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Metro Atlanta, Athens and NE Georgia

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BBB Accredited Business since 03/19/2004

First Option Mortgage, LLC (Headquarters)

Phone: (888) 766-3506

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Customer Complaints Summary

20 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 6 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Problems with Product / Service20
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints20

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (20)BBB Closure Definitions
04/24/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
I went to First Option Lending to get a home loan - my mom and I were wanting to buy a house. I spoke to **** ******** He seemed nice enough. Unfortunately I'm not sure he knows what he is doing. He got us pre-approved for a loan. We found a house and for whatever reason **** could not get us approved for a loan even though he assured us he could. Every day he needed some other documentation. He waited for weeks to put the file into underwriting even though he knew we were in a time crunch. I almost lost my earnest money. I almost lost the house. I ended up switching lenders and low and behold, the new lender got us closed in 2 weeks! Unfortunately, due to ****'s incompetence, I ended up having to pay for two home appraisals so I'm now out $450. I also ended up having to beg my current landlord for a one month extention on my lease because the closing had to go into the next month (again, due to ****'s incompetence). He gave it to me but I had to agree to forfeit my security deposit to him so now I'm also out $1,495.00. So, not only did FOL and **** ******* cause me undue stress, he also ended up costing me $1,945.00!!! I am really unhappy with this company!

Desired Settlement
I would like, at the very least, the home appraisal cost refunded to me ($450.00).If they were a stand-up company they would pay me what I'm out which is the $1,945.00 since that is what **** ended up costing me in the end.

Business Response
Ms. ******,

I've had the opportunity to review your compliant. I've also spoken with both the ** & the Branch Manager regarding your file.

We regret we were unable to get your loan closed. In review, there were aspects of the loan that made it inherently difficult and took us longer to process than most. Although we agreed to continue to work on getting your file complete, at your request we transferred your documentation along with the appraisal that was completed to a lender you requested us to send it to. We're happy to hear that the other lender was able to get your loan closed.

We'll be more than happy to refund you for the appraisal we had completed as long as you provide us the supporting documentation showing that they charged you for a 2nd. Just forward a copy of the settlement statement along with the appraisal invoice and we'll issue the refund. You can either fax (XXX-XXX-XXXX) or email to ******* ******* *******@firstoptiononline.com .

Again, we sincerely apologize for not being able to complete your loan for you, but we're happy to hear that you were able to complete the process.

Sincerely,

**** *******
Managing Partner

04/08/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
I have a rental property and on good faith estimate the day the application for mortgage was completed was 4.65% whereas I am getting 5.22% rate.
I had contacted the bank approximately 3 weeks ago. I got Good faith estimate and bank rep promised me the interest rate of 4.65%. I ran to the bank to complete application for Mortgage for my rental property located at XXXXX ******* ** ******** ** XXXXX. Everything was moving along fine. I had already informed the rep that the only reason I was working with him was because one bank offered me 4.75% interest rate in writing. The other bank offered me 4.75%, however, they were asking me to put close to 30% in down payment. Since, I was looking to cash out and refinance my property, I needed more money out. Bank rep gave me rate of 4.65% and promised they have very aggresive rates. He (****** ******* showed me on paper, I will get 4.65% interest rate with 25,000 cash. I gave him the appraisal that he said should transfer, however, he wasn't sure. I agreed to have another appraisal done, provided all the documentation, however, throughout things kept changing. First truth of lending showed 4.85% which he told me was due to additional costs. Then a few weeks later rates changed to 5.25%. Since, I have already paid for appraisal I wanted the bank to close my loan, but I belive there is some bad practice involved. I went to ******** baranch in ************* ******** Because, the loan did not close yet, I don't have the loan number, but we should close tomorrow.

Desired Settlement
I would like to get the interest rate of 4.65% as promised.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ***** ***** **** *****
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ****************************
I admit that there was a mistake made on Mr. *****'s loan. He was initially quoted an interest that was not available due to his property being financed as an investment property. Once this mistake was discovered Mr. ***** was notified and asked if he would like to proceed. We also offered to refund the cost of the appraisal that Mr. ***** incurred during this process. He stated that while he was not happy he would like to move forward with closing his loan. First Option is currently working on another refinance for Mr. ***** on his primary residence. Because we recognize a mistake was made we have offered Mr. ***** a loan that is below market rate and with reduced closing costs as well as refunding the money for his appraisal.

