I Read the report by Kdranch of Davenport, IA.-how similar it is to my experience in Atlanta, GA. re:Countrywide aka BOA. In 2000 I refi'd my home (Brick Front 3 levels,8 br.5 Ba. Master Suite, Trey Ceilings, 2 Fp. 2 Family Rooms, Full finished Basement, Hardwood, Slate and Tile floors, etc.etc.) At the time of the refi, the appraised value was 330k (comparable to other homes in the area)leaving what I "thought" was 90k in equity.
I have had no late payments, or other payment issues. Two years ago, I wanted to refi again to pay off some other debts, the home was re-appraised at 288K. With a 240K mortgage, not much equity was left. I paid for the first appraisal, requested another. The same appraiser was sent the 2nd time and appraised it for the same amount. Since this re-fi was to be via FHA-I decided to go ahead anyway-at least for a lower interest rate, however before closing, somehow the person I was working with fell off the face of the earth !-this was around the time that rumor had it Countrywide was in trouble.
I called again, several times, and no one responded-however I did receive a letter from saying that they were going to charge me for Mortgage Insurance-and I called them and said no way !!!! I have insurance and was not going to pay for theirs !!! To prove it, I had to have my insurance company fax confirmation of coverage.
Now that there's talk of helping the consumer who is not in imminent danger of foreclosure, I thought I would call again. This time the response was: "I have good news and bad news". The good news was I qualify for an FHA loan-the bad news, the value of my home has continued to drop.
This time-the value has gone from 288k to 211k ! Now I not only have no equity left-I am upside down. There is no valid basis for their "comparable home valuation" since the information they have is taken from original County records recorded at the time a home is originally built. The valuation data is incomplete and not based on actual updated records that exist. When I obtained a copy of the report I asked how I could have the information updated and was told "you don't want to do that !! Your property takes will go up". My property taxes are still based on the original appraised amount of 330k (the amount the State of Georgia continues to say the home is worth).
Homeowners who share this situation are the ones truly at the mercy of the Mortgage companies-we have conventional loans-are paying our mortgages-yet we do not qualify for lower interest rates or modifications unless we have FHA loans. We are caught between "a rock and a hard place". Our home values are at the whim of the mortgage holders who accept outdated information to determine value as opposed to a valid evaluation of a home's worth.
These are only some of the issues that need to be addressed-where is our relief !!