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American Federal Mortgage: Too good to be true? (appointed, lender)

03-23-2010, 02:49 PM
 

Location: NYC & NJ

747 posts, read 1,956,596 times

Reputation: 321

They were one of the places I called a few weeks back when shopping for a mortgage. The guy I spoke to seemed nice enough and answered all my questions during our conversation, but I don't think he returned a subsequent call or picked up at the extension he gave me. I found names of 2 local officers for WF and BoA from another RE forum, and they were both so responsive and efficient that it completely challenged the stereotype of a big or giant bank. They were willing to waive a large part of the lender fees, while PenFed said they'd refund most of them at closing. Those 3 would probably be my first calls next time. I know some people say to use a local bank like Hudson City Savings or a local credit union, but a communicative individual at the local office of a national institution works just as well for me.

If you're going to worry a lot about the 30-day timeframe, then use the attorney review period you're in now to change that to a date 35, 40 or 45 days from now.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 03-24-2010, 10:30 AM
 

106 posts, read 429,163 times

Reputation: 31

I did a re-fi with American Federal a couple months ago. It went really well; I will definitely recommend them. I got a rate I wanted. Locked in with them through fax and emails. Put down my locked in fee, deposit, etc. Everything just proceeded smoothly. The only thing you need to know that is they do sell the loan to other banks. They will send you a letter and let you know they are doing that. Mine went to Chase.

Loan Officer was Joe Mancuso - 888-321-4687 x148

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 04-14-2010, 07:54 AM
 

9 posts, read 27,801 times

Reputation: 17

I used them and my loan office was amazing. Everything as promised. I used Jim Russo 973-927-0400 x136

You can find a review of Jim and ratings of American Federal below.

http://www.lendingtree.com/lender-re...ederal-445593/


Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 04-29-2010, 10:36 PM
 

6 posts, read 19,107 times

Reputation: 13

I'm also dealing with Joe Mancuso. I am supposed to close tomorrow morning at 10am. He is on vacation so I am now talking to Richard Ramaci. However, at 4pm today my agent called frantically "They pulled your mortgage." My first response was "What?" I have a 780 credit score, about 2x as much liquid cash in the bank than I need to close, and a solid income/debt-income ratio. The problem? I asked Joe if I changed my job (I had an offer I couldn't refuse) would it impact me. He told me it would be no problem... just bring a paystub in at close. So I did that... didn't hear a thing about it. That brings us to 4pm today when underwriting decides to pull their commitment 16 hours before I am supposed to be closing. Mind you, I travel for work so I am in the airport about to board a plane in an hour or two... I frantically find out who I need to contact (Rich) and he tells me that he needs a few documents (pay stubs, offer letter, date I started, point of contact, etc). I get them to him within the hour. I'll hand it to him, he seemed like he wanted to help and said he would try and expedite me through underwriting. I doubt I'll be able to close tomorrow, so I'm pretty bummed/annoyed/stressed. Could I have been more proactive about making sure they had every single thing? Yes. But they could have been, too.

Here's to hoping.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 06-18-2010, 07:28 AM
 

1 posts, read 10,401 times

Reputation: 10

I shopped around for a reputable direct lender and thought I found one in American Federal. After all was said and done I was turned down for a conventional loan refinance because my debt ratio was right on the edge (I am an independent contractor so I have to right off everything possible to save on taxes). I asked about an FHA loan and my processor said I didn't qualify so I asked for a copy of my appraisal for my records which I have not received yet. Another lender contacted me with the end result I am being refinanced with a FHA loan saving $600 a month. Am Fed seemed more interested in getting the $350 application fee and $350 appraisal fee than actually exhausting every option for the customer. They probably don't make much on FHA loans so why bother? I will never pay an app fee up front ever again or a commitment fee, refundable or not. Shop elsewhere.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 07-15-2010, 08:18 AM
 

1 posts, read 10,219 times

Reputation: 10

Default Great experience!

Just completed a refinance with cash out with American Federal and also worked with Jim Russo. We've done several initial and refinance mortgages on our two homes over the last 30 years and this was by far both the fastest and easiest. From time of my initial call saying I wanted to work with them to signing off on the committment was 15 calendar days- including an hour long walk through appraisal. They needed a lot of documents from us but everything was done by fax, e-mail, and phone. There were some new things-disclosures, requirements-since last time we refinanced but Jim always responded to my calls or e-mails within the same day and answered all our questions with clear explanations. It took another two weeks to close but that was only because appointments were being booked that far out by the title company-which was their "sister " company Allied Title. Fees were as promised, some things even came in a little lower than quoted, our rate was dropped due to the appraisal coming in a bit higher than expected, and our lock in and appraisal fees were refunded at settlement because of our good credit scores. All in all a VERY positive experience with this company.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 08-17-2010, 01:13 PM
 

7 posts, read 27,741 times

Reputation: 11

Default Original Poster's final thoughts on AmFed experience (after closing)

OP here... I know this is long overdue, but I wanted to report back that everything DID go smoothly with our mortgage from AmFed and we DID close on time (November 17th). All required documents were emailed or faxed back and forth, and there were no delays or surprises. We reviewed all the closing paperwork and there were no hidden fees whatsoever from AmFed -- an excellent experience! Not sure if I can post our rep's name here, but he was great. PM me for his name or if you have other questions...