03/07/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
I refinanced with this lender who provided false information. I have paid too much in mortgage insurance and other fees. I have excellent credit along with my husband. I feel I should be reimbursed $5460.00. I have figured this amount covers the difference that I paid in excess due to the inflated mortgage insurance. The mortgage loan originator has since been terminated from the company. I will quote the current branch manager *** ***** as he stated, "She does not work here for the obvious reasons". I understand this might be a small amount to a big company but to this has been a great finacial burden. I have paid $1700.00 in a mortgage payment with only $300.00 going to principal.
Product_Or_Service: mortgage refinance

Desired Settlement
$5460.00 check or payment made to the pricipal of my loan.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: **** *******
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ******************************
Mr. *******, I've had the opportunity to review your file with ***** ****** ****** ********* overseeing the ******** office. It appears at the time we did your refinance the only loan program you qualified for was an FHA loan since you had 2 existing mortgages with a combined loan to value at 97.5%. You claim that you feel as if you paid too much in mortgage insurance. This is not something we as a company set; it's both controlled and mandated by HUD, we have to follow their guidance on this. Please help me understand where you're getting your information; I might be able to help clear up your confusion. Feel free to reach out to me next week; you can contact me in our Corporate Offices in Atlanta. Ph. XXX-XXX-XXXX

Sincerely,

**** *******
******** *******


Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
First of all I am not a MR. I spoke to ***** ***** who just laughed at me. He also had very negative things to say about the bank I am employed with and my Mortgage Loan Originator.
I was told ***** **** from First Option Lending was fired for giving false information. I wanted to do a different type of loan which she stated we could not do. Come to found out we could and pay less in PMI. There were incentive for loan originators at the time to put us in a loan like the one we had. I always felt uneasy about that transaction and feel we were scammed into something I did not want to do. In no way did that loan was beneficial.

Final Business Response
Ms. *******, first off, I apologize for the incorrect salutation, typo error my behalf and I'm sorry for that. Regarding your conversation with ****** I had the opportunity to listen to the recorded call; I didn't hear him laughing at you what so ever. He was very detailed in his explanation of the transaction and wanted the opportunity to provide additional information to whomever you've been working with to clarify the situation. It's obvious there were details they were not aware of. In addition, you claim that the LO provided false information, please expound upon that. Based on my review and your circumstances, what she provided you was the loan that made sense for your situation. If either you or whoever is providing you information feels differently, please let us know what program would have been better suited for your situation. Lastly, you're claiming that there was some form of an incentive for the Loan Officer in putting you into this program which is completely false. Our Loan Officers are paid the same no matter what program they offer borrowers. Again, not sure where you're getting this information, it's simply not true.

As I mentioned previously, both ***** and I would be more than happy to further discuss this with either yourself or whomever you're relying on for your information. Until there is a clear understanding of the situation, these types of claims are unsubstantiated. I've provided my direct contact information above, if you would like to further discuss, please let us know and we'll both make ourselves available to you.

Sincerely,

**** *******
******** *******

11/25/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
To whom it may concern,I contacted First Option Lending after a referral from a friend. I began working with a Mortgage Broker by the name of ***** *******. At first things were great. I have been recovering from a few financial hiccups and I didn't know for sure if I could qualify for a mortgage or not. Upon receiving various emails from her, I spent days gathering necessary documentation to proceed with applying for a mortgage. After this, I waited until I had the green light from her to begin house shopping. Me and my fiance went into her office and I signed a ton of papers. Before we left, she had her front office associate run "findings" on my file. As I do not work in the mortgage industry, I was unaware what findings were. She explained to me that after findings are run, it guarantees that I was approved. She told me I was pre-qualified for up to a $200,000 loan. To make a long story short, we went under contract on a condo and then decided to back out because we decided a town home is a better route to take. However she was terminated in mid deal. I was then contacted by a new broker by the name of **** ******** Now the story gets hairy. No longer am I pre-qualified, but apparently ***** left a **** storm of collateral damage for their office to clean up. I'm extremely disappointed in their business practices. First I am approved for a loan, then I was put into a position of having to beg to get my earnest money back and am in limbo on getting a mortgage to buy a home. The follow up with the new broker was mediocre at best. I did speak with their Branch Manager who did seem to somewhat care. But the bottom line is their mortgage company "guaranteed" me and "Pre-qualified" me for a loan and they need to back that up. After all of the work I put into this and the sketchy mortgage broker, something needs to be fixed. It is unacceptable business practices. They hired the broker and if she was terminated from being unethical, they need to clean it up as a company. She represented them.

