Franklin First Financial Promises the Moon and Delivers S*(#
DELAWARE -- I'd like to tell you my experience with Franklin First Financial.
I am going through a divorce because after 21 years of marriage, my husband decided he liked someone else better. My one stipulation for signing the divorce papers was that my husband help to buy a house for me and my children to live in.
My husband contacted Franklin First Financial. They gave us the best interest rate. Our loan officer was JB. I believe he is located in Florida. I live in Delaware.
We signed Good Faith Estimates, but there were many items left TBD. Some of the items left TBD were transfer taxes and escrow amounts, for example. Well, the TBD items were never determined by our loan processor.
The day before closing, on June 11, 2007, my husband had a verbal conversation with the loan processor trying to determine the exact amount we needed to bring to the closing table. The processor could not determine how much, but said, "Bring either $28,000 or $29,000, that should be about right. If you don't bring enough, you can write a personal check at the table. If its too much, they can give you a refund at the table." That was a bit stressful because I had exactly $28,800 in my savings account and that was all.
On the morning of closing, June 12, 2007, Franklin First Financial finally got the paperwork to our closing lawyer, Ward and Taylor, at 9:30 am. Mr. Ward was our attorney. Our closing was scheduled for 10 am, but because Franklin First Financial was late, our closing was pushed back. When we finally sat down at the table, Mr. Ward told us that we owed $34,787. Franklin First Financial had never determined the transfer taxes nor the escrow amounts which accounted for the discrepency.
Mr. Ward excused the sellers and addressed us. He said that in 27 years of closing on real estate, he had never seen a mistake this bad. First, Mr. Ward called the loan processor. She would not acknowledge the mistake, and suggested that Mr. Ward play with the 5% that the realtors had, which, of course, had nothing to do with the problem. Finally, he talked to JB, the loan officer. He offered us $250 rebate, which was our processing fee. We declined and proceeded with the closing.
I then had to borrow about $6,000 from my soon-to-be ex-husband in order to close on my house. I was very angry and humiliated. But that doesn't compare to what happened in the days to follow.
The next day, my husband called Mr. B. Mr. B offered to restructure the loan from an 80/10/10 to an 80/15/5. This would initially put about $9,000 back in our pocket, but it would raise my payments by about $100 per month. This was not something I was interested in. As a woman living off of alimony and child support, $100 a month isn't something I can afford. So, I decided that I wasn't going to go for that deal. I felt that Mr. B had made a $6,000 mistake at my expense because he neglected to pick up the phone and find out how much my transfer taxes would be in the state I live in. He did not do his job, and our lawyer, Mr. Ward, told us that he broke a law known as RESPA. Mr. B was supposed to protect me by giving me an estimate that was very close to what I actually had to pay, not $6,000 off.
So I decided to call Mr. B myself and tell him that I wasn't interested in a "favor" that cost him nothing but cost me $100 a month, especially since it was he that made the mistake. Mr. B hung up on me 3 times. The first time he said, "I've already talked to a lawyer and your husband, I'm not going to talk to a third party about this." The second time I called, he said, "Have your husband call me." The third time, he said, "I will not take your calls." When I called him the fourth time, he finally listened to me. He heard the whole story as I have just told you, (he didn't know my husband and I were divorcing, for example). He blamed the problem on a "young" loan processor. I told him that even a young loan processor has a boss who is responsible for his work. He kept reinterating that he was trying to do me a "favor" by restructuring the loan. I told him that the only favor he could do for me was to reach into his pocket and give me $6,000 because that is what good customer service people do when they've made a mistake. He told me that I should have called my state to find out my own taxes, and I told him that was his job. At the end of the conversation, I assurred him that I would be contacting the Delaware Banking Commission, Lending Tree, and his own general office of Franklin First Financial. At that, he replied, "Fine." and hung up again. I'm sure everyone involved would like to know what kind of service I received from JB at Franklin First Financial.
I was a dissatisfied customer who had been wronged, and Mr. B hung up on me a total of four times after making a $6,000 mistake at my expense.
I have a lawyer looking into it for me, so Mr. B may not have heard the last of me. All I have to say is, watch out for Franklin First Financial. They may promise the moon, but they aren't interested in service, they're interested in your money.