Experience with Better Mortgage

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AerialWombat
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Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by AerialWombat » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:41 am

I haven’t seen much chatter about this mortgage originator on the site, so thought I would share my current experience for the benefit of others.

I’m in the process of refinancing a new construction property that I purchased 7 months ago from a 4.75%, 30 year fixed that I put 10% down on to a 4.00%, 30 year fixed and I’m also paying additional principal to get to 20% equity to eliminate PMI. Conventional loan. House has not appreciated at all since I bought.

Original purchase loan was through a local mortgage broker. Better.com is one of a number on “online lenders” that are promising to streamline the loan process, and bring down fees.

Pros
-no origination fee
-automated valuation tool potentially eliminates appraisal fee
-very low points compared to other lenders (0.38 pts to get the 4%)
-extremely simple online “task list” and document portal
-single point of contact loan processor
-rapid underwriting approval compared to the other 4 mortgages I have done in last 4 years

Cons
Really, just one: The amount of documentation they’ve requested has far exceeded any other loan I have done. I’m self-employed, so I’m used to greater scrutiny, but their requests have been downright egregious. They have requested proof of things that have never come up before, based on esoteric info they found in public records searches.

For example, they have demanded exhaustive information about my “disposal” of two properties that just doesn’t make sense. One is an old, old address on my credit report that is a property I surrendered in chapter 7 bankruptcy 11 years ago — long past the FCRA time period for having to even discuss my bankruptcy.

The other is an address that I don’t even know how they found, but is for a patch of worthless dirt in the Nevada desert that I bought on eBay years ago. I’ve had to prove that there is NOT a house and mortgage on that land, which has been kind of a ridiculous process.

Some of their inquiries into my business finances have also been a bit overboard, certainly far behind any other lender I’ve worked with before.

Conclusion
I’m happy with the loan terms and low fees, and their people have been great. But their documentation demands have been overboard and excessively intrusive. Maybe this won’t be an issue for those that have a single house or work a job, but business owners and real estate investors may get frustrated quickly.
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

KT785
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by KT785 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:20 am

We shopped (and almost chose) them for our purchase mortgage in January/February. At the time, they had some of the most competitive rates and relatively low closing costs compared to most of the lenders we shopped. I also like the folks I dealt with over the phone and the web interface; everything seemed quite polished (and I don't remember an unusual amount of documentation request(s)).

Ultimately, I took their offer to Navy Federal (from whom I'd got an earlier quote) as they said they try to compete with better offers from other lenders. Navy Federal came back with an aggressive offer and because there's no PMI on Navy Fed conventional mortgages even when putting less than 20% down, we went with them. Navy Fed also retains servicing rights which was important to me, having had issues with third party servicers in the past.

Navy Fed may be worth checking out if you qualify for membership--a parent/grandparent with prior military service (amongst other qualifiers) will suffice even if that family member isn't a Navy Fed member.

KT785

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AerialWombat
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by AerialWombat » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:43 am

KT785 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:20 am

Navy Fed may be worth checking out if you qualify for membership--a parent/grandparent with prior military service (amongst other qualifiers) will suffice even if that family member isn't a Navy Fed member.
I was in the Navy, so used to be an NFCU member. Unfortunately, they were one of many creditors that I “burned” in my bankruptcy. I have tried going back, but they have an internal policy that a person is banned for life from membership if they have to eat a loan when a member BK’s out.
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

KT785
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by KT785 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:07 pm

AerialWombat wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:43 am
KT785 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:20 am

Navy Fed may be worth checking out if you qualify for membership--a parent/grandparent with prior military service (amongst other qualifiers) will suffice even if that family member isn't a Navy Fed member.
I was in the Navy, so used to be an NFCU member. Unfortunately, they were one of many creditors that I “burned” in my bankruptcy. I have tried going back, but they have an internal policy that a person is banned for life from membership if they have to eat a loan when a member BK’s out.
Gotcha. I suppose it could still be worth a shot if you haven't broached the subject with them in some time. Another alternative would be evaluating offers from lenders through Costco's mortgage portal if you're a Costco member; I didn't think their rates were terribly competitive with Better Mortgage and NFCU (and some local lenders) but YMMV.

