Was she acting in good faith with you that the loan would close and the fee would be paid for at close? YES
Is it ultimately your obligation? YES
Can she place a collection on your credit for the fee? YES
Will she? NOT SURE
Should you pay? Up to you
Ultimately the fee is going to go back to the loan officer because she basically ordered it on credit with the appraisal company. She should have collected a check from you to pay the appraisal in the event something happened during the underwriting process. I think that you 2 obviously had a miscommunication about the fee but it was ordered on your behalf and should be paid by you no matter what. Whether she has a legal right to collect, maybe that's another story.
It's kind of like you went to the Melting Pot, had a great cheese fondue and dinner and then burnt your tongue on the chocolate. Now you want the meal for free because the waiter did not properly tell you about the possibilities of burning yourself and missing out on the sheer delight that a chocolate fondue desert can bring.
I don't think that you are wrong for not wanting to pay but try and be fair about it and come to a resolution. If you can use the appraisal with another bank to refi, call the LO, offer half and request a copy of the appraisal. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush to her. Remember, she has to pay for it regardless. It would sound like a good deal if it were me. Good Luck!
I think that your only argument is that you agreed to pay for an appraisal *only if the refinance was successful*.
Have the mortgage broker send documentation to you that you signed committing you to this charge even if the re-fi didn't go through. If she can't provide this documentation, then have a lawyer send her a letter. It's either that, or pay her to go away. I don't see any other options. Good luck.
Am I still correct in this case where I am not obligated for paying the appraisal fee ?
Here's what I would do:
1. I would review the mortgage application that you provided to your broker. If you owe an appraisal fee, then you would have agreed to it in this document. If you can't find specific contract language that says you must pay for an appraisal with or without an approved loan, then your mortgage broker should provide it to you.
2. Before the appraisal was ordered, she should have completed the loan application and run a credit check. Normally, the appraisal is ordered after everything looks OK. From a common sense/business perspective, she should take responsibility for this charge if she ordered the appraisal prematurely.
3. To be done with it, you could offer to split the fee. If you do this, get a copy of the appraiser's invoice so you are splitting the actual charge to her. An appraisal normally doesn't cost more than a couple hundred dollars. I hate to say it, but often it's easier to "settle" this to eliminate the hassle.
4. One last strategy - get a lawyer to send her and her boss a letter indicating that you will come after them with guns blazing if she does anything to damage your credit by trying to extort a bogus charge (assuming they messed-up). This strategy can cost time, money and aggravation, so you may want to re-consider #3.
Again - I'm not an attorney. See what's in writing and then go from there.
Good luck. I'm sorry you have to go through this hassle.
It depends on any application language/agreement you signed. If there was none, then you are not liable. Threatening to "ruin your credit" is highly unprofessional and maybe unethical in Maryland. It may also violate the Fair Debt Collection guidelines. Advise the loan officer you will discuss this with her manager and possibly complain the Maryland Real Estate Commission. They may be licensing loan officers now; check with them. Just Google Maryland Real Estate Commission.
Good Luck, Jon