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Trying to refinance mortgage with PenFed
Old 04-06-2008, 08:25 PM   #1
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Trying to refinance mortgage with PenFed

After seeing positive posts in the past about PenFed's rates, I had kept an eye on their web site. I have a balloon mortgage now that matures in June, so I decided to apply for PenFed's every-5-year adjustable back in Jan, when the rate was 5.25%. Well, tomorrow is the end of my 90 day rate lock, and I still don't have a closing scheduled. The title company they are using is taking forever to get their work done. Supposedly, they are seeing mistakes in the settlement recorded from my original mortgage, although I have refinanced this house several times since building it 15 years ago.

I have raised my concerns about PenFed's follow-up to get this moving along. The manager emailed me 3 weeks ago that they would move it along and keep me better informed, but I have heard nothing since.

Is this a typical level of service others have seen with this credit union?
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:53 PM   #2
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I have made an application but haven't locked in, because rates have gone up since I applied. So far my processor has been very responsive. But since I haven't closed, I can't say for sure.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:54 PM   #3
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I think they are getting overwhelmed. We are in the process and are close to closing on a 15yr 5% fixed that we initiated in Jan. So far no major glitches, appraisal done and good, sent in the final paperwork last week and keeping our fingers crossed.

DD
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:45 AM   #4
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I did a mortgage with them in about 10 days just about 6 months ago (HELOC). But, something I do not understand about your post, you say they are finding errors in the settlement recorded in your original mortgage, which I assume goes back at least two mortgages. If this is the case why blame PENFED for doing their "due diligence"? As a significant investor in PENFED for the past 33 years I am very happy to hear your comments.

I do hope that you do get the mortgage and if I were you (IMHO) I would get on the phone and speak to them (a supervisor?) and ask what you can do to expedite it. After all if the problem is not PENFED's, but they are doing what they can to clear up someone else's problem, for YOU, I would wait it out. I assume they will honor the rate beyond the 90 day lock, but I would specifically ask that question and at the conclusion of the call ask for some type of written confirmation.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:29 AM   #5
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Our refi over newyears was the easiest we've ever done. That may have been a function of refi-ing for an amount less than the CDs we have with PenFed, but they were outstanding in doing just exactly what they said they would do: like calling back when they said they would. Took two weeks start to finish AIR. Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:55 AM   #6
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It is reassuring to me to see someone else getting less-than-stellar customer service from Penfed. I applied back in December 2007, they sat on my application for months and eventually turned me down in February. I reapplied and eventually was approved. But it took many many phone calls to their loan processors to get the loan through the process.

Then we are a few days away from closing, and the processor is going over the closing details. It turns out that they didn't have the loan in both me and DW's name because their title search company reported that the deed to the house was held in my name only. This was clearly wrong if anyone had taken one look at the first paragraph of the deed. I had to persuade penfed to put the loan in both of our names. That held up closing even more. Then the closing docs they sent to me got "lost" in fedex, although they could never produce a tracking number to show me where they were. Then they proceeded to resend the docs, but the first CSR told me I was still going to be charged interest because delaying the loan closing was somehow my fault.

In the end, I finally closed on my 4.99% no closing cost Home equity loan successfully. But the experience I had was pretty rough. They were polite throughout the process, but I kept getting false timelines of when things would happen. I would hesitate to recommend penfed to anyone else if they are trying to close on a limited timeframe. They would work ok for refi'ing if you didn't mind waiting.

Customer service to me was one step above walmart and dell - they spoke english and were at least polite and not belittling (in general).
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:59 AM   #7
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I personally have had great experiences with PenFed both times I have dealt with them on mortgages. The first time was a refi of my second mortgage about 4 years ago, and the second time was a refi of my first mortgage this January. The most recent time I had to work through several errors with Fiserv (the company they use to manage the actual closing), but I was diligent with calling them and they were diligent with fixing the errors, and eventually the whole deal was done. I applied on 1/23/08 and signed papers on 2/11/08. The loan funded on 2/15/08.

However, I have read a number of cases like yours where they are just slow. My impression is that there are two things going on: First, there is great variability in the quality of PenFed's loan processors. It sounds like you have a dud. Second, sometimes they do get busy, and the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I would suggest calling more frequently. I probably spoke with or emailed my loan processor and/or Fiserv at least once and sometimes twice a day when warranted.

Your experience does have something unusual about it, in that you seem to have an apathetic supervisor at PenFed as well. In the one other case I know of where the customer escalated to the supervisor, they were Johnny-on-the-spot after that. I would suggest you escalate to second level management, politely explain the situation, and request that your loan processing be switched to another processor working for a different supervisor.

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Old 04-07-2008, 12:38 PM   #8
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I appreciate your response. I have done the escalation through a PenFed manager, and was assured that more follow-up would be done. I am still not hearing back from them for weeks on end though. My issue has been that the title company waited until my initial closing date (2 months after I submitted an application) to even bring up an issue. Now a month later, still no word on resolution. I would have expected PenFed to stay more on top of this and to either get it expedited or at least keep me updated.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
Our refi over newyears was the easiest we've ever done. That may have been a function of refi-ing for an amount less than the CDs we have with PenFed, but they were outstanding in doing just exactly what they said they would do: like calling back when they said they would. Took two weeks start to finish AIR. Good luck.
I think they are much busier now. When we locked in we got an email and phone call stating it would be 6 weeks before they even started to process the application. It ended up being more like four but we are (hopefully) going to close before the 90 day lock expires so almost 3 months start to finish with no major glitches.

DD
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:56 PM   #10
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My experience with Pen Fed for Home Equity loan at the beginning of this year was excellent very responsive.
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