• Report: #197614

Complaint Review: American Financial Resources | Ripoff Report Verified™ …businesses you can trust. American Financial Resources, nationwide home mortgage lender - reputation built on honesty, trust, & commitment to ethical lending practices - delivering low mortgage rates. Assisting families all across America find perfect home loan for their needs. Customers work one-on-one with a caring, knowledgeable, & friendly mortgage consultant.

  • Submitted: Thu, June 22, 2006
  • Updated: Thu, May 05, 2016

  • Reported By:New Fairfield Connecticut
American Financial Resources TRUSTED BUSINESS | Ripoff Report Verified™ …businesses you can trust. American Financial Resources, nationwide home mortgage lender - reputation built on honesty, trust, & commitment to ethical lending practices - delivering low mortgage rates. Assisting families all across America find perfect home loan for their needs. Customers work one-on-one with a caring, knowledgeable, & friendly mortgage consultant.
273 E MAIN ST DENVILLE, New Jersey U.S.A.

American Financial Resources. (AFR) REVIEW: Customer Satisfaction Commitment: American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) committed to 100% customer satisfaction, AFR implemented strategic changes to ensure clients success, focusing on finding ways to assist clients searching for new opportunities effectively even in sort of challenging market we face today. Nationwide
*UPDATE: Recognized by Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Program as a safe business service – American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) pledges to always resolve any issues, feel safe, confident & secure when doing business with American Financial Resources, Inc., recognized by Ripoff Report Verified™ as a safe business service.

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REVIEW UPDATE May 5 2016: American Financial Resources remains committed to increased customer satisfaction and has improved their business practices over the years to better serve their customers. American Financial Resources is truly dedicated to making sure their customers are satisfied and that any complaints which do arise are addressed promptly and fairly.

To date, American Financial Resources has made good faith efforts to resolve all complaints reported on Ripoff Report. Based on our experience, the member business has proven to be among the top members of the Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program as a Verified Safe Business™.

Over time and since becoming a member, American Financial Resources has remained actively engaged and improving the way they address customer service complaints. As an active and current member of the Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program we are happy to report that now more than ever American Financial Resources remains committed to improving customer satisfaction.

Remember, no company or individual can ever satisfy 100% of the people 100% of the time. There are no products or services that will always be perfect for everyone and even the best companies will receive complaints from time to time. However, by participating in the Corporate Advocacy Program, the member business has made a commitment to working with its customers to resolve complaints quickly and fairly whenever possible.

Please keep in mind that as a consumer you have some responsibilities as well. Success has many definitions that based on your past experiences, current situation and your perceived expectations. Success with any product or service is always based on the proper application and understanding. The fastest car will not run if you never turn the engine on. Look at how you used the product or service that was provided in relation with the instructions that you received. The Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program will help you get your voice heard but please be prepared with documentation and fair representation of your concern, also have an idea of how the company can fix your concern. Can they offer additional services, extend warranties, offer a fair refund or just get you talking with someone that can help. ..let them know and let us know!

*Any consumer not receiving satisfaction from a member of the Corporate Advocacy Program should email us at editor@ripoffreport.com
 American Financial Resources is Ripoff Report Verified

Ripoff Report Verified™ .. part of Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business..

Ripoff Report Verified™ REVIEW:

EDitor’s UPDATE: Positive rating and recognition has been given to American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) for its commitment to excellence in customer service.

Ripoff Report’s discussions with American Financial Resources, Inc. AFR have uncovered an ongoing commitment by the company to total client satisfaction. This means that clients can expect that the company will work towards finding a mutually satisfactory resolution to any complaints or concerns. American Financial Resources, Inc. AFR listens carefully to client concerns and sees them as an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and become more efficient as a company in the services offered and the support for those services.

American Financial Resources, Inc. AFR principal, Richard Dubnoff, has informed us that his personal philosophy is that his clients are a precious resource. As a successful businessman, Mr. Dubnoff feels it is critical to listen to his clients and respond properly. By always putting his customers first, Mr. Dubnoff hopes to maintain American Financial Resources, Inc. AFR as a successful enterprise both now and for many years to come.

