Like another report on this site, we found Loan Leaders through an internet search of reputable direct mortgage companies. There are some very good reports about Loan Leaders online but our experience was not consistent with those reports.
After attempting a refinance while having a 17% LTV with local banks, we found Loan Leaders and Quicken Loans who indicated that an FHA loan could bring our rate down significantly. Everything went smoothly for the first few weeks. Our appraisal came in within the expected range, our credit ratings were good, and it looked like we would close quickly.
A pattern soon emerged that we had to provide one more piece of information, then another, then another followed by problems getting a payoff quote from our 2nd mortgage holder. The loan manager and his supervisor were always polite and apologetic but there was just one more thing . . . To this day I'm not sure they know what they are doing.
Finally, we signed with the notary public on April 7, 2011. We were assured that the payoffs would reach our mortgage holders before the late payment deadline of April 15. At noon on April 13 we were told that Chicago Title had failed to include the FHA Mortgage Insurance Payment that must be paid upfront in their loan documents and that we needed to pay $1372 that day to move the loan forward.
We balked, saying we would rather cancel the loan than have something like this come up at the last minute that wasn't our error yet we had to pay for it. Chicago Title "waived" their $500 fee lowering the out-of-pocket cost to us to approx $800. When we tried to get an explanation of the recalculated costs, which were actually reduced by only $100 or so, the explanations were so difficult to follow we gave up and decided we wanted the new rate enough to stick it out.
We arranged to wire the cash but had to provide a current bank statement to show we could afford to pay - I understand that a lot of this is part of the new regs - but when we did so my husband's company bonus ($4900) showed up on the checking statement and it was challenged. We had to provide additional documentation as to the source of the deposit which we did - I had to take time off work to get this done in 36 hours.
Once the payment was wired and we confirmed that by phone we waited to hear the final word Thurs night or even Friday. No call was made to us until Monday morning April 18 by which time we knew that the 1st mortgage showed as paid off online. We had refinanced before and were familiar with the headache of all the documentation associated with home loans but this went beyond all imagining.
We did the bulk of the work and were still asked to do things like contact an old lender ourselves when their records were incorrect about a five-year-old loan payoff. The original quote for fees was $2400 not including the escrow (approx $3500) but we ended up with $7400 in fees.
We did all of this via e-mail, scanning documents, phone contacts which was convenient but documents had to be corrected several times. If you are not a thorough, detailed person you will miss something important. We thought we checked everything twice and expected that Loan Leaders had checked, too, but still had a snafu. We would not recommend Loan Leaders after running this gauntlet.