I Was Sick, And I Forgot, I Was On Vacation…And The Dog Ate My Homework

October 15th, 2009

Students Children Back To School

When customer service goes wrong, it should be made public, shouldn’t it? Especially if it involves sloppy work habits!

The problem

I was recently submitting a loan for a client to SunTrust mortgage. This loan was submitted 10 days ago. We were told that the loan would take five or six days to get approved, so obviously we were starting to get concerned when we had no answer on day number 6. We were reaching out to SunTrust Bank to ask them what was going on starting on day number six. We heard the bank representative that we usually use was out of town on vacation, someone else would get back to us, they were busy, and yes, it sounded like the dog even ate their homework.

What happened?

Eventually, our regular bank representative, who acts as a middleman between us and the bank, got back to us. She says that she did not see the loan in their system at all.

Keep in mind that this was a loan that she walked my loan processor through on the phone, as to how to submit the loan in their computer system for underwriting. So you would think with a representative of SunTrust Bank on the phone, that the loan would have been submitted properly, yes?

No! Apparently what happened is that my loan processor, with the bank representative’s help, did indeed input all of the loan into their system, but forgot one simple step, which was to hit a button called, “Send File To Underwriter.”

The end result

So the file sat for almost one and a half weeks with no action being taken, and we all expected the loan to be approved any day around day 6. This is a purchase loan, for someone who has a sales contract and an obligation to deliver a loan approval by a certain date, and to go to closing by a certain date. But we have no loan approval after 10 days. Now I have to go back and tell the client, the Realtors, the sellers, and everybody involved in this transaction, “well, the bank helped us to make a mistake, and now we are going to need another week.”

As you can imagine, that will not go over well. This is the kind of outrageous and unacceptable oversight, sloppy work habits, and bank error that is commonplace in the banking industry. You would think with today’s modern technology, automation, and computer systems, that nothing like this would ever happen. Further, you would think when an error like this does happen that somebody would move mountains to fix the error, would show a certain sense of urgency, and would do anything to make things right, and expedite the underwriting answer so that all parties could feel comfortable knowing that we do have loan approval.

I don’t like SunTrust for this

But SunTrust says they are understaffed, and cannot possibly expedite the loan, even after their error. So we need to wait almost another week. Is that fair? Of course not… but it does not matter, the banks do not seem to care about customer service. Maybe if we can use the Internet, and viral marketing, maybe word will get passed around that SunTrust does not care about their customers, and maybe SunTrust will pay a price for their poor customer service. I am happy to give praise when I see stellar customer service, its just that I seldom see it in today’s banking industry. Please help pass the word.

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Brian Martucci is a loan officer for Capital Bank Home Loans, a division of Capital Bank, N.A. He has been in the mortgage industry since 1986 and has served in a number of roles, including loan processor, loan officer, mortgage broker, branch manager, and vice president. Brian Martucci – NMLS# 185421. His opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of Capital Bank Home Loans or Capital Bank. Capital Bank, N.A.- NMLS# 401599. Click here for the Capital Bank, N.A. “Privacy Policy”.

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