Our Crazy Hot Potato Mortgage System

In September I decided to refinance our mortgage; rates had fallen so low that I could basically convert our 30 year fixed (which still had 25 or so years left) into a 15 year fixed for only a tad more per month. So I checked with the folks who held our mortgage, Wells Fargo, to see what that could do. They offered a moderately interesting rate, but under proper prodding from my Bride we decided to go the Lending Tree route and see what the Open Market™ offered.

Geesh. Once the form was submitted I started getting tons of calls and emails from various potential lenders offering a whole range of packages, most of which were far superior to Wells Fargo’s in terms of both the interest rate and the fees. Long story short I decided to go with a local firm here in Jersey who gave us a great deal and I liked the idea that I was giving my business to (as Jim would say) my Jersey Peeps.

Of course, this being the fast-and-furious fluid mortgage business they flipped our mortgage and sold it to some firm in Louisiana. No biggie; we sent the new folks the January payment.

And we just got a letter from them saying that they too have now sold our mortgage to yet another firm, so for our February payment we should send our check to the new holder of our mortgage.

Wells Fargo.

13 Responses to “Our Crazy Hot Potato Mortgage System”

  1. JeffS says:

    Wells-Fargo bought the mortgage they could have given you?

    Either they are losing money in the mortgage flipping business, or the profit margin is much greater than it appears. Or is there another explanation, unbeknownst to mere mortals?

    Bizarre, in any case.

  2. tree hugging sister says:

    Is this where “what goes around comes around” comes from?

  3. Retread says:

    I must be about the only person left in the country whose mortgage is still held by the original lender!

  4. Yojimbo says:

    Jersey peeps! That was “Support Your Local Gunfighter” Bingley(!), not your local mortgage broker.

    I’m sensing opportunity here. PBS can pick this up as a sequel to “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”; I’m in a moving vehicle with four wheels built after the Kalifornya Gold Rush- Where in the World is Bingley’s Paper? Blockbuster material!

    /Awaiting your IPO in Tucson.

  5. Mr. Bingley says:

    Who would they cast as moi, Yojimbo?

    George Clooney?

  6. Rob says:

    Isn’t that fun? We did the same many years ago with a local “homestead” who claimed they keep all mortgages “in house”. We were with one of the big buyers within a year.

  7. nightfly says:

    Heh. Our mortgage is with Wells Fargo – we chose them not only based on rates and terms, but because we were reasonably sure that the company was stable enough to still be around when we finally sent them the last payment. Shows what I know.

  8. Mr. Bingley says:

    I wonder, Rob, if since we do have positive equity in theory in the house and have never missed a payment that they put our mortgage in a pool/package with some other perhaps not as well performing as ours and sold the bundle as some “investment vehicle”?

  9. Mr. Bingley says:

    ‘Fly, we got our original mortgage with Wachovia for that very reason…and then they went tits up and got bought by Wells Fargo.

  10. Rob says:

    I know even less about high finance than I do about golf, Mr B. 🙂

  11. Jim - PRS says:

    I dealt with Wells Fargo professionally on a big ticket item, and they were anal-retentive to a fault about details. Frankly, a pain in the ass. Go figure.

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  13. NJ Sue says:

    My understanding is that who owns your mortgage makes no real difference to you as the debtor; the terms remain the same by law until you discharge the debt. So it can be Wells Fargo or anyone else.

    When we refinanced in the past, our bank at that time (HSBC) had no interest whatsoever in giving us an especially advantageous rate and fee deal, so we went to Wachovia. I wonder if big banks sometimes just don’t bother to negotiate with existing mortgage customers.

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