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I recently did a home refinance and I paid (what I thought) was the entire appraisal fee on my credit card early on in the process. I put the $360 appraisal fee on my Amex. At closing, the appraisal fee was listed for $460 and I was simply given a credit of $360 as a POC line item. When I challenged it, the lender stated that I only paid a portion of the appraisal fee on my Amex. Is this typical?

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In the United States you are given a federally required form that estimates the closing costs. You receive this estimate when you applied for the mortgage. Some of those estimates are perfect, some are not. Some of those estimates are off because they depend on the day of the month you settle.

At the time of the starting of the application process the lender should have known the exact cost of the appraisal, if they were telling you that they would be picking the company to do the appraisal. They are either using somebody in-house, or they have a contract with a person/company.

What I don't understand is why if they wanted you to pay for the item prior to closing you wouldn't have been charged the entire amount. The purpose of you paying prior to closing to to make sure that if the deal collapsed you would have paid for the items that were non-reundable. Once the contractor did the appraisal they had completed their part and didn't care if the deal went through. Having you only pay part wouldn't have protected the lender.

Go back and look at the original estimate form from the lender. Also look at the bill for the appraisal you received. If the $460 wasn't on the estimate, ask them to prove the difference. If the bill from the appraiser for $360 doesn't say it is only a partial payment, make them prove it. I have delayed a closing when they couldn't prove a number.

Even if you already closed the deal it may not be too late. I have had to receive checks from the closing company a week later because they did a safe estimate of how long it would take to get the payoff check to the old lender. When it got there a day earlier, I received the money for the day of interest saved. It wasn't a lot of money, but it was mine.

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