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Can I sue the bank?

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Florida

I am not one to easily think the "sue" word. But, I am out a lot of existing and potential equity in a piece of property I was trying to purchase.

Brief Background:
Found 1.5 acres of land in Florida to purchase to build a home. Shopped around for the best rates and eventually decided on Suntrust. Closing date was scheduled for 2 1/2 months after the bid. Luckily the sellers were nice enough to wait for all the EPA, Perc tests, appraiser, and land surveys. This is a hot market in Florida, so everyone was backed up and it was going to take that long for all the tests.

I worked with Suntrust the whole time. Everything was going great. About two weeks before closing they had their appraiser come out to the land. This was a suprise to me, since they never mentioned they wanted an appraisal before this. And why did they wait this long to send him out? I wasnt concerned though, since I figured the selling price was fair. He showed up May 31st to look at the land. Closing date on the land is June 5th.

June 1st I recieve a call from my Suntrust mortgage girl saying that everything went fine, except the appraiser found something online about well water contamination. I immiediatly went online and searched as well. There was well water contamination, but it occured about 3 miles away! I called the bank back and told them this, also telling them there are hundreds of other houses in this neighborhood with well water that is consumable. I asked if some sort of water test could be performed, so we could work with "facts" instead of "theories". I basically got blown off at this point.

June 2nd: I called the city and asked if city water was going to be available in that neighborhood. They said YES, in about 6 months. I got them to fax me over info stating this. I then called Suntrust back, and asked if I faxed them over documentation from the city stating they are about to place city water in the neighborhood if this would fix our problem. She said YES, and to fax it over.

I tried calling her June 3rd about 30 times. And got no call backs.

On June 4th, I tried calling her about 10 times. Then I started going sequentially through the last two digits of the her phone number to ring other extensions in that office. I left numerous desperate voice mails on random peoples voice mails within that office. I couldnt get anyone on the phone! I even called the front desk, and asked for her boss! And of course, got her voice mail. I asked to speak to anyone regarding loands, and yes I got voicemail.

Later that day the title company is also calling me trying to figure out what time I will be there June 5th to close on the land! I call them back, and tell them my whack job mortgage girl has gone missing!

June 5th comes, and I still cant get ahold of anybody at the bank :( And I miss my closing. The sellers pull out, and the deal is gone :(

June 7th I get a voice mail from the mortgage girls boss. She tells me she is no longer employed at the company. And says there is a note on my file saying they called me 1 1/2 weeks ago telling me I could get my money back and to go to another bank. HUH? This doesnt add up! The date she is telling me is BEFORE the appraiser even showed up to appraise the land! The date she is telling me took place BEFORE I talked to my mortgage girl and she tolled me I could fax over the city water documents to finalize the deal. Infact at that date I was still on my way to having a sucessfull banking transaction with their company.

I have been trying to get her boss to return my calls since she left me a message.. To no avail.

Land in this neighborhood is now going for 20k more then when I started this transaction almost 3 months ago. Now way out of my price range. If the deal would have gone through I would have 20k of equity right off the bat. Possibly even 100k in equity a year or more.

Do I have any recourse here? I am out a lot of money becuase of this banking fiasco, and a lot of future money. I am now just burnt out from this whole ordeal.


Junior Member
I had the SAME problem with SUNTRUST!!

I couldn't believe it while I was reading your story. I'll tell you mine now and I think you'll agree we should talk.

I went through a Mortgage Broker (Great Southwest Mortgage) in Mesa, Arizona, preparing to buy this 3bdrm house in Chandler, AZ. Just to give you an idea...this is literally the hottest real estate market in the country right now. In fact, the town next door to Chandler (Gilbert, AZ) was named "The Fastest Growing City in the Country" Last year -- to emphasize the growing value of houses and the property values.

Anyway...we trusted Great Southwest Mortgage to get us a loan -- they completely reassured us we qualified for a Zero Down Loan, gave us a rate we could afford, and we were thrilled at this opportunity and wanted this house. I kept asking if things were ok with the loan and submitted all paperwork for underwriting and Great Southwest said "yes...Yes -- start packing"...etc. So I gave 30 days notice at our apartment complex and we broke our lease.

We rented the U-haul, turned on utilities, the whole 9 yards. (I also have a husband and 2 children - so this affected all of us!). The entire deal literrally CLOSED! Meaning...the sellers and us -- all signed that huge stack of documents at the title company. ** In fact -- the sellers were so "confident" that the deal was closed and finished that they had packed up their things and moved to Illinois as they had just retired. We had all of our documents - the seller had his - he was reassured his check would be arriving in the next day or so - so he gave us his garage keycode so we could move some boxes in - hook up cable, take measurements, etc. So basically - we moved out of our 3 bedroom apartment - broke our lease - and we were IN OUR NEW HOUSE!!

However - they key didn't come. Didn't come the next day. Called Great Southwest whom was also a bit panicky - and they called back and said "Suntrust has decided that your house won't appraise at $163,000 - they have decided to do an appraisal review - but don't worry. It will absolutely pass. Everyone knows the houses here are skyrocketing - and besides - 3 houses identical to this one - with less "upgrades" sold for more than this one - not a problem" We were already in the house and extremely nervous. The next day apparently Suntrust came back and said they didn't think the house would appraise at that amount and decided not to send the funds!! The irony is that - exactly 12 months later - the house on the same street - basically the same has increased in value by $100,000! Now - like in your case -- they're like $265,000 instead of $163,000.

I lost out on a whole lot of equity - not to mention moving expenses, fear, stress - our old apartment was already rented to someone else so my whole family had to move into a 2 bedroom. I also was very depressed by this and really feel that Suntrust has "robbed" us of the chance to own this home.

Please send me an e-mail at christinejaeckel@yahoo.com
Lets talk about this.


Appraiser appraise for the amount the homes are worth currently not
the future worth of properties..even if homes are selling hot..it's about the numbers they see..if you had a problem with appraiser, you should have spoken with your Realtor, and that Realtor should have fought for you about the appraisal of those properties...and yes appraiser are very reasonable people too, it's just hard to reason with them if you don't know how to tickle them.

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