We were told we would close on our house the end of September 2012. It is Febuary 2013 and nothing has been done.We want our money back.
We have been dealing with Towns Square since April 2012 and have gone through 5 or 6 different reps and they have all quit this company. Finally in September 2012 they gave us our last closed date and wanted us to pay $200.00 to process the mortagage. It never happen. We started asking about getting our money back in January 2013 and we spoke to a ****** and a Chris who said they would return our calls. Nothing has been return our emails are not answered and they will not answer their phones. We want our $200.00 back. We don't even know if these people are even in business.
We want our $200.00 back.
Business' Initial Response
The Notice of Complaint with the BBB was received on Friday, February 22, 2013. The individual who filed with the BBB was contacted at work and a voicemail left at 10:18 a.m. to let her know we were in receipt of and were reviewing the complaint. I received a call back at 10:30 a.m. from the spouse, and we discussed the events leading up to their report to the BBB, and their request to receive a refund of $200. As it was explained by the primary borrower, their Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) communicated they were to close on September 10, 2012 and this did not occur. After experiencing additional delays, including a change in MLO's due to their separation from the company and the borrower's being requested to further provide additional documentation, they chose to no longer move forward with the mortgage loan refinance transaction with Town Square Financial.
The mortgage loan program under which the borrower's were in the process of being qualified for is the Making Home Affordable Program (MHA), rolled out by the Obama Administration to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, stabilize the country's housing market and improve the nation's economy. The specific loan program necessary for the borrower's was the Home Affordable Refinance Program 2.0 ("HARP") loan program, designed for those who have demonstrated an acceptable payment history on their existing Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage, but may not have been able to refinance to obtain a lower payment or move to a more stable product due to not having sufficient equity in their home. This program is designed for those with little or no equity in their home - with many homeowners owing much more on their loan than their home is currently worth.
Lenders participating in this program must be approved to do so - for lenders not participating, they are eligible to outsource or "broker" the loan to a lender who is. The participating lender will underwrite, approve and close/fund the loan after full qualification of the borrower. If any conditions remain outstanding, or if an item provided to address or clear a previous condition triggers the addition of a subsequent condition, the borrower will be asked to further provide additional documents to satisfy the additional underwriting condition. The originating lender and the HARP participating lender work together with the applicant to further the loan during processing and the approval process. Unfortunately, sometimes delays do occur. Town Square Financial is not a participating lender in the HARP 2.0 program, so the loan was brokered out to 360 Mortgage Group, who chose to participate and is an approved lender for this program.
This program requires a PVR (Property Verification Report) to determine whether any insurance claims exist against the property and to estimate the value of the property. This fee may be collected in advance from the applicant - this fee for $200 was paid by the Borrower's to 360 Mortgage Group, the participating HARP lender, for this service. The Primary Borrower acknowledged this fee was paid directly to 360 Mortgage Group on August 30th - the day the loan was approved by the underwriter. Upon receipt of this fee, the participating lender could request the PVR and the fee received from the borrower would be paid to this 3rd party for providing their service - once the service is performed, an obligation to compensate the provider for their service is present. Payment of this fee is not contingent upon whether the loan progresses and is closed and funded.
It is important to note that the fee was not paid to Town Square Financial and that the fee paid was for a completed service - the participating lender and originating lender are not permitted to retain this fee for any reason. If the service had not been completed, the participating HARP lender would have refunded the fee without delay. If the loan had closed/funded, the fee would have been reflected on the closing statement as paid by the borrower and received by the 3rd party service provider.
Town Square Financial does understand the frustration the borrower's experienced with the change in staff during the processing of their loan file and that being requested to further provide additional items over an extended amount of time and after paying up-front for a 3rd party service may add to that frustration. The borrower explained that he had been clear to close in September, but that delays on behalf of Town Square Financial were the result of the loan not closing at that time. The HARP participating lender, 360 Mortgage Group confirmed that the borrower's loan was never cleared for closing and that outstanding conditions remained until the loan was later cancelled.
Town Square Financial reached out to 360 Mortgage Group and explained that the borrower's had filed a complaint against Town Square Financial as the originating lender with the Better Business Bureau, seeking the return of the $200 fee incurred for the PVR, though the fee was never paid to or received by Town Square Financial. 360 Mortgage Group did not feel that a refund was warranted, as the service for the PVR was performed and the 3rd party service provider compensated, regardless of whether the end result was a closed loan. Our discussion with 360 Mortgage Group encompassed trying to determine why there was an extended delay from the time the PVR fee was received by 360 Mortgage Group in August and conditions continued to remain outstanding through December. Though the borrower indicated he was clear to close in September, he also shared that he provided documentation for one of the outstanding conditions regarding child support in December - the underwriter noted on the approval issued on August 30th that the credit report indicated that the child support was past due and must be paid in full. The approval issued also indicates that many of the documents provided were expired or were going to expire in December. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require that all credit reports and any document provided to support employment, income or assets not be more than 90 days old based upon the date when the Note is signed at closing. Delays may have been experienced and/or the borrower's may have been requested to provide updated documents for income and assets, while the originating lender obtained updated employment or credit report documents.
360 Mortgage Group was very helpful to Town Square Financial in reviewing the original approval and outstanding conditions, though with the original MLO and loan processor no longer on staff with Town Square Financial, it was challenging to obtain a completely accurate account of what transpired over the course of the loan period. As a gesture of good will to the borrower's and Town Square Financial, 360 Mortgage Group indicated they would refund the $200 to the borrower's via check. The borrower confirmed the mailing address of record on Friday, March 1st and the reimbursement check due to be mailed on Monday, March 4th.
A follow-up inquiry via email to the borrower on Thursday, March 7th received a confirmation that she did receive the $200 reimbursement check on Wednesday, March 6th from 360 Mortgage Group.
Town Square Financial has apologized to the borrower for not timelier responding to her initial inquiries in January, which resulted in the escalation request for reimbursement as a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. Town Square also appreciates 360 Mortgage Group, for their willingness to reimburse the borrower for the service fee collected, and their incurring the expense for the completed service.