This story was submitted by Stacy Hunt who is a local loan officer for Equity One Mortgage Company located in Marlton, NJ

Mr. and Mrs. Santos had just found their dream home, but little did they know the nightmare that awaited them. After finding the "lowest rate" on the internet, they applied for their mortgage. What they didn’t know was that these “discount” lenders usually have discounted service also.

It began with the incorrect spelling of their name, as Mrs. Santos found out when talking to the representative. Mrs. Santos was not sure if she was being understood correctly, but the employee was just the phone receptionist and not very proficient. The appraisal was ordered late and when it was received it came in lower then the sales price. There was no experienced loan officer to help them understand their options and to facilitate the situation. If the Santos’ wanted this property they would have to come up with the difference or the seller would have to lower the price. The sellers would not amend the sales price, but the buyer agreed to pay the difference.

Mrs. Santos received the mortgage documents in the mail just before closing and had several questions. To make matters worse she had a very difficult time trying to reach the representative that sent her the paperwork or anyone else that was familiar with the transaction.

The day of closing arrived. Needless to say there was no representative from the Internet mortgage company there to assist with the transaction. When the closing began, the closing costs were reviewed and the numbers that were originally discussed no longer existed. Mr. & Mrs. Santos were short $600. Luckily, they had their checkbook and had the funds to cover these additional closing costs. After a very intense and stressful closing, they sat and waited for the wire transfer to come. It finally arrived two hours later.

Buying a home can be one of the most stressful experiences in a person’s life. Interest rates on the internet should be used ONLY as a gauge. But remember, most times a lower rate means a sacrifice of personal service. On many occasions, a buyer can find the same low rate with a local loan officer, who will be there throughout the transaction to provide the personal touch during this potentially stressful time.

This article was written by Stacy I Hunt, she is a senior loan officer with Equity One Mortgage Company in Marlton, NJ. You can reach Stacy on her Toll-free number 1-800-461-8643 EXT 2450.

I know there are quite a few agents, buyers, and sellers out there with horror stories about internet lenders. Feel free to comment or submit your story