This is my third day being “beached,” which means I have been working from home. I am always slightly worried about these time off because if it is extended I begin to wonder about the economy, the viability of the firm, etc. but I think it is a necessary mental break for the consultants to take a breath, regroup, and work on some non-client related matters. I had so many tasks and goals — finish my certifications, write a presentation and white paper on a business topic, etc.
Unfortunately, thanks to my mortgage broker, I am more frazzled than ever before and completely unable to focus on anything aside from the home purchase. Now I am really glad that I am beached because I can’t imagine dealing with this mess while being on a client engagement since stepping away for 2-3 hours a day during business hours would be a huge no-n0.
I found my mortgage broker through one of the top four evil banks in the US. I called to receive a pre-approval letter and spoke to him for over 30 minutes or so. He seemed attentive and funny so when the home purchase happened so much faster than I ever anticipated, I decided to give him a call for the mortgage. I should have realized that he might not be on top of his stuff when he would seem lost about what documents I had submitted to him during our conversations.
As we went through the attorney reviews, inspections, etc. I started to notice he just plain sucked at communication. I would send him an email with two questions and he would only answer one of my questions. Some questions I would bring up daily and it would take him three or four days to respond. Mind you, he would email me about something else during this time so I know he is reading my emails and in the office. He also would request certain documents “ASAP” and have me chase the document although they should have known they would be required earlier on. I notified my real estate agent that I was not confident about his competence and that we need to stay on top of him to ensure we can meet our deadlines.
Today was the deadline for the mortgage to be approved. Yesterday I received a list of 11 items, stating that if they cannot receive those items by the end of the day they will not be able to approve the mortgage prior to our closing, which is 1.5 weeks away. Of these documents, 3 were not applicable to me (they were internal processes), 3 I had already submitted, and 5 which had never been requested before. Some of these were really standard items he should have provided me earlier to complete, like social security number verification. Seriously? Because every document like the tax returns, W2, credit report, etc aren’t plastered with my SSN? And some were ridiculous requests, like wanting a copy of my diploma or transcript from my MBA program. Uh, I graduated over 3 years ago and I have no gaps in my employment for the last 4 years! This list came after weeks of me asking him if he has all the documents he needs.
I finally called his boss (his email signature always said if there are problems to report them to his boss and had the boss’s contact info) to express my anger, frustrations, and concerns. Movers are coming on the 29th and I need to vacate my unit by the 31st. If we are unable to close by the 27th (Friday), I am screwed. And I refuse to have to live in a hotel or friend’s couch and having to deal with my items temporarily being in storage because of my mortgage officer’s incompetence. Now I have been promised a daily update from the boss and I can tell the agent is more careful in reviewing what documents I have already produced to him before he makes new requests.
Lesson learned here: shop around and interview your mortgage brokers for some time. See how they communicate with you over a few weeks and how they answer your questions, etc. In hindsight the moment I started to think about purchasing a place I should have interviewed mortgage brokers for comparison, before even meeting with the agents. But, had I done that, I would not have been able to purchase my condo since I assume someone else would have made an offer (it was listed only for 10 days when I made the offer). I guess now I know what to do for our next home purchase.