AmTrust Canceling my HELOC. Goodbye, safety net!

A few months ago I wrote a post about AmTrust Bank trying to bribe me to close my Home Equity Line of  Credit (HELOC).  They only offered $50, and I passed.

But I worried that they’d cancel the HELOC anyway, and I was right to worry.

Yesterday I got a call from Mary at AmTrust, telling me that they would indeed be canceling the HELOC.  She again offered me the $50, as I “may as well take the money since you’re going to lose it anyway, ” because AmTrust is “getting out of the HELOC business.”    I was unhappy to hear this news, and told her I’d call her back.

I discussed it with Husband, and  even he really doesn’t see why I’m unhappy about losing the line of credit.  It’s not that we need the money.  My balance is zero, and has been since about 6 months after I opened it (I took it out to pay off my car loan so I could deduct the interest, then paid it off quickly anyway).

And we have a healthy savings.  Very healthy.  And a few other investments that could easily be turned back into cash with little lag time in the event of an emergency.  And we pay $25 a year for the privilege of not using it.

But I like knowing it’s there. I like it an awful lot.  It’s a $10,000 safety net.  Just in case.

So, instead of just being a proverbial  sheep, I  called Mary back today and asked for documentation that they had a right to do this.  After all, it was my understanding that this was a 15 year mortgage, which would give me 7 more years.  I want to see, in writing, the situations in which they are able to pull the plug.

I also want to know what happens if I take the money, and perhaps put it into another investment which would give greater returns than the interest I pay.  Would they call the loan?  Would they let me keep it until it’s paid off?

I must be the only person who has balked at all, because Mary was surprised by my request.  She then told me that if I’d like,  the bank next store would be happy to take my application for a new HELOC.

Not the  point, Mary.  I already have a HELOC.  And I’d like to keep it, thankyouverymuch.  I certainly don’t want to apply for any new credit, and I don’t want to pay any additional fees.

Mary didn’t know the answers, but promised to get them for me.

But, honestly, chances are slim to none that I’ll get to keep it.  So I’ll likely take the $50 buyoff.

And I’ll try to look on the bright side.

I’ll be saving $175 in yearly fees.  Add that to the $5o buyoff  and that’s a very real $225 more in my pocket.  So, if I do have an emergency, lets pray it’s an easily doable $225 hummingbird variety and not a $10,000 poop-my-pants Bigfoot.


4 Responses to “AmTrust Canceling my HELOC. Goodbye, safety net!”

  1. Funny about Money Says:

    They’ve been charging you $175 for the privilege of MAYBE lending you money? Say what?! IMHO, you’re well rid of that arrangement.

    Check out some credit unions…there’s bound to be one you can qualify for. Their lines of credit come with reasonable interest rates and no imaginative gouges — at least, mine did.

    I think a bank has the right to call a loan at any time. And in this case, AmTrust isn’t even calling a loan…it’s just closing an unused line of credit. Annoying, but probably well within their rights.

    • BeThisWay Says:

      Funny About Money, they charge me $25 a year to keep it open, so over 7 years that would be $175. To me that peace of mind has been well worth the $25.

  2. Big Geek Says:

    I’d really like to know what you hear back from them. I’m at high risk for having mine closed due to LTV (live in Cali). My defensive measure was to pull out most of what was left and put it in a CD. Currently I’m making money on the deal (HELOC 2.75%, CD: 4.25%) but that won’t last. I can’t get anyone at the bank to tell me if I’m going to be next. They did say that the reviews are done at the end of the year and notices sent Jan-Feb, so I might hold out until March and dump the money back in. I have other funds, but I hate to lose access to this money during these times. I pay no fees on mine.

  3. Carnival of Money Stories – "Back from the Beach!" ed. | Budgets Are Sexy Says:

    […] You Going To Be This Way The Rest of The Time I Know You?: AmTrust Canceling my HELOC. Goodbye, safety net! (wow that’s a long blog name, but […]

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