And Now… the rest of the story

UPDATE: The continuing saga of a fat hand in a cookie jar. Now, from the highest point of Mount Wife, echoes of “Hmph, I told you so” will ring down on me.

I spent a couple more hours going back and forth with the couples lender. He had sent a letter over that included the terms  :purchase price $499,000. combined loan amount $419,500, CLTV 80%, qualifying rate up to 8%. Those terms were inside the typical “You have a pulse and if I can verify anything you told me during our phone call, you might get a loan” letter. The buyer’s out of town dad was involved and he hit me with “Look, you’re a father and I am a father. I just want to be sure my daughter is being protected.” He was also the one that had to sign off on her dropping one hundred thousand dollars into the transaction.

So I ask the lender, ” Can you splain to me, I am just a dumb agent, how 80% of $499,000 is $419,500? I just use a paper and pencil and arithmetic and I only come up with $399,200.” He began that strange dance that occurs on a long distance call with most internet lenders. Problem was, I couldn’t hear any music! He told me that he would have to get back to me.

I called one of my local boys and had him call the couple. He took an actual application and did whatever those lending people do with desktop underwriting. He called me back in 20 minutes. Things did not look good for the home team. The kids were deeper in debt do-do than they should be and there was no way they could get a loan for a rate better than 9.5% (and that was only if they paid off about $8,000 in collections). We chatted and did that behind the scenes planning of how the news should be broken to the couple. (don’t fret, I had their permission to discuss all this stuff from them). I am the coward and prefer the white horse, so we decided that he would call, go over reality with them, offer to meet with them and assist them in how they can clean up their credit, so that in 3-6 months they will be in a better buying position.

Then, I called. I do my best to point out the good that has come of our first day together. They now know the truth about their situation. They have had a taste of what is available in their price range. They actually got to meet an agent in person and had all the disclosures about home buying explained to them. They now have an ally in the lending industry that will sit with them and help them get on a budget, pay off debt and what strategy to use with old creditors regarding the credit bureaus.

I called the agent that had the property listed and had been kind enough to send disclosures to let him know that we would not be writing and wished him well on the open house on Sunday.

I called the agent that placed the offer on the home that was dead and told her that we could not get an answer from the bank until tuesday. (my partner can deal with that one.)

I met the winterize fellow at the home and left him to lock up when he was done. Damn, one thing actually accomplished.

Driving home, my phone rang (did I mention I bought a new car and when the phone rings, you just hit a button on the steering wheel and everything comes out the radio? I don’t know how they do it, but it is very cool) Well, it was her dad calling to thank me for today. He wanted to know if I would still represent them when they get their act together. I told him sure. (that guarantees they will be ready in early spring. my wife are I are booked for another trip then!)

At 10:30, I walked through the door and did my best father-knows-best impersonation “honey, I’m home”. The lady of the house came around the corner, gave me a look and said “you probably didn’t stop to eat, What’s left of dinner is on the stove, you can heat that up. When you finish maybe you can tell me how early we leave in the morning.” With a move that was more graceful than any Gene Kelly dance move, she plucked my phone from my hip, turned it off and dropped in her purse.

One day you will learn that I come first…if anyone has to wait, it will be those other people.

Sometimes, this is a very hard business.

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