I was directed to this firm through the website (((ROR REDACTED LINK FOR SECURITY PURPOSES))). I was interested in refinancing my first and second mortgages before rates got too out of hand, and especially since the mortgage on my home was a "bridge loan" at a higher rate taken out before my previous home sold.
Anyway--I was contacted by someone who told me about some of their programs. They sounded reasonable and not way off like some you see on TV or online. I also knew going into this what my credit and my wife's credit scores were (mid 740s) which is highly advisable. The gentleman took my information, and told me that I would be contacted by one of their senior brokers (I think they are all senior).
He also told me that they are direct brokers (as are most) and that they are located in a tall building in downtown Chicago (as if that was impressive..wow) About 20 minutes later, I got a call from a guy named Dave. He went over some options, and said that with our credit, he would have no problem getting us a great loan with a lower payment. He made an appointment to stop out the next night.
He arrived an hour late the next evening and we proceeded to go through some paperwork. The first red flag was the fact that he had our tax rate computed at less than half of what it is. He said "no problem, we'll still get the payment you want" and "my new assistant must have put that in wrong." We went through the rest of it, and he then gave me a list of documentation that he would need. I gathered it after he left, and even faxed it all in that night. He assured me that we would close in plenty of time to not have to make a july payment. He also assured me that he would be in constant communication. That was the biggest lie. From that moment on he was beyond difficult to get in touch with.
For the following week and a half, I would try to contact him. The office would say "he is not answering his pages" or "he must be out" Then, later, I would get a call with a great excuse attached to it. Everything from "I lost track of time" to "so and so needed to have surgery so I was with her." He always assured me though that everything was going to plan, and we would close by July 14th. (This started on June 29th).
As the 14th approached there were a few more bumps in the road, such as our house not appraising for what we thought it would, lenders needing more information, etc...On the morning of the 14th, I finally spoke to Dave who said that everything was set, we were going to close, and congratulations. Later in the day, he called again and said that the closing would have to be on the 15th (Saturday) because the closer would be in the northern suburbs (we live in the western suburbs). I told him that was actually better as I would be at work all day.
The true nightmare began on Saturday the 15th. I tried calling Dave several times. Finally, my phone rang and it was a woman claiming to be his fiancee and that if I needed him I should call his office because he left his cell at home. In the past, he said to call his cell because the office was so big, he was never at his desk and obviously never answered pages either. Keep in mind this is Saturday and we sat waiting and waiting.
I was ready to pull the plug (and should have) when finally at 4 PM Dave called and apologized and said that there was a problem with one piece of documentation in the closing packet, but not to worry because the bank drew everything up the day before so we were still all set. He assured me that he would track down "the title person" and get this taken care of and it would still close according to original terms and conditions. He promised a call Monday morning (the 17th). I reminded him that I was leaving for a business trip on the afternoon of the 17th so this would have to be done ASAP. He said no problem.
Monday the 17th. I did not receive a call in the morning as promised, and every time I tried calling he was no available and did not answer his cell phone. Finally, at about 12 PM I heard from Dave. He apologized, again, and stated that they were in their Monday morning meeting. Again, there seemed to be something missing from the packet, but he still said it was ok.
While I was home that afternoon preparing for my trip, I got a call from a processor there named Daphne. She said that there were some documents needed. I was surprised by this as I thought the loan was clear to close. She SHOCKED me even more when she said that the loan was just submitted for approval THAT MORNING (the 17th) even though Dave made it seem that it was all set 2 WEEKS PRIOR!!!
I was probably less than polite to this woman, but understandably so. I had her go over a couple of other things on the application as well. Interestingly, there were a couple things that changed!! She blamed Dave! She then asked me, "well, how much cash back do you want?" Since when can processors make deals? She told me that she could waive some fees to "make it happen." At this point I was laughing. In my mind, we were done.
10 minutes later the phone rang. Surprisingly, it was Dave. He said, everything is set, there are no more missing documents and we are set to close. He said that the closer would be at our house at noon on Thursday. When I asked him if he had spoken to this processor, he said he had, and that I should not listen to her. He was speaking directly to the underwriter and this processor would not have known it.
Thursday the 20th. No one showed up (I was not surprised and had given up--but wanted to follow up on principle). I called the office and got the usual "he's not picking up his pages" again. Finally, after two more attempts, I was put through to a manager named Joaquin. After I told him my story, he informed me that Dave was fired. As was the processor Daphne. He apologized and said that a "Senior processor" named Laura would call me. She didn't so I called her. Then her title became "Senior Closer."
She promised me that she would go over all of the terms and try to close it and would call me back on the 18th (friday). Guess what? No call back! Surprise!! I called them again in the late afternoon, and got Joaquin again. He said that Laura was busy buyt promised she would call. Again.. no call back. Please realize that I had written these idiots off about a week ago, but wanted to follow through on principle.
My advice is this: Do NOT use this firm. Do not listen to them, do not share any information with them, and do not trust them. I have since heard from others that they are a big warehouse and have a high turnover. What they lack is customer follow through. I also question their ability to do math and go through documentation.