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Stearns Lending LLC

Additional Locations

Phone: (714) 513-7777 Fax: (714) 795-5537 View Additional Phone Numbers 4 Hutton Centre Dr 10th Fl, Santa Ana, CA 92707 View Additional Email Addresses http://www.stearnslending.com View Additional Web Addresses


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Description

This company offers mortgage lending.


BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Stearns Lending LLC meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.


Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Stearns Lending LLC include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 21 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

21 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 10 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 5
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 16
Total Closed Complaints 21

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

12 Customer Reviews on Stearns Lending LLC
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 12
Total Customer Reviews 12

Additional Information

BBB file opened: Business started: 07/31/1984 in CA Business incorporated 06/30/2014 in CA
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Department of Business Oversight (DBO)
7575 Metropolitan Dr #108, San Diego CA 92108
http://www.dbo.ca.gov/
Phone Number: (866) 275-2677
Fax Number: (619) 682-7217
The number is 603G129.

Department of Business Oversight (DBO)
7575 Metropolitan Dr #108, San Diego CA 92108
http://www.dbo.ca.gov/
Phone Number: (866) 275-2677
Fax Number: (619) 682-7217
The number is 4130495.

Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System

http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org
Phone Number: (240) 386-4444
The number is 1854.

Type of Entity

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Business Management
Ms. Katherine Le, President Mr. Glenn Stearns, Founder Mr. Brian Hale, Chief Executive Officer
Contact Information
Principal: Ms. Katherine Le, President
Principal: Mr. Glenn Stearns, Founder
Number of Employees

1,677

Business Category

Mortgage Lender Mortgage Brokers

Alternate Business Names
CU Partners First Security Home Loans SGI Lending Stearns Financial Institutions Group Stearns Home Loans Stearnwholesale.com
Industry Tips
Financial Industry

Additional Locations

  • 4 Hutton Centre Dr 10th Fl

    Santa Ana, CA 92707 (714) 513-7777 (800) 350-5363

  • 555 Anton Blvd 3rd Fl Attn: Licensing

    Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview


BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.
Details

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

5/17/2016 Billing/Collection Issues
4/28/2016 Problems with Product/Service
4/20/2016 Billing/Collection Issues
3/25/2016 Billing/Collection Issues
3/2/2016 Problems with Product/Service
2/12/2016 Billing/Collection Issues
1/23/2016 Problems with Product/Service
12/15/2015 Problems with Product/Service
12/11/2015 Problems with Product/Service
11/4/2015 Problems with Product/Service
8/8/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Mortgage company has been impounding taxes from my monthly payment. I received a secured tax bill directly from Orange County so I paid it in full. I contacted Stearns Lending and they said they weren't aware that a bill was issued and asked for proof of payment. I submitted a copy of original tax bill from county, screen print of website indicating obligation was paid in full and copies of my bank statements where funds were disbursed from. They acknowledged receipt and said an analysis of my escrow account would need to be performed. After 2-weeks, they said that they would lower my monthly payment and issue a refund check - asked me to call back in a week. 3-weeks and 3 calls later, I'm still getting same story from Stearns - refund check has not been issued. They state that it's with escrow department. Proof of bill and payment was sent on 6/4/15 - they opened ticket #******************, for Loan #*******. They holding almost $10,000 of excess in escrow, have acknowledged that it's due back to me but still not issuing check. I feel like company is giving me the run-around. This is a nightmare and will certainly inform my network of Stearns and their practices. Please help me get my refund back. I'm not asking for anything extra - just want the excess escrow returned.

Desired Settlement: Stearns has acknowledged, each time I call that a refund is due back to me (approx $10,000). It's been over a month since original inquiry and over 3-weeks since they said I should receive a check. I just want a refund check for excess escrow.

Business Response: Upon receipt of the customer’s dispute, our servicing department was notified and the account analyzed by an escrow analysis processor. The tax lines were updated and the customer’s refund was sent via overnight mail on July 21, 2015.

