Q: I just signed the paperwork to close on my parents’ refinance. The closing fee is $26,000 on a $250,000 FHA loan. The closing costs are higher than what was quoted on the good faith estimate.
I am very upset. I have two days to cancel the refinance, but my parents don’t want to start the loan process all over again. The lender added points without telling them (I really didn’t understand how it was supposed to work until I read your articles online).
The interest rate on the loan is 5.5 percent, but I think $26,000 in cash is too much. Something is not right. I don’t have money for a lawyer so I hope you will be able to give me an answer soon, since in two days the refinance will be finalized.
A: You’re paying 10 percent in closing costs? I agree. That doesn’t sound right. If the numbers on your HUD-1 weren’t the same as on the good faith estimate, you shouldn’t have closed until the documents were corrected.
Occasionally, numbers do change from the good faith estimate. But the changes should be small and usually have to do with an extra title fee, or if someone’s credit has dramatically changed since the loan application was approved.
There are times that real estate taxes and the homeowners insurance policy premium play a part in the increases on the settlement statements. You’d need to look at the closing statement and subtract the costs for real estate taxes and homeowners insurance to see what you are really paying.
If your lender charged you points without telling you, you may want to cancel the deal. A point is one percent of the loan amount. If you are paying three points, that would cost you $7,500. Depending on your circumstances, that might be too high for you and your parents.
I can’t tell for sure, but it sounds like the mortgage lender might not be doing everything correctly. I know you feel as though you can’t afford an attorney, but hiring one for a few hundred dollars to help you go over everything is exactly what you need to do now.
Jan. 19, 2009.