Loan Application Mishandled
LEXINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I am the general partner of a Limited Partnership formed in Massachusetts. On April 11th, nearly six weeks ago, I was told about a loan program by clerk at TD Banknorth in Lexington, MA. The branch manager, Matilda Topalli, was out, so the clerk put me in touch with a loan manager at Concord who explained that the Partnership would be eligible for this particular program and that I should get the paperwork from the Lexington Branch when the manager returned. A couple days later I returned to the branch, met face to face with the manager and got the forms.
I explained that the Partnership was planning to use the money as a revolving line of credit. I also discussed my schedule, and that I was leaving the country to visit my sick mother in Japan and needed to finalize this very quickly so I could make my flight reservations. I told Matilda that I would need to travel with two of my children on June 21st based on school schedule and my need to see my sick mother and wanted to have this completed well in advance of that date or else I wouldn’t start the process at all. At the time tickets from Boston to Tokyo were available at just less than $900 apiece. Matilda told me that the application would be simple, that two years’ of the partnership tax returns would be needed and that once this was in place approval would be quick. I thanked her, took the forms and went home.
I returned in a couple days with the forms along with the prior year’s tax returns for the Partnership. The 2006 returns had not be finalized so I couldn’t provide those yet, but at the manager’s request I prepared an income and expense form for business. I was assured that the loan application would take “2 or 3 days to process” once it was at underwriting, and that the underwriters would let me know if any other information was required. I also had to get attested Power of Attorney and various Partnership paperwork couriered to me from my attorney and speed up the filing of the 2006 taxes.
At this point I believed that the application would be sent to the underwriters without the 2006 taxes for initial processing, that I would get a response before the end of April with approval contingent on receiving the finalized tax returns and any other additional information the underwriters might require. As a result, I expedited the taxes (getting my accountant to interrupt a golf vacation to Bermuda) so that I would be able to get the loan finished one way or the other by mid-May.
About a week later I received a call from the manager asking for additional information leading me to believe it was for the underwriter. I took in the 2006 Partnership return. She also asked me to fill out the application again since she had had me sign incorrectly. She was confused about my role as individual, partner and power of attorney. I signed the papers again and gave them to her. Again, she told me that it would take “2 or 3 days” to hear back.
Last week (5 weeks after this started) the branch manager called yet again and told me to come into the bank to sign the application a third time. I was shocked. When I got to the bank I saw all my papers there – apparently the application had never been sent to the underwriters at all! I asked her for the underwriter’s name so I could contact him or her, and she told me she didn’t have that with her, but would give it to me the next day.
Worried, I called TDBanknorth headquarters and asked for underwriting to confirm the status of my application. There was no record whatsoever of my having applied for a loan. They had never heard of me or the partnership. I then called the main office to complain about this. I spoke to Diane Wheeler, assistant to Wendy Suehrdtedt, Senior Vice President and explained the situation. Later I got a call from someone claiming to be a loan officer who told me that the partnership was not eligible for the program in question, that the branch manager had not realized this because her old bank had such a program. Then our call got dropped, so I caller back the caller ID and was shocked when the phone was answered by yet another BRANCH OFFICE. The person I was talking to wasn’t a loan officer at all, he was another branch manager (Matthew McGuire, AVP, Branch Manager) trying to bale out the manager in Lexington and lying to me outright about his position in the bank. When I pointed this out to him he said that in fact I was not eligible for the program and that I should not be getting this other manager in trouble.
Later I received yet another call, this in response to the complaint I made to the headquarters in Maine. John Mulvey told me that he was instructed to get in touch with me. But it quickly became apparent that he had no idea of the history of what was going on and had not been in contact with anyone involved, so he was no help whatsoever.
Now flights to Tokyo are nearly $2000 a seat because of the delay in purchasing, I have no loan even in process and am convinced that the manager, through incompetence and neglect failed to even ask me the right questions. Besides the aggravation and costs associated with getting the paperwork done, I am out over $3000 in increased travel costs. Had she simply sent the application to the underwriters I would have had a response one way or the other and been able to make my plans accordingly. Or, if I truly was not eligible I should simply have been told this. Based on the program description I got in writing from the bank I think the Partnership does qualify, but at this point I believe people in the bank are simply trying to cover up for the incompetence of its manager. My summer schedule is ruined, my cost of travel more than doubled and I am furious at being misled and deceived about the processing of my application.
TD Banknorth was incompetent in dealing with my application, they deceived me as to the time it would take to get an answer, failed to file the application in a timely way, and tried to cover up their mistakes when it came out that the application had never been forwarded to the underwriters. This never would have happened at Boston Federal Savings prior to its acquisition by TD Banknorth. They have reduced staff, increased hours and failed to train or supervise their employees. While I blame the branch manager, I blame the senior officials at TD Banknorth even more. I am shocked that to this point I have gotten no explanation for what happened nor any sort of apology for the bother, inconvenience and harm this has done me and my business.
Banks are supposed to be trustworthy. It should be criminal for them to misrepresent themselves in phone calls. I provided detailed, highly personal information that I would never share except when required for this application. I was misled, lied to and let down about this. I was put to a great deal of effort for nothing.