We began the process of refinancing our house through Loan Depot in late October 2011. Many of our experiences have been reported by others. After one week: deposit a check for an appraisal (which we still have never seen). After two weeks and curious: the seemingly "classic" response "your original loan officer is no longer working with us"; after five weeks: only a continual passage of countless additional forms and no loan; after six weeks and now worrying: checking various web sites, seeing numerous negative reviews about Loan Depot, and suddenly thinking we have been totally scammed out of a $495 appraisal fee; after eight weeks, finally receiving a new 15 year loan, which was sold to a bank, but with the escrow account a total mess.
All in all, an odd experience that left us thinking "well, there has to be better companies in terms of service, but at least the loan went through". Which brings me to interesting events of late.
Two weeks ago we receive a call from Loan Depot stating they made some mistakes in our 15 year loan, and would like to fix their error. They indicated it would cost us nothing to change our loan, but they would lower our interest rate, so that payments would be ~$60 less per month. I distinctly stated something like "I do not understand because the bank now has the loan, so what's the catch?" I was then given a story about how the bank actually did not have the loan yet, and it would cost them if the purchase went through as originally agreed, and so it would be sort of a win-win situation: they save money; we would save money. I then called the bank and they said they had no idea what Loan Depot was discussing, because the loan was definitely with them. I then received the documents from Loan Depot and all looked good, except the loan was now reinitialized at 15 years and there was $5371 in "pre-paid" items and "closing costs". I then asked why the terms on our old loan were at 15 years, since we now have only 14 years left, and how no cost to us equated to $5371 in "fees". As best as we can figure, they are trying to refinance a home that was just refinanced, receive another $5371 from us. And since we have to pay an extra year of loan, any savings on a monthly basis is effectively wiped out in the end. In other words, it's a good win for them, and nothing for us.
So, is this a scam? Has this happened to anyone else?