Moderator: "Welcome everyone to the meeting of Serial Refinancers Anonymous. Looks like a great turnout. Everyone's got their caffeine and nicotine in hand, so we're ready to begin."We have a number of new faces in the audience joining us tonight. One of them, a man who has been here in the past but didn't feel ready to commit to the program, has asked to share his story. So let's all give a friendly SRA welcome to Rapster."
"Good evening, everyone. My name's Rapster. And I'm a serial refinancer."
Audience: "Hi, Rapster."
"You know, the Beige Book, our bible in SRA, says that anyone who refinances more than once a year could be hooked. I must be addicted, because I'm on my third refi in the last three months!
"I'm a guy who prides himself on being disciplined and has all his loan docs signed and notarized in duplicate, if you know what I mean. So it's very embarrassing for me to stand before you tonight and admit in public to being a refi hound.
"I thought I could kick the habit without the program, but I was wrong. I can't stand the roller coaster of emotions during those agonizing days of waiting to hear if my loan has been approved, or that panicky feeling waiting for it to be funded. And you wouldn't believe how my blood pressure goes to the moon, waiting to hear that the loan has been recorded."
Audience: "Rap it, man, we can dig it!"
"I first began to think I might be addicted when I found myself entering my broker's cell phone number on speed dial. Then, every day for weeks, all I wanted to do was call him, even when he was at home, just to see if the rates had changed. I started getting super-anxious when more than a few hours would pass without checking in with him or leaving a message at his office.
I needed a quote fix something fierce!
"As my addiction worsened, checking in with my broker just didn't do it for me anymore. When my wife was asleep, I'd surf the Internet into the wee hours, checking refi sites to see if there was anything my broker may have missed. Then, when I finally dragged myself to bed and tried to sleep, all I could think of was the money I'd be saving over 30 years by refinancing at half a percent lower -- and how I'd spend the savings.
"I made it my mission to lock in the lowest possible rate. And, if that's not bad enough, I'm one of those no points, no fees guys. You know the type. Won't pay the appraisal fee or the special delivery fee for the loan docs to get to the escrow agent or lender. Won't pay a dime. I prove to them I have the best credit history they've ever seen and make my broker eat all the fees."
Audience: "Join the club, Rapster. You're one sick puppy!"
"You don't know the half of it. Get this. I paid off a seven-year fixed about three months ago when the market fell enough to allow me to get the same loan at half a point lower with a new lender. Then, in July, the market dropped again, and I'm like, 'All right! Time to refi again!'
"So I tell my source -- I mean my broker -- to start the game all over again. But this time it ain't no stinkin' seven-year fixed I'm going for. No siree, this time she's a beauty -- a 30-year fixed with no fees and no points. And she was just 1/8% more than I had with the seven-year. I thought maybe I'd finally found the long-term security and bliss I'd been seeking."
Audience: "False security. We've been there, man."
"As painful as this is to admit, I must tell you that today I reached the bottom and knew I had to come to SRA. The first payment on the new loan was scheduled for this month. I tried to stay away from the news and from making calls to my broker. But I couldn't help myself. Today I dialed my broker and told him to go ahead and lock me in for 45 days on a rate that's half a percent lower than the one I haven't even made my first payment on! I was so desperate I even agreed to pay a refundable fee for the lock."
Audience: "Rapster, you need the help of a Higher Mortgage Power!"
"You mean Alan Greenspan? So here I stand before you with a 45-day lock on a 30-year jumbo at 6 3/8%, with no fees, no points. I know it will take me a long time to fully recover from my addiction, but I'm ready to work the program and take it one day at a time. There's nowhere left for me or rates to go but up from here."
Audience: "You've hit bottom and are ready to put yourself into the hands of a Higher Mortgage Power and accept the Beige Book into your life."
Moderator: "Thank you for your testimonial, Rapster. I'm sure your story will be very sobering to others addicted to serial refinancing."