Update by user Dec 13, 2015
This is an update to my previous complaint.
Earlier this year, many months after my complaint, I finally received a call from Angel Oak's Chief Production Officer, Richard Staley.
He let me know that his company had re-considered my case, and had decided that there was some fault on their part, and he offered to reimburse me for the expensive appraisal.
He also mentioned that the folks in the LA office with whom I had dealt were no longer with the company.
I appreciated this action, even though it was a bit longer in coming than it should have been.
The reimbursement came a couple of months later. Evidently, Angel Oak can act responsibly.
Original review posted by user Dec 19, 2013
Angel Oak Funding's warm initial approach gave me assurance that they could meet my requirements - zero out-of-pocket, a simple and uncomplicated process, fold my HELOC into the refi, and competitive fees and interest rates. I checked their fees, and the title search, and they were higher in some fees than the big banks by about $350 They said they would come down, but I never saw it. They would not come down on their $600 appraisal fee. Their good-faith estimates made me a little concerned, because the numbers were not the numbers that they had discussed with me, including differences in interest rates and the higher fees they promised to lower. They assured me that they would adjust these later. After that, I found it very difficult to get straight answers on my loan numbers. Shortly after starting my process, interest rates dropped, and I had to tell them, or I may not have heard about it. At only a day into exchanging signed documents and statements, they told me that I had to complete and return all of the documents within three days of receiving them! I explained that I was in heavy work travel mode, and needed more time, but I received a great many emails and phone calls, from multiple employees, pressing me to complete and return the documents more quickly. It became clear that this was not a simple and uncomplicated process. Their website allows for electronic signatures on some docs, but the site did not work well all the time, and there were still a lot of documents that had to be printed, signed, and returned. I have no fax machine, and scanning and emailing my documents back to them was not easy. After sending the scanned documents, they notified me that they could not read the standard jpg format that I had sent. They had not designated a format, and I asked if they could convert them to pdf format at their end with a simple freeware app, but they said no. They said that I had to convert all my documents to pdf format, and re-send them. Multiple people continued to contact me with multiple emails and/or calls each day. A couple days after sending all my docs to them, they called to tell me that they had lost all of my documents, and I had to download a completely new set of documents, sign them, and do the scan-convert-email routine all over again – within their three-day time limit! After they got that second batch, the main guy who was processing my application, Mr. Khaligh, contacted me, indicating that, after all of the discussion and document exchange, they had overlooked some aspects, and the numbers were going to be different than we had initially discussed. Mr. Khaligh said they had not considered my HELOC fold in properly, and he laid out a number of options, but none were close to the numbers they discussed in the beginning. I don't know if any of these bad things that happened were done deliberately, or if they were just a sign of very bad management, but either way, in my opinion, Angel Oak Funding is not a firm that can be trusted. At that point, despite already having spent $600 on an appraisal, I stopped working with Angel Oak Funding before completing my refi, and went to another firm. The new lender, Joe Schwartz (Axiom Lending Group), gave me accurate numbers in the first 15 minutes of our initial discussion, and allowed me, without any badgering, more than 3 days to get my paperwork back (Angel Oak told me that three days was a legal requirement for every lender). I originally planned to send out this review immediately after switching to the new lender, but I thought I would first give Angel Oak a chance to compensate for their shoddy service. I sent the review above to Mr. Monahan, Mr. Khaligh’s boss. Mr. Monahan contacted me promptly, apologized for the service issues, and said that he would ask his management for permission to offer reimbursement of my expenditures. He reported back shortly that no reimbursement was possible. This indicates to me that the problem is not only with their local teams - their main office does not respond responsibly to issues with their service. In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that I would have reconsidered posting this had they responded differently. Their employees were not rude – my issue is with the poorly orchestrated process, inadequate information delivery, and inability to respond effectively to poorly-treated customers. A big refi represents thousands of dollars in revenue to lenders, and with interest rates likely to move up soon, it appears that Angel Oak is caught up in a gold rush of refi opportunities, and based on my experience, after the $600 appraisal, they don’t really seem to mind rushing people through a rough process, providing inadequate information, and failing to respond adequately to poorly treated customers.