A mortgage lender oversees what will probably be the biggest financial decision you ever make: The purchase of your home. You want to be certain, then, that the lender you work with has not been the subject of an unusually high number of consumer complaints. That might be a sign that this particular lender has not delivered on its promises to past customers. Fortunately, finding consumer complaints against both large lending companies and individual mortgage brokers and loan officers is a relatively simple process.
Search the website of your local Better Business Bureau or the national Better Business Bureau to determine how many complaints your mortgage lender has received.
The Better Business Bureau not only lists consumer complaints on a wide variety of businesses, including lenders, it also charts the ways in which businesses have resolved these complaints, if at all.
If you are working with a local lending company, log onto the website of your local bureau--there are local offices across the country. If you are working with a large national mortgage lender, you should check the website of the Better Business Bureau's national office. (Click on the link in the Resource section.)
Call your local chamber of commerce to see if your lender is a recommended business. Many chambers recommend businesses that have pledged to provide ethical service and have not been the focus of an unusual number of customer complaints.
Do an online search on your lender's name. This brings up news stories and comments on message boards and blogs about the lender. These cannot always be taken as gospel, but, if you turn up what seems to be an unusually high number of disgruntled past customers, you might want to consider working with a different mortgage lender.
Check with your state's attorney general's office for any complaints filed against your lender. These tend to be the most serious of complaints, often resulting in legal action.
Check with the regulatory agency overseeing mortgage brokers and lenders in your state. These vary with each state, but Bankrate.com has a comprehensive list that spells out and gives a web address for the agency that oversees lenders in all states. (Click on the link in the Resource section.)