Another top executive of the company told us that Mr. Dubnoff’s personal business philosophy is based on the premise that "strives to add value in its services as they understand that a successful business model is based on value-added services, and client care”. American Financial Resources, Inc. AFR’s mission statement says it all: "Our goal is to provide our clients the best quality, value and professional excellence in the industry. American Financial Resources Inc. AFR is committed to providing consistent hard work, dedication, adaptability and innovation to its clients and partners through sound leadership, unparalleled industry expertise and unwavering commitment to service… with a personal touch!" Some of the other things Ripoff Report learned in the course of its review is that typical customer feedback reads: “AFR’s Mr. Dubnoff truly communicates all aspects of the job in a timely and effective manner. We are very pleased with the responsiveness that he and his employees show us. They are serious about meeting commitments, and deliver on all their promises.”
AFR is Ripoff Report Verified
Ripoff Report Verified™ .. part of Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business..
>br> The information provided in this report below is based on comments made by Angel Bell during an on-site inspection held by a third party verification company with no biases toward the American Financial Resources.

The American Financial Resources is a nationwide home mortgage lender. AFR Mortgage delivers home mortgage solutions to customers. It also provides low mortgage rates in spite less than perfect credit history. AFR Mortgage operates in the U.S. AFR Mortgage has been in business for over 15 years and have funded over 2.7 billion dollars in the past year alone.

According to Angel Bell, a representative of the company, all leads are acquired on multiple levels. Part of the leads is purchased through online lead companies. A good portion of the leads come through referrals. Potential clients will indicate interest by calling in, engaging in chat, or now available is video chat through the website. A potential client will participate in a chat with an employee regarding AFR Mortgage products and services, or will call AFR Mortgage directly. After expressing interest in AFR Mortgage products/services, either by calling the company or being called, AFR Mortgages staff will explain the company’s products and services and answer any and all questions that the person may have. Usually asking what the rates are for the mortgage packages.

After the potential client receives clarification and answers to questions they may have the process will move forward. Next, they are sent over to a licensed loan officer to continue with finding the best plan for the client. AFR Mortgage’s staff then asks potential customers a series of questions to determine their credit and establish the lowest rate possible. As well as establishing a payment plan. The staff will provide customers with information about the current rates of mortgage packages and what the process with AFR Mortgage entails.

According to Ms. Bell “The only time a customer is not satisfied with the level of service or product they receive is only when they do not get the rate they want.” However, this complaint is not a common one. In this case, a customer is quoted an initial rate and package during the first interaction between the customer and loan officer. This is suggested by the loan officer to lock in that rate at that time. In this scenario, a customer will not lock in the rate at that time and end will end the conversation with the loan officer. At a later date that customer will call back in and request the same rate and package that was offered previously. Seeing how these rates are regulated by the government and are subject to change. This is where the complaint comes into play. When this happens, the president of AFR Mortgage will then proceed to contact and further educate the customer. The president will go over rates and packages and come to an understanding. After these phone calls the customer understood that rates and happy time was taken out to explain the situation.



American Financial Resources, Inc. Customer Satisfaction & Care

After an issue is resolved, AFR Mortgage will proceed with setting the customer up with a package if they wish. Ensuring the customer fully satisfied with their package and the final resolution. AFR Mortgage “attempts to keep customers information private and will not rebut if the customer goes online with the complaint” states Ms. Bell. AFR mortgage will always contact the customer via private phone call or e-mail to resolve each customer’s issue. Ms. Bell notes that the purpose of this is to protect the customer. This will also to ensure the highest quality service.

AFR Mortgage is a direct FHA lender. AFR is also an approved Fannie Mae Seller/ Servicer and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer, licensed under the laws of the State of Texas, Nation Mortgage Licensing System, and several other licensing qualifications in other states. Additionally, AFR Mortgage has an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau and Copyrighted with Federal Housing Lender. Lastly, AFR Mortgage is a trademark/service company. As a result of the complaints, AFR Mortgage continually aims to increase the quality of its customers’ experience. The rates and packages are explained thoroughly so the customer is not surprised by different rates. They understand the rates quoted are always subject to change and no rates are final until the client is “locked in”. This is in a constant effort to make sure that a dispute may not occur and accurate information about the rates and packages can be relayed to all parties.