KT785
Last edited by KT785 on Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nate79
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by Nate79 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:21 pm

We just finished refinancing our home with Better. It was a really smooth and easy process. All done online. Questions easy to respond and very digital friendly. I didn't find the questions much more than the questions asked during the original mortgage (which was thru Quicken/Rocket mortgage).

I'm just hoping the servicing goes as smooth as the mortgage process.

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AerialWombat
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by AerialWombat » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:31 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:21 pm
We just finished refinancing our home with Better. It was a really smooth and easy process. All done online. Questions easy to respond and very digital friendly. I didn't find the questions much more than the questions asked during the original mortgage (which was thru Quicken/Rocket mortgage).

I'm just hoping the servicing goes as smooth as the mortgage process.
Have they immediately transferred servicing?
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

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Nate79
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by Nate79 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:52 pm

AerialWombat wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:31 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:21 pm
We just finished refinancing our home with Better. It was a really smooth and easy process. All done online. Questions easy to respond and very digital friendly. I didn't find the questions much more than the questions asked during the original mortgage (which was thru Quicken/Rocket mortgage).

I'm just hoping the servicing goes as smooth as the mortgage process.
Have they immediately transferred servicing?
They say it takes 10-15 days to transfer servicing and we just completed 5 days ago.
https://better.com/faq/loan-servicing

megabad
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by megabad » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:40 pm

Just out of curiosity, how does the Better process compare to your loan 7 months ago? Did they not ask you at all about the old properties or your business? Or was it just more general information requested?

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AerialWombat
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by AerialWombat » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:51 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:52 pm
AerialWombat wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:31 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:21 pm
We just finished refinancing our home with Better. It was a really smooth and easy process. All done online. Questions easy to respond and very digital friendly. I didn't find the questions much more than the questions asked during the original mortgage (which was thru Quicken/Rocket mortgage).

I'm just hoping the servicing goes as smooth as the mortgage process.
Have they immediately transferred servicing?
They say it takes 10-15 days to transfer servicing and we just completed 5 days ago.
https://better.com/faq/loan-servicing
Good to know, thanks for the info!
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

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AerialWombat
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by AerialWombat » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:54 pm

megabad wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:40 pm
Just out of curiosity, how does the Better process compare to your loan 7 months ago? Did they not ask you at all about the old properties or your business? Or was it just more general information requested?
My other four mortgages the past four years were through traditional local mortgage brokers. They did not ask anything about old addresses, my existing other properties, or detailed questions about my business operations— just tax returns and YTD P&L.
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

Tony-S
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by Tony-S » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:35 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:52 pm
They say it takes 10-15 days to transfer servicing and we just completed 5 days ago.
https://better.com/faq/loan-servicing
Were you happy with the final outcome?

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Nate79
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Location: Delaware

Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by Nate79 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:16 pm

Tony-S wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:35 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:52 pm
They say it takes 10-15 days to transfer servicing and we just completed 5 days ago.
https://better.com/faq/loan-servicing
Were you happy with the final outcome?
They did fine. Closed on time with no issues. The loan servicing was transferred to another company within 30 days.

Tony-S
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by Tony-S » Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:20 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:16 pm
They did fine. Closed on time with no issues. The loan servicing was transferred to another company within 30 days.
That's great to hear. I checked bankrate.com and they were the second best rate that came up. The best is a company called "Go" and I am having trouble finding anything about it. There are only 15 or so reviews, all but one excellent so I'm a little skeptical.

Seattler123
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by Seattler123 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:23 pm

You can get a loan estimate from the unknown company and email better mortgage the estimate and they will match it/reduce fees by $1000
Tony-S wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:20 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:16 pm
They did fine. Closed on time with no issues. The loan servicing was transferred to another company within 30 days.
That's great to hear. I checked bankrate.com and they were the second best rate that came up. The best is a company called "Go" and I am having trouble finding anything about it. There are only 15 or so reviews, all but one excellent so I'm a little skeptical.

