"R-E-S-P-E-C-T...Find out what it means to me.." lyrics we all have heard from the ageless voice of Aretha Franklin; I think "The Queen of Soul", gets it and I know, we all want it.
It seems like it would come natural, but I think we all know that is not always the case. Actually, I am amazed at one of my latest transaction's lending debacle and thus the nature of this post. Amazed may not actually be a fitting term, confused, shocked, incensed...well, you get the picture. I think all the REALTORS® I know and of course all the LendersI know as well, know what RESPA is.
For those consumer types and for the edification of those who are unaware, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ( RESPA ) is a consumer protection statute. The stated purposes of this statute are two fold, according to HUD site. I feel certain that you will find more protection than just the following, but, again, according to the HUD website @ http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/res/respamor.cfm, "The purposes of RESPA are:
- to help consumers become better shoppers for settlement services and
- to eliminate kickbacks and referral fees that unnecessarily increase the costs of certain settlement services."
I think anyone whom is familiar with this statute will agree that there are thousands of situations that will fall directly within the associated definitions of the protections that RESPA was founded upon. So, that said, my blog content this week (yes, I've deviated from the "That Guy" story a few days, in order to cleanse my soul <smile>), albeit overly verbose I'm sure, is about the idea of skirting RESPA (perhaps) but falling way short of decency and RESPECT.
So the story begins last Thursday, February 28th when my clients, after several months of searching, decided to "ink a deal" with a local builder here in Sunny Tucson, Arizona! My clients came into the purchase well prepared. We had negotiated our terms prior to setting up the appointment and came to the table with a local lender's GFE in hand (complete with a 5.25% Interest Rate and closing costs to the Buyer well beneath $4500). This all, in an effort to show quality buyers that were/are ready, willing and able to move forward in contract in good faith and with a sound financial ability to close escrow in a timely manner.
We presented the sales agent with the GFE, and she said "I see no reason that our Lender, would not be able to match this...", at this, my clients "leaped for joy"! You see by using the builder's Lender, the builder advertised that they would then provide up to $4500 towards closing costs. Ironically, there was an impending sales event that was to start, just the following day, which of course would have been appropriate for a Leap Year Leap. The builder in which I speak will, of course, remain anonymous.
The sales agent then reminded my clients that it was the utmost of importance for them to complete application with the assigned Loan Officer as quickly as possible. They were anxious to get this completed and to move forward towards closing, prior to "Tax Day" of April 15th. Naturally, they left the office and the very next day, completed the application, as per their instructions. The following is an actual excerpt from the response from the accepted application:
"Thank you for visiting __________________ to start your loan application. Your information has been received and your confirmation number is: XXXXXXXXXX.
A member from your own ______________ team will be contacting you within one business day to schedule your appointment with your Loan Counselor to review and complete your loan application in order to discover the best financing options available for your individual needs."
I can already feel the Lenders out there reading this begin to cringe...yep, you already know where this is going.
Tune in to my next blog when we here the Buyer ask..."Isn't the market volatility going to make response times critical? Shouldn't our "Loan Counselor" have contacted us by now?" And what about...The Loan Counselor?
<insert soap opera organ music here>
Life's A Grin!