On October 1st, I pulled a loan from a lender to give to Sebonic Financial after finding an attractive rate through Bankrate.com. I was told by the loan officer that they could complete the loan in 30 days. I’d like to preface that my brother is co-borrower for this loan, and our credentials are excellent. This was a conventional loan with 20% down. We both have over 800 credit scores, 30 and 15 years in our professions respectively, and 60K combined in our checking accounts, enough for our down payment excluding closing costs and reserves. In addition, our combined income well exceeds $150K over the past 2 years. I told my loan officer from the beginning that the small balance of my down payment would come from the liquidation of some of my stock in a small investment company. My brother and I both have a substantial investment in the small yet very profitable business. The company was required to provide tax returns and bank statements to Sebonic, even though neither is employed by the company. The company has liquidity far in excess of any funds needed for closing.
I am self employed as an Ice skating teacher for the past 30 years, and have a very successful practice of teaching young children private skating lessons. I also am employed part time by a skating rink to do team lessons and we compete regionally and nationally.
Sebonic Financial dba Cardinal requested the usual information from both of us and began their process. Soon thereafter, more documentation was requested from us, including documentation we believed was already sent. After substantial delay, they said page one of my tax return was not received via fax, but had the rest of the pages. I immediately turned around all items requested of them, in order to get my loan completed. At times, they didn’t realize they already had the documents. This slowed down the process dramatically. But then again why should they care? After my 30 day lock expired, they were able to go in and begin charging me extension fees. And they did. $1500 worth. Had we not been bounced from our loan officer to loan processor “A” (Keenah Lambert), then to loan processor “B” (Katie Nava), and finally to loan processor “C” (Jamie Chanthaboury), maybe someone at Sebonic would have been able to see the documents in hand and the documents still needed (if any). Still yet, they requested absurd items on multiple occasions. For example, is my brother’s passport a necessary document to obtaining a loan? He wsas born in the US, and has worked a City job for the past 15 years. This document is not necessary to secure a loan, and you were given his driver’s license in the very beginning in order to ID him. In fact, your request for documents request asked why his driver’s license didn’t match his current address, when in fact it exactly matched his address of 17 years. The list goes on and on, accountant’s letters to verify that I am self employed, and how long he has prepared my taxes, for example, along with my base pay and bonuses. Guess what folks, my accountant prepares my returns with information I provide to him, just like everyone’s, and the CPA is neither responsible for the accuracy, nor sending you bogus letters while he is vacationing overseas. All that matters is my signed return, along with the copy you request from the IRS to match it up with. He and I were both furious at this ridiculous and meaningless request. Of course, the request for my brother’s IRS 4506 transcript fell through the cracks, and was not requested timely from Sebonic, further delaying things. Sebonic also requested my website address (sorry I do not have one) and Secretary of State number (that’s for LLC’s and Corporations, or people operating under a DBA, none of which apply to me.) These items were all requested on more than one occasion from me, and all further delayed my loan approvals.
We continued to beg Sebonic dba Cardinal financial to move forward, and felt the delays were caused on their end. We were described in an internal e mail I received a copy of to have been “hounding” the processor to get this thing wrapped up. Things get even worse with this inept company that I implore others not to use. Our loan was approved with a few conditions on November 7th, and yes, they requested more documents, updated bank statements, etc. Everything was turned around to them in 24 hours. Included in the requests was this, and I quote: “coborrower - please address why your ID has a different address. Please provide local address for employer. Please provide copy of fully legible unexpired Passport from country of origin.” Once again, a passport is not necessary, we addressed the ID/address issue weeks earlier- The ID MATCHES THE COBORROWER”S HOME ADDRESS OF 17 YEARS. The employers address (a large city) is on his paystubs, and Sebonic had this information from the beginning.
One problem with Sebonic/Cardinal is that they never did an interview with me or by brother for the uniform mortgage loan application. They simply gathered information from tax returns and credit reports. So they never had a complete application. The first time I recall seeing it was when I signed loan documents around December 7th, a full month after the loan was approved. Personally, I believe this in itself has to be against the rules and fraudulent in some way. How can they be processing a loan for 2 borrowers when they have an incomplete application that they fabricated themselves?
So Sebonic dba Cardinal found themselves scrambling hard by December 5th when their COO (Erica Price) stepped in. I believe she was mostly clueless about what they had been putting us through for the prior 60 days, but suddenly our source of funds was an issue. She did not like the use of the funds coming from the sale of stock in the small business. These funds were fully trackable from both ends and rightfully belonged to me and my brother. We told Sebonic in the beginning where our funds were coming from, in an e mail to the loan officer, and I am sure verbally as well. The COO found herself in a difficult position with respect to the funds, which, by the way, we are talking about a very small amount, maybe less than 10K for closing, reserves, and impounds. This was even though I had over 100K invested in the company and my coborrower over 200K additional. They finally asked us to provide a gift letter showing funds coming in as a gift from someone or the company. We responded that this would be fraudulent to state this. In the end, the COO in a long winded letter referred to those funds as shareholder distributions, which they never were. In addition, she requested that we sign a letter to that effect. This was all AFTER she was presented a letter signed by 2 company officers stating that the funds were the result of a sale of stock. A subsequent e mail to the COO (Erica Price) reaffirmed this. So about the time the loan was closing my coborrower and I were asked to sign amended loan applications, which we have refused to do. The loan closed on December 9th without those signed items returned to Sebonic.
I hope the regulators call me or my brother (co-borrower) and ask us questions about our 70 day experience culminating in the funding of our loan. I would like to know how and where they came up with the limited information, clearly incomplete, on our mortgage application. Why a person of authority did not look at our file sooner in order to address issues that came up after more than 60 days into the process. A clear list of what is needed by them was never presented to us. They simply changed it constantly, added to it, and allowed unnecessarily requested items to be dropped off the list at their will. All this nearly created a big domino effect to the seller, her realtor, her exchange property, and the seller of a property she was exchanging into.
It’s funny how my much more subdued (but honest) complaint on Bankrate.com (the website where we found Sebonic) was not published. However, that makes sense that they would pull it sence Sebonic is a paid advertiser with them. It seems like false advertising if only the good reviews get published.
If the COO chooses to respond to this, I hope she takes the time to review the more than 100 e mails between the parties during the more than 2 months that we had to “hound” your processors before she became involved. She will soon realize the madness requested of us during this fiasco.
I am so furious and disgusted with this company this is not the last they will hear from me. They have taken good clients who are solid qualified borrowers and put them through the most ridiculous process I have ever experienced. I demand a response to this complaint beginning with your version of the incomplete mortgage loan app that you filled out on my behalf without as much as an interview.
I certainly would never have locked this loan if a) I knew it would take you 70 days to process the loan and b) if your loan officer had not sent out his propaganda of higher interest rates coming in the very near future, and his recommendation to lock which accompanied that bogus letter. In fact, interest rates had fallen by the time my loan closed, but all you passed on to me was $1500 in extension fees.
Wells Fargo is currently being sued by Cook County Ilinois (google it, it’s for real) for predatory loan practices and discrimination against women and minorities. I certainly hope that it is not Sebonic’s practice to go out of their way to make obtaining a loan extra difficult for this class of people also, but it sure feels like it to me.
Product or Service Mentioned: Sebonic Financial Customer Care.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $1500.
Preferred solution: Full refund.