Nationstar Mortgage loan company admits it failed customer

Crazy. Absolutely crazy. Robin Reid can’t believe it. She signed up to refinance her home and here it is, six months later, and she’s still waiting. Excuse after excuse.

This isn’t some fly-by-night operator she’s dealing with, either. Nationstar Mortgage LLC in Lewisville, Texas is one of the biggest loan companies in America.

“Not pretty,” she says.

Mortgage loan

Reid is succinct. A journalist who worked for The Baltimore Sun and National Geographic, she doesn’t waste a word. When she complains, she tries to keep her comments tight, factual and positive. She’s gotten a lot of practice complaining, too.

“A morass of foolishness,” she says of her long march through the loan approval process.

A Nationstar senior vice president doesn’t disagree. “This is one that got away from us,” John Hoffmann admits.

nationstar

As readers of The Dallas Morning News Dave Lieber Watchdog column first learned, Nationstar bought the mortgage on her Baltimore home last year and, as a get-acquainted gesture, offered her a lower rate. Good timing. Her adjustable rate loan is expiring this summer.

In January, a month after she applied, she wrote Nationstar: “Do you foresee any snags? I hope it’s all going OK. My fingers are crossed!!!”

Her loan officer’s reply: “Everything is in order on my end and I do not foresee any problems in completing the loan.”

Fingers crossed doesn’t always work.

She was promised everything would be completed by March, correspondence shows. After months went by, a supervisor told her there was a high volume of loans and the company had fallen behind.

Her bank wrote Reid to complain that Nationstar refused to provide necessary information “despite multiple requests for that information.”

She was outraged in April when Nationstar asked her for documents she sent the previous November.

The process stretched so long that her first appraisal expired, and she had to get another one. (Nationstar paid for it.)

Two days before The Watchdog waded into this mess, a Nationstar “escalations team leader” wrote Reid, “We are at a standstill with your file at this point.”

Now, for the first time, Nationstar has jumped on the fast track. A company employee told Reid in an email last week that Nationstar is waiting for one last document from her bank. To speed up the process, Nationstar wrote, it sent the bank an overnight envelope. That’s all Reid wanted from the start.

She’s lost $1,200, she says, because if she could have refinanced months ago as promised, she would have saved that much with a lower interest rate.

Company spokesman Hoffmann says: “There’s no way around this one. We didn’t do it. We didn’t handle it well at all.”

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What specifically went wrong?

“No good reason,” he replied, adding that Reid’s loan “should be wrapped up in a couple of days.” (That didn’t happen.)

Nationstar may have been distracted. In January, Nationstar acquired $215 billion in residential mortgage servicing rights from Bank of America. That means the company is adding another 1.3 million loans to its own portfolio of 1.2 million loans

The Texas attorney general’s office reports that Nationstar had 250 complaints lodged against it in the past two years. At the state office of its regulator, Nationstar has 275 complaints for the past eight years, according to the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending. That’s not considered a lot by associate general counsel Chris Schneider.

“Nationstar is huge, one of the largest mortgage originators and servicers in the country. In any operation that large with the volume they do, there are going to be complaints. We have received complaints against Nationstar, as we do for virtually every company in the business.”

What should people do in this situation? The Watchdog recommends flooding the zone. Reid did that. First, go to the company, to managers and executives. Like Reid, be tight, factual and positive. If that doesn’t work, do as Reid did and file complaints with the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and her congressman’s office.

There’s also the Better Business Bureau, the attorney general of the home state of a company, the state mortgage regulator, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which enforces fair lending laws, and, for good measure, the Federal Trade Commission.

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