I contacted a mortgage broker to have a streamline FHA refinance done on my house. My wife and I met with the broker, went briefly over the numbers and were told that we would get the final numbers in approximately one week.
A week later I was contacted by Sheree Martinez at Fidelity National Title in Scottsdale AZ, who informed me that we needed to sign our loan documents by no later than the next day and that she would send a notary to our home. My wife and I rearranged our schedules to allow adequate time to go over the documentation. The notary arrived 30 minutes late, but was very polite and apologetic.
Upon looking at the loan documents, we noticed that there was a discrepancy between the fees that the mortgage broker had quoted and what was on the loan documents, we also had questions about the title fees. I immediately called the broker and was forced to leave him a voicemail asking him to call back ASAP.
My wife and I were hesitant to sign the documents until the discrepancies were cleared up, but the notary stated that if we wanted, we could leave the first two documents unsigned and wait to hear back from our broker. The notary said that we could sign the rest of the documents and if we didn't sign and return the top two documents, the rest of the loan paperwork would expire. He also said that this would put us in a good position to haggle over the fees as the broker would be anxious to close.
We signed the rest of the documents understanding that if we didn't hear back from the broker the would expire. The broker called back the next day and explained that he would reduce the fees he was collecting to make the deal work for us. He also said that he would email Sheree at Fidelity and find out how much money was going to be refunded to us from our escrow account.
I received the email and subsequently got a voicemail from the broker saying how much was in the account and how apply all of the money that would be coming back from escrow, September's payment, etc would significantly reduce our loan amount.
I called the broker back to further discuss exactly how much of his fees he was going to waive and told him that I needed hard numbers before I decided to go forward. I never received a call back.
Thinking that the loan documents were going to expire, as we were told by the notary Fidelity send to our house, I began researching other options for my refinance. I decided on Quicken Loans, who was very upfront about everything and very friendly and polite. I explained the bad experience I had with the previous situation and explained that we had never signed the top two loan documents. The person at Quicken said that it would be no problem (she even verified it with her boss) and she set about getting our new loan documents ready.
As we were preparing to close our new (and significantly better) loan, we received notification via mail that out loan had closed. My wife immediately called the title company to find out how they closed a loan without all of the necessary documents. Unfortunately, she ended up speaking with Sheree, who was condescending, rude, and completely uninterested in resolving the issue. Sheree told my wife that she couldn't imagine that the notary would have told us that the documents would expire. Sheree did admit that there was a note on the documents that we had questions for our broker, but that she assumed that they had all been taken care of. Sheree laughed as she explained to my wife that the only way we could have cancelled the loan was to sign the 3 day right to recision form. My wife explained that we didn't think we needed to because we had been told that the documents would expire. Sheree again said that she does 6-7 loans a week and has never heard of any notary telling anyone that. Shortly after that my wife ended the call with the rude, smug, insulting, Sheree.
When I arrived home that night and was apprised of the situation, I called and left a message for Sheree to call me immediately. To my suprise, she did. I told Sheree, that I felt that I had been misled by someone that was sent to my house on behalf of her company. Sheree said that perhaps I misinterpreted what the notary had said, and I explained that there really aren't a lot of ways to misinterpret, "If you don't sign these, the rest of the documents will expire." I asked Sheree why we would have chosen arbitrarily not to sign the first two pages of a loan if there wasn't some issue? Sheree said that she didn't know why I made the decision that I did. I explained to her again that I made that decision on the bad advice of her representative. Sheree finally said that she would call the notary company the next day and then call me back.
Next, I called my broker who apologized for the situation. He stated that his phone system had had a problem and he had not received my messages about wanting to know about the fee reduction before proceeding. The broker said that he would have a check cut for all of his fees and that he would call Sheree and talk to her since he was the one that had sent our loan documents to her in the first place. He said that he'd call me back the next day.
The following day, I called the broker who stated that he had talked to Sheree and that she told him that she would see what she could do about getting our notary fees refunded. The broker apologized again and said that he felt awful about the situation and that he'd rather make no money than do a loan that didn't make sense for his clients.
I called Sheree back and asked her if she had talked to the notary service and she said that the notary had called his boss about our questions and that if we wanted to rescind, we needed to sign and return the notice of recision. Again, I explained that we were told that the documents would expire. Sheree asked what I wanted her to do and I explained that I felt that as a result of me being stuck in a loan that I am unhappy with, as a result of an incompetent notary that she selected, she should refund her fees. Sheree said that she would not do that. I explained again, that if she hadn't sent a notary to my home that gave us bad information we wouldn't be in this situation. Sheree replied that she didn't believe that the notary had told us that. At that point I asked to speak with her manager and was transferred to Jennifer's voicemail.
I am truly shocked by the fact that a company with a name as well recognized as Fidelity, would send a notary to my house that would provide incorrect information, leading to a loan closing that I did not intend. Further when the issue was brought to the Escrow Officer (Sheree)'s attention, she immediately assumed that the customer was a liar and was rude and insulting as if the possibility that the notary person was the one in error was simply not a possibility.
I would never, ever close a loan through Fidelity again, and would strongly warn my friends, family and anyone who will listen that Fidelity does not care about customer service, or doing right by their clients.