7/22/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I'm trying to hold of it stearns landing mortgage company supervisor for more than a one month regards to my PMI cancellation. I want to talk someone in the complaint department or someone above the supervisor to resolve this issue otherwise I will take legal actions, this is really messed up company

Desired Settlement: I need to talk with some one above supervazer

Business Response: After submission of the borrower’s complaint, our servicing department called the borrower on 6/16/15 to discuss the denial of her request to cancel her Primary Mortgage Insurance (“PMI”). Stearns Lending, LLC is currently servicing the loan on behalf of Fannie Mae “FNMA”. If the current value of the property is used to determine whether the PMI can be cancelled, FNMA requires that when the loan has been in existence for less than 5 years, (minimum of two years), the current balance of the loan must equals a minimum of 75% of the current property value. In the borrower’s case, the loan originated on 9/25/13. The new appraisal was received on 5/22/15 with a value of $265,000. The borrower’s current loan balance as of 6/19/15 is $208,522.04, which represents 78.6% of the current property value, thus ineligible for PMI cancellation at this time. As referenced above, our servicing department spoke with the borrower to notify her of this appraised amount and her current balance at the time, which resulted in the denial of the cancellation request. Once the borrower’s principal balance reaches $198,750, she will be eligible for cancellation, based on the current property value.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Firts they told me LTV have to be 80% to 20%, and when Starnse lending saw the appraisal came more then 20% they told me now I have to be 75% to 25%. LTV.

They jest don't want to cancel the pmi. I spoke  couple of lenders they told me the standard pmi cancelation is have to be LTV 80% to 20%  Equity . If they don't take any action i will talk with my Lower and will take the next step up. Also, I have a home insurance coverage  which is I payed in full for all year, so that way lander don't have to charge me for personal insurance, I notified them that I have insurance so they can stop charging me every monts.  but they still charging me. they did not want to cancel even insurance (  even if it's paid in full by me )
This is wery  stressful because they're lying and taking our money. 
Sterns lending you have to stop lying to your customers and make every thing so  difficult 

Regards,

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



Business Response:

Primary Mortgage Insurance As previously stated in our original response, Stearns Lending, LLC is servicing the borrower’s loan on behalf of ****** ***, the current owner of the loan. As such, Stearns is bound by rules and regulations of FMNA’s Servicing Guide. The portion of the guide that provides the ground rules for termination of Conventional Mortgage Insurance based on current property value is Part “B”, specifically section 8.1-04. This section is attached hereto, and can be referenced through the link below: ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* The facts are as follows. The borrower’s current loan was originated in September, 2013. The loan program is a 30 year fixed conventional loan. The current value of the property pursuant to the appraisal completed on May 22, 2015 is $265,000. The borrower’s principal balance is $208, 522.04. Taking the principal balance ($208, 522.04) and dividing it by the current value ($265,000), one arrives at the current loan to value (LTV). $208, 522.04 divided by $265,000 = .7868% (78% LTV) Turning to the FNMA Servicing Guidelines Section 8.1-04 (attached), “If the mortgage loan is….a first lien mortgage loan secured by a one-unit principal residence or second home, then, the LTV ratio must be 75% or less, if the seasoning of the mortgage loan is between two and five years. Currently, based on the calculations above, the borrower’s current LTV is not 75% or less, nor has it been seasoned for two years. Assuming even if the seasoning requirement is waived based on the criterion further stated in section 8.1-04 regarding property improvements, the LTV requirement is still 75%, Provided the borrower has an acceptable payment record at the time pursuant to paragraph 2 of section 8.1-04, once the principal balance reaches $198,750, she will be eligible for cancellation, based on the current property value. Homeowner’s Insurance On July 8, 2015, our servicing department reviewed the borrower’s loan file for the removal of borrower’s impound/escrow account. A tax supervisor called the borrower to advise that we will be able to remove the escrow account for both taxes and insurance, and the removal is currently in progress.

