though. After further review they came back and said that the HOA needed to purchase a stronger flood policy for the exterior flood insurance. The thing about flood insurance is that it is federally regulated. The irony here is that a bank (Wells Fargo) is telling the holder of a federally mandated policy that the policy is not sufficient enough for them to carry the loan. Furthermore getting an HOA to do anything is generally equivalent to hitting your head against a brick wall.

After much deliberation Wells Fargo has claimed that they could move forward with the loan if the insurance company can break down their blanket policy for the entire complex to show how much of the insurance is covering the individual building in which the unit that I wish to purchase resides. The problem is that the insurance company only writes the policy the way that it is already written. In the event of a catastrophic event, anything with letterhead that they had sent to the bank promising coverage would be legally binding. It could send both companies into years of litigation. What has ensued is a good old fashion Mexican standoff between the bank and the HOAs insurance company that has trapped my money in the middle, ultimately holding all of us hostage.

I was scheduled to move out of my apartment the day after closing so as of right now my girlfriend and I are squatting. Being as the day of closing was the Friday before a three day weekend there can be no resolution until the end of next week. Everything is up in the air. In the meantime our utilities are powered off, and we have no internet connection. I have to go down to the corner coffee shop by my apartment just so I can use the Wi-Fi to do my work. Thankfully I have an iphone, so I can still check my email!

The agents at Wells Fargo have been absolute clowns and the insurance agents could care less. I have exhausted every option to take Wells Fargo out of the equation. If nothing else they have certainly lost my business for the rest of my life. Had it not been for my amazing real estate agent I think I would have clearly lost my mind by now.

As it stands, everything is up in the air. I am technically the only homeless guy in the state with 80k in the bank. I am living out of a box and I am traveling for work on the weekdays which further ties my hands. My next step is to start over with a new loan agent or hire a real estate lawyer to litigate against any parties that have held up the process through their negligence. Unfortunately all of the above options do nothing but add more stress than I can handle to an already delicate situation.

I am open to suggestions.