Dave H.'s review of Skyline Financial Corporation

Skyline Financial Corporation

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Review Posted 1/5/2010
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Review 1/5/2010
Although most of your Linkers are probably posting complaints, I feel strongly about posting a positive review for a company that did an excellent job for us in a tough economic / financial marketplace. I highly recommend them. Give them and Gary Whiteman a try.



Freeman Sawyer, The Mortgage Referee
Skyline Financial Corp.
27349 Agoura Road
Calabasas, CA 91301

Re: Loan Number 200910224

Dear Mr. Sawyer:

The purpose of this letter is to tell you about our Skyline experience of refinancing the mortgage on our condo, occupied by our daughter Deborah. We believe this communication is important for two reasons; first, you need to know how the team and company work together, and secondly, how strongly we feel about the consideration and service that we received from Gary Whiteman, one of your senior mortgage planners. Although we realize that there are many team members who work on the applications, there were two that we had direct contact with—namely, Gary Whiteman and Angela Ortuno.

I am now retired from Kaiser Permanente, where I worked in Finance for 15 years. Kaiser is also in the service business and thus I understand and have had customer service training embedded into my psyche for years. In addition, wherever I have worked, teamwork has always been stressed as an important factor in order for a company to be successful. It is obvious that Skyline has also embedded the team concept into the staff, either by training or successful recruiting. If our experience is typical for your company, it is no wonder that your company has been successful for so many years.

Gary Whiteman was our primary contact, throughout the process. I can’t express adequately or often enough, how much compassion, respect, friendliness and professionalism he exhibited. He exhibited most of the customer service aspects that most employers look for, including the key following attributes:

1. Gary was courteous, respectful, professional, helpful, understanding, and obviously sincerely interested in making certain that we knew and understood everything about the process and the forms. His friendly, down-to-earth personality fits very well with our social makeup and probably does with most others as well.

2. Gary was very prompt when it came to returning phone calls and staying in touch to keep us informed. This seems to be an attribute that many companies no longer seem to care about or have lost, but he did care.

3. Gary went above and beyond the normal in our case. We had an unusual situation that he was aware of. Most mortgage brokers do not know about or can’t be bothered with our kind of situation—no problem for Gary. Our daughter Deborah has a learning disability that has always hampered her ability to significantly earn a living. This disability keeps her from qualifying for most kinds of clerical work or things that require any writing. Gary knew about special regulations that apply to our situation and thus allow our mortgage to qualify as an owner occupied mortgage, at the much lower interest rate. The Skyline deal could not have been done without this treatment. We had to jump thru some hoops to provide the underwriters with proper documentation regarding the disability, but Gary helped coordinate this work and the underwriters were patient.

Angela also exhibited most of the same qualities but we had limited contact with her. The entire “team” did a great job for us and we are very grateful. Our daughter Deborah is especially grateful. Deb is a divorced mother with a 17 year old high school senior. Money is very tight for her. This refinancing is going to save her over $300 per month, for the next thirty years.

If I can take another few minutes of your time, let me tell you about our prior experience in trying to refinance this condo. It was quite different from the Skyline experience. The original loan was with Countrywide, which then became Bank of America. We decided to try and take advantage of the low rates by applying with BofA, since they already held the loan. After more than six months, paying for an appraisal and sending them reams of paper, they sent us a form letter denying our application. We never talked to anyone on their team during this six month period, other than the original “sales / retention” person who called to offer the refinancing. The BofA policy was that he was not allowed to make contact and “bother” others on the BofA team to find out status etc. Phone calls and e-mails to others on their team weren’t returned. We never knew where we were in the process or when we might close. We knew that we had passed the rate lock period but still could not get anyone to talk to us and tell us what would happen then. We are certainly glad that they denied us because their rate was 1% higher and the points were .875% higher than Skyline’s offer. Bottom line—Deborah had never missed a payment, they already held the loan and now they have nothing because we moved to loan to Chase via Skyline. I have no idea what their underwriters were thinking—maybe a phone call or two to us would have helped clarify something. The thing that really made us angry though was the fact that the reason they gave for denying us could have been figured out within the first week of receiving our application. Instead, it took them over 6 months to come to that conclusion. They obviously did not give us proper credit for something or did not understand our retirement situations. Again, a phone call or two would have probably helped. We had FICO scores in the low 800s and thought that this would have been the strongest aspect of our application, but apparently not.

When Gary called us to discuss the possibility of a refinance, we had only been rejected by BofA for a couple of weeks and didn’t really want to put ourselves thru the process again, and assumed the result would probably be the same. Gary patiently listened to our story, asked us to give him a try and then took much of the initial info over the phone. From there it was daily phone calls, faxes and e-mails until the deal was done. What a pleasant experience and a friendly team. Thanks to the entire Skyline team. You guys have a winning team and will continue to do well. We will return the favor by passing your information on to others we know who may be interested in financing situations. If I had anything negative to share with you, I would say that I was disappointed in the appraisal fee. I thought it was a bit too high and even questioned why it needed to be done, since I could provide copies of the one that had recently been prepared. At most, it seems like a drive-by review would have been sufficient. This is a picky issue but one that upset me.

I apologize for becoming so wordy but we thought it important for you and others in the management side of the business to know how the “team” is performing... Thanks for listening.


Dave & Maureen H

Cc: Gary Whiteman, Angela Ortuno &

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Additional Business Information
Hours   Phone   (818) 995-1700 Address   27349 Agoura Road
Calabasas, CA 91301
Website   http://www.skylinefinancialcorp.com Email   ktran@skylinefinancialcorp.com
Contact   Karen Tran Other  
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