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 08-17-2010, 03:36 PM
 

Location: West Orange, NJ

12,540 posts, read 15,081,143 times

Reputation: 3659

Quote:

Originally Posted by Delphi

$750 is only for the 800 codes cost.

Bank of America only charged me $400 in "lender fees". All the other fees are basically set (government, taxes, title insurance, etc) so you're only comparing "lender fees" right?

BoA normally charges $1,000, but the guy was a friend of my BIL and said he'd give me the best deal that they give when customers negotiate. so it was no hassle to me.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 08-17-2010, 04:03 PM
 

22 posts, read 16,244 times

Reputation: 33

I was able to meet one of the principals of the company in one of the CFP,CPA,MORTGAGE forums. They are definitely AHEAD of the CURVE compared to 90% of mortgage lenders. They already anticipated as early 2009 the Major Changes that were coming in the mortgage industry once the Obama administration came to power. The principals were very pro-active in being Pro-Consumer & doing a lot of Self-Regulation before President Obama started pushing the industry into much better Protection of homebuyers and ZERO TOLERANCE of FRAUD & EXCESSIVE FEES. The Great news for homebuyers is that virtually ALL mortgage lending by 2011 ( once the Financial Reform bill signed the Obama Adminstration takes full effect) will be 200% better than last 6 years of Abuse, Excessive fees, bloated fraudulent lending practices. The cost of getting a mortgage will be MUCH MUCH less for the average consumer. The safeguards in place will REDUCE FRAUD significantly in years to come. And ONLY PEOPLE who can REALLY AFFORD to get a mortgage will get one. The days of the mortgage industry as a 'CASH COW" for loan officers and mortgage brokers is OVER. We are back to Responsible lending. As a CPA, our industry was Amazed on the hundreds of millions that the Insurance & Banking Industry SPENT to TRY & STOP the the Consumer Protection Reform bill. There 500,000 million dollars succeeded in REDUCING some of the consumer protection of the bill BUT it is still 200% better than before. 95% of american consumers will benefit, while the 5% in the lending & insurance industry will have to "Always have the Consumers Interest First" Top Insurance & Mortgage producers will still make a lot of money. ( which they should) It will be those that relied on " Questionable Sales techniques" that will really feel it.

The homebuyer or Annuity buyer will know MUCH MORE DETAILS Upfront. No more hidden fees or you lose your license.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 08-17-2010, 04:03 PM
 

Location: NJ

12,284 posts, read 27,873,425 times

Reputation: 5123

Quote:

Originally Posted by tmolly

OP here... I know this is long overdue, but I wanted to report back that everything DID go smoothly with our mortgage from AmFed and we DID close on time (November 17th). All required documents were emailed or faxed back and forth, and there were no delays or surprises. We reviewed all the closing paperwork and there were no hidden fees whatsoever from AmFed -- an excellent experience! Not sure if I can post our rep's name here, but he was great. PM me for his name or if you have other questions...

glad you had a good experience - i did too (i probably said it earlier in this thread). Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

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Page 2

08-18-2010, 11:29 PM
 

590 posts, read 2,015,481 times

Reputation: 225

I do not recommend AmFed. Shop for rates on zillow.com and you'll find other lenders who have better reviews than them. Go with those instead.

I've used AmFed and am disappointed with them. I'll gladly explain if you want to PM me.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 08-19-2010, 08:28 AM
 

Location: NJ

12,284 posts, read 27,873,425 times

Reputation: 5123

Quote:

Originally Posted by kimchee I do not recommend AmFed. Shop for rates on zillow.com and you'll find other lenders who have better reviews than them. Go with those instead.

I've used AmFed and am disappointed with them. I'll gladly explain if you want to PM me.

The OP reported back a few days ago that he used AmFed and was happy with them.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 08-26-2010, 03:22 PM
 

Location: Holmdel, NJ

20,012 posts, read 23,371,200 times

Reputation: 12162

i used them and was happy with my experience.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 09-30-2010, 03:16 PM
 

1 posts, read 4,523 times

Reputation: 10

Around July 2010, I found American Federal Mortgage thru Google's comparison mortgage ([url]https://www.google.com/comparisonads/mortgages[/url]). To be honest, I thought the rate I got on google was ridiculously low (4.375%) and was just a ploy to get me to call in. Tried to search for "American Federal Mortgage" online and saw this forum, and tried to call Jim Russo on the number mentioned (see above post). Surprisingly, I got to talk to him immediately. I gave him my current details, and he immediately expressed concern that my case is a bit complicated. The appraisal would need to fall on a certain amount; and even if it did -- it would put me on a 95% CLTV; then would be dependent on whether Chase would subordinate my second loan (unlikely). Throughout the entire process, he was extremely responsive (and patient) on emails (crackberry!), even on weekends! Today, I just closed and I'm appreciative of his efforts (uh, Chase took over 4-5 weeks to approve subordination that's why it took this much time). On a funny note - I was talking to another lender (based in NJ) back in July, and had told him how much American Fed had offered me -- he said, get me on the phone with that guy, and I will prove you wrong. I'm still wondering if I should call him back today and tell him Jim followed thru!

