Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The meek may inherit the earth, but it takes a bitch to get a house

So to continue the saga that is my life.

I called the bank again. This time, when the customer service rep started giving me the same spiel, I interrupted him and fiercely demanded his supervisor.

When she came on the line, the supervisor asked what she could do to help. I told her the story about the mythical husband, and she interrupted me. Now their record shows that I'm single, and she was puzzled why I would have gotten the impression that they ever thought otherwise. (So apparently they corrected the situation, they just couldn't be bothered to mention it to me.) And damned if she didn't go on to imply that I Must Have Misunderstood something that had been said. I pointed out, rather dryly, that I had a piece of paper from them SAYING that I was married. That at least shut her up on that topic.*

She proceed to go over the whole spiel again about how they couldn't change their process, things had to be done a certain way. (For example, they wouldn't wire the money to me; they would only mail it. Even the woman from the mortgage company said that this bank was a "real winner.")

So apparently the whole situation was not going to change. That's when I went into Drama Bitch mode. In a voice full of barely controlled emotion I pointed out that an error on the bank's part had resulted in several days' worth of delay on this loan, that I had already incurred several hundred dollars' worth of extra charges as the result of this delay, that if they kept delaying matters further I was going to miss my closing date and lose the house, were they trying to deny me the loan? If I hadn't been getting the runaround from these people for days, I wouldn't have done it, but damn it everything I was saying was true.

After about 10 minutes of "there's nothing we can do" the woman suddenly thought of another option. Apparently** I was already pre-approved for a five-year loan. If I went for that instead of the six-year loan that I was applying for, I wouldn't have to send in an application at all. Magically, all I had to do was speak to someone on the phone and voila! The check would be sent out to me that very same day.

So why the hell couldn't someone have mentioned that option A LONG TIME BEFORE THIS?

Thank you Bag Lady, Heather, Reb, and McB for recommending that I take the assertive route. I bow in homage to your wisdom.

Theresa, Crabby, Zandile, Katharine, thank you for your support. As Cary pointed out, this is a funny situation, and I do see the humor in it. (Most of the time.) All the same, it's nice to have someone who'll listen when you're having a bad day.

Maybe now everything will go smoothly and I can get back on track with exercising and eating them green leafy things and stop carrying on cranky. It's possible.

* It was the same situation when I spoke to the first customer service rep. He said that they had been told by my company that I was married; it wasn't the bank's fault if they had that in their records. The people in my HR department deny this, and frankly I'm with them.

** I use that word a lot when I speak of this bank, because I don't quite trust anything they say.


the Bag Lady said...

Mary, the Cowboy thinks the Bag Lady has lost her mind - she was whooping with glee when she read how you dealt with the bank supervisor!! *Applause*
Good for you! (Thank heavens the Bag Lady didn't have to come do her Bubba impression...although, ya know, she coulda used a nice little vacation...nah, no Bubba, no) Hopefully everything else will go smoothly from now on.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

After you pay off the 5-year loan, it'll be time to get a new bank.

The spouse and I have a loan through a bank as incompetent as yours. Hilariously (but not really), its slogan is "The bank where everyone knows your name." What's hilarious (but not really) is that it took multiple tries for the doofuses there to correctly spell both my first name and my hyphenated and apostrophe-bearing last name. And then it took multiple tries for them to correctly spell my husband's hyphenated and apostrophe-bearing last name (yes, the same one as mine).

All banks are not created equal.

McB said...

Go, Mary!

The ironic part of this is that if you did have a spouse, the bank would have had all sorts of data on him, would have required it, in fact. Full name, SS#, DOB, probably his mama's maiden name as well. Everything in this world today requires verification, without it we don't seem to exist. So why were they so willing to accept someone's accidental check mark on a form?

Anonymous said...

Oh, Honey! To be honest, we've never had any trouble buying a house, but selling them, (insert strangled scream here) has been a nightmare on occasion. If you ever decide to collect real estate horror stories, say POISON SOUP FOR THE SOUL, put out the call at the B&G. We sold our last house to a guy who started demolishing it long before his loan went through. That'll teach me to trust a realtor.

Keziah Fenton said...

Wow. I am in aew of your restraint up to this point. I remember screaming at the lawyer at one point because some people are so incredibly incompetent, and just plain mean. the lawyer was acting in my interests, and merely listening to my rant. She was in no way responsible for my shrieking. Regardless, she did get in there with a weedwhacker and clear out the deadwood so that we could figure out how to smooth out the transaction. So much of this stuff is completely unnecessary. Just think how great it will feel to walk into the house, close the door and lock(with your newly changed locks)away the rest of the world. Except us of course. Because we're willing to drive over there with our shovels. All you have to do is ask.


Heather said...

Im glad you got things sorted out!! sometimes you have to take the bitch route to get anywhere, but Im glad it worked for you in this situation.

Theresa said...

Wow. Go Mary, but I'm still just stupified with the whole situation this bank put you in.

Maybe it would be worth your time to send a nicely, but strongly worded letter with copies of all the pertinent info (letter from them saying you're married, info about the penalties you had to pay because of their incompetance, etc.) to someone higher up?

Sarah said...

Wow that is so scary. You should seriously get paid back by the bank for all the extra money this has cost you!

Anonymous said...

Oh my word - why do banks do this to us? We have a bank "that likes to say yes" in dear old England. So far, all it's said to me is "you must be kidding", "sorry, was that a joke" and "seriously, stop you're making me laugh too much".

I agree with Theresa, go to the top with a nicely written (but with simmering with tension) letter to the Big Cheese which asks "why does your bank employ such STUPID people". but maybe word it nicer than that.....

NMO xx

Reb said...

Oh, I am glad that got straightened out. Unless you have to pay a penalty to pay out the loan early, once the house is in your name, you should be able to get a different bank to make you a loan, maybe at a better rate. Banks are always looking for new customers and they may cut you a deal to move over to them.
I agree though that a polite but no-nonsense letter to the branch manager is in order, even copy it to the regional manager, detailing all that was messed up and that this is why you are looking for another bank.

Now everything will go much more smoothly - it has to doesn't it?

Penelope said...

Karen hates it when she's trying to accomplish something and beurocracy makes the process take three times as long as it would otherwise.

-- P

Crabby McSlacker said...

Sorry to be so late to the party--I somehow missed this post before I hit the road.

But if you're anything like me, it's hard to be stern and persistent and bitchy with people, even those who are speaking on behalf of companies who are screwing with you. Good for you for stepping up to the yucky task of giving 'em hell! And I'm glad they finally figured out a way around their own stupidity.

marie said...

I think this is the only time I'm glad I rent.

You're a martyr for struggling through it.

Keziah Fenton said...

WOO-HOO!!!!! You kick ass. That's showing them. Now I'm getting ready for the big housewarming party in June. Welcome to the home owning club.

Anonymous said...

Mary- you don't need a cooler name, you need a better bank!

CONGRATS on the house. And nice job getting out the shovel and wading through the ****with the bank.

Theresa said...

Mary - Good luck with the upcoming move!

And just think of the muscles that you're building and the calories that you're burning with all the lifting, and box moving, and (if you're move has been like mine) cleaning (both of the old and new place)!