Desired Settlement
I expect First Option Lending to get me the financing that their Mortgage Broker guaranteed me. Despite the fact that she was terminated due to unethical practices, I as the consumer and customer, should not suffer. She represented their company. If she failed to adhere to proper procedures, this should not put me in a bind. Thank you.

Business Response
Mr. ******** first off I do apologize for your experience, this is not how we at First Option conduct business. After reviewing your complaint, I reached out to ******* ******* the Branch Manager in our ****** office to research your file and follow up with me to get a better understanding of what transpired. I've included his response below for your review. Please let me know what you disagree with so I can further investigate.

Sincerely,

**** *******
******** *******


Mr. ******* initially contacted us on October 7th, 2013 through our website. He was referred to us by one of his friends who had a great experience and was interested in getting pre-qualified to purchase a home. His inquiry was assigned to a Loan Officer who called him that day and began the process of pre-qualifying him for a new home purchase.

The loan officer that was handling this application did not follow procedure and strayed from well documented, often communicated, and very clear policy in regards to how pre-qualifications are handled. Unfortunately, the time that this came to light was just after this individual had entered into contract to purchase the condominium he references.

At the time, the most important issue was trying to get an approval on his application. Within three days of going under contract the application was in line to be reviewed by an underwriter directly with our intended investor to get a definite answer on approvability. Unfortunately due to layering of risk factors contained within the application, the application was denied. This was immediately communicated to the customer. We were told that he had already withdrawn the offer on that property at that time and had decided to look at some other properties and property types, with an anticipation of closing several months in the future. This all happened in less than seven days, giving him plenty of time to recoup any monetary investment per the terms of his purchase contract. At the same time all of this was being coordinated, the original loan officer was separated from employment with First Option for not following proper procedures.

The new senior loan officer attempted to discuss plans and options moving forward with the client at the time of the initial denial, with the goal of helping them purchase a new home. Within days it seemed the individuals plans had changed and the idea of moving several months later turned into the individual needing to go back under contract right away. It was apparent that the client wanted a new pre-qualification letter in order to go under contract on a new property. We explained that we were not in position to do that just yet. That was not acceptable to this individual based upon the idea that he had already been issued a letter previously for a higher amount. The customer became agitated, so the loan officer suggested he may want to speak with management.

I reached out to the individual right away, discussed the events to date, apologized for the initial errors by the now separated loan officer and asked if there were anything I could do to help him get into a new home. I discussed that we needed a plan and a few things addressed first and that we could fairly quickly get him in position to purchase a home. I was told that he had already contacted another lender and they had stated they could help him. I reiterated several times that if anything did not work out with the other lender, to please call me directly and we would resume the planning in order to get in position to purchase a home.

This is the first I have heard back since that conversation and I am disappointed because I thought we had an agreement. We want to help this individual purchase a home, we are willing to help and want to provide that assistance. Our goal is not to provide a poor experience and not assist individuals and families who come to us for direction, guidance, and results in obtaining mortgage financing. I am still committed in helping this Mr. ******* purchase a new home he is interested.

******* ******
Branch Manager


Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
Just please close out this complaint. I found a wonderful ethical Mortgage Broker that got me approved within a week. So it seems rather pointless to go back and forth on this issue. I am not satisfied with how everything turned out, however this is now pointless. Thank you.

Final Business Response
**,

I appreciate the feedback. I've requested our Branch President, **** *********** to reach out to you if nothing more than to figure out where the breakdown in communication happened. As you already know, we don't tolerate incompetence, that's why ***** is no longer employed with us. We understand the importance of these transactions, and strive to make them as easy as possible.

