By Jerry Zezima
The Stamford Advocate
President and CEO
270 Park Ave.
New York, N.Y. 10017
Dear Mr. Dimon:
I’m Jerry Zezima. The name probably doesn’t mean much to you (it doesn’t mean much to me, either, although it is of great interest to my creditors), but I am a Chase customer who, like you, has been victimized by the bad housing market.
I am writing to tell you that I sympathize with your recent decision to sell your Chicago mansion for only $6.95 million, which is about half the original asking price of $13.5 million. My wife, Sue, and I had been trying to refinance our house, which is nice but certainly no mansion, and just found out that we have been denied by your bank.
It all started when we went to our local Chase branch and saw a very nice loan officer named Ernie. Let me say from the outset that you should give Ernie a raise. I’d give him one myself, but because of the denial, I don’t have the extra cash. Then again, you know the feeling.
Anyway, we wanted to refinance because our younger daughter is getting married and, as father of the bride, I figured we could use the money, which we otherwise would have blown on frivolous luxuries like food and, of course, shelter.
So we began the Application from Hell. Little did Sue and I know that the process would take almost six months. I am now convinced that the full name of your bank is Wild Goose Chase.
We had to produce enough paperwork to wipe out the Amazon rainforest, the North Woods of Maine and all the trees in our yard. Scientists may well blame Chase for climate change.
Practically every day I had to drop off copies of pay stubs, insurance forms, bank statements, income tax returns and so much other stuff I could barely carry it all. I’m surprised I wasn’t required to bring my high school transcript, which would have shown that I am so bad at math, I could get a job as an underwriter.
For the record, your underwriters not only are underhanded and overrated but also sadistic. They kept asking for personal information (I wear size 34 boxer shorts, by the way) but were never satisfied. So I had to produce even more evidence that Sue and I still live in our house, still have jobs and, perhaps most important, are still alive.
It got to the point where I was spending more time with Ernie than I was with Sue. People were starting to talk.
Then we had to shell out $400 for a house appraisal. It turned out that our house was acceptable but we weren’t. So our application was denied.
I don’t know what you are going to do about the hit you took on the sale of your Chicago house, but if you are thinking of recouping the money by refinancing your home in Westchester County, N.Y., I have two words of advice: Forget it!
Take it from me, Mr. Dimon: It will be the worst experience of your life.
I am telling you all this because I know you’re not a bad guy. In fact, The New York Times called you “America’s least hated banker.” You should put that on your business card.
Since you live fairly close to our place on Long Island, N.Y., Sue and I would like to invite you and your wife to the wedding. Maybe you can stop by the house, which I am sure you will like. You may even wonder why we weren’t able to refinance it.
In the meantime, Mr. Dimon, good luck. If you need to borrow a few bucks until payday, I’d be happy to help. And at a low interest rate. After all, in these tough times, we homeowners have to stick together.
Copyright 2011 by Jerry Zezima