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.