Ms. Bell and her team recognize the value of working with Ripoff Report and the Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program, and the platform it provides for businesses and clients to interact and resolve issues. She stated it is important to have a good reputation and work together with the advocacy teams.

American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) / Statements from the owner.

"Most of our complaints are due to customer expectations of their home values not meeting the appraised values, thus resulting in us not able to provide new mortgage financing. Other issues relate to miscommunication between our sales force and customers. As one of America's largest independently owned mortgage lenders, we chose to practice the highest of standards and courtesy in discussion threads in cyberspace. We believe that practicing good “Netiquette” (network/internet etiquette) helps better overall communication via the web without creating misunderstandings. While we attempt to safeguard against cyberspace differences, we understand that through the course of doing business, an occasional disagreement will arise- especially when working with thousands of clients per month. At AFR, we take even the smallest of criticism seriously and make every effort to address any misunderstanding immediately.”

AFR’s sales team have expressed that they feel very confident doing their job. The team lead at AFR stated "I have seen Mr. Dubnoff take personal interest in customer satisfaction. With his years of expertise in the mortgage services arena, I know that he has the best residential home loan provider experience. Our relationship with our client does not end after the transaction is complete.”

AFR takes employee satisfaction seriously as well. Employee feedback and surveys reveal comments such as this: “AFR provides a very positive environment to work. Opportunities for suggestions and improvements are encouraged. Mr. Dubnoffcares about (AFR)’s employees and continues providing growth opportunities for us. He takes the time to listen and communicate with employees and customers alike." Ripoff Report was pleased to learn that AFR’s past and current approach to business is focused on its pledge to total commitment towards client and employee satisfaction.



American Financial Resources – Your Direct Lender

"American Financial Resources is a direct Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lender. In fact, we are one of the top FHA lenders in America. FHA loans offer many unique benefits, including some of the lowest fixed rates available, loans up 97.75% of your home’s value, and down payments as low as 3.5% on home purchases. AFR Mortgage is also an approved Fannie Mae Seller/Servicer and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer.”

Why choose American Financial Resources as your mortgage company?

"We know you have a lot of options when it comes to your home financing. We will work hard to earn and keep your business, and promise you the following:

Convenience – Apply by telephone at 800-316-9508 or Get Started Online. Either way, you’ll have the confidence of knowing a knowledgeable mortgage consultant is available to guide you through the loan process from start to finish.

Speed – Our own in-house underwriting helps us move loans quickly from application to close.

Simplicity – Since we are a direct lender, there is never a broker or middleman. That means lower costs for you and your personal information is not shared with any third parties except our essential business partners.

Flexibility – Even if your credit is less than perfect, we may be able to get your application approved. Being a direct FHA and FNMA lender gives us many more options to help you qualify for a home purchase or refinance.

Knowledge – Every one of our Mortgage Consultants has in-depth knowledge of mortgage financing and each has completed all of the necessary education and state licensing requirements.

Quality Customer Service – Your AFR Mortgage consultant will be with you every step of the way – from time of application to the funding of your loan. They will be available to you to answer your questions and give you peace of mind.”

American Financial Resources - Mortgage Consultants

"When you select American Financial Resources for your home financing you choose to work with some of the most dedicated and knowledgeable mortgage consultants in the business. Our loan officers are all highly trained professionals – each mortgage consultant has completed national and state licensing requirements through the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). This system ensures state licensing guidelines are met and is designed to streamline the licensing process, improve supervision, and increase transparency in the mortgage industry.

A commitment to serve our customers

In a service industry like ours - there is nothing more important than ensuring our customers feel confident and comfortable. Our mortgage originators are available to you throughout the stages of your loan to answer your questions and to guide you through the mortgage approval and underwriting process. Never hesitate to contact your mortgage consultant if you have a question or concern. Our goal is to make this transaction smooth and stress-free.

