Where To Get The Best Service In The Mortgage Industry?

April 23rd, 2012

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I have cited a thorough and expensive research study several times recently in other blog posts. One message I have not relayed that comes from the data in that study is how poorly the big banks are at execution when it comes to doing mortgages. I will cut and past comments directly from the study that quotes numerous Realtors. I will let their comments speak for themselves. Consumers deal with mortgage transactions once every 3-7 years. But Realtors deal with loans every day. Their opinion is the most valid, unbiased and relevant. I have heard a lot of reasons as to why a homebuyer thinks its best to get a mortgage from a big bank. All of them are wrong headed.

I hear the following:

“I am going to get my new mortgage from the lender that has my current mortgage, they know my payment history and said they’ll make it easier on me.”

“The same bank I bank with will take care of me because I am a current client.”

“My bank is big and reputable, I am sure they will do a good job with my mortgage application.”

But it never works out as the consumer plans. I’ll post some comments from the study, from Realtors who deal with this daily, so hopefully the mortgage consuming public will get a dose of reality. After reading the below, I hope you will think differently about applying to a large bank for a mortgage:

“The bigger the bank the worse the service. Small and local is the model that works today.”

“Large Banks such as BofA, Wells, Chase and GMAC provide the worst service and do not close on time. Loans get stuck in underwriting with no accountability.”

“Over regulation has been the major problem with most lenders. Large national lenders simply have organizational issues they seem completely unwilling to address. The consumer is truly last on the list.”

“Major banks loan originators are now order takers that do not fully follow the status of a loan. Its an assembly line that does not work.”

“Smaller lenders work best. I seem to have better outcomes without using the major banks. ”

“There is no personal customer service at the larger banks.”

“Major problems when buyers used national lenders. Generally good experience when buyers used local lenders.”

“Large bank underwriting doesn’t care about the customer or transaction. They are looking to cover their butts and go home by 5pm.”

“Big lenders are too slow, not well trained, and don’t have many years of experience. Fantastic service is what I expect, big banks don’t provide it.”

“When dealing with a new buyer I will not set up a search or take them out looking until they have a pre-qualification letter in hand from a reputable, local, small lender.”

“No one in this area will accept a pre approval letter from Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase or CitiMortgage. All of the big boys are not interested in completing loans. They are only interested in number of loan apps processed, and whether turned down or accepted. Also the big banks do not have local underwriters, so they really don’t care about making these loans, or making them on time.”

“It’s unfortunate that the federal government has virtually destroyed the independent mortgage business over the last few years.”

“Local, well-known, independent loan originators are favored in this area because they do what they say they’re going to do and close loans. I ONLY use one lender and just hate it when buyers try to “shop” for loans by going to banks. It never works and there is always a problem, which the bank never cares about.”

“I always suggest a local lender. Larger lenders tend to disregard any client that doesn’t fit an exact, specific criteria.”

“Bank regulations are very strict and sometimes we do not find out a loan is not going to work until the last minute and the seller is already in the process of moving. Call centers don’t feel the need to be helpful because they still get their paycheck whether the loan closes or not. They are not emotionally involved.”

“Every time I deal with the large companies… BofA, Wells Fargo Etc, there are problems. I never refer these type of lenders to my clients.”

“I’ve done business previously with big banks, and I now avoid them like the plague.”

“The loan officer I recommend almost always performs. If there is a way to close it, he can do it. I have tried Suntrust, Wells, Wachovia, B of A, almost all the big bank loan officers. They failed where my local lender has succeeded.”

“I seem to do better with small, local mortgage providers, as opposed to the big banks such as Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, etc, as they have centralized centers, typically located in another state and the file goes thru so many different hands. They don’t keep the agent informed. It not only has to do with the lender’s procedures, but also very much the individual loan officer themselves, and the big banks have inexperienced, low quality loan officers.”

“One buyer used a major bank for his loan (contrary to my suggestion). It was a nightmare from beginning to end. The buyer was constantly having to send in paperwork that they said they did not have but we could prove was sent. Even the day of closing the lender was not available for a question at the closing table. I had specifically requested and was given the assurance that the lender would be available at that hour. Infuriating for all involved. The buyer will never recommend that bank to anyone and I will not either.”

“Loan was to be funded by BofA and all conditions (except final loan approval & funding) had been met. At last minute BofA added a whole new ridiculous list of conditions but no one there had any idea what the requirements were or why they existed. No explanations from the branch manager made any sense and buyer, sellers, agents, and escrow were angry and frustrated to the point of threatening to pull the loan package and take it to another lender. Unbelievably terrible customer service!!! I have had much better service from one specific mortgage lender in town and will avoid doing business with BofA to avoid another situation like this.”

“Large lenders such as Chase, Comerica, Bank of America etc. REPEATEDLY ask for the same information. The loan officers also delay ordering appraisals, then the appraisal comes in low and we are 40-50 days in to the deal. It is a huge waste of everyones time.”

“Large banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, have problems closing on time because of ridiculous demands from underwriting at the eleventh hour of the transactions; asking for documentation that should have been obtained a week before, etc.”

“Majority of problems stem from BIG Box Banks who overlay additional requirements on top of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac’s, & do not originate, process, underwrite, or prepare closing docs in one location.”

“Bank of America and Wells Fargo are consistently 45+ days late in closing! I advise my sellers not to accept offers with their pre app letters.”

“I do have issues with larger companies when offers come in on my properties such as Wells Fargo and Chase – high turnover rate and a lot of these loan originators do not know what they are doing.”

“There is zero chance I would trust a bank with a client of mine when I can just as easily have them work with a local lender I already know. Do the math. 1 Client = 4-5% of my income. The biggest problem in my daily life is teaching my clients why they should dump the moronic lender they met on the internet who gave them a pre-approval letter like it came out of a gum ball machine.”

“It is very hard to get a loan with Bank of America these days. They don’t want to loan money. Also we have to educate buyers about their pre-approval letters, because they fall apart right before closing.”

“I’ve had dealings with four pre-approved buyers with Bank of America in the last year. Not one was able to ultimately close with BofA because they pulled the approval in all four cases, just days before closing. Three of those four were able to close with another local lender with no problems.”
“Bank of America should die a slow, expensive and painful death along with Citibank.”


I could fill 100 pages with these comments. I am not sure what it will take to get the consuming public to wake up and realize that getting a mortgage directly from a big bank is not going to turn out well. Stick with a local, accountable, referred direct lender for the best results.

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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