Seattler123
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:53 pm

Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by Seattler123 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:28 pm

I am currently working with Better Mortgage for my refinance. Should be closing in next few days. They've been excellent.

I made the mistake of going with the lowest rate company on bankrate/zillow (onewest/cit bank) and had a really bad experience. I had trouble getting them to respond, but the good thing is due to their slowness, the rates declined further and I was able to lock a better rate with better mortgage, even after accounting for my lost appraisal fee with first lender. I'll be closing around 16 days after starting the process with them (underwriting approval is done).
Seattler123 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:23 pm
You can get a loan estimate from the unknown company and email better mortgage the estimate and they will match it/reduce fees by $1000
Tony-S wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:20 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:16 pm
They did fine. Closed on time with no issues. The loan servicing was transferred to another company within 30 days.
That's great to hear. I checked bankrate.com and they were the second best rate that came up. The best is a company called "Go" and I am having trouble finding anything about it. There are only 15 or so reviews, all but one excellent so I'm a little skeptical.

adsfdeek
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by adsfdeek » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:42 pm

@ Seattler123, can you share more about your bad experience with CIT bank? I currently see them as the best rate by far but I'm wary about how they are able to be so low (~2.8% versus ~3.0% from competitors on a 15 year fixed when zero-ing out points and fees).

DW and I are first time buyers so we're not sure how to weigh things like responsiveness, average close time, etc. while also trying to find the best mortgage rate. We are actually looking in King County (if relevant to your username) where we expect to potentially need to do things like have a shorter close time to have a competitive offer if we get in a multi-offer situation.

(Apologies if this is a somewhat of a thread hijack–I'm not yet able to direct message users.)

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LadyGeek
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:46 pm

adsfdeek, Welcome!

Feel free to start a new thread in this forum and ask for assistance directly. We'll be happy to help.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

TropikThunder
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by TropikThunder » Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:02 pm

adsfdeek wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:42 pm
@ Seattler123, can you share more about your bad experience with CIT bank? I currently see them as the best rate by far but I'm wary about how they are able to be so low (~2.8% versus ~3.0% from competitors on a 15 year fixed when zero-ing out points and fees).

DW and I are first time buyers so we're not sure how to weigh things like responsiveness, average close time, etc. while also trying to find the best mortgage rate. We are actually looking in King County (if relevant to your username) where we expect to potentially need to do things like have a shorter close time to have a competitive offer if we get in a multi-offer situation.

(Apologies if this is a somewhat of a thread hijack–I'm not yet able to direct message users.)
Not OP but I just closed yesterday on a refi with LenderFI (Snohomish County). Easiest process I've ever experienced. I chose them over Better since the anonymous quote on Better wouldn't work. They do a soft pull and show you what your credit report says for accounts and payments, which is nice, but when I clicked "Show Your Rates" it said it needed more information and told me to call. Pffft.

On LenderFI's website, I put in my details (zip code, property value, amount financed, and estimated credit score) and it spit out the usual set of options (nine different rates with varying credits/points). Their quoted title services were dead on vs Final Disclosure (no bait-and-switch), $0 origination fees, and they were able to waive appraisal since they got a value from Fannie Mae. Twelve days from submitting application to closing. Everything done online or by email, and they sent a notary to meet us for signing.

Mine was a refi so a purchase may take longer and may or may not get an appraisal waiver but they were suspiciously lower than anyone else I looked at and I was pleasantly surprised that they were true to their word.

adsfdeek
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by adsfdeek » Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:15 pm

Thank you very much, TropikThunder! I'll be reaching out to LenderFI shortly, and I'm also pleasantly surprised to hear the online experience deliver true to their word and efficiently.

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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:18 pm

FYI - adsfdeek is asking questions here: Experience with CIT Bank mortgages & when are rates not everything? Further assistance can be provided in that thread.

Let's use this thread to help the OP, AerialWombat.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

baseball2horse
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by baseball2horse » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:12 pm

I am currently in the middle of a refiance with Better Mortgage and have found it a little bait and switchy but overall okay.

I was able to use a loan estimate from current bank to lock in a low rate and then they did their price matching to beat the closing costs with 1000.