STATED IMPROVEMENTS FROM (AFR).

American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) recognizes that complaints posted on Ripoff Report (whether true or not) are issues that need to be addressed, not ignored. If handled correctly, complaints can be valuable learning opportunities. With the feedback generated by Rip-off Report’s Investigation American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) has made organizational changes allowing its clients and employees a more streamlined approach to problem resolution and a commitment to a great client experience.

In summary, after our review, which included discussions with Mr. Dubnoff, Ripoff Report is convinced that American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) is committed to quality delivery of services resulting in total client satisfaction.

American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) Read more about why consumers should feel confident when doing business with a member of Ripoff Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. Yes, it’s a long name for a program that does a lot for both consumers and businesses alike.

American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) Read about Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program, a program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. this program works.

As a matter of policy, when a business becomes a member of the Corporate Advocacy Programthey agree to allow Ripoff Report to contact every client who filed a complaint so they can make things right with them. In order to confirm that the complaints were resolved, Ripoff Report is copied on all responses so we can insure that the member business did right by their customer ..

NOW TO THE ORIGINAL REPORT THAT WAS FILED

--------------------------------

American Financial Resources, AFR Mortgage, Amerifirst Financial, Mortgage Broker Joseph Cilento WARNING mortgage rip-off scam mortgage broker bait and switch Joe Cilento, increased, raised rate at closing lied deceived New Fairfield Connecticut

In early October 2005, I found a home I wanted to purchase in New Fairfield, CT. The realtor I found the home through recommended a mortgage broker by the name of Joseph Cilento (AKA: Joe Cilento). I was doing 100% financing on this new home because I had not sold my existing home yet. I was doing this 100% financing by completing an 80 - 20 loan. This is where you get 2 loans, one regular 1st mortgage for 80% of the homes value and another 2nd mortgage for 20% of the homes value. I was planning on paying off the 20% portion as soon as I sold my old house. The problem I had was with the the 1st mortgage 80% home loan portion. I spoke to Joe Cilento by phone and he informed me that I could get a rate of about 6.25% on my 30 year fixed home loan with no points. I told him I wanted to get the rate under 6% and asked how I could do this. He suggested I pay 1.25 points to lower the rate to 5.875%. The 1.25 points would cost me about $3,420, but I thought it was worth it to lower the rate. I asked for this information in writing and he sent me the following email: ------------------------------- Todays rates for your loans are as follows: purchase price : 342,000 1st mortgage : 273,600 80% , monthly pymt = $ 1,618 2nd mtge : 68400 20%, monthly pymt = $ 399 taxes and ins est) = $ 450 total 342,000 100% $ 2,467 1st mortgage : 5.875 %, 30 year fixed , no prepayment penalty. Points are 1.25% based on a 20 % second mortgage . Monthly 2nd mortgage fixed 7.5& with 1 point or variable at 7.0% with 1 point. If you put 5% down payment , the points on the first mortgage are reduced to .25% Let me know if you wish to proceed. Joe Cilento 203-994-6087 ------------------------------- I was also speaking to another mortgage broker who offered me the same deal, but I decided to go with Joe Cilento and his company American Financial Resources (AFR Mortgage) because I had spoke to him 1st and I thought it was fair to give him the loan. I forwarded my information to them and began the loan process. I was told my rate would be fixed at 5.875% as per our original agreement. I filled out all the necessary forms and was in constant contact with the lender about the loan. The entire time, I was told that verbally my rate was fixed at 5.875%. I received my closing estimate documents which again stated the rate of 5.875%. I had every reason to believe everything was fine and just as had been discussed previously. The whole thing changed when I got to my closing on December 1st. I saw the rate had changed to 6.25%, which I was originally told was the rate I could get without paying any points, except the were still charging me the 1.25 points ($3,420). I was of course very upset about this and called Joe Cilento at the closing. He informed me that I had never locked the rate. I told him that he had repeatedly told me the rate was locked at 5.875%. Basically he back tracked and lied and said he never said that. They raised the rate .3875% and still took the points. Unfortunately, I had no choice but to close on that day or I would have lost the house, plus I had already paid the movers and arranged for someone else to rent my old house. I had to close that day. My lawyer informed me I should take it up with the Connecticut Department of Banking. I did write a letter to the Connecticut Department of Banking and they began to research it. Richard Dubnoff the CEO of American Financial Resources repeatedly lied to them. 1st he stated to them that I never locked and was therefore locked at the market rate on my closing. I went back to the Department of Banking and explained about the points and sent them my email correspondence with Joe Cilento. I then asked why would I pay them almost $3,500, if I was going to get the regular market rate anyway. The went back to AFR Mortgage about this and Rich Dubnoff responded in a letter that the $3,420 was their profit on the loan, even though the closing documents clearly state this was a "Loan Discount fee", separate from their "Mortgage Broker fee" (about $600 more). Why would I possibly pay $3,420 plus the $600 to a mortgage broker just to get a loan when any normal broker charges probably around $500 - $700 total. Unfortunately, the Connecticut Department of Banking said there was nothing they could do because it is my word against theirs and I didn't have a written lock rate document. I agree that I was misinformed by not requesting the written lock rate letter, but I honestly didn't even know I needed it. This is only the 2nd home I ever purchased and the first loan I did through my bank, so there was none of this deception or fraud. Of course in the future I will always get this letter, but that is still not a good reason for them to bait and switch, lie to me and the state department of banking and rip me off for $3,420. SUMMARY: Joe Cilento and American Financial Resources, offered me a rate of 5.875% with 1.25 points. I was told this rate was locked. They then raised the rate on the closing date without ever mentioning anything to me and still took the points, then when I complained to the regulators, the CEO of the company Richard Dubnoff proceeded to consistently lie and deceive them just to continue ripping me off and scamming me on this home loan. Thank you for reading my story and I highly suggest you DO NOT EVER USE Joe Cilento or American Financial Resources as your mortgage broker or mortgage company under any circumstances. They will, in my opinion, do everything they can to rip you off and scam you if given the chance. If you do use them or any mortgage broker for that matter make sure you learn something from this story and get everything in writing including the written lock rate letter. Dan New Fairfield, Connecticut
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on American Financial


