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Document Fees for refi - Sky high or normal?Sep 16, 2020

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to refi my mortgage to take advantage of the lower rate (not taking any money out).
My lender says the building management is using a website called 'Board Packager' - Here's a list of the fees the bank is asking me to pay to obtain documents:

2020 budget $25
2019 budget $50
2018 budget $50
Bank Questionnaire $250
Lease $50

$425 plus tax = $446.25

I'm pissed right now. Do I have a right to be?

Join the Conversation Comments (3)
Document Fees - Steven424 Sep 17, 2020

Hi, pissed --

Document retrieval fees can range all over the board (pun sort of intended), so there's no definite guidelines as to what they should be.

Is it your managing agent or your bank that is asking you to pay the retrieval fees? If its your bank, you might ask your MA how much they would charge.

The individual fees look "reasonable" to me. Remember that neither the MA nor the bank keep copies lying around. They have to task an employee to search the paper files or computer folders for the documents. They may have to print them out or convert them to PDF format depending on what you ask for. The Questionaire may require time spent researching the answers to specific question.

You might try searching your own files. Every shareholder is supposed to receive a copy of each annual budget, and you should have been given a copy of your lease when you closed on your unit. If you can find those you can save some of the fees.

But the real answer is, yes, these are partly nuisance fees the organization uses to raise a little extra capital. But they know they have you, and really, what percentage of the refi amount does the $446.25 represent?

Think of it as a cost of doing business. Consider how much you'll be saving each month after the refi, and it may give you a different perspective.

--- Steve

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Thanks Steve - Riley Blake Sep 17, 2020

IMHO, the MA have a website where you can download these docs for a price, so the 'work' of converting the doc to a PDF was done a long time ago and frankly, it's not much work if they have recurring revenue off it.

I complained to my contact and, as a compromise, she forwarded me the annual budgets so that saves me $125.

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BoardPackager - PhilC Sep 17, 2020

The actual fee amounts you mention are pretty much par for the course with co-ops.

I must say I find the whole BoardPackager setup a somewhat dubious. Some cursory research suggests that there is some overlap between BoardPackager's board and the employees of my co-op's managing agent.

It's all very opaque - what exactly is the arrangement between BoardPackager, the managing agent, and the co-op? If BoardPackager didn't exist, then those fees would be going to the managing agent, and arguably reducing the management fee charged to the co-op / offsetting the cost of providing the documents / service (in theory). With BoardPackager in the mix, it looks for all the world like BoardPackager syphons off at least some of the revenue that might otherwise go to shareholders or at least reduce the management fee.

Of course, co-ops often have slightly opaque contracts / revenue-sharing agreements with laundry companies, parking garage managers, and the like, but those are at least periodically put out to a competitive bid, and there is no overlap in employees between the managing agent and the provider, that seems to take things one step further.

Maybe it's all totally above board and I have the wrong impression, who knows...

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