Mortgage Rate Lock Cancellation Fees

by CR

Ask Kate about Mortgage Rate Lock Cancellation Fees: Hi Kate, In short, can a mortgage broker have verbal recorded Mortgage Rate Lock Cancellation Fees? Are they binding? They recorded my wife at the start of the loan refinancing process over 4 months ago. We applied for a mortgage loan and had all intentions to follow through, but after a long 3 months of hassles and feeling not good with the company, we decided to drop our application.


CR continues... Most of the leg work in getting their requests, running down items etc., was done by us.

This company is taking us to small claims court to pay a cancellation lock fee along with other items. I can understand charging for the credit report, but now an additional $450 is what they are pursuing.

Are laws on this subject different in other States?

I just found your website and unfortunately I'm leaving in an hour to head to the city for the court date. This is an urgent request for any insight on the laws and what rights I have.

For one, they did not give us a "Good Faith Estimate", just a Truth in Lending, among other things. I look forward to your comments. CR

Kate Answers: Mortgage Lock Cancellation Fees

***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Dear CR, When you say, "They recorded my wife", I hope you don't mean they recorded their conversation with her and now are trying to use it against her.

I really hope not.

To me this is not a matter of law, rather it has to do with good will. For a powerful company to take months and yet never complete a loan process, then turn around and charge a mortgage borrower, well, that is disheartening.

I only witnessed a mortgage borrower taken to small claims court one time over a fee. The judge threw the lender out by the ear and told them their behavior was shameful.

4 Protections For Mortgage Borrowers

Ask Kate about Mortgage Rate Cancellation Fees
Every mortgage process must include a written Good Faith Estimate (GFE). MUST!

Go here for my help on mortgage closing costs found on a GFE.

Secondly, mortgage locks MUST also be in writing which will prevent last minute shenanigans. Here's where you can learn about crucial information to look for on mortgage interest rate lock agreements.

Next everyone should know how to avoid hidden fees. Don't sit around waiting to be taken advantage of!

Lastly, if your mortgage process is experiencing hiccups, be proactive and work your way through to a successful mortgage approval.

CR, one more thing. I'd like to hear back from you. Let me know how small claims court turned out.

Anyone can Ask Kate questions here or add a comment. (You'll see the link to commenting when you reach the bottom of this page.)

Best wishes,


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Mortgage Application Cancellation Fee in California
by: Janet in San Diego, CA

Kate, we applied for a refinance almost three months ago on a rental house we own. The rate is locked in for 18 more days.

The loan still has not closed. We decided to cancel this refinance and pay off the loan on the rental house with the refinance of our personal home.

We have paid no money other than a $30 closing statement fee.

The state is California. Do we need to pay any other fees? There is no mention of cancellation fees in the documents they sent us.

Hi Janet, Kate here.

Common fees to watch for when cancelling a mortgage application are credit report fees, appraisal fees, lock fees, and the most absurd one... cancellation fees.

But these can't drop out of thin air upon cancellation. The fees must be disclosed in your loan documents.

So peruse your initial package of paperwork. Review the fine-print of specific documents, for example Appraisal Disclosures, Good Faith Estimates, and Interest Rate Lock-In Agreements.

If the lender surprises you with charges, ask for copies of signed and dated documents showing you were informed and agreed to the fees.

Best wishes, Kate

P.S. I do not know about the rulings in California that govern mortgage cancellations. Check with the .gov website for the state of California, go to "Housing", and then "Be Smart: Homeowners".

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You can also ask Kate about your mortgage at Refinancing Advice The Nuts and Bolts.

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