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 CHL...it 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.
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. :)