This is my warning to anyone preparing to use Ifreedom Direct for a home loan. I'm a GS14 in the Federal Government and an 8 year Army vet. This was the worst experience ever as far as loans go. This company is horrific people...STAY AWAY!! Seriously, go to Wells Fargo or Quicken Loans for your loan. Here's my timeline of the loan attempt process with ifreedom Direct and Craig Day. This tells the story:
- (1-24-11) Craig Day from ifreedom Direct sent first pre-approval
- Made offer on house, they countered, contacted Craig
- Craig Sent 2nd pre-approval indicating we could go much higher
- Seller’s accepted offer
- Craig said to move the closing up by 2 weeks since they are a direct lender and can streamline the process
- Got the inspection done on the home ($525)
- Emailed Craig…no response
- Emailed Craig…no response (GETTING A BIT WORRIED)
- Called Craig’s cell phone. He answered but said that he would call me right back from his work line…no call back.
- My Realtor, Jim Helm, called saying that he was trying to reach Craig
- Jim called saying that he was worried about Craig
- Jim asked me to email and call Craig. I emailed…no response
- Jim asked me to start getting quotes on homeowner’s insurance
- (2-8-11) Liberty Mutual rep, Eric, called and quoted me on a policy. I asked him to contact Craig Day to see if that was ok and to call me back and let me know. According to Eric, he reached Craig and Craig approved.
- (2-8-11) Emailed Craig to confirm the Liberty Mutual reps call. Craig finally replied:
“David, I aplolgize for not being available to you today. I had a Dr. appointment that really cut into my time. I spoke to the agent and he send me info. I will talk with you in the morning. Thanks for your paitence with me. Best Regards, Craig Day”
-(2-9-11) Emailed Craig in the morning to confirm asking him to call me…no response, no call
-(2-9-11) 6 pm Craig called informing me that things have changed and to advise me of how ifreedom sells loans to other banks. The “other banks”, due to my 669 credit score, require $13,250 down (which is 25% of the difference of the VA max of $417k and the total price of the property). Also, he said that I would need to show a 6-month PITI which equates to approximately $30k of assets. I advised that I could do that, no problem. Craig seemed happy and said that we are good to go.
-(2-15-11) Craig calls stating that “we are back on track” and that we need to conduct the appraisal, which is $400. I gave him my credit card # and faxed him the appraisal authorization form.
-(2-17-11) Craig calls and says that my debt-to-income ratio is still tight and that his underwriter wants me to pay off my truck (balance of $28k). I advise that even though this will be tough, I’ll do it. He says that we are back on track (I didn’t realize we were off track).
-(2-18-11) Ifreedom Direct charges my credit card $400 for an appraisal. Appraisal is conducted.
-(2-22-11) Craig Day emails this: Dave, Here is a copy of the appraisal. The value is at $482,000 and shows no repairs are required before closing. Our underwriter has indicated that there is little possibility to finalize your loan application. I should have a yes or no within the hour. Please consider Wells Fargo or Bank of America. They are the banks we sell our loans to and they will do in house loans without the same degree of qualification they subject to us. WHAT THE H*LL!!!??? YOU JUST CHARGED ME $400 FOR AN APPRAISAL WITHOUT 100% KNOWING THAT YOUR COMPANY COULD LEND ME THE MONEY???!!!!!
-(2-22-11) I respond asking Craig to forward the appraisal to VAmortgagecenter.com. He responds within 10 minutes with: Dave, MY underwriter says the VA no longer allows the lender to re assign the appraisal. Apparently, it is now done by your regional VA Loan Center. your new lender should call them and ask them to do so.
-(2-22-11) Shortly after that, he sends another email trying to slam VAmortgagecenter.com:
"Dave, Be careful. They operate exactly like us. They will have to sell this loan and it is the secondary market buyers requirements that make your loan questionable. I would also not lose time and call B o A and Wells and get started with one of them. I thought they have a very interesting web site.A month ago I showed our managers their claim to be number one. We are higher on the Trade Journal list of the top 15 lenders. We were 11th and they were a few spots behind iFreedom. We only do VA loans too, so I thought they were taking creative elaboration with that statement." THEY OPERATE EXACTLY LIKE US? WHAT ARE YOU SAYING CRAIG?
-(2-22-11) At this point, the deal is obviously off and I respond with this:
"Craig, I'm just simply trying to get this loan completed. You guys pre-approved me, had the appraisal done, asked me to pay off my truck, and misguided my Realtor all the way up to today. My Realtor, Jim Helm, says this is the worst he's seen in his 35 years as a Realtor. I'll be sure to make my experience with you and ifreedom known on every review site possible (lendingtree, BBB, zillow, consumeraffairs, etc.) I've kept every last correspondence and a precise time-line of events from day 1 to now. Additionally, I will never recommend your company to anyone...and believe me, I oversee hundreds of federal employees who are prior military. Originally, I thought you seemed great. However, at some point, you realized that my loan was probably not going to happen. Instead of stepping up like a man and saving me time and money, you cowered away from my emails and calls and continually misguided the situation. I should have paid more attention to the other victims on the numerous review sites."
Again, STAY AWAY!!!!