Homeowners Should Beware of Offers from Lenders
If you are one of the millions of homeowners who have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), be wary of offers of assistance from lenders. Through a recent experience, I discovered why we should educate ourselves about the terms of our existing loans, before talking with our lenders.
I received a letter this week from Citibank, my lender, entitled “Mortgage Volatility = Mortgage Tranquility”. The letter, set in threatening bold type, warned that my Adjustable Rate Mortgage was about to RESET. Triggering fears that my decision to finance with an ARM would come back to haunt me, I interpreted this “call to action” as a sign that my lender was looking out for both of us. Only after I experienced the “personalized service from the people I know”, did I discover how gullible they still believe we are.
Upon reaching a Citibank agent, I was warned that my mortgage interest rate would jump from 4.375% to 6.75% on
Smelling a rat, I decided to learn the logic behind her advice to get rid of my ARM. I ask what Index rate and Margin she was referring to, so that we could compare the numbers. Unbelievably, my agent had no
I decided to push on, determined to learn if anyone at Citibank could tell me what facts they relied upon, before recommending a new loan. On my third attempt, I reached a lady who knew a little
So, I ask the powers that be…What is going on at Citibank?? Where are the people in charge of policing lending practices on behalf of the consumers??? Have I simply misread the daily headlines reporting that millions of homeowners are losing their houses? Have I misunderstood this crisis to be due in part to our lenders pushing ill-advised loans in exchange for a quick buck? In spite of all the mournful rhetoric, it appears that little has changed in terms of stopping this behavior or protecting citizens.
My advice for consumers is to remain highly skeptical, when considering any offer from lenders!! To protect your future, you must arm yourself with the terminology and facts about your present loan. Take nothing for granted. Force your lender to prove the numbers that justify their recommendations.
FAQ: No lender can honestly recommend refinancing as an option, without first knowing how the old and new loans compare. Before you are lured into buying a new loan, spending thousands of dollars in closing costs, know what the future pay off will be versus the cost. Then and only then, can you make an
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