Last year, the house next to mine in Maryland sold for $335,000. This house was very similar to mine and the only substantial differences are that it has a newer kitchen and a driveway. I realized that if my house had increased in value that much, that I might be able to have my mortgage company remove the PMI from my loan on the basis of a new appraisal. Wells Fargo told me that I could pay for an appraisal through their vendor, CoreLogic Solutions.
It’s hard to say which company is more terrible.
First, Wells Fargo’s employees tried to tell me that I couldn’t have PMI removed on the basis of a new valuation unless the increase in value was due to improvements to the property. It took months to get them to send our initial correspondence to me, which said very clearly that it could be removed if my mortgage had been paid down to 78% of the new appraised value. (One of the reasons I hate having Wells Fargo as my servicer is that they have ZERO statements or any other information about my account available online. In this year of our Lord 2020, I still receive paper statements in the mail and have to save them for reference).
After this was finally sorted, Wells Fargo then told me that I cannot pay the difference on my mortgage to reduce the LTV to 78%. Of course, there is no policy available for the date that my mortgage balance has to be at 78%.
Of course, the appraisal cannot be appealed. My husband and I spent hours putting together comps and making the case that the comps the appraiser chose were BOGUS. The property’s valuation is artificially depressed because properties were included from inincorporated areas with the same zipcode as my property. They refused to include my next door neighbor’s home in the list of comps. Their appraiser was the laziest professional I have ever had the displeasure of doing business with, and I hope that he gets paid peanuts.
This is all so ridiculous. I obviously would not have spent $500 gambling had Wells Fargo made clear that I can’t pay down the principal the way I can to get the LTV to 80%.
I am so annoyed by this that I would pay off the principal to get down to 80% just to stop giving them money, even though I wouldn’t save much more than about $1200, I just don’t want Wells Fargo to have a penny more of my money. Unfortunately D and I are finally going to have a wedding so I need to spend my money on that instead. It is fortunate that D and I are having a wedding, but unfortunate that I have to give Wells Fargo more money because I have to pay my caterer instead of my mortgage.
D points out that this same appraisal error came out in my favor when my house appraised for $20k below the asking price. It’s unfortunate that I might have a sale fall through in the future because appraisal methodology is so imprecise. I feel very fortunate that we were able to get our house in Illinois appraised at what the seller wanted, but it probably worked to our advantage that there were no true comps available. Also, I’m sure that appraisers in Chicagoland are generally more competent since everyone here works harder.
I’ll expand this post more at some point but I wanted to document how annoyed I am. I actually screamed about this out loud at least twice. What a parasitical and incompetent industry.