Member First Mortgage

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$350.00 deposit
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GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN -- We called Member First Mortgage to refinance our home mortgage. Talked to a interviewer and told them that we were now with them and wanted to refinance our mortgage. They sent us some papers to fill out and fax back to them. After getting the paper work back we were reached by e-mail and was told that every thing looked fine and we were approved for a 4.500% mortgage. All we had to do was pay a $350.00 deposit to get things started and have a appraisal done. We got the appraisal done and heard nothing back. After two weeks of not hearing anything back we called and talked to our adviser Matthew Smith and was told that the appraisal came back to high. We told him that our house was all remolded and was worth that or more. He said he would get back to us. A week later I called again and was told that our credit union now didn't like the deal and he was checking with other banks. About two weeks later I was told that he couldn't find anyone else. We asked how could this happen when we were told that everything looked fine. we called Chase Bank. They put us with Quicken Loans and we had a loan in three weeks @ 4.500%. After talking with Quicken we called Matthew back to let him know that we had found a loan with Quicken an was requesting our deposit back because we got nothing for our money. He said that he would get back with us. About a week later he called and said that he could get us a loan for 4.750%. We said no and that we had given Quicken $500.00 to get this new loan started and just wanted to get our deposit back. He said that he would get back with us. A few days later he called and said that he was told that we couldn't get our deposit back because we got the appraisal. We told him that we wouldn't have gotten it if we weren't getting the loan and want our money back.
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User Replies:
FlShopper on 09/15/2010:
Was the deposit non-refundable?
grandma005 on 09/15/2010:
Of course. All home appraisals are non-refundable.
getoverit on 09/15/2010:
In my experience, mortgage companies don't refer to it as a "deposit", they refer to it as an "appraisal fee". And it isn't refundable because it's paid directly to the appraiser

One time, I was refinancing and managed to get the lender to drop the rate a little by finding another lender who was willing to use the appraisal that the first lender gotten. (Evidently, each lender has a list of companies they will accept appraisals from.) But I don't necessarily recommend that becaue the first lender just started jacking us around with delaying settlement and it really cheesed off the second lender when I told him I changed my mind again.

The part I don't get is how can the appraisal be "too high". I can understand an appraisal being too low because it makes for a poor loan-to-value. But why would they turn down a loan with a low loan-to-value ratio?
FlShopper on 09/15/2010:
I missed the part about the "deposit" being for the appraisal; thanks for pointing that out. It's pretty obvious then that this was not refundable.
Mortgage Seeker on 06/14/2011:
Member First Mortgage in my opinion is absolutely the worst in every sense of the word. I just walked away from a deal after investing over two months due to their lack of customer service skills, countless repeated requests for documents already submitted and a host of other problems. Their rudeness is most unbelievable. Run for the hills - do not do business with this company. You will be sorry if you do.
pmj45 on 01/12/2012:
We just completed a refinance with MemberFirst that went OK. The only glitch was the problem getoverit mentioned - the appraised value of the house was too low.

MemberFirst had us resubmit the paperwork to Fannie Mae under the HARP program. A hassle, lots of repeated documents. Desired result achieved.

My experience with refinancing is that it always seems tedious, intrusive, and more costly than it should be and you end up signing things at closing that you wish your lawyer was there to reassure you about.

You need to keep your eye on the prize -- the interest rate, monthly payment, closing costs. And gird your loins for the rest.
Pupidawg on 05/08/2012:
I have experience with Matthew Smith and I feel that he has very poor communication skills. At times, I felt as if he was just stringing me along.
Ben on 06/27/2012:
I had a similarly awful experience with Member First. Take forever returning my calls, losing paperwork, agent vanishing during closing week, and even more. Even our real estate agent said he was pretty much the worst she'd even dealt with.
grumpyoldguy on 08/09/2012:
I could not agree more with "Mortgage Seeker" above. We have been having the same awful experience with Member First Mortgage. Our Mortgage Consultant has been Mike Jekel and he has dropped the ball at every step of what should be a fairly straightforward process. As Mortgage Seeker said above, "due to their lack of customer service skills, countless repeated requests for documents already submitted and a host of other problems..." Sounds exactly like our experience. We are going into our fourth month of this process. This is our sixth mortgage over a thirty year period and we have never dealt with such incompetence and apathy.
NotHappy on 09/30/2012:
We refinanced through what we thought was our credit unions website. Ended up with these fools who repeatedly emailed multiple documents with our personal information including SSN's and account numbers through unsecured email. STAY AWAY from them.
Drown021 on 10/04/2012:
I agree with mortgage seeker also. Worst company I have ever dealt with. I fired them. Here is a review I left at YP.

I have to agree with the other comments. I tried going going with Member First Mortgage due to the partnership with them and my Credit Union. Their communication is non existent. They request the same paperwork over and over. The documents do not seem to get to the underwriter. After almost 3 months of being extremely patient and giving them the benefit of the doubt and being "assured" that I would be given a call within 4 days I received an email requesting the same documentation I had sent oringinally and another two times. I have taken my business elsewhere. Hopefully they will take a look at their process and see what is not working. I would strongly advise looking elsewhere.
realtor refferal on 01/07/2013:
I was referred to Member First Mortgage by my realtor, they work with a credit union in the area and I got to say, this was the best experience I have ever had with a purchase of a home. In reading the comments above this doesn't sound anything like the experience I had, I submitted all my documents to them at the start of the application, they requesting some signatures on some follow up forms, and the underwriter only asked for one additional document.... this is a far cry from the dealings I have had with Quicken Loans or Rock financial... plus the closing fees were cheap in comparison to others. I have referred two family members to them and they had the same experience.
Whoknew19 on 06/18/2013:
I have had the same experience as most of the above people. I am a reasonable person and realize that restrictions are higher with loans now and am patient. Restrictions are not the excuse for bad service. Poor communication, lost and repeated paperwork attempts, weeks of hearing nothing and no returned phone calls/emails. Nothing makes you feel worse than to know you paid 500 for an appraisel that will be useless as this company drags its feet as to when you will finally close. I have refinanced before and it took 35 days, we are going on 3 months. This company gets a F- for customer service!! If we do ever close I worry of how they will be with servicing the loan. Do not use this company, save time, money and aggravation.
Debbie on 07/18/2013:
Members First was sold our second loan from our credit union. These people are ridiculous. They lost us our refinancing interest rate for our first mortgage on a simple subordination. They weren't changing the order, they were staying where they were, no loan amounts were changing. It was so simple a child could have done it, but, among other things, these idiots couldn't understand that we had an SBA loan because our house flooded not because we had a business. For months they asked the same questions, asked for the same paper work over and over and never took responsibility for anything. We dealt with Rory in Member Services and all she knows how to do is feign innocence. This is second time we have tried to refinance our first mortgage and the second time Members First screwed us over. We are out their ridiculous high subordination rate twice totaling $500. I will not rest until I get that money back. These people should not be allowed to stay in business.
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