Saturday, September 15, 2007

who is responsible for making sure mortgage funds arrive on time for a closing?

A very upset customer with children in the car and a packed truck who was supposed to have closed today at 1pm, asked me that question at 4pm.

He was really, REALLY, upset and I don't blame him. We couldn't disburse because the $39,000+ 2nd mortgage funding had not arrived. He was in a jam because the seller wouldn't let him into the house without having received their proceeds.

This was not a question of everything happening at the last minute. The documents arrived the day before closing. The HUDs had been approved the day before closing. The first mortgage funding arrived on time, but for some reason the second mortgage money didn't.

Our closer, David Keiser, started calling the lender first thing in the morning trying to track down the funds. He was assured that the wire was on the way. When it didn't arrive, he tried to reach the lender contact again but getting voice mail, left several messages and tried for the receptionist but couldn't get a response. He called me as the closing was soon to start and I gave him the number of another individual who worked in the same building. She was able to intercede on his behalf by physically going and finding the person who should have been helping him and was so hard to reach.

The parties left the closing table after waiting for a long time and eventually having signed a dry closing disclosure.

The buyer, a business person with a reasonable understanding of financial affairs, was just really unhappy when he called me. He wanted to know why I wouldn't fund since the lender had assured us that the funds were in the Federal Reserve system and had a tracking number. I explained that we were not permitted to release funds until the money was in our account. He asked whose rules those were and I explained that we are under contract with the title underwriter and that we are obligated to adhere to a good funds policy.

I defended David who I know was doing everything he could all day to resolve the problem. I explained to our unhappy buyer that it's the lender's responsibility to make certain that funds arrive on time and that we can't change reality.

After we hung up, I called the lender contact directly to get a specific status. I knew she would be honest, she's truly someone I can count on in that way. She honestly told me that the funds had just left their office 10 or 20 minutes ago.

Well, they arrived in our account by about 4:17pm and the buyers were permitted into the house.

The explanation was simple human error. She had ordered the funds the day before and someone else in the second mortgage department dropped the ball. It was unfortunate that they assumed for the greater part of the day that the funds were simply en route in the Fed despite numerous urgent inquiries from David.

I do understand that our buyer was very unhappy when I said I couldn't change reality, but I couldn't and I find bending that truth doesn't really help anyone.

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