Possible Refinance Scam

11 Replies

I need some advice here on a refinance I am going through currently and to see if it could be a scam.  

I’m going through a broker whose number I received from the mail on a streamline refi letter.  He has been very easy to work with except he says a lot of confusing things and is hard to follow.  Anyways it’s been about 40 days and we’re set to close in two days.  We’re meeting a notary at a Starbucks and are told to bring our checkbooks because he’s not entirely sure how much we will need to pay yet (somewhere around 900 dollars which is way less then the  original estimations which was 1500)   I’ve been told we don’t need to pay our mortgage payment which was due on the 1rst of febuary..  Should I be worried? And how can I figure out for sure I’m not about to get scammed and lose 900 dollars and miss a mortgage payment? 

Thanks for your input! 

well I think if you used common sense and asked yourself how many refi's are done at Starbucks you can probably answer your own question.

@Chris Mason a bank or legit lender would not send loan documents ANYWHERE but to a closing attorney or a title company.  they don't want the docs altered etc.. 

Real estate finance seems to be the ground zero of the new Nigerian prince schemes and those who fall for them

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :

well I think if you used common sense and asked yourself how many refi's are done at Starbucks you can probably answer your own question.

@Chris Mason a bank or legit lender would not send loan documents ANYWHERE but to a closing attorney or a title company.  they don't want the docs altered etc.. 

Real estate finance seems to be the ground zero of the new Nigerian prince schemes and those who fall for them

 Nah, it's just a refi, not a purchase. Loan docs go to title. Title and the borrower can arrange signing wherever they wish, from there, that a notary that's approved (or that can be approved) with title can be present for.

I had someone a while back get off a sail boat race in Mexico (Baja California) and sign at the US Consulate (I think in TJ?). We sent the loan docs to title (not to Mexico), they arranged for the rest (including the forward to Mexico of said loan docs). 

This was of course planned in advance. It would have been the end of the world if the sail boat race OR the refi had not happened ballpark concurrently...

Mobile notary signing on a refi at Starbucks wouldn't cause me to blink. :P

Chris Mason, Lender in CA (#1220177) and California (#1220177)
415-846-9211

Two days ago we had a FTHB signing in someone's office conference room, for a purchase transaction in San Francisco, with his wife and the other coborrower/cobuying couple present in that office as well. So four buyers/borrowers, at one of their offices' conference rooms (not the title company's room/space). B1 was a high income fellow who couldn't/wouldn't leave the office for something as trivial as a $2.4m home purchase, so we set it up such that the title company/notary/agent/other_borrowers/etc came to him...

Chris Mason, Lender in CA (#1220177) and California (#1220177)
415-846-9211

then if they want their $900 fee in Starbucks gift cards you may have a scam !!!

So I looked up his name on that website and he does exist there! 

The notary just called me to make sure we’re still on for tomorrow morning at Starbucks.  

It all seems legit so all in all should I still be worried? Any final words of advice for me? 

Thanks! 

not enough context to know if it's sketchy.

meeting a notary mobile is not cause for alert

bringing a checkbook is not something I've ever done, but might not be weird for others

by this time you should have a LOT of documents to show legitimacy.

Did you pay for an appraisal? did you get the closing disclosure?

We have signed a lot of documents, non of them have had correct imformation on how much we’d need to pay and this is because it changes a lot due to when we’ll close because of interest.  Can a notary even be a scam or no? I feel like it’s okay because the notary is from the town we want to close in 

If estimate was provided some time ago, final CD roughly matching those figures was provided for review in the past few days, mobile closer scheduled, this sounds like a typical refi.

If you need to bring cash to close technically you don't need to pay that until the end of the rescission period (if this is your primary). Regardless, payment should be made to the title company and it will be held in escrow either to be credited to your settlement or returned to you if you rescind.

To be fair, I've had the title company send me loan docs and hired a notary off craigslist to meet me at my house lol. CA charges 15/signature........ I paid kinkos to print all like 200 pages lol and then scan them for me. I've done 2 conventional and 1 cash out refi. The most recent was an actual bank....

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