Q: I applied to refinance my mortgage with a local mortgage broker in New Jersey back in October, 2004.

We were rejected for the loan because the investor said our house was outside their lending territory.

The mortgage broker promised that I would get back the application fee and lender’s commitment fee. I have called many times and written letters but still have not received back the $405 they promised. Who should I contact to help me settle this problem? Thank you for any help or suggestions.

A: Contact the New Jersey Attorney General’s office as well as the state commission or office that regulates mortgage lenders.
The mortgage broker should have known whether you were “outside” the end lender’s lending territory ahead of time. To me, it sounds a little like the old redlining cases, where mortgage lenders licensed to do business in the entire state would draw red lines around areas they considered bad risks.

Meanwhile, your mortgage broker has broken his word about returning your fees. I hope you had his promise in writing, but either way, it sounds to me like you’ve been ripped off.

March 4, 2005.