I Must Apologize; I Got it Wrong…

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Employees at Quicken Loans... They Delivered Your Pizza!

Your employees did not come from Taco Bell, they delivered your pizza!

In a recent New York Times article by Julie Creswell on 01/21/2017, former executives of Quicken Loans confirm “many employees come in with little or no background in financial services. One employee joined after delivering pizzas to the Quicken Loans Offices”. No need to say anymore, that statement speaks volumes.

The article titled “Quicken Loans, the New Mortgage Machine” is a tell all article, right down to the founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert’s physical altercation on a former colleague at a religious function, to his public tirade against LeBron James, right back to his arrest for operating an illegal football betting ring in college. We will not even mention his accusations of a New York Times Reporter avoiding him by not responding to his text messages…. Just an FYI, text messaging is not a professional means of communication. And then there is this guy in the pink tutu roaming the halls of Quicken Loans. Ms. Creswell describes the atmosphere at Quicken Loans “Glengarry Glen Ross meets Seussville” with “canopies in a kaleidoscope of vivid pinks, blues, purples and greens.”To see the entire article, click here.

After several years of investigating Quicken Loans, In April 2015, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Housing and Development (HUD) approached Quicken Loans about the quality of the loans submitted to FHA. The DOJ wanted restitution from Quicken Loans for loans that did not meet HUD/ FHA requirements. Quicken Loans in turned filed a law suit against the DOJ and HUD accusing them of targeting them with a “shake down” due to their large size. Six days later, the DOJ and HUD filed a counter suit against Quicken Loans. The suit filed by Quicken Loans against the DOJ and HUD was dismissed because there was no evidence to support the claim the DOJ and HUD were targeting Quicken Loans. See the case here.

The case against Quicken Loans filed by the DOJ and HUD is still active. Quicken Loans filed a motion to have the case moved to Detroit, claiming all the witnesses and employees reside in the Detroit area. The Judge granted that motion and the case is now in the hands of U.S. District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith in Detroit. Quicken Loans filed another motion to have the case dismissed. Unfortunately for Quicken Loans, Judge Goldsmith, whose courtroom is  mere blocks away from Quicken Loans Offices, has ruled the case will continue as “the allegations in the complaint support an inference that (the) FHA would not have insured the particular loans at issue in this case had it known of Quicken’s alleged non-compliance with underwriting requirements.” There are claims Quicken Loans miscalculated income, ignored red flags on loan applications and created a value-appeals process, which “permitted employees to request specific inflated values from appraisers in order to make a loan eligible for FHA insurance.” See the 65 page lawsuit here.

On another front, as of January 2017, Quicken Loans is the defendant of several other lawsuits. According to Samantha Joseph of Business Review, Quicken Loans is in violation of The Telephone Consumer Protection Act. According to one litigant, Quicken Loans failed to stop texting a borrower after they were asked 264 times to stop texting. Additionally a class action suit is pending for robo-calls to the wrong number by Quicken Loan. See the article in Business Week here. Again, text messaging is not a professional means of communication.

From the Better Business Bureau’s Website:

Quicken Loans Agrees to contribute $250,000 to financial education to settle allegations of targeting Veterans and Service Members with false, deceptive and misleading advertising.

”Olympia, WA – The Consumer Services Division of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has settled its charges that Quicken Loans, Inc. targeted Washington service members and veterans with false, deceptive, and misleading mortgage offers. In resolving the charges, DFI has received assurance that Quicken Loans will comply with state and federal advertising law going forward.” See the entire settlement here.

Quicken Loans is a sister company to Title Source / TSI Appraisal. Title Source/TSI Appraisal is a member of REVAA; you know the AMC trade group that has been making false claims to legislators throughout the country. Jeff Eisenshtadt, President of Title Source is the very same guy that told Ken Harney a few weeks ago

“Consumers don’t care about the individual costs of the pickles and onions and lettuce that go onto a hamburger, nor should they when it comes to appraisals”.

Maybe there are former burger flippers working at Quicken Loans too.

By John J. Appraiser, Certified Real Estate Appraiser – author requested to remain anonymous

Image credit flickr - Emanuel Sanchez de la Cerda
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18 Responses

  1. jeanie says:

    Any chance Dan Gilbert & Brian Coester are related? lol

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  2. Bubba Jay / Retired Appraiser II Bubba Jay / Retired Appraiser II says:

    well, well, well . . .  and here it finally comes.

    i too was an appraiser for TSI/Quicken loans for a number of years. first, i have to agree with Kathy – i too “have never been asked to alter a value or been pressured to reach a certain value by anyone”.

    HOWEVER, the comment “One employee joined after delivering pizzas to the Quicken Loans offices” makes total sense, and could explain the endless and absurd revision requests that used to drive me nuts, and wasted an insane amount of my time. My assumption that their reviewers had no idea what the he*l they were doing, has now been confirmed and now i know why. NOBODY, WHO KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT APPRAISALS, SHOULD EVER REVIEW AN APPRAISAL, AND/OR TELL AN APPRAISER HOW TO DO THEIR JOB. but it happened, and it happened all the time . ..  and not just with TSI/QL.

    i am not surprised to hear about Mr Gilberts background either. QL paid fees that were far below customary and reasonable, and had been for a very long time.  QL sent me a lot of work, and yes, it was my mistake to end up doing almost of my work for them and putting all my eggs in that basket. but their low fees and my rising costs eventually ran me out of business. yes i could have planned that better, but i had to keep a roof over my families heads, and my kids had to eat, and once you are on that merry-go-round of always trying to financially catch-up.

    i will never forget the day TSI/QL announced to their appraisers that they had assigned our accounts to regions or some nonsense like that. they were so proud of it and tried to sell us on how it was going to be some huge benefit to our businesses. it was a flipping joke. while they continued to bankrupt their appraisers, and instead of helping appraisers by raising appraiser fees, it was clear that they were wasting their time on nonsense like that. so sad.

    i did my job and i can sleep comfortably at night, but i am not surprised to hear about any on this coming out, and it wouldnt surprise me at all if this story about TSI/QL got even uglier.