4/23/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have contacted my mortgage lender for months, both in writing, fax, and via telephone, to have past due taxes paid to my school district, county, and township. The bills continue to become further past due, as the company is not releasing the payment. Initially they stated the problem was that they never received the bills, but I had provided them 4 times via fax and email. When they finally located the bills they did not pay them. The bills were due months ago and they will not submit payment. Due to this issue, a lien may be placed on my new home. I have contacted customer service numerous times and each time I'm told that the bills will be paid immediately, and they are not.

Desired Settlement: I need phone and written contact to show proof that my past due tax bills have been paid immediately by Stearns.

Business Response: In response to the borrower's issue, I have worked with our servicing department and can confirm that all taxes were paid on 3/31/15. Per the borrower's request, attached is proof of payment.

Hopefully this current statement will be of reassurance to the borrower and reflect her own records to date. I will continue to work with our servicing department to ensure that the borrower's taxes will be paid from escrow in a timely manner going forward. If there is anything further that I can assist with, please feel free to contact me.

3/20/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I recently had two trees fall on my shop and Allstate issued a two party check to me and the lien holder of my loan, Stearns Lending. Allstate was great to work with but Stearns has been terrible to deal with just to try to get the funds released so we can start repair. First off, I can't speak to anyone who is authorized to help me. I have to request a call back, with no guarantee from the customer service rep who I spoke to that this "call back" individual will be able to help me. Second their policy is ludicrous: They will release funds to me only in thirds to do the repairs. However before releasing the second payment they require that I schedule their inspector come and verify that I am 50% done with repairs. I asked the agent how they could justify a company policy that requires I make 50% of the repairs with only 33% of the funds. No answer was given, no available supervisor to ask. Only that at my option I could pay funds shortage out of my pocket. A few issues with this policy: one, that is why I have insurance isn't it? So I don't have to pay out of pocket. Two, what about people who can't afford that? Three, there is no guarantee their inspector will release the funds (which are already approved by my insurance company, who I pay premiums to) once I show repairs are complete. I was told this is their policy- only get 33% of MY insurance $ that I PAY premiums and they demand that that money cover 50% of the repairs, if the inspector deems that it isn't 50 % (with the extra 17% out of my pocket) they will not release the remaining 2/3 of the funds. Then they require a SECOND (they call final inspection) where I must be at 95% completion before they release the final 1/3 of funds. So I must make 95% of repairs with 66% of funds? How does that work? Finally, no one will answer me 50% and 95% OF WHAT? what is the inspector looking for. I don't know when to request inspection, the rep could not tell me.

Desired Settlement: Pay for the same percentage of repair as you are demanding I have completed. If you are going to demand 50 % then release 50 % of the funds. Have a executive or manager with the authority to answer questions and make decisions call me. Change your "company policy" as stated by your phone rep, to something this side of rational.

Business Response:

I have conducted a review of the borrower’s loan servicing file, together with the borrower’s concerns outlined in his letter to the Better Business Bureau. I verified that a check in the amount of $17,654.04 was received from AllState Insurance Company for wind damage sustained to the borrower’s property.  

The attached letter was issued by LoanCare, Stearns’ subservicer, outlining the documentation needed in order for LoanCare to issue the insurance proceeds. After the appropriate documentation is submitted, the first disbursement of 1/3 of the total proceeds is released to begin repairs, along with the directive that the second draw (another 1/3) would be issued upon 50% completion of the repairs, with the final 1/3 being released at 100% completion.

At the time of this response, the first disbursement of $5,884.68 has been issued to the borrower by LoanCare.

The crux of the borrower’s complaint stems from this schedule of disbursement of equal one-third payments following the initial one-third disbursement.