Oh, and I was surprised that they actually came to our house to close (sign paperwork), very convenient!

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 09-30-2010, 06:05 PM
 

Location: Vermont

5,321 posts, read 12,691,003 times

Reputation: 2455

try asbnow.com - a good NJ bank.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 12-13-2010, 07:11 PM
 

1 posts, read 4,259 times

Reputation: 12

Default Bad Experience With American Federal Mortgage

I read a lot of nice things about American Federal. My experience with them did not match what I read. I can't believe how shabby I was treated. I dealt with Joe Mancuso and he was terrible. I had to complain to NJ Dept of Banking & Insurance to get my money back. Stay away these guys.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 12-20-2010, 11:09 PM
 

22 posts, read 54,552 times

Reputation: 11

Mortgage brokers don't get a salary. They may get a draw, but do not get paid unless they charge you unnecessary fees. Go to your local banks and credit unions and get approved there. if you cannot qualify at a regular bank, then you should not buy the house. ALL brokers are snakes and there are always fees, whether you pay them or the bank pays the broker as a reward for giving you a higher rate.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 12-21-2010, 10:18 AM
 

387 posts, read 1,079,472 times

Reputation: 212

i used them recently, and overall i was pretty happy with the process.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 01-14-2011, 02:54 PM
 

1 posts, read 4,137 times

Reputation: 12

Default response to chipper 101

This is Joe Mancuso responding to Chipper 101. I have been working with American Federal for 10 Years and have many clients. I am shocked to hear that feel you were treated in a shabby manner. I have come across clients who were unhappy because of a low appraisal value (which is out of my control) or because you were not happy about the documentation that we asked for in order to process the loan (also out of my control). I'm extremely confident in saying that 99.9% of my clients are satisfied with the customer service I provide. I am one of only 100 loan officers in the state who will be featured in the March issue of New Jersey Monthly Magazine as winning their Five Star Mortgage Professional Award for customer satisfaction. Once again I'm sorry you were unhappy with your experience with us but I stand by my performance every time.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message 02-24-2011, 09:55 PM
 

3 posts, read 9,450 times

Reputation: 11

I refinanced with American Federal a few months ago. I compared a lot of different lenders and they gave me the best deal by far. There were no surprises or hidden fees. I will definitely use them again. If you're looking for a mortgage I recommend them highly.

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Page 3

I refinanced a bit over a year ago with AFM. They locked in a good rate, and I sent them my info, but then there was a 45 day delay where they were "processing" the application. When it finally came time to sign, they said that we had exceeded the time to complete the transaction and that there would be a change in the interest rate. At that point I wasn't going to start over, so I had to pay an additional $1475 in points in order to maintain the same rate. There were no issues at all with my credit or anything else, they just said that it was a busy time when everyone was trying to refinance. I was very pissed about this and appealed to the management, but they were not cooperative at all. I went through with it, but I was not impressed with their operation.

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Page 4

03-21-2013, 11:43 PM
 

Location: West Orange, NJ

12,540 posts, read 15,103,925 times

Reputation: 3659

What's the easiest way to compare electricity rates? I thought i recall there being a state website with the published rates

Quick reply to this message 03-22-2013, 06:51 AM
 

105 posts, read 232,713 times

Reputation: 53

Quote:

Originally Posted by bradykp

What's the easiest way to compare electricity rates? I thought i recall there being a state website with the published rates

electricity rates in nj are high, you can take a look at how many cents per kwh they charge. although that can be kinda hard to do as they have different rates depending on how much kwh you use (ie: if you go over a certain amount they charge you more per kwh).

the other thing you can do is ask locals how much they pay for electric for a similarly sized apartment or house but those numbers can also be skewed by people with inefficient heating or cooling systems (ie: like the $150+ a month i was paying in electricity to heat a small one bedroom apartment that only had crappy electric baseboard heating)

Quick reply to this message 03-22-2013, 08:43 AM
 

Location: West Orange, NJ

12,540 posts, read 15,103,925 times

Reputation: 3659

I guess i didn't explain enough as to why i was asking. I finally decided to take the plunge with one of these companies that advertises to switch. So my PSE&G electric rate is around $0.11/kWh, and this company is $0.089/kWh. Gas is about 4 cents cheaper as well. but i thought i remembered a site on the state website that showed all the companies and their current rate....

Quick reply to this message 03-22-2013, 09:18 AM
 

18 posts, read 99,017 times

Reputation: 16

What is the name of the company that is 10 times less per kWh?

Quick reply to this message 03-22-2013, 09:38 AM
 

Location: West Orange, NJ

12,540 posts, read 15,103,925 times

Reputation: 3659

Systrum energy. it's only 2 cents per kWh cheaper, but it doesn't require a contract so i figured as long as i pay attention, if they increase the rates, i just go back to PSEG.

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