As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, August 2005.
For some time, we’ve needed an online therapist to help us understand our new, techno-lending world. The time has come for our own chat room, where lenders can communicate with others who make their living finding people who need money and putting them through hell.
As an experiment and a public service, I set up such a room on the Web. Not wanting to reveal my true identity, I became Mort the Mortgage Man, “for people in the business who need someone to listen and give advice.” Here is what I found.
Mort: As I sat down with my customer for an application, she took my scanner and threw it on the floor. “Let my dog play with this while we talk,” she said. I want to know how I should have responded. —Dog Lover
Dear Dog Lover: You had two choices. The first depended on how big the dog was. The second was to open your customer’s refrigerator, remove a 5-pound ham and say, “Sure. Can I eat this while I take your application?”
Mort: I finished an application and snapped my laptop shut — only to discover that I had caught my applicant’s charm bracelet under the lid. It wouldn’t open. She began to scream. What would you have done? —Screamer
First, there’s nothing unusual about screaming customers. The best way to handle a situation such as this is to offer a discount. A quarter-point is customary. Go to three-eighths if the screaming continues.
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