Click Here to read other Ripoff Reports on American Financial Resources TRUSTED BUSINESS | Ripoff Report Verified™ …businesses you can trust. American Financial Resources, nationwide home mortgage lender - reputation built on honesty, trust, & commitment to ethical lending practices - delivering low mortgage rates. Assisting families all across America find perfect home loan for their needs. Customers work one-on-one with a caring, knowledgeable, & friendly mortgage consultant.

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#1 Consumer Comment

If not over this...

AUTHOR: Bman - (United States of America)

Here are some suggestions for complaint about this company, then check QUICKEN LOANS on this site to see how lousy a company can be!




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Every state has two United States Senators. Senators are elected on a state wide basis and represent your entire state in Washington D.C.. Your United States Senators have enormous power and enormous influence. A simple letter or phone call from a U.S. Senator's office can move mountains. Every United States Senator has an office that deals with constituent complaints involving a number of issues -- every problem imaginable are handled by your United States Senators' office. Plus, they want to get re-elected and they serve their voters not the business.




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Unlike Senators, your state has anywhere from one to over 50 United States Congressmen/women. In your congressional district, you have ONE United States Congressman/woman. Like Senators, members of Congress deal with a huge amount of voter problems -- you name the topic, and they can and will help you.




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The Department of Justice is the federal government's chief law enforcement agency and prosecutorial office.




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It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers interests...




This is the agency that companies fear.




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Contact The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)




 




This agency regulate all companies that are trading stock publicly. They also are very concerned with companies who engage in fraudulent activity which might manipulate their stock price and give investors a false picture of the truth of a company's heath.




http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml




 




Contact The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)




 




Report the offending company to this feared and effective government task force. Your aim here is to highlight the criminal and fraudulent nature of the companies activities. You must be able to detail how they wronged you and stole your money.




