DHI Mortgage Review

Our experience with DHI Mortgage was awful.  Be warned before you choose them to close on your home.  If you are thinking of using them, read this first.

My wife and I went to a DR Horton housing development to buy a home.  We toured the home, liked the price and decided to buy it.  We learned that DR Horton has their own separate company to handle mortgages to finance the purchase of the home.  This company is called DHI Mortgage.  Now, we were already members of USAA, which has always been outstanding in all areas of service for us, so we fully intended to use USAA to finance the home.  However, we were given some nice incentives to close with DHI that we would not have gotten with USAA.  First, they would cover all closing costs.  They would also pay our property taxes for the year and match any rate we could get from USAA.   Well this sounded really great, so we quoted a great rate from USAA and decided to use DHI to close our home.   We paid 3000.00 US for "good faith" money and committed to buying our new home.  At first things seemed to be going smoothly.  Our closing date was 4 weeks away and my wife and I were getting everything in order to prepare for the move; basically, getting our end taken care of.    Day after day goes by and we keep in touch with our designated broker from DHI and are constantly assured all is going well.  When she needs documents, we give them to her.  Everything they needed from us, we gave promptly. 

 

Friday, Nov 10.  Time to close:  5 days. 

We are only 5 days away from our closing date, and our broker went on vacation.  She informed us that she passed her file on to another broker and that all was in good shape.  We were on track for a smooth close.  Everything was in order.   Or so we thought.

 

Monday, Nov 13.  Time to close:  2 days.

Tomorrow, my wife and I will go to the bank to pull our down payment for our home out of our CD and deposit it into our checking account.  Since Wednesday is our closing date, we will also need to pull out a bank draft so that we can make payment to DHI Mortage.  We will be using First American escrow service for the transaction. 

 

Today is a busy day, as we need to go to Home Depot to arrange for our blinds install, and then to the furniture store to pick out our couches.  We need everything done by Christmas because we are having guests over this year.

Its just after 8:30 am and we think that its odd that we haven't heard from First American yet.  We close on Wednesday, but do not know what time our appointment is.  No one has called us, and out of routine, we decide to call First American.   They told us "We apologize sir, but we do not have your documents yet."  We were shocked.  Not have our documents? 

We have scheduled Home Depot to install hardwood floors, granite countertops, and bathroom tiling.  Comcast is coming in on Thursday to install cable.  The movers are in next week.  Our gas, electric, phone...all will be turned on come Wed.  We have organized and scheduled our entire move around this closing date.   The only thing that can ruin our closing date at this point is us.  If we default on our contract, then its our fault.  But what if DHI defaults on the contract?   We are supposed to receive the keys to our home on Wednesday, provided that we live up to our end of the contract which we have done!

We immediately call DHI to speak to our replacement broker, Andy Hademan.  Andy was there and spoke to my wife.  She told him that First American hasn't received our documents.  He said that he would look at it and call her back in 5 minutes.  His exact words were five minutes!  

Now is where things get really bad.  My wife and I cannot leave today until we resolve this, so we are sitting by the phone, waiting for Andy.

One hour later, no word from Andy.  My wife leaves a message, "Please call us!".

Two hours go by.  Nothing.  My wife calls again, no answer.  She tries calling DHI Mortage's operator by pressing "0" at the main number pick up.  "Please wait while we transfer you to the general mailbox."  NO RECEPTIONIST!  Just another voice mailbox.

Even small companies have receptionists to answer phone calls.  I guess DHI mortage doesn't really like talking to people.  Its impossible to get a live person!   She calls back, dials Andy's extension and (of course) Andy isn't there and we get his voice mail.  She leaves another voice message on Andy's machine.

We wait...and wait.  Another hour goes by.  Andy doesn't call. 

Now I'm angry.  I call again, its 12:30 pm.  I press 0 hoping I would get a receptionist so I could speak to a supervisor.  And instead I get the general mailbox.  I leave a message.   No one is answering their phones.  Andy still hasn't called us.  I then call again, now it is 1:30pm and this time I press Andy Hademan's extension.  Andy is the guy with our file.  I leave a message.  I tell him (quote) "PLEASE call us back."  I tell him that we are standing by the phone waiting for him and that we really need to hear from him so that we can close on our home.  I am not rude in this message, but I'm firm, I tell him that we really need to call and ask him please to call us as soon as he can.

