Q: In your recent newspaper article, you mentioned a couple that almost got scammed by a refinancing agency.

Well, it happened to us. When I read your article, I was almost sick. We paid almost $7,000 dollars total to the refinancing company. This was 2 years ago.

Please, is there anything I can do now??

A: First, calm down. You may have been scammed — or not. I can’t tell based on what you told me in your letter. But simply being charged $7,000 in closing costs doesn’t mean you’ve been scammed.

The closing cost amount depends on the amount of the loan, how many points were charged, what your rate was compared to what was being offered in the marketplace at the time you refinanced, how much pre-paid interest you were charged, and a few other factors.

While $7,000 seems like a lot of cash out of pocket (heck, it is a lot of cash out of pocket), you might not have been scammed. Instead, you might have just received the short end of the stick.

Meanwhile, it’s a little late to turn back the clock, unless you’re telling me you paid $7,000 up front and the mortgage broker never refinanced your loan.

Before you refinance next time, be sure to shop around so that you’ll know you’re getting a fair deal. Compare the offer from your lender against offers from other top lenders in your area. If you don’t have any other lenders where you live, compare with online lenders.

Published: Feb. 17, 2005