The underwriter leaned back in her chair. Her thoughts weren’t on the stack of files in front of her. She was worried about losing her home. She bought it two years ago, you see. In July, as a matter of fact.
Back then, everyone you talked to was an expert on Real Estate. Many of them even had a real estate license. Some actually were experts. Some were just real experienced, and some had gotten their license a few months before to make some easy bucks helping their parents buy two or 3 “investment flips” with their home equity loan against the house in California. There was NO DISCUSSION going on anywhere about what happens if the “bubble bursts”.
It wasn’t hard to find someone whose cousin’s friend’s brother made a killing with a house flip. He bought it in the beginning of 2005 and sold it 6 or 8 months later, with a pretty hundred grand profit. It was a funny story because it was true. It was humorous to think about a house getting multiple offers on the first day of the listing. We heard a story such as that just about every single day.
Our underwriter…remember her? Her rate adjusts next month. Business hasn’t been so good lately, and they’ve cut her hours. When she bought said house, she was lucky enough to be the high bidder. There were either 5 or 6 people competing with her. It only cost her $14,000 over the list price. That was a bargain. She’d heard of people paying 20 or 30,000 dollars more than the seller wanted. And to think, she didn’t have to put up any money upfront!
She’s in the mortgage business. She’s the one who gets the final say so over whether someone gets a loan or not. She’s not dumb. Things haven’t quite worked out the way she planned it two years ago.
Her sister, the waitress with a real estate license, hasn’t sold a house since she sold the house in question to our underwriter. The waitress/realtor told her that her house wasn’t worth enough to be able to refinance, now-a-days. Bummer. She’s been trying to get some underwriter at some mortgage company somewhere to make her a new loan. It’s not happening, and she’s scared. She knows why. She’s an underwriter, after all.
SHE’S ALSO VERY ANGRY, and feels so helpless. She wants a way to get even. She wants to get back at the world for being so cruel to her and her family.
The slap on the head idea came in an instant. A little inner voice caused the following plan to get launched:
I’ve got a dozen files on my desk that I have to look at today. Screw them all!
“I’ll nip pick every single letter of every single word of every piece of paper in those files.
“I’ll question everything! I’ll make the buyer and loan officers write up explanation letters about that 128 dollar deposit in their checking account 4 months ago.”
“I’ll find dozens of things in this dozen files that I can play mean about.”
“I’ll make the realtors draw up addendums and make them run around getting them signed by all parties stating that:
“the pillow shams and bed spread that match the bedroom carpet and drapes are OF NO VALUE TO THE SELLER, and the fact that they are left at the property does not constitute a contribution by the seller towards the buyer’s closing costs. Furthermore, All prior references to said bedspread and pillow shams in the original offer as well as all subsequent counter offers and addendums are hereby nullified”.
“I’ll tell my assistant to tell the loan processor to tell the loan officer to tell the realtors who will then tell the buyers and sellers and moving companies and escrow officers and utility companies that the file is “NEXT IN LINE TO BE THE TOP FOLDER ON MY DESK”. In reality, I’m going to have my assistant start that rumor about each of those stupid dozen files that are on my desk
I’m going to lie to them and keep them dangling. I’m going to make them all pay for the misery I’m going thru. I’m going to PROMISE that I will respond to something before I go to lunch. I’ll remember it on my way home from work.
“That oughta teach’m!” our darling underwriter said to herself as she sat up straight and got back to work. She grabbed the next folder in the stack….
The Realtor who’s folder she grabbed was up late one evening. He was just typing his little heart out while pondering why this file hasn’t come out of underwriting yet. They’ve met every stupid little condition after ridiculous stipulation. All the BIG IMPORTANT THINGS were taken care of weeks ago. Big important things such as great income, excellent credit, 20%down payment, job security, excellent savings beyond what was needed to buy a home. The Appraisal. Those kinds of things. We keep giving and giving. And waiting and waiting. And our f#*%%@ underwriter keeps stalling and stalling. If we don’t get an answer in the morning, no one has quite figured out what to do with the furniture. It’s on a truck on its way to Las Vegas.
He thinks to himself, How could this be happening? Why? Why? Why?
Maybe our Realtor let his imagination get away from him a little. But he’s willing to make a bet he’s not far off. He can’t think of any better way to exlain it.