One Man’s SunTrust Mortgage Nightmare

Last year I separated from my wife of twenty years, and in the last eight months or so have discovered that there are in fact a lot of things that I can do on my own, things she had managed to convince me that I could never do without her.

I managed to get a better job to allow me to make my own way, landed a decent apartment for reasonable rent, and got out of the high mileage car I was paying for and into a smaller more fuel efficient vehicle, and all without jacking my payments way up. I was doing well.

Armed with this newfound confidence, I set my sights on my next goal, namely moving from the apartment into a house, giving me and my kids some much needed additional space. I called a real estate agent that I had worked with before, and we went looking for houses that I could afford.

Before long we found one, and I went through the loan officer my agent suggested to get prequalified. The lender in question was SunTrust Bank. It was a decision I came to regret very quickly.

We got the prequalification letter with no problem. After all, I had very little in the way of debt, a decent income, and a credit score in the 800s (unheard of). I was the perfect candidate. Armed with the prequalification, I made an offer on the home. It was accepted, and we went to work on getting all of our material together for the loan process.

I was a bit appalled at how much was required, and how picky the lender was being, asking for verification on several monetary deposits I had made, and wanting to know where the down payment on my new car came from. However, I was told that in the wake of the housing crash, that such procedures were the “new normal” and that I shouldn’t worry.

They sent me a rather lengthy list of items that they required, along with the date they were needed by. I gathered it all together and overnighted it to them for the most prompt processing. Several days later I got a phone call saying that all of the information was wither wrong or in the wrong format, or otherwise unacceptable. I had to go out and do it all again. Being armed with the necessary requirement in advance would have been appreciated.

I soon got another approval letter, pending receipt of several items, namely verification of employment and income information, which I supplied. I shelled out the $400 for a bank appraisal of the property, and another $300 for a home inspection to be performed. Approximately three weeks out from closing, I was informed that they had everything they needed and that they would see me at closing. At this point, though stressed, I was feeling good, and could finally set about securing all the other elements of the upcoming move, such as movers, transferring utilities, buying appliances and furniture, etc.

And then the week of closing. By this point, my apartment had been rented, internet and power bills transferred, movers hired and locked in, and most of my possessions packed up and ready to go. That was before The Phone Call.

The call came on Monday before our Friday closing, telling me that we may not be able to make our closing date because there were questions regarding my income records. Apparently, the number of hours worked versus the rate I am paid did not add up, resulting in a few extra dollars that were unaccounted for.

I was stunned. This was something that should have been worked through weeks ago. The loan should have already been on the closer’s desk days ago. Now I was having to revisit a matter that should have been one of the first things checked off the list. I sent more pay stubs to them. Still didn’t change anything. I finally sent all of my pay stubs for the current year to them, and was still told the numbers were coming out wrong.

Finally, the formula was shown to me, exactly how our pay was calculated, and lo and behold, it came out right. Right to the cent. I forwarded a copy of the formula to the lender, along with instructions on how to apply it, relieved that there were no glitches in my paycheck, and slightly amazed that I was having to explain this to a FINANCIAL INSTITUTION!

As of this writing, I am still waiting, four days from my closing date, with no firm decision on whether or not my loan will be approved, and if it is not, nowhere to live after Sunday. At the risk of sounding pompous, this should never have had to happen. I make good money, I provided everything they required (twice) and my credit was stellar (did I mention it was in the 800s?). I am the perfect customer, and if they cannot get a loan approved for me, then they have no business working in the home loan industry. I don’t mind failing on my own merits, but I have a very low tolerance for failure due to someone else’s incompetence.

Again, the culprit in these matters was SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. I would highly advise anyone reading this to look elsewhere when considering a home loan or refinance. Don’t let what has happened to me happen to you or your family. You deserve better.