Sunny went through a nightmare with Chase and is sharing her experience to help others avoid the same difficulties.
3 Rules That Chase Can Intentionally Break in Order to Avoid Paying the Guarantee
Chase promises an on-time closing in as soon as three weeks or you get $2500 in the form of a check after closing. My loan closed late, and Chase did not honor their closing guarantee.
Here are the stipulations you should be aware of (which, by the way, are not stated in the fine print or in writing anywhere on their website or in any of the documents I received).
1. They Will Ignore Your File in Order to Disqualify You Based on the "at Least 21 Days to Close" Rule
Rule #1: You must submit a purchase contract with a closing date of at least 21 days.
We submitted a purchase contract that gave Chase 29 days to close. They received that contract on the same day the contract was signed, and they confirmed receipt. They then ignored our file for 15 days.
Beware: The clock starts when they receive all requested documents from the client. But if they stall and don't give the client tasks to complete, they can shorten the timeline to less than 21 days, which disqualifies the client from the program.
Because Chase didn't give us tasks to complete until there were only 14 days left before closing, Chase is not obligated, by their own rules, to pay us if the loan closes late, even though Chase deliberately dragged their feet in order to disqualify us.
2. They Will Change Your Loan Amount at the Last Minute
Rule #2: The loan amount, rate, and product cannot change beginning 10 days before the closing contract date.
From the day we were first preapproved for a loan amount of $500,000 until closing, our funds and financing never changed. Chase even conditionally approved us again during the after-purchase underwriting for $500,000.
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Chase then decided to change our loan amount a day before closing was scheduled, citing "insufficient funds." They said their underwriting team accidentally double-counted our funds during underwriting and that we had fewer funds than they thought. Chase then increased our loan amount by another $60k to $560,000.
We did not request to change our loan amount or our rate. Chase changed it. But because the loan amount changed (even if it was Chase's fault and not ours), Chase will not honor the guarantee.
Beware: Chase will arbitrarily change the loan amount right before closing in order to disqualify you. This gives them the freedom to change the loan amount by just one cent and avoid paying the closing guarantee refund.
3. They Will Blame Third Parties to Avoid Paying the Refund
Rule #3: If a delay is caused by a third party, such as a title company, insurance company, etc., Chase is not responsible for paying out the guarantee refund.
What constitutes a "delay caused by a third party"? It's not specified in the fine print. Chase left it vague for a reason, which means if your loan does close late, they can blame it on an insurance company for not submitting an insurance policy to them within 24 hours (or even FedEx for not overnighting documents to them).
Beware: Chase will respond very slowly to your emails, calls, and voicemails. They may even ignore you for weeks (and in our experience, they did). But if they reach out to a third party for a document, and that company doesn't give it to them within 24 hours, suddenly it's that third party's fault that the loan is being delayed.
Why Is It Called a "Guarantee" When Nothing Is Guaranteed?
Because it's a scam. The Chase closing guarantee is just a marketing ploy to give home buyers false confidence in Chase. They have no intention of even trying to close on time, and when you close late, they will not give you the refund of $2500 that they promise.
What Can I Do if Chase Causes Me to Close Late?
Here are the steps I took and that I advise you to take if you find yourself in this situation:
- Email your home loan advisor, client care specialist, and their managers and ask for a refund. They will likely use one of the excuses listed above, but at least you will have put in an effort to ask them directly.
- Tweet @ChaseSupport to complain about these deceptive tactics and suggest that Chase actually honor the chase closing guarantee and not use the program to give buyers false hope and then not put any effort into helping them close on time.
- Report Chase to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. This federal agency will strive to resolve complaints that you submit and may even audit this company for unlawful activity if they get enough complaints about malpractice. Your complaint will also be counted in their yearly stats report, which will give Chase a very low rating and a bad reputation among the public.
- Submit a review with the Better Business Bureau. Again, this will further sink Chase's reputation and help others avoid a potentially bad experience.
- Report malpractices or any deceptive activity to your state's Consumer Protection Offices.
- Call a local real estate or mortgage attorney.
I know from experience that it is very difficult for us as individuals to fight a giant like Chase, but if we all report their malpractices, we can work collectively to put an end to their deception and thievery.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.