Over the past year, there have been a number of instances where a bank has agreed to provide a mortgage, then has changed its mind and reneged on its agreement at the last minute. In the past, such conduct was unheard of. It’s still rare – but the credit crisis has changed a lot about the way banks operate, and this is one result. As a buyer, you might want to protect yourself by spelling out in your purchase and sale agreement what will happen if the bank backs out.
Of course, many purchase and sale agreements already include a mortgage contingency clause, which says that the buyer’s offer is dependent on being able to get a mortgage. But you might want to be sure that the contract makes the offer contingent not just on getting approval for a mortgage, but on the lender’s actually following through and funding the loan at the closing.