Prospect Mortgage was the WORST experience of my life

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It has taken me several months to compose this post and I apologize for the long story.  I needed to make sure I was writing with a clear head because every time I came back to this event I could feel myself getting angry all over again as I relived the entire disaster, but I feel so strongly that this needs to be told.  Yes, I will name names because this is a true story of actual events.

While working with a buyer recently, I had the misfortune of also working with Prospect Mortgage in Campbell.  It turned out to be the worst experience I have ever had for any transaction.

Screen shot 2011-08-03 at 9.08.21 AM My buyer had already met with and been pre-approved for his financing by Carey Atwood (NMLS#312243) of Prospect Mortgage before meeting with me for our buyer consultation.  I felt that my client had built a relationship with Carey and it wasn’t my place to jump in front of that to recommend someone new.  I should have suspected that something was not right when Carey misspelled our client’s name several times on various email and correspondence.

Once we made an accepted offer on a property, I kicked off the process for removing contingencies — ordering inspections and telling Carey to get his financing lined up and the appraisal ordered.  In most cases, I am usually called within a couple days by an appraiser telling me he/she will be doing an appraisal, and they like to ask questions if there is anything in particular they should be aware of (that effects the property value).  Almost a week goes by without hearing anything so I called Carey to check on the appraisal — I was given an excuse about how it must have gotten lost in the system!

The lack of communication from Prospect Mortgage amazed me.  Carey rarely if ever called me, I always had to call him.  He didn’t like to return phone calls, instead preferring to write an email.  So now I realized that I needed to constantly monitor his side of the transaction — was the appraisal ordered, when is it scheduled to take place, where are we with the loan application review and verification of income or assets, etc.  His job is basically to get the loan approval so we can remove our finance contingencies and move forward with drawing up the loan documents.

Most appraisals come in exactly at the offered price (don’t get me started on that “miracle”).  I have had some appraisals that come in 3%-4% lower than the offered price, so I need to kickoff an appraisal dispute process in order to make sure my clients are protected.  In this case, we get word from Carey that the appraisal came in $15,000 lower than the offered price (less than 1.5%).  I flipped out!  Who does this kind of thing?!  This never happens.  That’s such a small number on a $1M+ property.  After I pushed Carey to get to the bottom of it, he tells me the appraiser made a typo — it was supposed to be at our offered price!  Don’t you think he should have fixed that before sending it out to me and our client?

Ok, now we’re back on track, or so I thought.  The overall financing for this transaction was a $729,000 first loan, a piggyback equity line second loan for about $80k, and the rest made from the buyers cash down payment.  At this point we’re approaching the time to remove our finance contingency.  Essentially, once this contingency is removed, if my buyer cannot complete the sale then the seller has the right to keep the deposit money and sell to another buyer.  You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Making sure we are good to move forward, Carey tells us we are “Good To Go” on financing, the loans are in place and we are free to remove contingencies.  Sure enough, 2 days later Carey tells us his $80k piggyback second loan has disappeared.  The lender won’t approve this loan.  I was irate!  This has NEVER happened when I have used my referred loan agents.  Never!

Reviewing the situation — we are 2 weeks away from closing, $80k short of the purchase price, and $30k of my clients money at risk if we cannot close.  Carey is useless finding another solution.  After about 10 days go by where we poured over second sources and multiple solutions, my client reluctantly asks a family friend for a personal loan to replace the $80k and we’re back in business.

Now we go back to Carey at Prospect for the original $729k first loan and again Carey tells us we are “Good To Go”.  So we begin to put all the pieces in place, get agreement from the seller to close a little later than originally scheduled and then Carey sends an email — their loan rate-lock on this loan has expired and the cost of extending it was something like $5,000.

I flipped out, again.  At this point my buyer is exhausted, wants to give up, walk away, and sue everyone involved so I had to pull out the big gun to take care of this.  I went to my broker, who has high-level connections within Prospect, and told him how Prospect is a bunch of incompetent liars who have screwed this entire transaction from the start and now expect my client to pay $5,000 for their mistake.

Suddenly, I began seeing more email communication from Carey than ever before and names I’ve never seen included on the CC list which I assumed were stakeholder executives within Prospect.  Then a miracle happens, we get a 20-day rate-lock extension at no cost.

I’m confident we’re on track and everything is lined up to close in 2 daysCarey calls again — the Prospect underwriter is looking for the section 1 termite certification.  There is no termite report, my buyer waived that inspection and the purchase agreement specifically made no mention of termite inspection or report — I yelled at Carey again to fix yet another Prospect screwup.  He gets it fixed and we are finally able to close.

