Local News

Couple's Plan To Refinance Taxed By Wait On Appraisal, Refund

Posted April 20, 2004 2:26 a.m. EDT

— Low interest rates mean people want to refinance their homes. Refinancing comes with a lot of required paperwork.

One piece of paper never got to John and Verdie Howard, even though they paid for it.

John Howard believes in old-fashioned values.

"I'm a hard-working man. "Everything I got I worked for," he said.

He also believes he should get what he paid for.

"I just didn't want to lose my $250 for nothing," he said.

The Howards are upset with the company they hired to appraise their home. In August, they paid Advanta Appraisal Group $250.

Owner Caroline Ray promised the appraisal would be done within a couple of weeks. When the paperwork did not arrive, both Howard and the lender called Advanta.

"I didn't understand why they wouldn't send it," Howard said.

When the paperwork still did not arrive, the Howards decided they wanted their money back. Over the next several months, they called Ray repeatedly.

"We were calling day after day after day, several times a day," Verdie Howard said. "When you pass that phone you pick it up and call that number. You couldn't get them and they just wouldn't do anything."

At one point, Ray told the Howards a check was sent. The couple says they never got it. So the couple complained to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office. Still, no check arrived.

"I think you should get paid for what you do. If you don't do it, you don't get paid," Howard said.

The next call the Howards made was to Five On Your Side.

Ray's husband and co-owner, Randall, told Five On Your Side the mortgage company was "very obnoxious and rude," so they did not finish the appraisal.

Raymond Ray claims he already sent two checks to the Howards, but promised to immediately put another in the mail. A week later, no check had arrived.

After Five On Your Side called Advanta Appraisal Group again, Randall Ray again claimed he sent the check and then promised to send another one through certified mail.

Almost two weeks later, the Howards finally received their $250.

Because of the hold up with the appraisal, the Howards ended up not refinancing after all.

Even after all this time, the couple says they would have still been happy with the appraisal, because they would have gotten what they paid for.