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The Better Business Bureau is another group that many businesses need to answer to -- first it has enormous influence and second, many businesses are members. Since it is paid for by businesses it may not be as effective as the government agencies that are created to protect you.




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"The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) is the nations consumer law expert, helping consumers, their advocates, and public policy makers use powerful and complex consumer laws on behalf of low-income and vulnerable Americans seeking economic justice.




Todays consumer marketplace is complex and full of potholes, even for those of us with all the necessary skills and advantages. For unsuspecting low-income consumers its far more treacherous - even the smallest misstep can lead to financial ruin and a sense of hopelessness that paralyzes individual progress."




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Contact The National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C)




 




They will help you with filing a complaint against the company showing you how to do it and provide other resources. White collar crime is a term coined for something that many businesses engage: it is fraud and outright theft committed by those wearing a white shirt and tie to work everyday.




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Company Response

AUTHOR: American Financial Resources - (U.S.A.)

American Financial Resources, Inc has been helping people with their home financing needs for over ten years. Our great company has already funded over a half-billion dollars to happy clients this year alone. As one of America's top 30 FHA lenders we take all complaints very seriously. Our goal is to provide the best financing for our clients. As in any business, a few complaints will arise when dealing with thousands of clients a month. Please consider the sheer volume of loans when evaluating our company's services. With over 250 employees and 100 loan officers, honesty, integrity and understanding has helped American Financial Resources, Inc not only survive but thrive during these tumultuous economic times.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

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AUTHOR: American Financial Resources - (U.S.A.)

American Financial Resources, Inc has been helping people with their home financing needs for over ten years. Our great company has already funded over a half-billion dollars to happy clients this year alone. As one of America's top 30 FHA lenders we take all complaints very seriously. Our goal is to provide the best financing for our clients. As in any business, a few complaints will arise when dealing with thousands of clients a month. Please consider the sheer volume of loans when evaluating our company's services. With over 250 employees and 100 loan officers, honesty, integrity and understanding has helped American Financial Resources, Inc not only survive but thrive during these tumultuous economic times.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Company Response

AUTHOR: American Financial Resources - (U.S.A.)

American Financial Resources, Inc has been helping people with their home financing needs for over ten years. Our great company has already funded over a half-billion dollars to happy clients this year alone. As one of America's top 30 FHA lenders we take all complaints very seriously. Our goal is to provide the best financing for our clients. As in any business, a few complaints will arise when dealing with thousands of clients a month. Please consider the sheer volume of loans when evaluating our company's services. With over 250 employees and 100 loan officers, honesty, integrity and understanding has helped American Financial Resources, Inc not only survive but thrive during these tumultuous economic times.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Company Response

AUTHOR: American Financial Resources - (U.S.A.)

American Financial Resources, Inc has been helping people with their home financing needs for over ten years. Our great company has already funded over a half-billion dollars to happy clients this year alone. As one of America's top 30 FHA lenders we take all complaints very seriously. Our goal is to provide the best financing for our clients. As in any business, a few complaints will arise when dealing with thousands of clients a month. Please consider the sheer volume of loans when evaluating our company's services. With over 250 employees and 100 loan officers, honesty, integrity and understanding has helped American Financial Resources, Inc not only survive but thrive during these tumultuous economic times.
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#6 Author of original report

WARNING Joe Cilento mortgage broker rip-off scam

AUTHOR: Dan - (U.S.A.)

DO NOT EVER USE JOSEPH CILENTO or American Financial Resources as your mortgage broker or mortgage company under any circumstances. They will, in my opinion, do everything they can to rip you off and scam you if given the chance.

Further information about how this rip-off was done is available on the following websites:
http://www.american-financial-resources.com
and
http://www.joe-cilento-mortgage-broker.com
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#7 Author of original report

Joe Cilento mortgage broker rip-off scam artist, NY, CT, NJ

AUTHOR: Dan - (U.S.A.)