In conclusion, Prospect Mortgage and Carey Atwood in particular rarely delivered on anything they promised, they missed many deadlines and stretched the timelines way beyond anything I have ever seen, and worst of all, they always had an excuse for how someone else was to blame for the situation.

My lessons learned:

1) NEVER again work with Prospect Mortgage on any transaction, period.

2) I need to be more forceful and direct with my clients when they tell me they are already working with a loan agent they know.  Not to say I don’t trust whoever they are working with, but if I have never worked with him/her before then I still want my clients to meet one of my recommended loan agents so I have a quick backup plan if anything goes sideways.

-Mark

20 thoughts on “Prospect Mortgage was the WORST experience of my life

  1. Prospect Mortgage should change their name to CELL PHONE MORTGAGE
    I try to call the office and always get everyones cell phone. Nobody ever knows anything, if I am lucky enought to get someone on the line , they take message and never call back
    Nobody knows the name of their own Branch manager or the phone number of the corp office

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  2. psl

    Mark — whoever you are. Why don’t you have the guts to give your full name and the name of the real estate company for which you work? This blog amounts to slander because you are using Carey full name and communicated this to the public. You are a coward as well as classless human being when you give this person no room to defend themselves. And you sound like the typical, moron realtor who is clueless about financing and THINKS they direct clients and mortgage people. Realtors have about as much of a reputation as used car salesman and politicians. Anyone with a high school grad can do your job.

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  3. Hi psl,
    Dissenting comments are always welcome, thanks. However, I’m not hiding behind anything. My name is everywhere on this blog because it is mine. I run a team under Keller Williams Silicon Valley and you would have discovered that if you looked more carefully at the entire blog.
    Your definition of slander is misunderstood — I am speaking directly on my first-hand experience with this company and this individual. It’s all true, and it all happened. If he would like to offer a different recount of these events, he is welcome to do so in this or any other forum. However, since this has been posted for many months and he has not responded, I don’t believe he sees this event any differently.
    It sounds like you’ve had a bad experience with a Realtor at some point to give you such an opinion for which you want to rant aimlessly. For the most part I agree with your generalizations, although I might choose different language. It is relatively easy to get a license and there are a lot of bozo agents out there, which is exactly why I write articles like this to help my clients avoid bozo loan agents. However, it is not easy to run a successful practice such as ours, having sold about $16M last year. NAR says we have 80% turnover every 3 years! You need to find a better agent who has strong enough skills to stay in business.
    Unless you have something constructive to add here, maybe your comments will have a better impact elsewhere. Good luck.
    ps. I don’t see you leave your full name and email address either.
    -Mark

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  4. jeannee

    I too have had a less than satisfactory experience with Prospect Mortgage, they had my paperwork for five months before telling me that they couldn’t do a loan for me. I provided them with the paperwork they needed, they just didn’t bother to review it for five months.

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  5. I second that motion!

    I recently, at end of 2012, used Prospect Mortgage in Texas because my realtor unknowingly referred me to them. My husband and I have bought 4 houses in our lifetime, and this was the ABSOLUTE WORST experience I ever had! My realtor has also said that they screwed over a couple of other clients of hers. She will no longer refer ANYBODY to them. I will not give all the details or names because my problems went all the way up the chain, and I can tell you that the incompetence goes laterally and vertically!! I had many of the same issues and responses from them. JUST DON’T USE PROSPECT MORTGAGE; if you do, and you read this, YOU’RE ASKING FOR IT!!

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  6. Jp Flanagan

    i hope all your errors and mistakes are published on the web, with no opportunity for you to respond as you have done here.

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  7. peter mccauley

    Actually, those involved dould respond, if they chose to, via a comment like yours, couldn’t they?

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  8. Mark

    Yes, this is an open forum if someone would like to respond. It’s interesting, this post has gotten a LOT of attention in recent months. In fact, 2 people reached out to me with similar horrible experiences who wanted to share their story with me, unfortunately they did not read my warning post prior to their involvement. I hope this post helps many people avoid a huge mistake.
    -Mark

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  9. cjsmyles2@yahoo.com

    did these ppl close on there home. I need to find a company that can help us with our bad credit get a home.

