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Wells Fargo scam?

Wells Fargo charged me for an appraisal, but then didn't refinance my mortgage. Am I entitled to a refund of the appraisal fee?

I went to Wells Fargo and they ran a scam on me. At wells fargo i applied for a refi & the mortgage banker needed to collect $485 from me up front to pay for a credit report & appraisal fee but assured me and my wife than nothing would be processed until he had a verbal approval from their underwriter that the loan would be granted. We were not approved and after receiving a letter from the bank I checked my visa statement and it showed that the full amount has been charged to us. It's obvious that the Banker is a liar and his word is no good. Another Bank is now working with us and asked if we received the appraisal we paid for - which at the time I didn't know we had paid for but didn't receive. I know banking laws have changed so bankers can't collect fees until they know they can make the loan, but this guy is either trying to pull a scam or doesn't know the laws. We did receive a copy of our credit report dated 3/16/10 which he gave me prior to signing anything or paying any money. My other Bank is using it to pre-approve our loan request before pulling their own report. My questions are what's the best recourse in dealing with Wells Fargo & what legal recourse do I have in being reimbursed these charges and exposing this Bank's lending practices. Is this a scam run by Wells Fargo?

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Bill's Answer
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Updated: Oct 20, 2014

Bills.com | Find Learn Save

It is not illegal to collect funds up-front for an appraisal. In fact, in the industry it is standard operating procedure to do so, so it sure doesn't sound like a scam run by Wells Fargo.

A loan will not fund before an appraisal is complete, if the lender required an appraisal. A loan is contingent on the appraisal demonstrating a certain value.

If the borrower does not have something in writing that states he or she is due a refund of the appraisal fee should the loan not go through, he or she has no real recourse.

However, I recommend you call Wells Fargo Customer Service and try to convince them that a refund is a small price to pay to assure that you will consider patronizing Wells Fargo in the future. I am not optimistic, however, that you will be successful, but it never hurts to try.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

4 Comments

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  • BA
    May, 2010
    Bill
    Generally speaking, no, the appraisal fee and other closing costs associated with a home sale or purchase are not tax deductible. However, the points you paid for a mortgage may be deductible. See the IRS document Topic 504 - Home Mortgage Points to learn more about what is and is not tax-deductible in the buying and selling of a home.
    0 Votes

    • DZ
      Jul, 2013
      Daniel
      I didn't authorize wells Fargo to debit my Credit card for an appraisal. How did they do this ?
      0 Votes

    • BA
      Jul, 2013
      Bill
      Daniel, I am not sure how they charged your card for an appraisal. Did you give them the card number? I am not saying that even if you provided the number that they were in the right in charging you, but I am curious if you gave them the number.

      I recommend asking them how they did it. Once they answer, please come back to this page and add another comment, so I can make a more complete assessment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    Wendy
    Is the appraisal fee tax deductible?
    0 Votes