Alvin Standridge is still shocked about his re-financing situation, but for a different reason now.
About a month ago, Standridge got a pre-approval letter in the mail. He says when he called Countrywide, the loan officer told him he was approved for a lower monthly mortgage bill and $6000 cash from his home equity. What he says he wasn't told is all of that was contingent on a home appraisal.
When Countrywide appraised his home, it came back at a lower value. Countrywide told him he wouldn't be getting the $6,000 as originally promised, and that the $400 he paid for the appraisal was non-refundable.
"I called countrywide at least eight or ten times and they always told me they'll get back with me or call someone else, they came out one time and they got it done," Standridge said.
We did call Countrywide and told them Standridge's story several times during a month's time span.
It must have worked.
"Whatever you told them, that's what it took," Standridge said.
Countrywide agreed to give him back the $400 he paid for the appraisal.
Countrywide has also since responded to us. They say in general if you get one of those preapproval letters in the mail it's based on the most recent appraisal of your property. Until a new appraisal is complete, what they're offering you can change.