Dear REALTOR® Friends and Potential Home Buyers:
I recently had an experience with SunTrust Mortgage that I thought would be important to share with you. It’s kind of like experiences you’ve possibly had where someone or a business has done you very wrong and you feel the need to warn others so that they can avoid similar pain and trouble, even though you had to experience it yourself so others could learn from it.
As many of you know I am a REALTOR®, and even though this is a story about a short sale, I am not going to waste your time and tell you about all the headaches and troubles I had with SunTrust Mortgage throughout the process of just getting to yes… we are just going to fast forward to the yes part and closing –
On, Nov. 8, 2010 I received an FNMA Approval letter from SunTrust Mortgage. The letter stated that SunTrust agreed to the terms asked for in the purchase contract. Specifically a $255,000 sales price and Buyer’s closing costs not to exceed $5,900 and net proceeds payable to SunTrust of $229,778. The e-mail clarifies that SunTrust will not pay for the Broker Processing fee of $250. Nowhere in the acceptance letter or in any other communication does SunTrust indicate that they will not pay lender origination fees as part of the buyer’s $5,900 in closing costs.
Fast forward to funding and recording on Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 – Around 3:00 pm I call Holly Shafer at Utah First Title to make sure that this has recorded. She tells me all is well and that it should be recording in the next few minutes. At 3:34 pm I get an e-mail from Holly regarding SunTrust Mortgage’s e-mail saying that they will not pay for lender’s origination fees on line 803 of the HUD statement. SunTrust wasn’t willing to budge or do anything on this issue despite the fact that this was in contradiction to all correspondence we had on this file.
I was left with no other solution except to pay $2,711.84 out of my commission to cover the lender’s origination fees that SunTrust would not. Had I not done this, the deal would have completely fallen apart and EVERYONE would have been losers including SunTrust! Just to clarify, all of this happened with in the final hour of our closing deadline, and any significant changes would have forced the buyer’s to go back to their lender and start over!
The most frustrating aspect of this was that in the original HUD statement SunTrust was getting $231,437.34 which was $1,659.34 more than the agreed to net in the acceptance letter. In the newly revised HUD SunTrust is getting $4,621.18 more than the agreed net. Not to mention the fact that not once, nowhere did SunTrust state that lender origination fees wouldn’t be allowed in the buyer’s agreed to $5,900 in closing costs.
Despite many attempts today to resolve this with SunTrust Mortgage, I am left losing $2,711.84 and SunTrust is getting $4,621.18 more than the agreed net amount. How this is right in SunTrust’s eyes is completely beyond me. Two employees at SunTrust have openly admitted that SunTrust did not advise us of this change in writing in their acceptance letter and that it should be in the letter. We work in a business where we do exactly what is written in contracts and agreements. SunTrust should be ashamed of how they handled this. It is clear to me that SunTrust did not perform according to written documents and took advantage of a REALTOR’S commission at the last minute at the Recorder’s office, knowing that I’d have no other recourse except to take the hit. I mean really, am I going to tell my clients as they sit in a moving truck… “Sorry, I’m going to cancel this deal over the $2,700 that SunTrust is stealing from me… go back to your old home, oh wait you can’t…”
So SunTrust stole $2,711.84 from me. It is my hope and wish that this story is shared with as many people as possible. Then and only then as they lose business will they learn that it’s not worth it to steal from REALTORS® just because they “think” they can get away with it at the last minute as a deal is held hijacked! BTW – I’ve had more successful negotiations take place in Tijuana, Mexico!
Please share your thoughts or experiences in comments below – Thanks!
UPDATE: A fellow agent called me today, October 5, 2011, to tell me this very same thing had just happened to him! It’s absolutely criminal what SunTrust Mortgage does to REALTORS in the final hours of closing…