These partial, periodic payments, or “progress payments” are a typical method of disbursement regarding homeowners’ claims on properties secured by a home mortgage. Disbursement of funds in a series of progress payments due to property damage is also referenced in section five of the borrower’s mortgage (attached). Distribution in thirds is also a typical progress payment interval, although unfortunately many homeowners may not know of this until property damage necessitates filing a claim.

Part of the reason behind the periodic distribution by a loan servicing company is that the servicer has an obligation to protect the investor’s security interest in the property, and ensure the repair work is actually being completed with the funds disbursed to the homeowner. However, this is tempered by the fact many contractors are familiar with this concept of progress payments and understand some monies are withheld during the reconstruction process and until completion, and such can be negotiated between the homeowner and the contractor.

Hopefully this will help explain the claim process. Clearly, suffering property damage along with the subsequent rebuilding process is difficult, as is any loss, but hopefully the borrower will be able to work within these confines once the repairs begin and his shop properly restored to its prior condition.   

3/19/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On January 6th 2015, I received a letter from Loudoun County regarding a delinquent real estate property tax. We pay Sterns our mortgage every month and they are responsible for paying our property taxes in full amount. I called Loudoun county to verify the information. They did not recieve a payment for the month of November. 1.I called Sterns multiple times regarding this issue. At first I was told a check would be over nighted to Loudoun County in on January 9th . A check was never sent to Loudoun county. 2. I called Sterns again to complain and they were processing the issue. I was filled as tax exempt in their system. I told them this was incorrect and they need to fix it immediately. 3. Again I was told they were processing the situation and needed time to fix it. 4. 3 emails have been sent from my personal account and a fax from Loudoun County on Feb 6 2015. There has been no response. 4. Today I called again 2/10/15 and they are still investigating and no payment has been made to Loudoun County. I am concerned where my mortgage money is going. Why is it not going to its designated place? This issue has been going on since January 9th and no payment has been made.

Desired Settlement: I want Sterns to pay my delinquent property taxes to Loudoun County.

Business Response:

In response to the borrower’s concern, the bill in question is a supplemental bill, not the borrower’s regular tax bill. Such taxes are not reported by ********* (********** *** ******** ********* *******) as they are not part of the original tax bill and they are the borrower's responsibility. As of today, it is noted that such has been paid in full by the borrower.

 

If the borrower wishes to have any supplemental taxes paid out of escrow, we ask that they send a request, along with the bill in question, to Stearns’ servicing department within 30 days of the due date and we will be happy to accommodate.

 

In this instance, we received the first tax inquiry on 1/15/15, however the bill was due by 12/5/14. Without the borrower's assistance, we have no way of knowing when they receive a supplemental bill, regardless if funds to pay those supplemental taxes were collected at closing and deposited to escrow.

 

Hopefully this explanation will be of help going forward, and apologize for any confusion.  

 

 

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

[- When we called Stearns in January, we were told that we were marked us at Tax Exempt and that as soon as that issue was resolved(acknowledging that we were not Tax Exempt), our Tax would be paid off by Stearns.
- At multiple times, the Customer Service Associates told us that they escalated the issue and that the check would be over-nighted to the county. Clearly this was misinformation.
- We have been advocating ourselves since we first contacted Stearns in January and our issue
still not resolved due to extremely poor customer service and a breach of their fiduciary responsibilities. 
-  Stearns does not mention how they are able to say that the Bill was a Supplemental Tax bill.
- We requested some documentation which may help resolve this issue. The ticket number is
  ******************. We never received any information.
]

Regards,

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



Business Response: The process for the borrower to request the payment of supplemental tax bills is outlined in the original response. Regarding evidence as to whether the bill in question is a supplemental tax bill, the borrower can access her county's tax assessor's website at ********************************************************************** Attached are imaged copies from the website indicating the tax is a supplemental tax for new construction (attached).

