Getting Chased by Quicken Loans

 

The house I currently live in we bought in 2012, and the mortgage lender I used at that time sold the loan to Quicken Loans, and since then that is the company I pay my monthly payments to.

About once every three months, I get phone solicitations from Quicken with offers of a “mortgage upgrade” option that they’d like to present to me.

I’ve routinely ignored these calls- until a few weeks ago when I became intrigued with exactly what this “upgrade” offer was. So I returned the call to find out what the options were.

The person answering my call, Andre, almost immediately displayed the characteristics of the slick, high pressure salesman. It started with him pressing me on what my goals were with my mortgage. Now remember, he was the one who had left the message saying he had the “offer” to present to me. I was hoping he’d be the one presenting information, not for me to be delving into what my “needs” and “goals” were. I mean, he did say in the message left on my voicemail that he had an upgrade offer, right?

Andre continued to press me on what my goals were, and I eventually just broke down and told him I was curious about shorter term loan options.

He asked for some personal information and I gave it to him so he could see what I qualified for, and then he proceeded to say he would call back in the next bit to present it to me.

After a while, I left my office and ran some errands. The “303” Quicken area code pops up on my phone while I’m driving and I answer the call. It was Andre. “Cameron, do you have a pen in your hand- I have some important things for you to write down.”

I replied that I didn’t and couldn’t he just tell me over the phone? I was away from my office and in the car.

Sounding disappointed, he asked when I would be at a desk again. I told him a few hours. He said he would call me back.

Fast forward several hours to 4:30 pm. He calls, I answer, and then he asks if I have a pen in hand. I said yes I did. He then instructs me to draw on a piece of paper a line down the middle of it- one side he would present my current loan terms, and on the other side he presented the new loan terms.

This tactic was used to get me to buy in- it’s a sales technique through and through. But it wasn’t working on me. The information he was telling me to write down I could have easily heard while in the car a few hours before.

After presenting the new loan option, which was a clear 1 percentage point higher in interest rate than my current loan, I told him I needed to think about it. He asked me what my concerns were.

It reminded me of my past as a union organizer. During conversations with potential converts we would eventually ask the person if they were ready to join the union. If they said no, our “script” taught us to continue asking probing questions of the potential member- questions like “What prevents you from joining the union?” I never felt great doing that to be honest- and eventually after a decade of that kind of work I couldn’t do it anymore. But that’s another story.

This process of getting me to yes was what was being done to me- and honestly it didn’t feel too good being on the reverse side of this. He kept asking questions and I knew this was used to probe into what my hesitations were. I wasn’t falling for this trick.

He pressed me to give a verbal yes so he could get the process going. I told him no, that I needed to think about it. He then said he would give me an hour to decide and would call back. Just to get him off the phone I said ok.

I probably should have been more direct with him at this point and told him I was no longer interested, thank you, and good bye. But I took the supposed easy route by acquiescing and saying ok call me back.

Noticing the Quicken area code number pop up on my phone at 6 pm that night I knew it was him calling back. I let it go to voice mail.

“Hey Cameron its Andre calling back from Quicken Loans. Call me back as soon as possible at 313-545-0118.”

Then came 8 pm. An “unknown” number comes on my caller id. I let it go to voicemail, and sure enough it was Andre from Quicken. Sneaky guy- thinks he can use that tactic and that it would work. LOL

“Hey Cameron its Andre calling back from Quicken Loans just want to follow up with you with that new mortgage we have for you, removing that mortgage insurance and keeping your payment close to the same. “

Everything he had explained to me I didn’t have in writing. He was pressing me for a yes to proceed with a mortgage that would add several thousand dollars to my loan without me having seen any of this in writing.

Each of the next days I continued to get calls. The last one came on Sunday morning at 11:30 am. Same message.

Then I received an email on Monday morning from Quicken that was “urgent” with loan documents that needed to be signed ASAP.

I found Andre’s email in there, and I responded that I was not interested and for him to stop contacting me.

Quickens has spent millions of dollars in advertising to get new customers so I know how easy it is to take their bait. But instead of looking out for my best interest my experience demonstrates the prioritization of them closing the sale versus gently educating a potential client about what options may be available to them.

When it does come time for me to switch to another loan, I know of a couple of in-town lenders that I have referred clients to that do excellent work- without all the high pressure sales tactics. I’ll be using one of them when that time comes. If you are in the market for a new home and want recommendations on good local lenders, holler at me and I’ll gladly supply you with their names.

In the end, there is something to be said about staying local versus going with the big goliaths out there.

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