In early October 2005, I found a home I wanted to purchase in New Fairfield, CT. The realtor I found the home through recommended a mortgage broker by the name of Joseph Cilento (AKA: Joe Cilento). I was doing 100% financing on this new home because I had not sold my existing home yet. I was doing this 100% financing by completing an 80 - 20 loan. This is where you get 2 loans, one regular 1st mortgage for 80% of the homes value and another 2nd mortgage for 20% of the homes value. I was planning on paying off the 20% portion as soon as I sold my old house. The problem I had was with the the 1st mortgage 80% home loan portion.

I spoke to Joe Cilento by phone and he informed me that I could get a rate of about 6.25% on my 30 year fixed home loan with no points. I told him I wanted to get the rate under 6% and asked how I could do this. He suggested I pay 1.25 points to lower the rate to 5.875%. The 1.25 points would cost me about $3,420, but I thought it was worth it to lower the rate. I asked for this information in writing and he sent me an email confirming those rates.

I was also speaking to another mortgage broker who offered me the same deal, but I decided to go with Mr. CIlento and his company American Financial Resources (AFR Mortgage) because I had spoke to him 1st and I thought it was fair to give him the loan. I forwarded my information to them and began the loan process. I was told my rate would be fixed at 5.875% as per our original agreement. I filled out all the necessary forms and was in constant contact with the lender about the loan. The entire time, I was told that verbally my rate was fixed at 5.875%. I received my closing estimate documents which again stated the rate of 5.875%. I had every reason to believe everything was fine and just as had been discussed previously.

The whole thing changed when I got to my closing on December 1st. I saw the rate had changed to 6.25%, which I was originally told was the rate I could get without paying any points, except the were still charging me the 1.25 points ($3,420). I was of course very upset about this and called Joe Cilento at the closing. He informed me that I had never locked the rate. I told him that he had repeatedly told me the rate was locked at 5.875%. Basically he back tracked and lied and said he never said that. They raised the rate .3875% and still took the points. Unfortunately, I had no choice but to close on that day or I would have lost the house, plus I had already paid the movers and arranged for someone else to rent my old house. I had to close that day. My lawyer informed me I should take it up with the Connecticut Department of Banking.

I did write a letter to the Connecticut Department of Banking and they began to research it. Richard Dubnoff the CEO of American Financial Resources repeatedly lied to them. 1st he stated to them that I never locked and was therefore locked at the market rate on my closing. I went back to the Department of Banking and explained about the points and sent them my email correspondence with Joe Cilento. I then asked why would I pay them almost $3,500, if I was going to get the regular market rate anyway. The went back to AFR Mortgage about this and Rich Dubnoff responded in a letter that the $3,420 was their profit on the loan, even though the closing documents clearly state this was a Loan Discount fee, separate from their Mortgage Broker fee (about $600 more). Why would I possibly pay $3,420 plus the $600 to a mortgage broker just to get a loan when any normal broker charges probably around $500 - $700 total. Unfortunately, the Connecticut Department of Banking said there was nothing they could do because it is my word against theirs and I didn't have a written lock rate document.

I agree that I was misinformed by not requesting the written lock rate letter, but I honestly didn't even know I needed it. This is only the 2nd home I ever purchased and the first loan I did through my bank, so there was none of this deception or fraud. Of course in the future I will always get this letter, but that is still not a good reason for them to bait and switch, lie to me and the state department of banking and rip me off for $3,420.

SUMMARY: Joe Cilento and American Financial Resources, offered me a rate of 5.875% with 1.25 points. I was told this rate was locked. They then raised the rate on the closing date without ever mentioning anything to me and still took the points, then when I complained to the regulators, the CEO of the company Richard Dubnoff proceeded to consistently lie and deceive them just to continue ripping me off and scamming me on this home loan.

Thank you for reading my story and I highly suggest you DO NOT EVER USE JOE CILENTO or American Financial Resources as your mortgage broker or mortgage company under any circumstances. They will, in my opinion, do everything they can to rip you off and scam you if given the chance. If you do use them or any mortgage broker for that matter make sure you learn something from this story and get everything in writing including the written lock rate letter.
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