9/24/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My loan was changed from a previous servicer to stearns June 1. I noticed my mortgage payment was $300 higher than normal, after speaking to customer service rep I was told upon transferring the loan over they obtained the previous years county tax bill and needed my payment to reflect said amount. The property was an REO and taxed in a different tax bracket which i explained to the rep on the phone. I was told to provide a written request to have an account reanalysis and an updated estimate for the 2014 taxes from the county reflecting the lower tax bracket since the bill had not been generated. I did so, and mailed it as a notice of error to stearns per instructions and was told to wait up to 30 days for a review. I never received acknowledgement of receiving the document from stearns nor contacted as to the outcome, just a bill the following month with no changes. July 1 same thing, I contacted the customer service department and explained my situation and was told to fax said document and wait 10 days again no response or acknowledgment. Aug 11 again spoke to a rep and was told this time to email the document to customer service received and was told to wait 10 days with an automated response from the email. I called back 8/25 and they finally acknowledged now having the document on file but will refuse to do an analysis on the account until they have had the account for 6 months. I have called many times and get a different excuse and when i ask for the call to be escalated to a person of authority i'm either put on hold for 45 mins or the call is disconnected. I have now exhausted all of my additional funds in fear of late fees, negative credit reporting or worse foreclose. My taxes and insurance are now beyond payed for the year by more than $1,046.46 and they're are still collecting and expecting payment for September I've done everything in my power to prove the error on their part buy fall on deaf ears and blind eyes.

Desired Settlement: Escrow balance: $2,772.96 Your records state county tax disbursement (THIS IS THE ERROR): $3,699.71 "Actual" county tax due / projected from the county (THIS IS BILL IN YOUR RECORDS) : $1,090.32 Home owners insurance: $636.00 If you combine the home owners insurance with the county tax the total disbursed should be $1,726.32 which leaves $1,046.64 of additional funds sitting in the escrow account. The overage should be applied to the principal, interest & mortgage insurance for the month of September and the rest refunded or applied to the October bill. Im not sure what else there is to review, i have paid almost double into the escrow account. I cant get anywhere with the reps on the phones, please escalate this request to a person of higher authority.

Business Response:

Stearns Lending (the Company) is committed to customer satisfaction and regrets the
frustration that you experienced when attempting to resolve this issue. Stearns always
strives to provide an unprecedented level of service and attentiveness to our customers.

In your letter, you stated that you were due an escrow overage as the amount withheld for
your tax assessment was excessive.

A complete review of your file has been conducted and found the following:

1. On June 6, 2014, you contacted the Company and stated that you had
received a new tax bill. You were instructed to fax the same to the Company
and provided the number;
2. On August 11, 2014, you provided a letter via email from the taxing authority
with an estimated tax amount for 2014 (copy attached);
3. On August 27, 2014, you again contacted the Company regarding your taxes.
You were advised that the letter provided did not have the actual 2014 tax
amount, only an estimate and that the taxes could not be updated until the
actual amounts were available. This was in error as estimates can in fact be
used if the county provides a letter with the estimated amount or the tax bill,
otherwise the previous year's tax amount will be used. The representatives'
supervisors have been forwarded this issue so that it may be used for coaching
purposes;
4. The York County taxing authority has been contacted and verified that tax
amounts for 2014 will not be available until October 1, 2014 therefore the
estimated taxes were updated and the account reanalyzed. Effective with the
September 2014 payment, your new payment is $874.95; and,
5. You are correct that there was an escrow overage. The amount of $1,194.41
was refunded to you, via check, on September 9, 2014.

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID********, and have since received a check for the overage.  I find that this resolution satisfactory to me and consider this complaint resolved. 

Thank you for acting on this matter urgently.

Regards,

****** *****

9/23/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: We went through the process of being pre-approved and applying for a mortgage loan with Stearn's Lending, and 2 days before closing, ****** ****, their senior mortgage lender, changed the terms of the loan and was unclear in explaining the terms of the mortgage loan to me and my husband. We tried to resolve the issue with Stearn's Lending by attempting to obtain the original mortgage loan first promised to us but Stearn's did not agree after 2 weeks of discussion and emails. This resulted in us pursuing a different lender at the last minute which cost my husband and I more than $10,000 in mortgage related costs. We have given Stearn's Lending the opportunity to contact us to remedy the situation but have not heard from them since. and

Desired Settlement: We would like a formal apology as well as a guarantee to better their lending practices so that consumers are protected and compassionately treated.

