My Experience with SunTrust Mortgage…

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…

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About utahREpro

Chris is the managing broker for Prudential Utah Elite Real Estate in American Fork, Utah. His passions include spending time with his family, Real Estate, Social Media, traveling, reading, movies, golf, dirt biking and so much more. Chris is a graduate of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Leadership Academy as well as the Utah Association of REALTORS (UAR) Leadership Academy. He has served in many capacities in the real estate industry at the national, state and local levels, including: 2013 Treasurer of the Utah Association of REALTORS 2011 President of the Utah County Association of REALTORS (UCAR) 2011 REALTOR of the Year – UCAR NAR Federal Political Coordinator assigned to US Senator Mike Lee 2011 NAR Strategic Planning Committee 2010 – 2013 NAR Public Policy Coordinating Committee 2011 Dean of the LeadershipUAR Program Chris has been a licensed REALTOR in the State of Utah since 2004. He has been recognized both nationally and locally by Prudential and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2010.
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10 Responses to My Experience with SunTrust Mortgage…

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention My Experience with SunTrust Mortgage… | utahREpro -- Topsy.com

  2. Jim Cannon says:

    I can’t believe it Chris. This also makes me want to never work with a short sale again. After we bail them out, this is how they repay us? Crazy!

  3. Cathy Kahn says:

    I feel for you and shame on SunTrust for taking advantage of the situation. Karma has a way of evening things out and your ethical act of kindness (or taking the hit) will not go unnoticed. Dealing with short sales myself this year has been challenging to say the least. There are major communication problems with all the lending mitigation departments, not just SunTrust. I can’t even to begin to explain all of the ridiculous situations I’ve had to deal with this year working short sales. Why do I keep working them? I have no idea…other than the fact that I have the fortitude and tenacity to help these sellers in distress. Unfortunately, short sales and REO properties will be apart of our business for quite sometime. Maybe telling our stories will somehow bring these unfair practices to the attention of senior management and will be a catalyst for change…thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays!

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  6. Sean says:

    Sun Trust is the worst bank arounf…Just closed all accounts with them except my mortgage and they can have the house seeing as they don’t and won’t help with HAMP(saying I don’t qualify). Let’s see I lost my job three weeeks ago and did the online tool through Fannie Mae and I do qualify….It seems strange they say I don’t qualify BUT would be more then happy to do a no income documention refi @ 4.9%….Oh and by the way roll 6k in closing costs into the loan so I can add more money to a house that isn’t worth anything already. IDIOTS!

  7. Bill Freeze says:

    Probably should take them to court if you have an attorney that is a friend and will not hurt you on attorney fees. The other solution is to wrtie them a letter demanding that they pay you at once or you wiil send your story to Money Magazine….they don’t want that kind of exposure!

  8. Rachel LaMar says:

    Chris,

    Thank you for sharing this with me today. I am beyond frustrated with these lenders in short sale situations. Not only is this wrong, but it seems borderline illegal. The lenders have us (Realtors) between a rock and a hard place, and they know it. A similar situation happened to me yesterday, at the 11th hour in a short sale. Chase decided to cut agent commissions by 1.5% ($2300). The listing agent and I of course could not fight it, for fear of losing the sale–like you our concern first and foremost is for our clients. Realtors need to DO something about this. 75% of my work right now is with short sales. We need to figure out solutions to these problems where lenders can play the parties all the way to the recorder’s office.

    • utahREpro says:

      Couldn’t agree more… it’s criminal what they do. Worse yet, they know they’ll get away with it because we won’t keep our clients from closing over our commission!

  9. Pingback: Utah’s Short Sale Disclosure | utahREpro

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