We are currently in the midst of a transaction going south as a direct result of U.S. Bank’s ineptitude.
Yes, lenders can be a pain in the posterior to work with. Unfortunately, working with them is a given in the vast majority of real estate transactions.
If it was just one thing gone wrong, I could deal with it. But it’s the near constant display of cluelessness that mystifies me.
Well that and the lying.
I don’t tolerate being lied to. It feels like there are people within the hallowed halls of U.S. Bank’s mortgage department that subscribe to the “tell them whatever it takes to get them off the phone, even if it is pure unadulterated bullshit” theory of customer service.
On Monday, December 20 at roughly 2:00pm the loan officer, we’ll just call him “Richard” said that docs were drawn and on the way to title. Closing as per the contract on the 22nd seemed like a no-brainer.
The next day, the doc’s still weren’t at title. Of course “Richard” didn’t answer the phone or respond to emails. Finally around 4:00 he stated the doc’s were still at underwriting”¦
“But you said they were drawn and would be delivered Monday afternoon.”
“Yeah, that’s what ”˜they‘ told me.”
Getting frustrated with Richard’s complete lack of follow-up, and his habit of replying to voice mail and email 30 hours later, we tried talking to Richard’s manager. We’ll just call him “John Boy”.
“John Boy”, despite being a manager, claimed to have no access to Richard’s file. So he was really of no help.
A couple of days later (we’re now two days past the scheduled close of escrow), John Boy finally tells us that ”˜they‘ had goofed up a previous FHA case number and were getting it addressed. He had no idea when the problem would be resolved. But on Friday the 24th, John Boy was gracious enough to say, “I will personally contact the seller on Monday and explain the situation to him. We’ll get it fixed.”
OKfine. Monday rolls around.
Richard is now throwing everyone under the bus, and claiming it’s all in the hands of “management”. There is nothing he can do.
So we email John Boy, asking him to please contact the seller as he promised he would on Friday.
Within seconds we get an email back from John Boy.
An Out of the Office auto-response.
Seems John Boy is out all this week on vacation.
Maybe John Boy didn’t lie. Maybe on Friday afternoon at 3:00pm when he said he’d make a call on Monday he just forgot that he had a week of vacation coming up. I mean that’s an easy thing to forget, right? After all, who is really thinking about their upcoming week off on a Friday afternoon?
Lessons learned from U.S. Bank’s ineptitude
- While it seems stunningly obvious, apparently it has to be said ”“ don’t lie. If you don’t know the answer just say so. And follow up when you find said answer.
- Don’t take 30+ hours to respond to email and voice mail. Particularly with a contractual deadline looming.
- Saying, “I was in a meeting” is a poor excuse for failing to respond. Especially when you use that same excuse day after day after day –and even multiple times in one day. You’re a lender, not a Chief Executive Officer. You can’t possibly have that many meetings.
- Blaming everyone but yourself is annoying.
- Throwing your boss under the bus, when you’ve been told he will be contacted, is annoying. And not very bright.
This isn’t our first poor experience with the mortgage division of U.S. Bank. Hopefully it is our last. When we entered into this client relationship, we warned the client our past experience with this lender. That warning will be even stronger the next time ”“ and backed up with documentation.
If you are looking for a great mortgage lender, contact us and we’ll be happy to send you a list of several. Not all lenders are clueless. Your lender plays a critical role in getting your real estate transaction closed. Avoid the clueless, use a good lender ”“ there are some out there.