I found Hammond Mortgage on bankrate.com this spring. I was relocating to Georgia from Virginia, and my Virginia condo was under contract, due to close April 17. I had a lot of difficulty finding a home I could afford, and ultimately didn’t find one until the first week of April. I called Hammond Mortgage and spoke with Bart Hammond, the owner. I rushed to get the paperwork in, and he was helpful during the morning when I was putting the paperwork together; then at 11 AM he just disappeared. His secretary thought he had gone to lunch, but hours later she still didn’t know where he was. I submitted the paperwork, but it turned out his conduct was the norm—from that point on, he wasn’t available for phone calls, insisted that everything be done via email, and disappeared for hours on end, or—his secretary told me—locked himself in his office and refused to answer the door when she knocked. There’s a lot more, but you get the idea.
On Wednesday, April 12 we still hadn’t locked the rate and he told me rates had gone up—quoting me 6.25, whereas before he’d been quoting under 6%. I asked about paying down the rate in points, and he gave me some other figures, but disappeared before locking. I was on my way back to Virginia to meet the moving van *that* afternoon, and I emailed and left phone messages for him to call me, because I would have no further access to email.
I was scheduled to close on the Georgia home on April 20. The movers were scheduled to collect my household on April 14 and to deliver in Georgia on April 21. To make a long story short, Bart Hammond refused to call me. By Thursday I got suspicious when I didn’t hear from him and went to the library to find he had WRITTEN to me; he continued to write although I had pleaded with him to call because I was PACKING (I went back to the library twice). Throughout Thursday morning, after which I stopped checking, he never quoted me a higher price than 6.25%.
Finally, during a call to his secretary, I learned that he had, indeed, locked my rate—at 6.375%! He still refused to take my calls. I also learned during that call that he had sold my loan.
When I returned to Decatur the next week, I called the company that had bought my loan, MortgageIT. The loan officer asked if I had paid any points and I said no, and he told me that Hammond must have corrected their ways because my rate was 6.25%...and that’s what I believed less than two hours before closing when I got the HUD statement and learned I been charged $1100 in points. No one answered the phone at Hammond that day. (Incidentally, on that day, April 20, according to bankrate.com, rates were down close to 6% again.)
I had a moving van on its way, I had to collect my pets from Virginia, and I had no other choice but to go through with the signing. However, it is not reasonable for me to pay Hammond for dropping the ball. I want my $1100 back.