"Underwriter's Panties in a Bind" cause more than an Uncomfortable Moment--It Changed My Clients Future!

Real Estate Agent with Broker Associate/Realtor/ISA with Nouveau Riche

Well, here's the newest experience for my Brokers Book O' Events!  We all know how lendors/underwriters must do their final verification of employment in the few days surrounding our buyers closing date. Being the good little Broker that I am; I am sure to cover this part of the process in our initial interview, and again after our offer was accepted and we entered our 30 day road to close.

Back in the fall of 2007 I met this delightful woman who found me from my real estate yard sign sitting on a property just around the corner from hers. Our friendship began that day when she told me all about her "ex" and the fact that he has inhabited their marital home for the past year while she and their 9 year old twin sons lived in a tiny apartment.  He was a stubborn, egoic man to say the least and would not cooperate with her to sell the family home; until he was forced to by the courts.

Around Oct of 2007 (he saw THE LIGHT) (otherwise known as the Judge flipped his light switch ON!) and she called and said "Patti , we are ready to go, can you come over tomorrow to get the listing process going?" she went on to say "you are going to have to be the bad guy here, because my husband has things like: "talking fish", stuffed ducks that he shot, clothes thrown everywhere, not to mention several unfinished projects that must be completed" Our friendship flourished as we made progress in the "de-personalization of the family home, AND completed all the unfinished projects" I had to pretend to care about the macho man syndrome where he got all excited telling me how he "enjoyed when he got to use his tazer gun, on the job; and how hunting was a manly man's sport"

Fortunately for all of us, our goal was completed in less than 6 weeks with an offer and subsequent close in early December. He went home to live with mom; and she now had money to purchase a home for her and the boys.  GREAT; here comes the fun part of our friendship: shopping for a home for her.

After much shopping and deliberating we found THE PERFECT HOME, and negotiations with the seller equated to a PERFECT solution for all; and an accepted contract came to fruition approx 5 weeks ago.

IRONICALLY, the buyer of Ellens former family home came from an agency that I used to work for; and he was represented by an agent: DARA that I adore (then and now)   The IRONY? the perfect home that Ellen was supposed to close on ONE WEEK AGO TODAY May 6; is represented by DARA. So...how wonderful; the first exchange in December: Dara brought the buyer to me the seller; and this time around I brought the buyer to Dara's sellers.  How wonderful, perfect, "Karma-ish" RIGHT????

On Friday May 2,2008; 2 business days prior to our May 6th closing, the underwriter chosen for our employment verification, FIRST made a different phone call only to discover what SHE ASSUMED, THOUGHT, and MISUNDERSTOOD to be "discrimination in action". Consequently "her underwear was in quite a tight little bunch" as she dialed the numbers to verify Ellens employment.


In a mindset of ANGER, the underwriter proceeded to call for verification of employment on my client. The lady on the other end picks up the phone and responds "Oh no, she doesn't work here anymore..."  My client has worked for the Dept of Child Services for nearly 10 years, and just that week had returned to work from an excused medical leave of absence. What the lady meant was: "she doesn't work at THIS LOCATION ANY LONGER"   Suffice it to say? The underwriters who panties were already in a bind? "heard" bells, whistles , red lights and fireworks engage. (SHE NO LONGER WORKS HERE) Thats all she had to hear.

Our government has put such a deep FEAR into underwriters that although, subsequent phone calls, documentation, verifications from managers, owners, VP's and Presidents throughout Ellens Employer and the Lending Firm approving her for a mortgage; have CALLED, BEGGED, READ VERBAGE STRAIGHT FROM THE FHA MANUALS, and even THREATENED HER. This underwriter will NOT budge.

Ellens docs were immediately submitted to an alternative lendor the very next day; however ONE WEEK LATER, TODAY......................Ellen's enthusiasm, dream, and hope has been squashed; and I am barely able to keep her in a positive frame of mind any longer. She believes after everything, her dream is not going to happen.  (and the disappointment of Jake and Zack; is nearly more then she can bear to face daily when they wake)

This is a FIRST for my history books, and its so VERY WRONG............but beware folks.....this is one more story that shows how very different out marketplace is today from yesterday

We are very sad.  I WISH I could visit with this underwriter who has single handedly destroyed my clients dream, hope and happiness in this home; and try to understand WHY??  WHY and HOW could YOU do this to someone? Can you sleep with yourself at night???


Comments (6)

Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

How very sad for your client that is truly a heart break, on the other side of the fence buyers sometimes do themselves in I have had buyers all approved that went out and purchased  a car a week before the closing only to find the bank discovered the new debt and killed the deal on the income to debt ratios..so we can only do our best and hope buyers and banks don't do stupid things

May 13, 2008 01:44 AM
Joe Virnig
RE/MAX Gold Coast REALTORS, Ventura County, California - Ventura, CA
No Ordinary Joe

I am afraid we'll hear more of these stories.  I have many from the early part of my career.  During the "have a pulse-get a loan" days it didn't happed too much.  The pain came later when they lost the house.  Hope you client and you have another shot soonl.

May 13, 2008 01:51 AM
Patti A. Puckett
Broker Associate/Realtor/ISA with Nouveau Riche - Belvidere, IL

You're right Steve, I have had buyers do stupid things; each time something new rears its head; I try really hard to incorporate that EXPERIENCE into my speaches and briefings and conversations with new buyers so that it doesnt happen again.  I find that sharing STORIES seems to be the best way to get my message to STICK in someones brain.  Ironically you mention the car deal; and that has happened to me before so that is one of my standard stories when prepping my clients: I tell them: "IF you have made the decision to buy a home, then you CAN NOT and please DO NOT apply for any credit whatsoever and that includes purchasing OR re-financing a car.  I go on to tell them how car dealerships do whats called: SLAMMING your CREDIT and I have seen this be responsible and be the DEAL KILLER on a client of mine; when they re-fi'd their car in the second week of our 4 week to close time frame. The SLAMMING that occured was responsible for 17 points; a hit to my clients that KILLED THE DEAL!

Wouldn't you agree that sometime we can educate until we are blue in the face and still they have to do it themselves!!

Thanks for sharing; have a beautiful day

Patti Puckett

Northern Il

May 13, 2008 02:02 AM
Patti A. Puckett
Broker Associate/Realtor/ISA with Nouveau Riche - Belvidere, IL

Thanks for the encouragement Joe, she is one of the GOOD ONES; and I just barely know what to say to her any longer?  I have been back and forth with her Broker; who was so rude to me last week; I told him to just "Call me when we are ready to close"

I dont know about where you are in Ventura; but here? its far and few in between that we get a qualified buyer to peek out from their doorways to buy a home and then a nightmare like this happens?  Even though she understands how all this happened; it doesnt make any logical sense that it cannot be corrected; just no logical sense.  I think the underwriter should be smacked upside the head  heheheheh

Have a beautiful day

Patti Puckett

May 13, 2008 02:10 AM
Jeannie Kontis
Lancaster, PA

Patti, what a horrible ordeal for your buyer to have to go through.  Is there any way she can switch to a different lender and save the deal?  If everything is in order, hopefully it wouldn't take too long for someone else to pick up the slack.

May 13, 2008 02:09 PM
Andrew Baumbach
Homestead Realty Inc. - Milwaukee, WI
Greater Milwaukee Real Estate

sorry to hear such a said story.

I'm thankful that I usually work with a lender an underwriting team that I trust. If i had a problem like that I could just call that underwriter's superior or even the president of the company, and explain the situation.

There's lots of homes, you'll find her another, maybe she'll like it even better.

May 14, 2008 06:40 AM