Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday morning head explosion? Check.

Work is a bear today. And I'm just an admin...I cannot imagine what it would be like to be my boss right now. Yikes!

Ok, in between head explosions and the like at work, I've been reading this article found on MSN this morning, about how eeeviiiil Countrywide Home Loans is. (Well, that's the basic jist of the main tagline, anyway, but its about more that just names other eeeviiiil sub-prime mortgage companies in the article as well.)

I just wanted to take the opportunity to reiterate that, while I fully appreciate and understand the issues that many borrowers face when it comes to the confusion of loans, and the paperwork involved, and the craziness that ensues in the weeks following your initial expressed interest in obtaining said loan, I still say that the fact that people are flat-out blaming the mortgage companies for misleading them or ruining their lives or whatever is bullshit.

The first example they use in the article is of this woman who was a personal trainer, who was basically homeless in 2006, living on friends' couches and shit. And she somehow found a condo in a part of Boston that she thought she could buy (why? I DON'T KNOW.), and proceded to get a loan for $260,000 so she could buy the place. The loan paperwork claimed her income was equivalent to over $7,000 a month, or $87,000 annually. When she actually made around $20,000 per year.

When asked how the loan docs could reflect such flagrantly inflated information with regards to her income, this chick said that, admittedly, she hadn't looked all that closely at the loan documents she signed. She never noticed the discrepancy until NBC (Nightline is the one running the several part series on this issue) pointed it out to her.

Um, what?

Oh, and Countrywide is the one a fault here, eh? I get that they are liable for the discrepancy on the docs. But does this woman not see how much SHE fucked up??? Here she is, barely pulling in $20,000 a year, and she thinks she can afford a $260,000 loan? That, quite frankly, scares the shit outta me. That math just isn't that hard.

I worked at Countrywide for 4 years. In the regional office here in Kansas that covered the midwest locations in Kansas and Missouri, from Wichita, to Topeka, to St Louis and Springfield. We funded something like over $5 million in loans in our region alone each month. At our height during the "refi boom" that happened in 2004, I think it was? We were upwards of $11 million, if I recall correctly. The company overall was funding over $15 BILLION each month...monthly, my friends...throughout the time that I was with them. That's a lot of fucking loans.

I can honestly say that my region was generally on the up and up. There were rogue mortgage professionals that came our way now and then, but we tended to catch them early, and put them back on the street. I'm not aware of any underwriting craziness in approvals that were going on, and I was pretty close to everyone in that region. The only issue I can see might have happened is that our ops manager for the region was a waste of space much of the time, between her personal life and her migraine headaches, she wasn't all that there, really. And she's the one that was supposed to be auditing files on a weekly basis. Yeah, those suckers tended to just pile up and pile up on her desk. ::sigh!::

But our region also didn't do sub-prime loans. We had a separate division for that at CHL, so maybe that's where all the skeezy stuff went down? I dunno...

Regardless, I'm tired of people putting the onus on the mortgage company when they default on their loan, only to later admit that they didn't even read the fucking paperwork they signed. Another lady in the article thought she was getting a fixed loan, only to have it start fluctuating a few months after she'd signed the papers. Those papers told her that she as signing up for an adjustable rate mortgage that could swing as high as 12%! AUGH! How do you not notice something like that???

People piss me off. This is just one of the many reasons why. Just thought I'd tell ya about that. :)


m.v. said...

I've been posting links to this today
it's long but explains in pissed off terms what happened and how it happened.

Faith said...

OMG, I'm only halfway through that article, and my head is literally spinning. I feel drunk. Men like Cassano are fucking amazing...the fact that they get away with the bullshit wool they pull over their superiors' eyes is beyond me.

Seriously, I'm spinning. Mutherfucker. I might be having a stroke...

Nuke said...

Don't croak on us Faith!

Thanks for the link MV, will check it out when I have more time.

As for your original point Faith, people WANTED to believe the BS. Everybody else was getting McMansions for free why not them. They ate up the BS, or they thought they could beat the bubble. Look at how many shows on house flipping were in the air then. Buy a house, sell for a profit and never worry about the unreal mortgage. I dunno, predatory lending did go on, but a lot of people contributed to their own demise.

statia said...

The problem with the whole re-fi and housing boom, is that there were so money skeezy mortgage companies that popped up to collect money and do shady things, only to close up shop when the market started to tank, or hell, even before the market tanked.

I agree that people need to get their heads out of their asses and take responsibility for their own shit, especially when making purchases such as this, but there were a lot of people who were duped into believing that they COULD afford a 400k house on 40k a year. In the short term, I think it'll suck for people who legitimately try to buy a house, but in the long run, it'll help lay some proper regulations.

I'm so SO glad my mortgage broker was honest and credible, making us fully aware of what we could afford and what we couldn't. Then again, he was well established and didn't want to tarnish his reputation. Which is how it should be.

statia said...

money? um, MANY.

Faith said...

"I'm so SO glad my mortgage broker was honest and credible, making us fully aware of what we could afford and what we couldn't. Then again, he was well established and didn't want to tarnish his reputation. Which is how it should be."

Ditto. this. I'm so glad I worked on the inside of it for as long as I did, too! That helped me tremendously when it came to me buying the house, and going through the refi process as I have over the last year. (I'm refinancing again right now because my rate is at 6.25% for a 30 yr fixed, and I can possibly get it down to 5%, which is so exciting, it makes my ass twitch!)