Feb 17, 2009 2:45 pm
First of all, apologies as this will be a very long post..
I am most of the time a lurker in this forum... I am active in reading few posts which eventually helped me in my building process...
But somehow, Ive realized that home building no matter what is not going to be a smooth sailing ride.. simply because there were just to many variables in the equation..
I have few issues with my builder, conveyancer and outside supplier thoroughout these journey but those were manageable.. But the only thing that really gives us too much frustration is our bank which is Westpac.
Here is my story:
I have a land which was settled through CBA, I would say that i didnt have major problem with them.. My land valuation came out ok...Land settlement occur as expected..
However, due to recent crisis when I was about to do my re-evaluation for my land and construction loan this is where things started to become problematic.. CBA valuation of our property is 45k less of actual price... The 26k fhog is still not enough to cover the difference.. And so, we have decided to shop around with other banks... And the 1st bank that we thought of going is westpac.. as we have our car loan with them... though their rates is not as good as CBA.. But we decided to give it a try as the home loan manager of westpac promises us during that time that he will counterpart whatever CBA is offering us.. (you bet.. this is just a promise made in the water...)
For us, as long as the valuation came out ok is more than enough reason for us to shift...
and so valuation came... and we were just delighted to know that it came out well above as CBA...though not as good as we expect them to be... - as we are suspecting that the value they based it upon is incorrect... but anyway, we let this matter passed.. as we thought that the FHOg could fully service the difference..
so, we have signed the contract to the bank.. they have given us the approval certificate and present it to the builder.. We have asked our home loan manager, if it is okay for us to start our building... and he said YES (Note, he is very very positive..).. and we also asked our builder if that loan certificate is ok... and our administrator said YES..
So we thought we have done everything... well almost..
few weeks after, we were advised that we need to fill up our FHOG form again as apparently there is some wrong information... ok, we have done that.. in the presence of our home loan manager... and confirm with him that everything is okay... and he said.. all good! This is our 2nd fill up of FHOG..
weeks passed, thinking that we have everything in control.. until one day we received again this phone call from our home loan manager.. asking if our building has commenced.. and we said yes... and he can expect the invoice very soon for the slab... and out of the blue.. he just said that the bank.. cannot release any funds... unless the property has been settled with CBA.. which we were entirely shocked! He did not advised us that from the beginning.. We have then demanded an explanation, why he didn't tell us from the beginning about it..? We definitely would not let our builder to commence building until such thing occur... He just answered that, he did not expect these things to occur... That settlement should occur prior to the 1st invoice..
And here comes another frustration, he just advise us over the phone that there IS still some correction need to be made on our FHOG form again???? as the phone number has a country code of +61??? And when he spoke to us.. he did not even mentioned that this form is the one that is holding up the settlement with CBA.. We thought that settlement can proceed with this minor issue with FHOG.. Luckily, I did not trust him this time around.. I have phone the mortgage dept of westpac.. after waiting for almost 30 minutes.. and find out exactly what is happening to our loan application.. And in there they confirmed that settlement booking will not occur until FHOG has been rectified... and to my surprise the FHOG form is still there in their vault...waiting... for some miracle???
I became really, really frustrated.. I have asked westpac the phone number of my home loan manager superior.. as I really need some help and assistance here.... I have spoken to this lady.. and promised us to look into this matter... in a weeks time.. the only thing that has occured was that the FHOG form has been rectified and sent back to adelaide .. and im now waiting for them to book an appointment with CBA.. I was advise yesterday by the new home loan mgr that they are about to make a booking..
And so I phoned westpac again.. just to confirm whether I am getting the correct information now... Your guess is as good as mine... No booking yet was made... and... again.. They said that I need to submit the council permit and builder's risk insurance, before they can even made the invoice payment.. but my builder has sent this to them few months back???
This is really becoming more and more frustrating for us...
I have now my builder's invoice which was sent to westpac as soon as i've received it... which eeds to be paid in a matter of days.. otherwise i might incur some penalties..
We have asked some extension from the builder.. I hope that this matter can be settled soon... I do not wish to have any more dealings with such home loan manager at all! in any future! The stress.. is just not so worth it...
Re: Frustration with the bank2
Feb 17, 2009 2:52 pm
The thing is it is out of the loans manager's hands. Sad to say. Once you sign the loan documentation TMC Adelaide does everything. The manager can only do exactly as you can do - phone them for an update on progress.
Yes it is sad that there has been some miscommunication but at the end of the day Westpac cannot release funds if they physically do not own the land you are building on (via mortgage). And also because you are utilising the FHOG as part of your funds this also complicates matters because they always use your funds first then the Bank funds second.
The only thing you can do is to phone the Mortgage Centre directly and ask to speak to a team leader.
Here's hoping that once CBA releases security over your land then Westpac is able to complete their side of the transaction in a timely manner.
You can also discuss with the team leader about the prospect of penalties from your builder - they may be able to work something out for you.
Some things are worth waiting for.
Re: Frustration with the bank3
Feb 17, 2009 3:04 pm
Okay, assuming that my homeloan manager is as powerless as I am.. But... isn't it their responsibility to advise me from the beginning to wait until my settlement with the other bank occur? Or at least explain to me the consequences? If I am going to start my building now.. that settlement has not yet occurred?
That is the very least that I expect from them.. Thinking that they should know more than me...?
Re: Frustration with the bank4
Feb 17, 2009 8:32 pm
One thing with Westpac is NEVER trust them unless everything is in writing.
Also if you take them to the Bankers Ombudsman (which is controlled and funded by the banks themselves) they will get extensions to the 30 days right at the last minute, which will be granted by the Bankers Ombudsman and keep doing this for about a year.
When I'm in a bad mood and have a few hours to spare I'll tell you of my story with them when they kept $30k of mine for over a year before they gave it back whilst I was building. Luckily by then I had gone to Members Equity who saved the day with the extra $30k covered plus great service.
Re: Frustration with the bank5
Feb 17, 2009 8:44 pm
One thing with Westpac is NEVER trust them unless everything is in writing.
I don't think you need to just pin point one institution - when it's to do with contracts and money, don't trust anyone unless it's in writing
Re: Frustration with the bank6
Feb 20, 2009 10:53 pm
hi edgevine, hope your problem with the bank gets resolved soon. i know someone who's 1st progress claim payment was delayed for 3 weeks because the Lending Manager set the loan up wrongly and they were penalized. perhaps you can ask for an extension from your builder.
Re: Frustration with the bank7
Feb 22, 2009 12:28 am
I just want to share that my problem is more or less resolved now. My loan has been settled with CBA and our loan manager informed us that payment has been made to the builder. What a great relief.. Things just happened too quick in matter of 2 days.
Thank you for all the advises you have shared with me.
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