10 months ago my fiance and I closed on a new home. The town we live in has enjoyed a very high appreciation rate of real estate. We're remodeling the majority of the house and wanted to get a home equity loan to borrow the money to get the house finished so we could get moved in and open our business. We went back to the same bank and discussed our options for a loan. We had a CMA done by our realtor, as requested by the bank, and it came in rather high. The bank then decided that before they write up a loan, we needed to have an appraisal done to verify the high percentage of appreciation reflected by the CMA. They requested the appraisal, not us. Our loan officer recommended that the appraisal be done "as is" to cut down on paperwork and so forth. Well, we had the appraisal done and after review did not feel the appraisal was fair or accurate (a separate issue altogether). Also, the customer service by the bank and our loan officer specifically was horrendous. We would leave 4-5 voice messages and have to continually call before finally getting ahold of the loan officer to get any information. After feeling duped by the appraisal company (picked by the bank) and having incredibly poor customer service, we decided to not go ahead with using the bank for a loan and going somewhere else. I called the loan officer's manager and told her I didn't want to pay for the appraisal due to the poor service and so forth. We never signed to authorize the appraisal, it was ordered by the bank. The only agreement to pay for the appraisal was verbal and was contingent upon securing a loan and having it come out of the loan amount as a closing cost. The manager told me I had to pay it and if I didn't that they would send me to collections and ruin my credit. I've been told by people that banks often front the cost of appraisals and credit checks and eat the cost if the loan goes south. That, or they make the customer write out a check or pay the costs up front to avoid this. Can they legally take me to collections or force me to pay, or are they stuck with the cost since they're the ones who ordered the appraisal and the appraisal company billed them? Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.