I encountered 1st National Bank of Arizona (1NBA), as a mortgage broker in San Diego, California through a seemingly friendly account rep, Keith Overland. 1NBA engaged in wholesale lending, or simply uses brokers like me to retail their mortgage products for which they pay us a commission. Standard practice in our industry is to charge a premium recapture or require brokers to pay back commissions if your client refinances his home loan prior to six months. This practice is designed to keep dishonest brokers from churning or constantly refinancing a client's loan in order to get more commissions. Unless there is an obvious abuse like this lenders rarely seek to recapture commissions.
My client chose to refinance his home loan 178 days after he obtained the loan or 2 days short of six months and 1NBA contacted my company and demanded the $1077.00 in commission I had been paid. Legally they could do this, however it was a very poor business practice as we have never had any other loan fall into this category, we don't churn.
I contacted my account executive, Keith Overland and complained and he and his branch manager agreed to waive the amount due if we kept marketing their products and so I did. Months later, I received another call demanding payment and reminded them the matter was resolved which upon examination they agreed. Over the next year this pattern continued. They would call and demand payment, tell them it was waived, they would come back and agree it was.
Finally, in March of this year, new management took over and 1NBA again started calling. Again I told them it had been waived, and Marianne Spinato began working the case promising to get it resolved. On May 18,2007 I sent them a letter of dispute and a request for information via certified mail to Spinats attention.
On May 25, 2007, she called wondering if what we were going to do next and claimed never to have received the letter even though I had proof it had been signed for on May 23,2007. I had to fax her a copy because somehow the letter had been signed for and been lost. Spinato promised to follow up and see again get this file resolved.
I heard nothing until today July 2, 2007 when a collection agency called now demanding 1607.46 or they would fine a lawsuit in Arizona.
This bank at the minimum has horrible communication skills and even worse record keeping skills, at the worst actively manipulates small business to get them to market their products through lies and false promises. For two years our small business worked to resolve this matter in good faith, believing as we had been promised the matter was resolved. Now they are trying to extort a 50% penalty! This bank represents one larger corporation that just wants to get every last dime with out regard to ethics or law.
San Diego, California