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2009-09-17 - 9:30 a.m.

...LIVE! FROM CHAOS! ...keys in hand...possessions in boxes...

We do indeed have keys. Our lovely real estate agent - she really is lovely. and competent. and smart. - showed up at the house yesterday morning with keys in one hand and a bottle of champagne in the other.

Our new amazing washing machine - which perhaps has a higher IQ than most people - was also installed yesterday. The internet installation occurs in 1/2 hour. The friendly "Big Smelly Men" have arrived to put all of our worldly possessions into boxes. The cats have already been moved to a small bathroom in their new home, where they are quietly fearing and awaiting (they think) their imminent demise. Susi is off on a playground with Budda, and will soon be handed off to Mary Poppins. Mary suggested a day trip - most likely to the aquarium.

All of this seems good. But have we finalized the mortgage details??? Nope. Nada. I have already explained the ugly situation of having to go with Bank-from-Hell in order to get a substantial mortgage subsidy from Mountain University, and that for the most part, this subsidy has wound up in the Bank-from-Hell's pockets, and has supported their entirely uncompetitive rates. Only about one-fifth of the subsidy remains for us - a few thousand - making it a SLIGHTLY better deal than the other, better banks. So now I will forgo explaining the horror of the last month of K negotiating with the Bank-From-Hell, and continue our never-ending story of our interactions with an inept broker whom will call - for the sake of this story - Mr Bong.

Last Friday, Mr. Bong informed us that our mortgage rate dropped from by 0.11%. However...when we arrived at the lawyer's office on Monday, we were handed a disclosure statement on which the rate was listed as 0.26% HIGHER than our locked in mortgage rate....This number had apparently fallen from the SKY. In fact, ALL of the numbers were wrong. Our prepayment allowance dropped from 20% to 10% of principal. Even our new address was incorrect.

So we got on the phone to Mr. Bong straight away, and were told that (a) the paperwork we received was correct, and (b) that Bong had left for the day. K promptly informed Bank-from-Hell that this was a deal breaker, and that we would be going with another bank.

He got off the phone and we tried to figure out if we would be able to get an extension and still go through Super-Duper Bank (with whom we could not use our subsidy), or if we would be losing both the house and our multi-thousand dollar deposit. But that "deal breaker" phrase had a miraculous effect on Mr. Bong, and he suddenly appeared in his little Toronto office!

He called us at the lawyer's office and clarified that the paperwork at the Lawyer's office is "never correct" - a complete contradiction to his previous statement that the ONLY paperwork that IS correct is the paperwork we get at the lawyer's office - but that we should sign it anyway.

I called my friend Spunky at SFU (head of Faculty Relations who used to be a practicing lawyer). Spunky's reply, "Well *I* wouldn't sign it." So she got on the horn to Bong herself. (Spunky is not only an ex-lawyer - she is also a bulldog). When she called us back, she explained Bank-From-Hell's perverse system of issuing incorrect documents, but that she thought the situation was indeed legit (i.e., it is common practice for Bank-from-Hell to issue disclosure statements with every number incorrect), but that we should request an email from Mr. Bong in which he "undertakes" that we would have the lower rate that he had promised us on the date of closing. He did this.

We left our lawyer's office to retrieve some additional paperwork - including a copy of the email from Bong - and resumed at 4pm. At this meeting, our lawyer pointed out several other little inconsistencies in our Mortgage Approval Contract (the original document that wasn't correct), and the Mortgage Disclosure Statement (the new document that was even less correct).

She made a very interesting point:
Our original Mortgage Approval document said that our rate would be the Posted Rate minus 1.6%, and that we would get the lowest rate occurring on one of three dates: the pre-approval, the approval, the closing date. But our new Disclosure Statement put our rate at Posted Rate minus 1.34%.

huh. actuality, the rate that the lying cheat Mr Bong had promised us was still 0.26% HIGHER than what our contract stated!

Huh. Wonder why he would do THAT? Who gets that other 0.26%, I wonder??

I fired off yet another email to Wong this morning, explaining that I expected the new paperwork to reflect our signed contract in which we were offered the Posted Rate minus 1.6%.

So while we continued running around like headless chickens trying to get funds and paperwork together, an entirely NEW set of numbers fell out of the sky and were faxed to our lawyer's office: rate: Posted minus 1.5%, amortization period: 31 years, prepayment allowed: 10%.


K called to ask Mr. Bong for the source of these values, and requested that they be changed to reflect our original agreement. Wong then said he would change the prepayment allowance BACK to 20% (he had ignored our previous request from yesterday). But Bong also said that the amortization period was set at 31 years so that our monthly payment would not change. And finally, he said that the standard BAnk-from-hell discount was actually Posted Rate minus 1.5% (which begs the question, where did the 1.34% move in there). The reason why 1.6% was in our contract was because he had taken 0.1% out of his commission to make Bank-from-hell's rate competitive.

Homework question...if you were in K's shoes, what would you do? Would you:

(A) - accept what Bong has said, because he has proven to be such a trustworthy and competent person, OR

(B) - calmly and rationally argue to regain the original terms of your signed and legally binding contract?

HINT: note that the 0.1% difference equates to $1400 over 5 years, and it would either go into YOUR pocket, or into the pocket of an inept cheating ass broker named BONG.

I'll tell you what K did. He chose option (C). He asked ME to call.

So anyway, I, Bull Dog Bad Cop, called up Bong. And Bong repeated the same explanation, that Bank-from-hell's policy is to use Posted minus 1.5% and not Posted minus 1.6% - he added that we should be happy anyway, because the rates had dropped. And so I asked him, how is it that Bank-from-Hell is legally allowed to CHOOSE WHICH of the numbers it WANTS to use in a binding contract??

At this point I just found myself reiterating, "I. want. what. is. written. in. the. terms. of. our. contract!" (and strangely enough, HEARD MY OWN MOTHER'S VOICE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH. - my mother is the ORIGINAL BULLDOG.)

Anyway, within about 3-4 minutes, he recapitulated, and stated that we would have our originally promised deal of Posted minus 1.6%, 35 yrs amortization, and 20% - and we should get the paperwork sometime this week....

We are still waiting for the final paperwork from them, and I remain skeptical that we are now free from the battlegrounds with this asshole. In fact, this morning he still had not confirmed our rate, and now claims that it will take 4-8 weeks to even SEE our final contract that we signed.

....and I've just learned that one of our cats has escaped and is missing.

Stomach pains abound.

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