Business Response:

Attached please find the response mailed to the borrower on September 12, 2014.  The borrower had also filed a consumer complaint directly to Stearns.

Thank you,

***** ******

Stearns Lending

Consumer & Regulatory Relations Manager

972-521-1080

September 12, 2014
Mrs. ****** ******
*** ******* ****
****** ******* ** *****
Stearns Lending, LLC
Re: Property Located at *** ******* ****, ****** ******* ** *****
Dear Mrs. ******,
Stearns Lending is committed to customer satisfaction and regrets the misunderstanding
that you and your husband experienced when applying for a loan. Stearns always strives
to provide an unprecedented level of service and attentiveness to our customers.
In your letter, you stated that you were "under the impression that we were obtaining a
higher rate 30 year fixed conventional loan without PMI. Instead, what we saw in the
requested closing documents from First American Title Company was a different loan than
what was agreed upon."
Early in the loan process, and prior to reaching the closing document stage, disclosures
are sent to a borrower so that they are provided the chance to review the loan product
being offered by the lender and the details of the terms. A review of your Stearns loan
records reveals that your initial disclosures were sent to you on April24, 2014. The packet
included:
1. The Federal Truth-In-Lending Disclosure Statement reflecting that Private
Mortgage Insurance was included in the loan product being offered and that the
monthly cost was $489.61;
2. The Loan Summary which reflected Mortgage Insurance in the estimated monthly
payment; and,
3. The Good Faith Estimate that reflected your estimated payment including the
Mortgage Insurance.
Finally, our records show that you and your husband signed the Federal Truth In Lending
as well as the Notice of Intent to Proceed with Loan Application indicating that you
accepted the terms as presented. I have attached a copy of all four documents for your
convenience.
In California, when your down payment is 10%, you are able to forego impounds (taxes
and insurance), as you chose to do, but a borrower cannot choose to do the same with
Mortgage Insurance unless they pay a 20% down payment. As explained by ****** ****,
your Senior Mortgage Loan Originator, the pricing of the Mortgage Insurance is based on
your credit score and does effect your monthly payment. In addition, your property lies
within a PUD where HOA dues are assessed on each property. That also increased your

payments by $245.00 per month.
Rather than practicing "negligent mortgage practices", the team at Stearns worked
diligently to present you with other options in an attempt to meet your needs. You and
your husband chose to go to another lender which we accept and respect.
I hope this has fully addressed your concerns. We are unable to address a conversation
that occurred between you and an executive at your credit union. Should you have any
questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the number below.
Sincerely,
'
Consumer & Regulator/Relations Manager
Stearns Lending
Direct Line: 972-521-1080
cc: ********* ** **, President
attachments
Stearns