I'm out next week, but will follow up with **** when I return to confirm he connected with you.

Thanks,

**** *******
******** *******

07/31/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Mortgage originator told me that i would be able to skip (2) mortgage payments by signing up for re- finance. After being told this I did not pay my house payment. Upon review by underwriter,loan was denied due to delinquent payment.

Desired Settlement
First option lending should refund my appraisal cost of $425.00 Even with this refund, the misrepresentation by the agent has caused extensive harm to my credit rating.

Business' Initial Response
Mr. ******, I appreciate you brining this matter to my attention, without customer feedback we are unable to improve our process. I've had the opportunity to review your file and listen to the recorded conversations between you and ***** *********** At no time did she indicate that you didn't have to make payments that were due prior to your closing, what she stated was that once your loan closed, you would miss 1 possibly 2 payments depending on what time of month it actually closed. In addition, at the time of application we require all of our customers to sign a Disclosure and Acknowledgement specially stating the following:

I (we) hereby acknowledge and agree that First Option, nor any of its employees have encouraged me to not make payment under any mortgage or other obligation being paid off in connection with a new loan that I (we) are obtaining from First Option. We acknowledge that we were informed that it is First Options policy not to encourage a default on an existing mortgage or other obligation that is being refinanced. If I (we) choose not to pay a debt or obligation when due we did it against the advice of First Option.

If you would like, we can provide the document you, your wife and ***** signed at the initial appointment referencing the above paragraph. We apologize that your decision not to make your mortgage payment affected not only this transaction, but your credit as well. The decision not to make your payment was yours alone, not ours. At this point, there isn't anything further we can do for you. The only advice we can give you at this point is to continue to make your payments on time and after 12 payments as agreed, revisit the opportunity to refinance at that time.

Sincerely,

**** *******
******** *******

Page 1 of 3
10/10/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
This company promised to close on my new home purchase on 8/28. Less than 5 days to close they sent me an email saying they won't do it. The reason was due to their failure to do proper investigation.

Desired Settlement
This company was selected to represent me in financing my new home purchase of the property located at XXXXX * ********* *** *********** ** XXXXX. I provided the company with all the paperwork they needed and earlier than the due dates they asked for. A few days before closing, I confirmed with them that my closing looks good for 08/28/13. I was scheduled to leave the property I sold in ******* my main home residence, on 8/30/13. A day after their confirmation and only with 4 or 5 days remaining to close on my new property; to be used as my home residence, a First Option Mortgage specialist emailed me a note saying they cannot close and will not be able to assist me close on my property by 8/28. Their reason was the property is owned by an LLC and had not been recorded, the deed, as an LLC for 90 days. They explained none of the lenders they have can make the closing happen unless I pay $6,500 to buy points and even then I would not be able to close until after the 90 days. This compan

Business Response
Mr. *********,

I've had the opportunity to review your compliant. It's my understanding based on the notes within the file the issue was due to the property being owned by an LLC for less than 90 days. Although purchasing a property owned by an LLC isn't uncommon, those that are owned for less than 90 days have limited investors willing to lend on them. At the time of application, neither party was aware of how long the LLC had owned the property, once title was received ***** informed you of the issue and what options were available.

It's also my understating during the process you were working with another mortgage company. After ***** informed you of the options available, you made the decision to proceed with the other mortgage company. At your request, we forwarded your loan information to them to complete your transaction.

In closing, I'm not sure what more we could have done under the circumstances. We must rely on information provided at the time of application and are required to confirm through the process. As soon as we were aware of the situation, it was brought to your attention to allow you to decide how to proceed.

Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience.

**** *******
Managing Partner


Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
This response is a lie. I have already gone and chosen First Option mortgage to finance my home. I had been working with them for over 3 weeks, after I awarded them the deal, when they told me they cannot do the financing. This was less than a week before they were scheduled to close on the property. A day before their email saying that, they confirmed via email everything looked good to close on the property on the due date, 8/28. They threw me into a hotel for 2 weeks as a result. This company knew from DAY ONE the property was owned by an LLC. My realtor and the contract they received a copy of 3 weeks earlier said and indicated so. They messed up. The first thing they should have done if they are a pioneer in this business, as they claim to be, is to find out how long this property had been recorded as an LLC. Their failure to do so cost me over 10k. They waited until they recicieved the title work via regular mail to check the date 6 days before closing.