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  10. gaby

    Im in a similar situation with them and dont know if to walk away. We are two weeks behind schedule with no closing date

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  11. Derek

    Hi, I am buying a house. My real estate agent recommended a loan officer from Prospect. I have spoken to him on the phone and via email. At this point, he is very responsive and it seems like him and his assistances are eager to help. However, I would still like do some research. The following are my concerns and would like some opinions.
    1. Is a smaller firm such as Prospect Mortgage riskier than a big bank ie Chase? Call me old fashion, but big bank has procedures and under regulation. So am I in risk if I work with a smaller bank or mortgage firm?
    2. The loan officer at Mortgage prospect and big bank quoted me around the same rate. My concern is that after all the paper work are done, can the smaller firm raise the rate unexpectedly to take advantage?
    3. My broker agent told me that many of her clients went through this person in Prospect Mortgage. Is this a good indication? Given the fact that she is as eager to close the deal as I am.
    Your feedbacks are welcomed.
    Thanks.

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  12. WOW! I have never had anything but first class service and Prospect Loan officers that pick me up every time I call. I can even talk to their processors get more update and timely information from the Prospect people I wortk than any other company I work with.

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  13. Jim Bowen, CFP

    we as loan brokers/bankers are at the mercy of a fast changing. almost daily, fluctuations in the market arena. If “Realtors” are not aware of this, they haven’t done their”homework” and provide a diservice to their client. I’ve been in the lending business for over 30years and it amazes me how little Realtors actually are “in tune” with the mortgage market. A little bit of knowledge, is a dangerous thing. The Realtors lobby should push for more stringent education requirements for all licensed Realtors number 1 especially in light of them being the last remaining entity in the USA receiving 1099 treatment on their income. Past Council Emetris for NAR

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  14. ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

    MARK SOUNDS MORE LIKE YOUR TOOTING YOUR OWN HORN, AS MR IMPORTANT BIG BLOW HARD. YES FOLLOW UP AND COOPERATION IS YOUR JOB AS THE REALTOR. CAREY IS A REAL PERSON, NOT A MACHINE. HE DID PROVIDE THE CLOSING FUNDS WITH SUPER LOAN TERMS TO MEET THE CLIENTS ESCROW NEEDS. PLUS YOU CASHED IN ON THE COMMISSION… BE THANKFUL FOR SOMETHING. CAREYS NEED FOR EMAIL COMMUNICATION WAS LIKELY TO TRACT ALL YOUR RUDE COMMENTS. GET OVER YOUR SELF.

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  15. My client also used Prospect Mortgage in Fernley, NV. At the appraisal it was found that a plumbing leak had occurred at the house and there were no guts to the kitchen sink. The buyer was asked to put up money in escrow until the repair was fixed.
    We closed over 6 months ago, the plumbing was all repaired the first day and the buyer moved in.
    I have repeatedly, and so has my buyer, called Prospect Mortgage for the money in the repair escrow. No one returns calls, the money is still in limbo and we are not succeeding in getting any response from Prospect Mortgage at all. Where did my clients money go? She is a disabled Senior and could really use it. It is equivalent to two house payments.
    Can anyone give me names in high places to get this money back for my client?
    email me at nvsreplace@gmail.com
    Patty Hardrick, Broker
    NVS Real Estate Place
    Fernley, NV

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  16. Andrew

    I am a buyer in very similar situations. Empty promises and missed deadlines. Phone calls night before closing telling me they made a mistake now i must come up with thousands more before we can close, i came uo with it and closed the next day, only to find out at closing they OVERCHARGED me. I paid for 2 appraisals and only was supposed to pay for one! They promise me they will cut me a check the following business day to pay me back( so i would proceed with closing). This is 2 weeks later and still no check and she tells me now, she thinks prospect is right and the title company at closing was wrong and i may never see that money again! They have personally insulted me and talked down to me. They have made a happy experience into the worst ever. Oh also my loan was 203k rehab. I still not have been contacted about the rehab portion of my loan so i can start fixing my house! Horrible experience!

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  17. Mark

    I’m very sorry to hear about this (and the many others who have posted similar stories here). I wish people would catch this post while doing their research BEFORE selecting their lender. -Mark

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  18. JFK

    Mark- one person doesn’t represent the entire lender. It should be on relationships. Did u ever figure out why YOUR client had a lender that you hadn’t used and you didn’t step in to learn more? Step1 right? Probably your fault there…. Your clients look to you for expertise, and that includes the lending.

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  19. Mark

    Agreed. I had a long discussion with this client before he decided to move forward with Prospect, I expressed my concerns, but ultimately it was his call. My takeaway from this was to become more “forceful” about not using Prospect under any circumstances and trying harder to let clients understand the risks ahead when using someone I have not worked with with before. Thanks for your thoughts!
    -Mark

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