User Experience with Mortgage Broker

About 5 months ago I posted here a few questions on getting finance for an IP. They first told me my current PPOR would fetch a much higher value than what it was really worth. Once I had found out this was completely untrue and we got a valuation back from the bank I said to her why were you so certain that I would get XXX amount, she said that I should get a valuator next time. Well why would you tell me that and sound so confident in the valuation but then back track on what you said? I had thought it seems way over valuated but she was very confident I would get that much although I still realised she didn't make the valuation. That set alarm bells ringing but it was a bit late by then.

Anyway before that she was telling me I could get a home for $350k no problems and that would be on a 330k loan with 97% LVR and advised I use Westpac. I said that seems a lot more than I would have thought I could get so sure, sounds great. So she confirmed that this was all ready to go and now I just needed to wait for my current home to be valuated and then should would know the exact amount. But I was told I could basically start looking for a home of around 350k and it would only drop slightly if the valuation came in under. That was just the start of my shortlist changing budgets many times.

I also had to send a lot of time scanning and emailing my personal details to the broker. I had to fill in many forms etc and it was quite tiring doing it online but I had used a broker once before so I knew the procedure but it was still a bit messy. So much easier just walking into a bank. This went on for days as my broker kept coming back and requesting new documents etc. She wanted to visit me at my home but I had read that was not a great idea as you will feel obliged and it is a trick by sales people. I agreed to meet at a cafe instead and it was a good meeting. Everything was fine up till then.

So all we had to do now was wait for the valuation and I was told it would be in about a week and I was happy for the extra time to finish some renovations. So a week later my broker came back to me (no valuation had still been done) and said my loan has now been changed to PI & IO instead of IO. She was not happy about it and either was I as we had decided an IO loan was going to be better at the moment for an IP so I would have some flexibility on monthly payments. I should have asked her for written confirmation.

So as all this was a little surprising and my broker was telling me we should just go for a smaller amount $300k at Westpac as that would keep it to 92% or something then I said ok then just go for that. So she requested a new amount but a few days later came back to me and told me this was also only allowed to be P & I as well. She was so confident that I would get this so it was surprising when I heard this was also allowed to be P & I only..

So after that I decided to give my bank a call and I told my broker I would. My bank manager was very good to talk to and she checked up on my applications and said they were marked as not approved for IO as they were too highly geared. She recommended I apply for IO on a % and not the whole amount and the rest as P & I. So I got my broker to talk to her and she also thought this sounded like a good idea to go with a split loan as my bank manager suggested.

But then my broker came back to me and said she was hesitant to go with another application at Westpac as they might refuse it and change it to 25 years instead of 30 years or something along that line? She recommended I put a new application in with ANZ who she said she had had two other clients in previous months get approved (probably her friends).

By now I'm starting to wonder about all this but I agreed to go with the ANZ application. It took so long for them to come back to me about this but I ended up decided go go with ANZ then even though there will also be a $1000 drop out charge on my current PPOR loan as my broker got me to take my current PPOR loan to ANZ as well. It also came with credit cards etc which I don't want. I was granted $220,000. My broker then without asking me got them to approve me for $230,000. (another hit on my credit account).

My broker had been reasonable to deal with but I did feel I had picked someone with little experience and knowledge. She also implied she had been employed by the company she represents for over 3 years but that was untrue, on further investigations she had only been employed for a few weeks before I talked to her.

So we eventually got my finance pre-approved, it took months just to get to that stage and I personally believe I could have achieved the same thing in a few days if I had gone to the bank directly like previously. I think it took another week for them to get me an official document as I wanted written confirmation this time. I then started to search for a home, I had already researched the market and it only took me a few days to find the property I wanted in my now limited budget. But just as I wanted my broker to be here to help with the contract and getting the information quickly she decided to take a 2 week holiday. Now I don't have any problem with people taking holidays but as I would have been one of her first clients she could have at least told me on th phone instead of email and the annoying thing is she said I would now be dealing with another person, her colleague for this company but worst of all she left me no way to contact her if it was important, no not even by text messaging. The person who she got to takeover would now be locked out of my account as only the original broker is allowed in and when you use a broker you are also locked out of the bank and only the broker had access to your information. So we lost days as we had many problems and the person who took over from her had to spend days just reading through all my details and understanding my situation. ANZ were also very slow with getting back to us and it was taking weeks just to get from one thing to another.

So I decided after I was consulted to consider looking at a Plan B, another bank in case ANZ continue to be very slow. I actually called Westpac on the request of my new temporary replacement broker to check if they had received a request for my refinance from ANZ so I could exit my loan and take it to ANZ. After talking to the bank rep I decided to just ask her if it was possible to get a Plan B going only if ANZ were slow and issues arose. My bank rep said sure, we can do something and I was at an Interview within hours and had started a new Westpac application. It reminded me of the good old days when I didn't use a broker and went directly to the bank, wow how much easier.... But I realized my broker had put some work into this and I wanted her to get paid so my priority was to use ANZ but if they never came through then go with Plan B and my Westpac rep was always aware of this.

So I had 14 days to get unconditional approval, I was locked out of asking where the bank was in processing this and it was very frustrating. Westpac even came around and did a valuation on my house and processed my loan in 7 days and gave me the unconditional approval. ANZ made me wait until a few hours before the deadline to finally come back and approve me but I was pretty annoyed at them by now.

Anyway, I ended up telling my broker that I had a Plan B with Westpac and I thought it was fair to be honest about it. I didn't have to tell her and I ended up saying ok I will just go with ANZ as I wanted her to get paid. I could have just gone with Westpac and I would have settled by now.

