What do you do when you are in escrow and the title company won't answer their phone and won't return voice-mails or emails?
I can tell you that it is a pretty helpless feeling and that the poor communication will eventually lead to a delay in closing.
This has been my experience with a title company in Texas (who will remain nameless) with a HUD foreclosure that my wife and I are buying. Apparently, this particular company has a contract with the Dept. of HUD to handle all of the HUD foreclosure closings in my area.
As a buyer, you do not have a choice, you have to close with this title company, period.
I don't want to sound too upset, I mean we are paying approx 15% below market for a house that is move-in ready, but the process has been excruciating.
And it's true, I may be spoiled with my usual title company (Gracy Title in Buda TX is awesome). They really work to earn my business and therefore focus on good customer service for me and my clients. Its great!
Now when I compare this to the title company handling all of the HUD foreclosure closings in my area (who shall remain nameless) I really start to appreciate all of the things that gracy title does for me that I probably should not take for granted
When using HUD's designated closing agent, it takes about an hour on hold (literally, I have several call logs on record) just to get to someone who knows how to answer your question. And as I wrote at the beginning, it sometimes takes several phone calls just to get someone to answer so that you can start the process of being on hold for an hour. It's pointless to leave a VM or email.
It took an email from the asset manager to the VP of the title company just to get someone there to send the title commitment to my lender (7 days before the original closing, approx 38 days after going into contract).
Then they told me I had to pay $375 to request a closing extension (I will eventually get this money back, after closing)
Anyway, I could go on and on with more examples of my nightmarish experience with HUD's designated closing agent in my area (who shall remain nameless) on this closing.
I think it boils down to the fact that they have a monopoly of a contract with the Dept of HUD. As a buyer, you can't choose anyone else, so they have virtually no incentive to do a good job or to provide good customer service.
The takeaway for me is that a good HUD foreclosure in my area, comes with strings attached. It is not your choice for title company and not your typical closing experience (and not in a good way). But on the positive side, it really makes you appreciate what you have when you deal with your preferred title company. Gracy Title in Buda Texas ROCKS.
Anyone else have bad experiences with HUD's designated closing agent?