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The Mis-Adventures of Getting a Rate Quote From LendingTree.com

 

There is nothing like a fake rate quote from LendingTree.com to ruin a loan officer’s day. Every loan officer has had at least one first time home buyer client go rate shopping on LendingTree.com right in the middle of a purchase transaction. Realtors reading this article – please take note. You are affected by this in a big way too. Gullible first time home buyer clients who truly believe the fake rate quote might decide to kick your favorite, long-time reliable, professional, honest loan officer to the curb in favor of the telemarketing trainee at LendingTree.com who provided the fake rate quote. Not good when your current paycheck depends on the completion of this loan and your future referral paychecks from this first time home buyer client depend on satisfaction at the end of the transaction. 

A first time home buyer purchase client of mine just went rate-shopping on LendingTree.com and came back with a rate quote that was more than one whole point below the current market rate for her loan. I immediately logged on to www.LendingTree.com and input her loan scenario so I could test-drive their web site. What a ride it was. Ready for a good laugh? 

The initial rate quote is generated after the borrower completes a couple of short pages of questions. The total information requested is probably less than a half of what would be needed to provide an accurate rate quote. A rate quote is nonetheless generated here and that rate quote was 5.6%. This is what the client brought to me asking if I could beat it. Watch how much higher this rate quote becomes as we move further through the “LendingTree Experience.” 

My first message coming from LendingTree.com after I had input the loan data was an introduction from a loan officer in Largo, Florida to whom the loan had been passed. That introduction is shown in the above link as you scroll down it. Just think – the loan that your transaction totally depends on can be forwarded to any LendingTree associate of totally unknown lending experience anywhere in the country. It is kind of like a lending version of Russian Roulette. The problem is that it’s your transaction that could get shot in the head. 

This loan officer then proceeded to give me another quote on this loan. Now the rate is up to 6.125%. He also quotes his total closing costs on this purchase to be about $1,900. I can’t imagine that he could have left any of the closing costs out? How about that?  In addition to rate, we have bait-and-switch going on with closing costs as well.  

I then e-mailed to the loan officer a fairly complete description of the loan scenario. I purposely left out asset information to see if he would ask me what it was. He didn’t. He just gave me a final reply and rate quote. Here he stated that he simply can’t do the loan unless the rate is 6.875%. 

The initial quote sent to my client was 5.6%. When all was said and done, the final quote was 6.875%. Who knows how high the quote would have gone if this had continued? 

I really wish there was a way to shut down these bait-and-switch Internet lenders. First time home buyers are the ultimate victims of these fraudulent rate quotes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mark Harmon, Realtor
®
CalHFA Preferred Loan Officer
USA Realty and Loans

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