When we first contacted Dominion Financial Services, Rick Drake was very helpful. We told him about our concerns from the beginning with previous banks when it came to refinancing our home and our 2nd mortgage. We informed him that the other banks ensured to us that they could not get the house appraised for what we needed with the way the market was.
Rick then asked us many questions over the phone about our home. He said he was going to research and call us back. About 3 days later he called us back and said he spoke with his main appraiser and she stated she felt she could get it done. So two days later we went to his office to fill out paperwork. While we were there we stated again that we did not feel that the house would appraise for what we needed. He assured us he felt confident that it would and so did his appraiser.
He also stated that his appraiser stated that she would not charge us if she could not hit number we needed. At that time he asked for a $400 deposit check that we would get back at closing or if the appraiser could not come up with that number. My wife wrote him the check and informed him that he had to let us know if he was going to deposit it because this account was a secondary account. He stated it would not be cashed because if the appraisal didn't come back for what we needed we would not be charged and if we got to closing we would get the check back anyway.
We filled out all of the paperwork needed to start the process. Rick explained some of the paperwork as we went along but most went rushed through because his office was closing.
The next day, the appaiser came out to the house. She and her partner were very nice and did an excellent job. This was on a Friday.
On Saturday morning, I received a call from another appraiser that said she wanted to set up an appointment to come and appraise the house. I informed her that we had already had an appraisal done and we hadn't heard back from that yet.
On Monday morning, Rick called us and said that the first appraiser could not hit the number and therefore did not charge us but he wanted to do another appraisal with another favorite appraiser of their company. It was NEVER stated that any of the conditions changed, what we mean is we were never told that we would be charged for the appraisal no matter what the outcome was. So we assumed that the conditions were the same and we agreed to the second appraisal.
Two days after that, the second appraiser came in and she did her job very well too. She was very nice and professional. So 3 days after that Rick calls us and informs us that she came back approximately $32,500 less than what we needed the number to be. He said he had convinced her to redo it and see if she could adjust the numbers. The next day he called and said she stated she could not hit the number needed at all, that she was going to have to stick with her original number.
When Rick called us the next day he asked us about the check and asked us when they could cash it to pay the second appraiser. We informed him that we were under the assumption that the same terms applied to the second appraiser that applied to the first appraiser. He stated he was sorry but she would need to be paid. We told him we were sorry as well but we were not going to pay for her appraisal when we never asked for a second appraisal to begin with.
Now over the next two weeks after that we did not hear from Dominion Financial Services except to give us other options such as converting our 2nd mortgage into a regular loan and refinancing just the first mortgage. We did look into his other options but they came out more expensive than what we were currently paying with them seperate.
On August 11, 2008, my husband and I received an email from Rick stating that they needed to pay that appraiser. We stated to him again that we were not going to pay for something we never asked for and for something that we were told we would not have to pay if the number could not be hit.
Now all of a sudden there is a piece of paperwork that we supposively signed stating that we would be responsible for the appraisal fee. We honestly do not remember signing this piece of paperwork hence the reason we had a copy emailed to us. As we stated before, the filling out of the paperwork was rushed because their office was closing.
We have contacted an attorney concerning this matter and ready and willing to take this matter to court. We do not feel we should pay for something that we stated in the beginning would not happen. And we do not feel we should pay for something that Rick Drake and his company Dominion Financial Services informed us we would not have to pay for if the number did not come back in the ballpark.