After they said they cannot do the closing, proof below, I went back to one of the lenders I was getting quotes from when I was in the process of selecting a company to finance the deal. Going to a new lender raised my interest rate from 4.75% to 4.87%. I had to buy points and lost over $3,700 in lender credits. In the process of working with First Option, ***** himself, sent me an email of complaints about the company that ended up financing the house ************* Those fake complaints are the ones that earned him my business until he failed to honor it. It turned out he and his assistant made up those lies to earn my business. There were no complaints against ********;***** and his assistant made up those lies. This is documented in email trail from *****'s inbox.

*****, First Option, purposely overlooked the LLC part in an attempt to force me to buy higher interest rates and points. His email below indicates that clearly and so does the email from his assistant. Also, they purposely lied they could close the deal on 8/28. They knew all along they cannot close the deal but lied to earn my business.

I have proof in email which I don't seem to be able to upload here. I need to know how I can upload docs here. I'm copying and pasting some email evidence below.

Hi ****,
I do not believe I am waiting on you at this point, I will continue to work on your file with ***** and will let you know if we run into an issue.

****** *******
------------------------------------------------------------
So in working on your file, I received title work yesterday, during the review of the title work we discovered that the home deed was recently transferred to an LLC. The LLC ownership doesn't pose the problem but the timing of it does.
All of our investors except one require the property vesting be seasoned for 90 days prior to the date of contract. The LLC took title to the subject property on 6/7/2013, your contract was signed on 7/29.
Given that information, we only have one investor that we can work with to get this deal done. The pricing on that loan is completely different from when we spoke initially in *****'s office. To get the 4.75% rate today would cost about $6500 in discount points. ï''

The 90 day flipping guideline is exclusive to our investors, it is not a ****** *** rule. Our ****** *** direct approval isn't complete yet therefore we are subject to the investors rules. You will not run into this issue with a lender that is ****** direct approved.
I know we fought hard for your business and would like to keep it but in this instance we would not be able to meet your closing deadline nor get you the rate we discussed.

If you are willing to push the closing back and take a higher rate or pay to keep it where it is we are happy to continue to work towards closing. I'm very sorry that it has come to this but with the property flip issue that we were previously unaware of, the game has changed.

****** *******
Loan Originator
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: ***** ****** mailto:*******@firstoptiononline.com
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 11:08 AM
To: ******* ****; ****** ******** *********************; '*** ***********
Subject: RE: XXXXX E ********* **
Importance: High

****-
I apologize for what seems to be the feeling of being "SCREWED". As far as what is legal and what is not: let me assure you that everything has been handled in a legal manner. We received title yesterday in which it confirmed the LLC was within 90 days.

I understand your concerns although I don't think it warrants the attack. We are presenting you with the facts in an honest and forthright way. We are not telling you we can't do it we are telling you it is going to either cost more for that rate or the rate will need to go up....and we are giving you the opportunity to go elsewhere. It's the facts and those facts came to life after we got title.



Final Business Response
Mr. *********,

In reviewing your response, the email correspondence you provided confirmed exactly what we had previously stated. We had no way to know when the property was transferred into the LLC until we received the title work. This was never brought to our attention by either you or your agent. As soon as it was received and the issue was identified, we informed you of it and what options were available at the time.

Understand, the title company wasn't one that we chose, this was part of your contract with the sellers who they chose. We ordered title from them no differently than any other title company. We cannot control their process or how long it takes for them to provide the report.

Lastly, your comment regarding the charging of higher points and fees is meritless. We as a company work off of fixed margins, the rates we provide are a direct result of the current market conditions and the investors we use to sell our loans to. Given that we had to use another investor due to the LLC situation would have been the only reason that there was any difference in the rates offered.

Again, we apologize for the situation, but we as a company did nothing wrong in this process. We too have the supporting correspondence to support our position.

08/13/2014Problems with Product / Service
06/16/2014Problems with Product / Service
06/27/2013Problems with Product / Service
01/17/2013Problems with Product / Service

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