To be fair and to ensure this is the first thing anyone would read, I would like to state that in the end, John Seckel did refund all of the money I had paid to them, so I did part ways on reasonably good terms. It was however, a very painful 85 day process along the way, and ultimately Seckel Capital was unable to close my loan in that timeframe. We also incurred additional costs associated with needing to lease the home we were purchasing from the sellers until we were able to close. Thus, I felt compelled to write this in hopes that it will help someone else avoid my pain. The important thing to keep in mind throughout this process was another mortgage broker was able to close this exact loan in 17 days.
I also realize that Seckel Capital was reliant on another company to do the underwriting of the loan -- which is inherent of the nature of using a mortgage broker. I have no doubt that if a rebuttal is given from Seckel Capital, they will state that it was entirely that other company's fault. From my perspective I am unable to determine where all of the blame should fall, though ultimately, the mortgage broker is responsible for using responsible and reputable underwriters. What I can tell you with certainty is that Seckel Capital's extremely poor customer service and apparent incompetence of my loan processor were exclusively caused by Seckel Capital directly.
In the end, my story does have a happy ending because we were able to close with another mortgage broker in 17 days, and aside from nearly two months of extreme frustration, were only out 3 weeks rent for the delayed closing from a money perspective. It could have been a lot worse.
Here were the pros and cons of my experience... as well as the milestones in the process.
Great communication up front by loan officer Best rate at the time of application -- though loan never closed
--Loan processor would not provide a list or status of current conditions of approval on the loan upon numerous requests.
--Loan processor would not answer the phone when called directly. They would however occasionally answer if her extension was not dialed and my call was randomly assigned to them.
--No secure document upload for sensitive documents.
--Loan processor made numerous requests for documents that had already been sent.
--Loan processor did not accurately convey what was being requested by underwriting.
--Loan was not ready to close after 85 days even though conditional approval came 27 days of application
Main point to consider:
Loan was conditionally approved after 27 days. Over the next two months there were at least seven separate requests for additional information; each of which I provided within a day. Even with my responsiveness, the loan was unable to close in 85 days.
Ultimately, I did read several good reviews about people that had success with them on other sites, however, if your loan is being underwritten in a southern state.. I would be especially wary.