Another hour goes by.  Nothing.  No Andy.  Zip. What is Andy doing today?  We have left him 3 messages so far and have had to sacrifice our day waiting by the phone.   I guess our time doesn't mean a whole lot to Andy.  Has Andy ever read DHI Mortage's customer service philosophy and mission statement that says "To consistently provide an unexpected level of care and service to the client, compelling him or her to become a customer for life." (bold text is theirs, this is how this statement appears verbatim on DHI's website at http://www.dhimortgage.com/htmlpages/philly00.html)  

By 1:00, I cannot tolerate it anymore.  DHI Mortgage is a ghost town.  We cannot get ahold of anyone.  The lack of a receptionist to monitor phones during business hours is unprofessional and inexcusable in today's business world.  Every company I have ever worked for, even small ones, at the very minimum have someone answering phones. 

DHI MORTGAGE PHILOSOPHY:

"We believe we have a responsibility to our customers, our teammates, and our shareholders" (source:  www.dhimortgage.com/htmlpages/philly00.html)

MY RESPONSE:  This is just a sham.  Not having someone to answer phone calls shows a purposeful and deliberate disregard to customer service.  If you are a customer-oriented company, the prospect of losing business or the prospect of a customer unable to reach a live person during business hours is inexcusable.

 

So now its 1:30 PM.  We close in just over a day.  The escrow company has no documents on us...nothing.  DHI Mortage will not respond to repeated voice mail messages, let alone answer their phones.  I feel like I'm trying to get ahold of someone who runs an infomercial.   All I get is answering machines and nothing else.   Already, I can see that going with DHI Mortgage was a mistake that I am regretting. 

 

So now what do we do?  We decide to call our real estate agent, James who sold us the home.  It is his day off today, and he is our last resort.  James answers his phone (Wow, a live person) and is very nice to us.  Even though it is not his responsibility to deal with DHI Mortgage, he places a call to the regional sales manager to find out what is going on at DHI.  15 minutes later, DHI Mortage finally calls us.  Linda Taylor from DHI Mortage calls me.  She is the branch manager.  Finally, I'm talking to someone who can get things done.

Or Am I?

 Linda informs me that on Friday afternoon, there was a "problem" with our loan.  My wife, who is immigrating from Canada, does not yet have a SSN, even though she has a Tax ID#.  This was always known by DHI Mortage from day one.  Now, Linda is telling me that on Friday, they hit a wall with the underwriter over my wife not having a SSN. 

Why didn't you call us on Friday, Linda?  How come no one from DHI informed us of this problem?  Why does it take us wasting an entire day, leaving multiple messages, and calling our real estate agent, who calls a regional manager, who calls you, for you to FINALLY inform us of a problem? 

 

DHI MORTGAGE PHILOSOPHY:

"We want a relationship" (source:  www.dhimortgage.com/htmlpages/philly00.html)

If you value us as customers, you would have called us as soon as you found this problem on Friday.  But no one called us.  Fortunately, my wife had received her SSN last week.  I told Linda this and she said "great.  Please send me a copy of her Social security card."  My response was that I would do it right away.  She assured me it would all be taken care of as soon as she gets it.

Immediately, I took a digital photo of the card and emailed it.

SUBJECT:  *SENSITIVE* SSN, please confirm receipt

TO:  'lmtaylor1@dhimortgage.com'

Attached is a copy of my wifes Social Security Card as requested. For respect of privacy info, we ask that you would please delete this email after you print/file the image or save it to a secure location.
Thank you for taking care of our case, it is appreciated.

Sincerely,
Art

 

The rest of the day passes...I do not hear back from Linda.  She does not respond to my email.  She does not confirm receipt. 

However, she assured me it would be taken care of.  We did our part.  Now its up to DHI Mortgage to do theirs.

 

 

Tuesday, Nov 14.  Time to close:  1 day.

We had a busy day today.  We had to do all the things we missed yesterday, and we also went to the bank to get our money out of our CD.  Because DHI Mortage dropped the ball, we still don't know exactly how much they need from us so we couldn't get the bank draft.  The money is in our checking account...we will have to get the bank draft tomorrow.  We carried our cell phone today and kept it on in case DHI were to call us, but they didn't.  We got back at 3:15 pm today.  We were hopeful DHI took care of things, so we called First America, the escrow.

 

THE ESCROW COMPANY STILL DOES NOT HAVE OUR PAPERWORK!!

 

This is just unbelievable.  Did we miss a phone message? An email?  No.  No one called us...no one left us a message.  Andy Hademan, who said he'd call us back in 5 minutes yesterday, with 3 voice mails on his machine, still hasn't called.  His 5 minutes has turned into 30 hours.  Linda has yet to talk to us. 

