[This is part of a series of posts on the home buying process I'm going thru. To see the full set, visit the house category archives.]
On Tuesday we finished up nearly all the paperwork necessary for be to become the owner of the new place. That involved, among other things, going to an office of First American Title to sign about a billion documents, most of which contained redundant information.
When I got there, I began looking over the paperwork. The first thing I noticed is that their one page estimate of how much money I'd owe for closing did not match the estimate I had previously seen. This one was about $4,000 more. That's a problem because I already had a cashier's check (got it that morning) made out for what I believed to be the proper amount.
After hunting thru the other paperwork I figured out the bug. It was a stupid typo. Someone had transposed a few numbers when copying them off a Washington Mutual document. They seemed to think I had paid over $4,500 for a home appraisal (it was really $250). I brought this to the attention of the First American person who was there to work with me. She was surprised by this and set about calling to figure out what to do. Shortly after, my realtor arrived and I told her what happened. She explained that the copy I had seen earlier via e-mail was the corrected one. She had spotted this error and got it corrected earlier in the day before I ever knew. But the brain-trust at First American didn't bother to up the updated version in my packet.
With that solved, I signed the necessary documents. For each one, the rocket scientist from First American would tell me the name of each document and point to where I had to sign (it was usually obvious). After about 5 of these I realized that all the documents were titled. She was simply reading to me.
Yesterday (Wednesday) I got a phone call from Washington Mutual at roughly 3:00pm. The geniuses at First American had managed to screw up some of the paperwork. They even forgot to ask me for a required document. I had the document with me (lots of documents, in fact) but didn't realize they'd need it. So I had to drop everything, drive home, fetch it, come back to work, and fax it to WaMu before 5:00pm. Why? Because someone at First American didn't do their job.
I scanned thru the documents last night and saw it quite plainly. One of the bank documents had a list of required supporting documentation. I guess the folks at First American didn't bother to actually read the docs completely.
Now, you might argue that I should have seen it. And you'd be right. However, this is their job. They do this every day. They should know where to look and should be double-checking the guy who does this sort of thing every 7-8 years (me).
Next time I buy a house, I'll be sure to use a different title company. They certainly didn't earn all those "nickel and dime the shit out of customers" fees that I had to pay. $40 to take my damned finger print? Come on...
Posted by jzawodn at February 26, 2004 10:26 AM