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  3. Jack Of All Trades says:

    What a complete cluster puck. I am convinced that the trick succeeding as an appraiser today is leaving the business completely.

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  4. Mike says:

    Looks like DOJ and HUD have a good case against Quicken when their own staff appraiser admits completing  FHA reports when she is not Certified… Sadly, this does not surprise me.

    My personal experience with Quicken Loans supports the claims of inexperienced and unknowledgeable employees at Quicken. They are trained to complete one task and one task only. When we attempted to refinance a few years ago, the “processor” did not understand the difference between a sole proprietorship and an LLC . After explaining it to her three times, we stopped the process and went with another lender.. It just was not worth the headache!

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    • Koma says:

      Mike, we should get paid for teaching. Seems like that’s what I was doing every time I would talk to one of the AMC folks. Had to stick with just my 2 long time AMC’s and the direct lenders as clients to gain back my sanity..lol

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Sorry Koma, valid and well informed consultation services are not recognized as legitimate appraisal services by most amc’s.  Even among senior staff, the senior employee appraiser is typically outnumbered at a minimum of 5 to 1 by non appraisers, company owners, and what basically equates to IT and programmer guys.  You can take your time to provide these consultative services for free, it still will not be recognized by most amc’s.  It’s always been that way since day one.  To them, appraisers are widgets, they need us to provide valuation service and review service.  We are expected to not provide any consultation service, especially pertaining to assignment process or what constitutes best engagement to achieve the highest measure of credible valuation results.  If you don’t accept terms tailored towards advocacy for the appraisal management companies interest first and foremost, they go shopping for someone cheaper, faster, and less focused on strict non advocacy.

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  5. Baggins Baggins says:

    I had a nice hard hitting comment, regarding how I did talk to the guy who was that pizza hut phone worker last week.  That and my ‘manager’ had blue hair and her facebook page stated she liked to g ride on the weekend….

    But perhaps this old copied portion of standard email will fit better.

    When an order is received in your AppraisalPort queue, you have four business hours to accept or decline the order. We’ve received feedback that it is sometimes difficult for our appraisers to take action on orders in the four-hour timeframe due to the amount of time spent in the field. There are applications that AppraisalPort has created for smartphones that will allow you to accept and decline orders while on the road. (aka auto accept without giving the order a proper view, also known as the skippy method.)

    Order Acceptance: All orders must be accepted within 4 hours of assignment.

    Borrower Contact: The borrower must be contacted within 24 hours of order acceptance.

    Order Scheduling: All inspections are to be scheduled within 3 business days of order acceptance. Inspection time/date must be updated (using the calendar function) in AppraisalPort including an indication of whose schedule dictated the inspection time (borrower/realtor/builder/appraiser).

    Report Status: Appraisal status messages are to be updated twice daily (AM/PM) if there have been changes in the status of the appraisal assignment (i.e. Left Message for Borrower; Waiting on Survey; etc.)

    Report Completion: Reports should be submitted for internal review via AppraisalPort within 48 hours of inspection.

    Oh boy, and their grading and performance tier ranking system was a sham. But like many others, they did get top 100 and all these great grading points from company employee ratings sites and such. “Best new employer to work for.”  Well sure, they took what used to be a 450 standard, pocketed 150+ per order, and did nothing more than shuttle orders through automated tech processes and add an incredible amount of additional bureaucratic overlay. I fired them, or they fired me, probably both at the same time. And years later they’ve wiped all those supposedly permanent records on performance, they still try to ask me to join the panel.

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  6. Ralph says:

    I have to deal with TSI on VA loans, they are a pain, but  VA will back you 100% when they get pushy (like calling and asking why you did not put the fence in the grid and make an adjustment when you checked the box on Pg 1)  Seriously that’s what they do to bother you and waste time.

    In regard to one of their licensed appraisers doing FHA, does one really need to be certified to turn on appliances and crawl through an attic? (I’m certified, but it’s funny seeing all these people getting their undies in twist over that, if someone wants to take that risk, that is their business decision and they have to live with the consequences.

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  7. I have no axe to grind with Quicken loans. None. I personally don’t do any work with them but that is primarily because I refuse to have anything at all to do with their AMC TSI. It’s a business decision on my part. I don’t respect them and won’t work for people I have no respect for.

    Having said that-yesterday I read a “Reddit” post under a facebook blog I just joined (100% real estate appraisers) where an owner of a 100 year old commercial store conversion to residence was concerned that an appraiser would turn her in to the city (apparent or possible permit issues). Discussions related to this had one purported Quicken rep or appraiser stating that “…appraisers never require repairs on a house”.

    I take serious issue with THAT statement only. While I don’t care if you fix your house or not, if it has health and safety issues or significant repair needs I’m calling those out (identifying them) and making my opinion of market value contingent upon them being repaired. If the appraisal order says “as is” that’s ok too. I’ll identify all the needed repairs and then make an adjustment that is reflective of market perceptions of negative impact on value if the repairs are NOT done. I will also give my professional opinion to my client (the lender) as to what the probable impact on marketability will be to the most probable buyers for that property in as is condition. If they want to make a loan on a deficient property with full knowledge of the deficiencies then that is THEIR business decision to make.

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