The initial loan estimate from Better however neglected to mention that I would be expected to pay the whole difference between my current loan balance and the payoff amount, which included 45 days worth of interest :annoyed I was annoyed to discover I was going to be expected to pay 1-2k in closing costs instead of the sixty I was first told about. But since this is essentially just replacing the october mortgage payment it seemed alright. When I complained I got the semi-dismissive "Oh that's the OTHER banks payoff amount, not a darn thing WE can do about it." Which was annoying as knowing that the payoff amount is higher than the current loan balance is something they really should've both known about and adequatly informed me of.

Now approaching closing closing, they are closing early than initially expected, which is great, except now I have more pre-paid costs, but for some reason my pay-off amount did not go down by a similar amount, so by my math it looks as though I am double paying interesting for nearly a week. And there's a weird prepaid home owners charge on my final closing disclosure that showed up on none of my loan estimates, and considering I'm waiving escrow shouldn't be there in the first place. I have emailed them about this last bit so we'll see what they say

czr
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by czr » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:08 am

I am looking at consumerdirect mortgage through costco and they are giving $825 Credit for 3.5% 30 year rate for being Costco Executive Membership and Better.com said they can beat it by $1,000 once I get the official loan estimate to them. I'd rather give the guy with the upfront pricing the better deal but mortgage shopping now is intriguing with these new startups.

need403bhelp
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by need403bhelp » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:13 pm

TropikThunder wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:02 pm
adsfdeek wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:42 pm
@ Seattler123, can you share more about your bad experience with CIT bank? I currently see them as the best rate by far but I'm wary about how they are able to be so low (~2.8% versus ~3.0% from competitors on a 15 year fixed when zero-ing out points and fees).

DW and I are first time buyers so we're not sure how to weigh things like responsiveness, average close time, etc. while also trying to find the best mortgage rate. We are actually looking in King County (if relevant to your username) where we expect to potentially need to do things like have a shorter close time to have a competitive offer if we get in a multi-offer situation.

(Apologies if this is a somewhat of a thread hijack–I'm not yet able to direct message users.)
Not OP but I just closed yesterday on a refi with LenderFI (Snohomish County). Easiest process I've ever experienced. I chose them over Better since the anonymous quote on Better wouldn't work. They do a soft pull and show you what your credit report says for accounts and payments, which is nice, but when I clicked "Show Your Rates" it said it needed more information and told me to call. Pffft.

On LenderFI's website, I put in my details (zip code, property value, amount financed, and estimated credit score) and it spit out the usual set of options (nine different rates with varying credits/points). Their quoted title services were dead on vs Final Disclosure (no bait-and-switch), $0 origination fees, and they were able to waive appraisal since they got a value from Fannie Mae. Twelve days from submitting application to closing. Everything done online or by email, and they sent a notary to meet us for signing.

Mine was a refi so a purchase may take longer and may or may not get an appraisal waiver but they were suspiciously lower than anyone else I looked at and I was pleasantly surprised that they were true to their word.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I currently have a lock with LenderFi on a refinance, and they include the following form in their disclosures which seems a bit different than other lenders ( bold added for emphasis ). Did your refinance also have such a form and, if so, did it give you any pause? Also, any experience with LenderFi, Inc’s Rate Insurance program?

Thanks so much!

"Intent to Retain Mortgage

No Sales Clause (180 days)

I/We are aware that by signing this form, I/We are acknowledging that we have been completely forthright and upfront regarding my/our current intentions. I/We are acknowledging by signing this form that we have no intent to sell and/or refinance our property within the next 6 months (180 days).

I/We fully understand that any false or misleading statements on my/our parts could be construed as misrepresentation of my/our true intent and could therefore be considered mortgage fraud. I/We are aware that mortgage fraud is punishable by the FBI with possible jail time and/or monetary penalties.

I/We are aware that if we refinance or sell our home in the next 6 months (180 days), that we may be held responsible for paying back any credit given to us by LenderFi, Inc. during the course of this transaction.

I/We are aware that after 6 months (or 180 days) of on time payments, I/we may be eligible to participate in LenderFi, Inc’s Rate Insurance program."