9/10/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My complaint stems from my mortgage loan with Stearns Lending (#**********) that closed on 4/17/14 with a loss of $2,559 in builder's credit (and thus, additional cost to us, the borrowers) The mortgage is for a brand new home and our purchase contract included a builder credit of $8,799 to be applied towards closing or purchase price (or partially to both) in however form we wanted. This credit was reflected in the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) provided to us at the start of the application process (around Feb 27) and all other mortgage application documents thereafter. The builder also sent closing instructions on 3/24/14 to confirm how to apply the credit. I confirmed with the Stearn's broker (B2 Funding) that the credit could be fully applied towards closing costs before reconfirming with the builder. Fast forward to Apr 16 (a few days late on closing - different issue), I finally received the HUD settlement sheet a couple of hours before set closing showing the builder credit reduced to $4,500! I challenged this and was simply told by Stearns closing agent (****** *****) that it was done so because I had to fork out the full 20% downpayment myself. Quite as a matter-of-fact with no regard to the fact that it was costing me $4,200! Keep in mind that at no point during this lengthy process was this issue ever brought up! If so, it could have been easily handled by asking the builder to revise the purchase price by the difference in credit. I refused to sign off the settlement and agreed with the broker to setup an escrow account to be funded with the credit difference. This needed to be done next day 4/17 as I had already received a 5-day notice from the builder to close or lose my previous deposits due to delays from premised Apr 10 closing date. The revised HUD with the escrow account was provided right before closing that only reflected a builder credit of $6,240, a difference of $2,559. It was too late to do anything at this point so I had to close as is costing me $2,559. I firmly believe that this issue could have been avoided by proper communication by Stearns/broker and some iota of regard to the customer / borrower by Stearns closing agent.

Desired Settlement: Refund of $2,559 loss in builder credit from transaction

Business Response:

This will acknowledge receipt of the borrower's complaint.  Stearns has already received and responded to the borrower regarding this complaint in April, 2014.  We will review the information in this complaint to ascertain if there are any new allegations and will respond accordingly.

Thank you,

***** ******

Consumer & Regulatory Relations Manager

 

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

[The response is not specific and only makes reference to prior dialogue in first complaint to business. I disagreed with their position then hence the complaint to BBB]

Regards,

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


Business Response:

Borrower’s Complaint:  Borrower believes that Stearns owes him $2,559 in builder’s credits.

Stearns Response:  Stearns responded recently to a customer complaint from this borrower on this issue and explained that the borrower’s builder agreed to an “up to” amount for their contribution towards closing costs and prepaids.  Stearns explained that in this signed contract between the borrower and builder, there is a disclaimer that states that the “lender may limit this contribution.”  In the borrower’s loan, his closing costs and pre-paid expenses were less than the builder offered and the seller cannot contribute more money than the fees cost.  If they did, that would equate to the seller contributing to the borrower’s down payment, which is an inducement to purchase and not allowed without a reduction in the loan amount.  We tried to explain that this issue was between the borrower and the builder and/or broker.  That if the builder was to apply this credit to options, then he should have done that.  We also reminded the borrower that it was disclosed to him in the beginning of the process that the credit exceeded the closing costs and that was the extent of Stearns reach. Stearns is not allowed to refund any monies that are agreed to between the sellers and the purchasers of a property. 

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Again, lender's agent incompetence and zero communication is the primary reason that for having to pay an extra $2599 out of pocket. The initial loan offer accounted for the full builder credit and I was never provided a revised estimate until closing showing a drastically reduced builder credit. The additional cost to me would have been ~$5000 if I did not absolutely refuse to sign and forced the lender to make necessary adjustments to utilize additional builder credits.

 
Any competent lender with an iota of regard to the paying customer could have easily structured the final settlement to utilize the full builder credit or advised the customer sometime during the long closing process (~45 days) of any impending issues.

Regards,

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



4/29/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Stearns Lending customer service is by far some of the worst I've seen in any industry, especially the mortgage industry. Over 1 hour 15 minute phone call, where about 75% was spent on hold, and transferring from one person to the next. All for a very simple request to reverse a late fee. A late fee that was charged due to a mistake on their end. At the end of a 1 hour 22 minute phone call, the call was just dropped.During the phone call, I explained to numerous people that I'm willing to pay the amount due, just want the late fee reversed. However, no one can seem to transfer me to the person who can reverse that. Even when told I was going to be transfered to a supervisor who could help, I was not, it was just another associate who had no power to make that change to my account. The worst part is my loan was purchased by Stearns without any approval from me. Now I'm stuck with their horrible customer service and poor business practices.

Desired Settlement: A simple reversal of a late fee.

Business Response:

Please be advised that I attempted to respond to this yesterday but your website would not allow me to enter the information.  I also attempted to contact your dispute department however a voice recording told me the department was closed.

