In this second article about mortgages in the Memphis area, we look at what others are experiencing when they apply for a mortgage. We'll consider reviews by individuals regarding specific lenders. People in the Memphis area have posted these reviews on Zillow.com about personal experiences with loan officers and various lending institutions.
Bank of America, for all of the bad press it receives, has a surprisingly high number of very positive reviews. One commenter recently had this to say about a BoA loan officer:
"I highly recommend Mike Rose and his team of mortgage professionals. My refinance was expertly and expeditiously handled. I was kept apprised of the status at each stage of the process. All in all, it was a pleasant experience."
Here is a comment about another BoA loan officer:
"Bart and his colleague, Matt, were extremely helpful throughout the process of purchasing our first home. He was available whenever we had questions, including weekends and evenings, which was a huge plus for us. They were both also very quick to respond whenever we reached out. Bart also attended the closing to make sure everything went according to plan.
I would definitely recommend him to anyone going through this intense process for the first time."
This is what some people are saying about HomeDirect Mortgage:
"I requested a pre-approval letter over the weekend. Was pleasantly surprised that they got back to me that day. Got the letter to me the next day. Also followed up with questions about state of my home search."
These lenders had mixed reviews. Some good, some not so good. We'll start with Sebonic Financial:
"They are extremely slow in processing the loan, took over 2 months and still could not complete it. Be very careful that they will rush you to complete the inspection very fast almost the first thing. I guess, showing loan offer just a bit better than others and capturing appraisal fee immediately, is their way to lock you in without doing any diligence on the paperwork they need to submit to 3rd party underwriters. In my case every stage for them takes 2 weeks to complete with radio-silence in between and hand-off across multiple reps. Overall poor service, I'd not recommend trusting them."
On a more positive note about Sebonic Financial:
"From beginning to end, the professionalism was superb. The responsiveness was immediate and the knowledge was right on. We were a little concerned at first as this was the only time we have ever used an online mortgage service. But after 10 home buys and sells under our belt, we thought the customer service exceeded any brick and mortar we had used prior for our loans. We would highly recommend this company and their rates are extremely fair with various programs to choose from."
And regarding First Internet Bank:
"They did help us uncover a great mortgage option that we hadn't considered. The total cost was low, and overall, the process went quickly. The one down side is that the documentation process was very detailed with this lender. When we pushed back, they admitted they didn't really need everything they were asking for. I think their responsiveness suffered due to the high number of people refinancing now."
"I had the best experience refinancing my house through First Internet Bank. I was very nervous to work with a bank that was not bricks and mortar and frankly, I expected a sell job with much different numbers than what was listed online. To my surprise, Erik Elasasser, Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer, walked me through the process step-by-step, addressed all of my concerns, and was there for me even on his day off! Rebekah Graham, Sr. Mortgage Processor, was great and very helpful. I have no hesitations in recommending First Internet Bank for your mortgage needs."
The good news there are very few truly ugly reviews posted on Zillow. Here is one that appears to have been caused more by the borrower than the lender, according to eRates Mortgage response.
"Worst Ever-After telling them that I had a Short Sale they ~ 3 years prior they stated I was pre-approved anyway. After writing a check for appraisal and completing the appraisal process I was told I don't qualify because of the Short Sale. I just received another bill for existing loan pay off reports requested by eRates Mortgage. They refuse to acknowledge their mistake or refund any money. Be aware or go to somebody more reputable."
Response from lender:
"The borrower did disclose that she had a short sale in the past. This short sale was beyond the time frame required for new financing. What the borrower DID NOT disclose was that they had short sales on two other properties that disqualified her for financing."
After looking through dozens of reviews, it appears overall that the mortgage process in the Memphis area is working well for the vast majority of borrowers.
Author bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years. He also draws upon 25 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest in the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.