Now another week or more passed and still waiting for my IP documents and the refinance was now done. Yesterday I tried to call my broker but her phone was switched off all day and later explained it was accidental. So as I couldn't get hold of her I called her colleague of the company she represents and the same person I was dealing with as my broker was on holiday recently.I told her I couldn't get through to my broker and her phone was not working all day. She said quite arrogantly that "She is not her Keeper". I said I realize that but you are part of the team and I needed to know if my documents were sent to my home or postal address. My broker finally contacted me and said that the bank had definitely sent them to my home address. She said there was postal strikes and the Christmas rush would slow it down. These documents were apparently sent on Friday in NSW to NSW and it didn't seem right they would not be here.

Earlier today I called my broker to see if she could double check with the bank that they had sent my settlement documents to my home address and not my postal box. My broker said she had already checked and insisted they were sent to my home address and would not agree to double check. Actually she was quite agitated and her child was screaming down the phone again so I just said ok and I will let you go.

Today my solicitor surprised and told me the broker had called her earlier today and told her that I didn't like her etc and I won't be using her services again. That is totally untrue, what I did say was the vendors solicitors are only about to settle on certain days otherwise it will be mid Jan and I said my solicitor was now not able to be available until the 11th and I said that was a bit annoying. It wasn't putting my solicitor down, just general conversation and my broker had no right to go and tell her what I said let alone make up blatant lies. It was just normal conversation and not trying to put anyone down. That's backstabbing, when you go and do that! Very unprofessional and it was surprising to me as everything before that point I could get over but not that!.

Anyway I decided to go to the shops and stopped in at my post box today and would you know it, the documents were there, yes addressed to my postal address and had probably been there all week. My broker was too damn lazy to even check but just assumed they were sent to my home address even though she knew I needed them ASAP. Now it's too late to settle and if I had got them earlier we could have settled on Monday but now I have to wait until Mid January.

It was very cleaver of her to make sure my refinance went through before my IP loan did as once that happened she was different to deal with and she knew I would be locked in. To be fair the broker does have experience with her own properties and has probably put me on a better loan than Westpac but I would much rather research property finance and understand it all myself than ever go through this crap again. I'm a pretty forgiving person and I realise if she is new then now she would have learn't many lessons as I have. So besides all this I was even considering to give her another chance and broker my next IP as I probably will need a broker when I'm overseas but that's a joke to even think of that now after the last few days.

I have requested they destroy or more private information and I'm really mad at myself for using this outfit, it will teach me to research more carefully next time and I would prefer to go with a company than private individuals or small businesses. I had a funny feeling a long time ago and I should have gone with my instinct. I hate to think they have all my private details including passport, bank statements etc etc... grrrr I feel for the other newbies who I see they pray on and create false hope to everyday still. All under the disguise of been a helpful member.

I will probably have to use a broker if I'm overseas but next time it will be through a large company and when I'm here I will definitely just go straight to the bank myself.

It was my girlfriends birthday today and I was hoping for something better than a day like this. I'm just glad it's over now and I wait till settlement.
A few comments

Why would you expect your mortgage broker to know the value of your property? They are a mortgage expert not a real estate agent or valuer.

As for forms and applications, that's not the MB's doing, that's the banks. So you collate bank statements, pay slips etc. You would do exactly the same with the bank. Not sure of your issue on that one.

You make the comment, that you thought the valuation indicated would be high and that 97% is a higher LVR than you thought you would expect, then when the loan is changed to P&I, that is too restrictive? Those comments are contradictory IMO.

After going through your post, I am not sure of your question or slant. That you should go through to the bank directly? I have heard many stories of banks making similar stuff-ups, policy changes mid-stream. Its all part of the process, and you are not quarantined from those by going straight to the bank.

Well, you may have had a less then competent MB, but you yourself had made mention that things didn't seem right. At the end of the day, its your investment, your finance. Take charge as required, don't be a victim.

Well, you may have had a less then competent MB, but you yourself had made mention that things didn't seem right. At the end of the day, its your investment, your finance. Take charge as required, don't be a victim.

So true. You obviously had a bad feeling, yet you continued to persevere with this broker. There are some really bad ones out there, but there are certainly some good ones too. Don't for a moment think they are all the same.
Well, you may have had a less then competent MB, but you yourself had made mention that things didn't seem right. At the end of the day, its your investment, your finance. Take charge as required, don't be a victim.

I don't know what your point is, other than that you weren't happy with the services of this particular broker. I think everybody would agree that you need to deal with a professional, educated, experienced, competent, customer-focused broker.

A bad broker doesn't mean that mortgage brokers aren't worthwhile. :confused:

But I hope you're feeling better after venting. :)
Be it a broker or a bank, you'll have to provide payslips. Scan them, post, fax or deliver them in person, they've got to get to the broker or bank somehow. It think it's a bit rich that they asked you to fill out the application form though. The brokers I know tend to get the info face to face or over the phone and record it themselves.

From a brokers side, there can be a lot of documentation that's required. It's frustraiting for everyone if getting the documents together has to go back and forth several times.

Personally I'm trying to avoid 95% or 97% loans when possible. The mortgage insurers are uncomfortable with underwriting them, so they look for any reason to decline the application. The reason can be quite arbitrary, such as too highly geared in your portfolio, too rent reliant or too many credit inquiries.

It's difficult for brokers to judge this upfront because insurers don't give us this information. I'd rather suggest that you have a finance clause, and be prepared to exercise it, or find the cash for a 90% LVR.

From what's been stated, this looks like a deal which wouldn't be an easy one, but I think the broker's let you down quite a bit here.
You should have stayed with Westpac - they came up with a quick approval and you already had your doubts about the broker.

Don't worry too much, ANZ is good too, and it has all happened now.