TropikThunder
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by TropikThunder » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:59 am

need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:13 pm
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I currently have a lock with LenderFi on a refinance, and they include the following form in their disclosures which seems a bit different than other lenders ( bold added for emphasis ). Did your refinance also have such a form and, if so, did it give you any pause? Also, any experience with LenderFi, Inc’s Rate Insurance program?

Thanks so much!

"Intent to Retain Mortgage

No Sales Clause (180 days)

I/We are aware that by signing this form, I/We are acknowledging that we have been completely forthright and upfront regarding my/our current intentions. I/We are acknowledging by signing this form that we have no intent to sell and/or refinance our property within the next 6 months (180 days).

I/We fully understand that any false or misleading statements on my/our parts could be construed as misrepresentation of my/our true intent and could therefore be considered mortgage fraud. I/We are aware that mortgage fraud is punishable by the FBI with possible jail time and/or monetary penalties.

I/We are aware that if we refinance or sell our home in the next 6 months (180 days), that we may be held responsible for paying back any credit given to us by LenderFi, Inc. during the course of this transaction.

I/We are aware that after 6 months (or 180 days) of on time payments, I/we may be eligible to participate in LenderFi, Inc’s Rate Insurance program."
Mine did have that disclaimer but it didn’t give me any pause, for two main reasons: I honestly had no intention of going through the process again in the next 6 months (it was easy but still didn’t want to do it again); and it’s my understanding that this is how LenderFi is able to have such low costs: they immediately hand off the loan (servicing to Chase and loan itself to FannieMae) and they likely get a chargeback from Chase if the borrower refi’s again quickly. Kind of like if you accept a dealer financing special on a car, they want you to at least make 6 or so payments before you pay it off.

I haven’t made six payments yet so Rate Insurance is TBD.

need403bhelp
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Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:39 am

TropikThunder wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:59 am
need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:13 pm
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I currently have a lock with LenderFi on a refinance, and they include the following form in their disclosures which seems a bit different than other lenders ( bold added for emphasis ). Did your refinance also have such a form and, if so, did it give you any pause? Also, any experience with LenderFi, Inc’s Rate Insurance program?

Thanks so much!

"Intent to Retain Mortgage

No Sales Clause (180 days)

I/We are aware that by signing this form, I/We are acknowledging that we have been completely forthright and upfront regarding my/our current intentions. I/We are acknowledging by signing this form that we have no intent to sell and/or refinance our property within the next 6 months (180 days).

I/We fully understand that any false or misleading statements on my/our parts could be construed as misrepresentation of my/our true intent and could therefore be considered mortgage fraud. I/We are aware that mortgage fraud is punishable by the FBI with possible jail time and/or monetary penalties.

I/We are aware that if we refinance or sell our home in the next 6 months (180 days), that we may be held responsible for paying back any credit given to us by LenderFi, Inc. during the course of this transaction.

I/We are aware that after 6 months (or 180 days) of on time payments, I/we may be eligible to participate in LenderFi, Inc’s Rate Insurance program."
Mine did have that disclaimer but it didn’t give me any pause, for two main reasons: I honestly had no intention of going through the process again in the next 6 months (it was easy but still didn’t want to do it again); and it’s my understanding that this is how LenderFi is able to have such low costs: they immediately hand off the loan (servicing to Chase and loan itself to FannieMae) and they likely get a chargeback from Chase if the borrower refi’s again quickly. Kind of like if you accept a dealer financing special on a car, they want you to at least make 6 or so payments before you pay it off.

I haven’t made six payments yet so Rate Insurance is TBD.
Thanks so much for sharing your thought process and experience!

need403bhelp
Posts: 838
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 6:25 pm

Re: Experience with Better Mortgage

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:40 pm

baseball2horse wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:12 pm
And there's a weird prepaid home owners charge on my final closing disclosure that showed up on none of my loan estimates, and considering I'm waiving escrow shouldn't be there in the first place. I have emailed them about this last bit so we'll see what they say
Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm wondering how everything went after closing? What happened to the prepaid home owners charge? Thanks again!

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