Jergler: Scary lending tales common, but not commonplace

October 19, 2011|By Don Jergler

It's a spooky market out there. What's debatable is how much of that can be blamed on lenders who are scared to give up money for mortgages, or whether the market misery is just an inevitable result of the global economic slump.

However, many real estate agents cite lenders as a top impediment to moving more homes off the market. Some of these stories are downright strange. Then again, it is that time of the year, and there are no shortage of ghost stories.

Lender: Please see how long you can keep this Hula-Hoop spinning around your waist. Yes, yes. We know it's on fire. Now please keep it going while we ask you some very important questions about this home loan you want.


Buyer: Well…OK.

Lender: So, we'll need details, including times, dates and doctors names, of all vaccinations given to your kids, dogs and your cat over the past decade. Can you provide those? And your grandfather's credit history, too? We don't need it for his entire life. Dating back to around the Vietnam War would do.

Buyer: Uh, OK. Can I stop now?

Lender: No, no, no. Don't stop yet. We've got a few more questions for you, and it's very important that you don't let the hoop hit the ground.

You will hear some tall tales if you ask homebuyers and their real estate agents for any nightmare scenarios they have. They have a few, and they aren't too shy to share.

To be fair, some of that may stem from growing tide of frustration with Wall Street and the financial world increasingly being expressed by the masses. It's hard to blame entirely either lenders or mortgage-seekers for a global meltdown that may be keeping homes from moving quicker.

Still, there are a few good stories about lenders requiring buyers and their agents to pull off the delicate balancing act of keeping a deal on the table while answering a great many questions from rightly cautious lenders.

Liz Claus, a well-known Orange County agent with Dilbeck Realtors, offered one of the more extreme examples of a lender's requirements one is likely to hear about.

She was representing buyers interested in a three-bedroom house in West Los Angeles selling for just under $1 million. The buyers had the income. The sellers had the motivation. However, the lender evidently wanted to make certain the buyers would continue to pay the mortgage—no matter how bad things could possibly get.

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