I’ve had really good things to say, up until now, about Don O’Dell. Don was my mortgage broker at Allen Tate Mortgage. He got me into this great 203(k) loan, but somehow, some way, never made it clear me that it would take as long as a month to get my 203(k) loan transferred from Allen Tate Mortgage to M&T Bank until a week before my loan was to close. At that point, this loan was too big to fail, and it was going forward no matter what. At some point between closing and last Wednesday, Don left Allen Tate Mortgage to pursue other opportunities.
The problem with this open-ended transfer term from the mortgage originator to the mortgage servicer is that I cannot get a draw on the money I borrowed to fix up the house until the transfer is complete. I’m responsible for that money, I have to pay a mortgage payment on November 1 that includes that money, but I can’t spend it.
If you are following along closely, you will realize that if I can’t spend that money, then neither can my general contractor. My general contractor is many many things, but he is not a bank. Ergo, he is not in the business of lending people money. I do not hold this against him, because I know that he is not a bank. He is a contractor.
I do hold this against Don O’Dell. Don is a bank, or he is at least that bank’s representative. He is in the business of lending money. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Don knows ALL of my financial business. He knows my current rent, my mortgage payment, he knows that six months ago I overdrafted when the money I keep in savings to transfer to checking to pay for my student loans didn’t go over on time, he knows that I got paid $55 three months ago for babysitting, he knows I have no credit card debt, he probably can tell you the next three things I’m going to buy, because the man is all up in my financial business.
Don knows that I was not planning on having two places to live for two months. That was not — and is not — built into my plan. I do not know whether Don had a legal duty to explain this process to me; I suspect he did. I am certain he had an ethical duty to explain this process to me. Had he done so, we could have arranged this transaction differently. Had he done so, he would have made a lifelong customer. He would have had a lifelong customer, as a matter of fact, even though he had left Allen Tate Mortgage and gone on to another opportunity. But that is not the case. Don didn’t have the good grace to tell me he was leaving or to tell me who else I could talk to in order to see that my loan was sold properly. Customer service fail.
I want to point out that I am not angry (at the moment) at Allen Tate Mortgage. Brokers come and go. I do wish they had someone in their IT department dump Don’s emails to his superior – that would help with taking care of Don’s open accounts. I’ve had a couple nice conversations with the vice president who supervised Don until he left the company, and he is giving me the impression that he is trying to do right by me. I’m really hope that he is.
I am not sure when my loan will be transferred to the processor. The VP made a phone call that might have expedited the process; tomorrow will tell. The loan is supposedly at the top of the pile and will at least get looked at soon (better than nothing!). This will all likely get more complicated before I begin to be able to spend all of that cash I borrowed.
I want that money.
Until then, I’m going to resist the urge to really get ugly.