What is DHI Mortage doing?  Are they at Starbucks drinking lattes and cappuccinos?  Am I dealing with professionals or are they sitting around in their break room watching Oprah and judge judy all day?  This is just absurd.  Why are we doing their job for them? 

 

DHI MORTGAGE PHILOSOPHY:

"Like we said, we want a relationship. Welcome to the family!" (source:  www.dhimortgage.com/htmlpages/philly00.html)

 

Welcome to the family, ha!!  What a joke.  DHI's philosophy is just a bunch of nice sounding jargon written by a marketing consultant.  It means nothing.  DHI Mortgage has taken a great experience from DR Horton and turned it into a stress-induced nightmare.   We get ahold of the regional sales manager for DR Horton (remember that DR Horton is a seperate company from DHI Mortgage, even though Horton owns DHI).  We explain to him that this is inexcusable.  Its after 3:00pm, and we are supposed to close tomorrow and the escrow company has nothing on us.  Jerry, the sales manager, gives us the number of Om*** another branch manager for DHI Mortage.  We call Om*** at extension 501.  (Jerry has done a fabulous job.  He is not with DHI, however.  But if it wasn't for Jerry, we would have been stuck)

 

Om*** explains to us that his corporate day ends at 5:00pm and he just "cant understand" why we would be upset over this 'small delay'.

Why shouldn't we be upset at wasting our entire day yesterday waiting for his staff to do their job and return our calls?

Why  shouldn't we be upset at DHI Mortage breaching their contract?

Why shouldn't we be upset when we have a tight moving schedule and moving our closing date will greatly impact our schedule?

Why shouldn't we be upset at their incompetence and mistakes that are costing US...(not them)

We are the ones...not them...who have to pay for their delays.  Comcast will be in on Thursday to install our internet.   Moving our closing date means we waste our comcast appointment and I will have to reschedule it....waiting at least another week, maybe 2 weeks to get it back. 

 

 

Wed, Nov 15.  Time to close:  less than 2 hours

Because we got on them heavily last night, they have finally done their job.  First American received our paperwork this morning via courier after we made several threats to call DR Horton corporate in Texas and had to go around DHI with our regional sales manager.  Looks like we are back on schedule.  I do not credit DHI in this, because if it was up to them, we would have been delayed.

 

Friday, Nov 17 - The Hidden Fees

We finally closed on our mortgage, however it was a nightmare.  What should have been a 30 minute process of simply  signing papers, turned into a 2 day bonanza.  We arrived all ready to sign until we found out that embedded deep within our mortgage paperwork, there were two "fees" that we owed.  These fees were:  a recording fee of 26.00 and a "one-time" homeowner fee of 250.00. 

STOP EVERYTHING!

After all I have been through, what were they thinking?  Just because we are signing a six digit mortgage doesn't mean you're going to nickel and dime us with some surprise fees at the very end.  Absolutely no way was I going to pay even a red cent in any fee that was not clearly stated in my original paperwork. I told them I refused to pay. The escrow supervisor was called in and told me I was obligated to pay the fees. I said absolutely not. I told them that if they required me to pay, the entire deal was off. I told them (and I quote) "I'm not paying a single cent!". She looked at me with an odd look trying to figure out if I was bluffing. No way, I was not bluffing. I stood up and said to them you either take off these fees, or we are leaving, and its over. A 6 figure loan is about to die over 276.00. And die it will, I am going to my grave before I pay these 'surprise' fees.

Well she left us in the room for about an hour as she made phone calls, etc. I have no idea who she called but she came back and sure enough, they retracted the fees because they were never disclosed to us.   Sadly, it is common in this industry to nickel and dime people at the very end of a mortgage deal with "surprise" tacky tack fees.   I absolutely refused to pay a single dime.  Finally, after they relented and took back the fee, we signed our mortgage paperwork.

SUMMARY:  DHI Mortage is not customer-oriented.  They don't care about you, the customer.  It is not their concern.  Returning your calls means very little to them.  Avoid this company at all costs, unless you want to induce on yourself stress, anxiety and extra costs associated with their mistakes.  We had to go outside of DHI Mortage in order for them to get anything done.  We had to hound them, pester them and repeatedly call them before they did anything.   This is not the mark of a professional company.  This is like doing business with an infomercial where the people on the other side seem to care very little for their job, and most especially the customer. 

 

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