Monday, July 25, 2005

Loan Officers

In the real estate business, we are in constant need of loan officers. You may think they are a dime a dozen, but good ones are few and far between. So far, in fact, that I haven't actually met one yet. You can make a lot of money at it with virtually no overhead, but the job is so tedious that most loan officers are driven to other lines of work within 6 months. The ones that stick with it are driven to self-destructive insanity.

Case in point: Not long ago, I referred my friend Jen to a loan officer whom I will call Crazy M. This lady had been begging me for leads for quite some time. My boss/stepdad had stopped using her, but I just figured he'd worked out a deal with someone else. So I referred her to Jen, my own personal friend.

They spoke and I thought everything was golden until I got a call from Jen a few weeks later. She had been asking Crazy M for a pre-qualification letter, which is simply a letter stating how much you might potentially be approved for. It is pretty much a useless piece of paper, but when you go out looking for homes, people want to see it. Jen, being the type of person who likes all her dicks in a row, wanted the letter on hand. It takes about 1.5 minutes to write up, but Crazy M kept putting her off. I told her I would give her a call.

Crazy M: Hello

Zelda: Hi there Crazy M. It's Zelda. Hey, I was wondering if you could get a pre-qual letter to Jen, I think she's going to start going to open houses.

Crazy M: I already told her what she was qualified for and that she doesn't need a letter.

Zelda: But she would like a letter and she's been asking you for one and you've been putting her off.

Crazy M: I told her what she was qualified for. She doesn't need a letter. She needs to have a contract on a house before I can write her a letter.

Side note here: This is not true. I receive these letters from other loan officers for other clients almost every day.

Zelda: No she doesn't.

Crazy M: YOU are not a licensed loan officer. You wouldn't know.

Zelda: I get them every day.

Crazy M: No you don't.

Zelda: I don't know what your problem is. I refer a personal friend of mine to you and this is the service they get?

Crazy M: Why are you giving me an attitude? I'm going to tell your dad. You aren't a licensed loan officer. You don't know what you're talking about.

Zelda: That's good. Keep being insulting. I am never going to refer another client to you again.

And I hung up.

I called my stepdad just to make sure I wasn't in some twilight zone where loan officers didn't write pre-quals. He said she was a psycho and actually laughed when I told him what I had said to her.

Crazy M called Jen and bitched at her. I don't know the exact details of the conversation, but it was weird, apparently.

Crazy M called me back about 5 minutes after that as sweet a pie, saying she wasn't sure about how this misunderstanding occurred and she values my stepdad's and my business relationship and how she had always given great service in the past. I set the phone down and blogged for a bit while she talked.

She finally sent the pre-qual letter which looked just like every other pre-qual letter. But what a crazy bitch! It was like birthing cacti to get it.

This behavior isn't actually uncommon. Male loan officers are actually much worse. I knew one once who sabotaged his client's loan and subsequently his real estate transaction so that he could purchase the property himself. I wanted to break his teeth just on principle. Perhaps I have an overdeveloped sense of justice.

But the personal lives of loan officers are what is really fascinating. For the married gentlemen, the job tedium and easy money manifests itself in spectacular mid-life crises complete with swinging and/or extremely gaudy and public adulterous affairs, then custody battles. For the single gentlemen loan officers, it is manifested in complete debauchery and the purchase of Hummers, flat-screen TVs and drunk women.

Lady loan officers are tamer, but go no less crazy as evidenced above.

And you'd think you'd feel sorry for the spouses of these loons. But chances are they are just as greedy and debauched, but too lazy to do anything more than leech off their partners.

I have pondered the question of why they are the way they are, and I've decided that this is the unfortunate consequence of teaching crackers mathematics.


Kristin said...

Sounds like I've found my new calling. I love insanity, it goes with my shoes.

Day Dreamer said...

Wow! I'm sitting here at my desk looking about as nuts as Crazy M, staring at my screen, with little loud bursts of laughter. That was great...

So, Jen's your own personal friend, huh? I want one too, but I don't know if I want my own personal Jen, or my own personal friend. Hmmm....

Jack the Grey said...

Thinking I should have married a Loan Offier

Day Dreamer said...

HA! As I was reading this, I see on the side bar an advertisement....
Loan Officer Careers. :D Hee hee.

Jen said...

I was actually sharing this crazy loan officer story with someone the other day, and they shared a story with me that tops Crazy M.

Apparently, this guy had come upon a very nice piece of property at a rock-bottom price. He was only paying $170K for a property that appraised well above $300K. The loan officer offered the guy a rate of over 8%, and when this guy told him to go screw himself, the loan officer laughed and told him that if he didn't sign the papers immediately with the 8% rate, he would buy the property himself by the end of the day. Is that not crazy? Can you imagine being blackmailed by your own loan officer?

tinyhands said...

I can give you the name of a GREAT mortgage company/loan officer. He's an independent broker who does the initial underwriting himself and sometimes has "creative" solutions with respect to points, fees, and taxes.