Mr. *******'s issue:  He wanted the late fee removed from his account as he thought the auto-draft he set up was effective as of 3/1/14.

Stearn Response:

  • Mr. ******* set up his auto-draft two business days prior to March 1st which was not enough time to be effective on March 1st.  An auto-draft needs to be set up five or more business days prior to the beginning of the month the borrower would like the auto-draft to begin.
  • When Mr. ******* set up his auto-draft via the web on 2/26/28, he received a confirmation online of when the auto-draft would begin.  In addition, an automatic letter was generated on the same date and mailed to his home address advising him that the auto-draft would be effective 4/5/2014 (attached).
  • This matter has been resolved.  Mr. ******* made his payment by phone and the late fee was waived.

Thank You,

***** ******

3/6/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My property taxes for the second installment of 2011 were not paid by Stearns Lending. they still have not corrected the issue. I have an escrow account to pay my property taxes. the second installment of my 2011 property taxes were not paid. I have contacted Stearns for over a year about the problem as late fees continued to mount. The property was sold and after continuing to contact Stearns, nothing was done. I have called Stearns over 2 dozen times, spoken to supervisors and managers with no success. I am given direct numbers and no one ever answers or returns my calls. I have been promised updates and calls and have receiven none. My property is due to be taken from me in 13 days. I called Stearns and was told to wait on hold for an hour while a different supervisor finishes lunch. I have tried for over a year to resolve the problem with no success. I feel as I have been mislead and not given any answers. I was also told that my county would not tell them what was needed to resolve the problem. I spoke to the county over the phone and in about 5 minutes learned what Stearns needed to obtain in order to resolve the issue.

Desired Settlement: I would like Stearns to pay my tax bill with the money they collected from me in my escrow account AND THEY SHOULD BE LIABLE FOR THE LATE FEES AND PENALTIES, AS PER THE LAW. I am hoping my property isnt taken away.

Business Response:

This will acknowledge receipt of **** *********'s complaint.  We will research the file and respond as soon as possible.

Thank you,

***** ******

Customer & Regulatory Relations Manager

 

Business Response:

We are actively researching this matter.  Research was received that I have sent additional queries on.  We will respond fully to this complaint; that said, it does appear that the borrower's complaint is valid.  Please allow us until Monday to finalize our response.

Thank you,

***** ******

Business Response:

Stearns Response:

A bulk tax check was disbursed on 7/24/12 which included the tax payment for this loan and several other loans. The tax payment for this loan was assessed to be $2,252.76 as of that date.

It was later determined that the bulk check was made out for the wrong amount so all payments were reversed and credited back to their perspective loans on 7/27/12.

A second bulk check was later reissued but the payment for this loan was inadvertently excluded so the borrower is correct in stating the taxes on his property were not paid.

On 11/7/13, the tax department became aware that the property was scheduled for tax sale.  A check of the county tax website was made but reflected all parcels paid and current.

On 1/2/14, the tax department received another notification that the property wa scheduled for tax sale.  On the same date, the tax department submitted a redemption certificate along with the fee for the same.

As of 1/29/14, the redemption certificate was not received so a second request for a redemption certificate was made to the county with follow up requests made on 2/6/14 and 2/14/14.  No response was received from the county.

On 2/10/14, the county website reflected that the property had been redeemed, however, the borrower was contacted today and advised that he has not redeemed the property.

This matter has now been escalated with the county and a rush redemption certificate has been requested.

Stearns reqrets the inconvenience the borrower has experienced with this issue.  We will continue to address the same until it is resolved.  The borrower's escrow account will not be assessed any penalties or interest.  These will be absorbed by the company.  

Thank you,

***** ******

Consumer & Regulatory Relations Manager

###-###-####

 

10/21/2013 Problems with Product/Service

Customer Review(s)

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12 Customer Reviews on Stearns Lending LLC
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