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Guild Mortgage outages mean some buyers might not be home for Christmas

An interview with a homebuyer whose deal was knocked off track by Guild tech issues

Imagine having your Christmas tree and gifts on their way, but the closing on the home where they’re headed is delayed. That’s what happened to Alexis Aarons, who was scheduled to buy a house in Columbia, South Carolina, on Tuesday before Guild Mortgage tech issues knocked it off track.

“Our son’s gifts are scheduled to be delivered to our new home, but due to their system outage, & slow response/recovery time for those of us on East Coast, who knows what we’re going to do,” Aarons wrote on Twitter. “Our Christmas tree is being delivered tomorrow also!”

In another Tweet posted on Wednesday, she elaborated:

“We are about to be homeless for Christmas. Does anyone seem to care? Nope. Is anyone helping us out? Nope. We were supposed to close on our dream home on Tuesday. Thirty-two and a half hours later…NOTHING!”

A Guild Mortgage representative tweeted back: “I’m so sorry for the frustration our technical problems have caused you and your family during the holidays.” In a second response, the company Tweeted: “Wanted to let you know that we’ve escalated internally and someone should be reaching out to you directly.”

Guild, ranked by JD Power as the No. 3 lender for customer satisfaction, has lots of unhappy customers this week, judging from Twitter. And it’s not just on the East Coast. A real estate agent on the opposite side of the country had several deals on hold because Guild Mortgage was unable to close.

The agent, who asked HousingWire to remain anonymous, said a Guild representative had apologized but was unable to tell him what was the cause of the delays. He confirmed that at least one of his closings won’t happen until after Christmas, and the others haven’t yet gotten a new date. With only two business days before Christmas, the others may not close before the holiday, he said.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 6+ years in real estate,” a disgruntled East Coast real estate agent tweeted.

Guild Mortgages systems “began experiencing unprecedented connectivity interruption” on Monday morning, the company said in a statement emailed to HousingWire on Friday afternoon.

“Guild’s IT teams immediately identified a hardware malfunction as the source of the outages and began working with experts from IBM, provider of the hardware, to restore all systems and functions,” the statement said. “While teams worked quickly to bring the hardware systems back online, Guild engineers initiated backup system protocols to recover all data and implemented temporary solutions on other servers for managing critical loan functions to minimize the impact on customers and lending partners. Most importantly, no customer information or data has been compromised.”

The company “is making rapid progress toward restoring all systems,” the statement said.

Other Twitter users have posted about delayed closings and about not being able to get through to the company. In a Facebook discussion about Guild technical issues, a mortgage professional posted that Guild systems “have been down all week.”

Aarons, in South Carolina, did close her mortgage on Thursday, two days late. It wasn’t in time to receive the delivery of the Christmas trees and the gifts, she said in an interview. But, she’s picking up a replacement tree and some gifts for her two-year-old son at Walmart on Saturday, she said.

“We were lucky, even though it was an ordeal, but others may not be as lucky,” she said in an interview. “I’m sure there will be families homeless for Christmas.”

The first-time homebuyer said she and her husband were told to be at the attorney’s office at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday for the rescheduled closing. When they showed up, the paperwork wasn’t ready and there were more delays. They finally got to sign the mortgage three hours later, meaning her costs were ratcheted up as they paid their movers to sit in the van and wait.

“It was rough,” she said. “We were constantly being told canned answers. We were constantly having to ask them for updates, as opposed to them providing updates. But we still considered ourselves lucky, because at least we’ll have a home for Christmas.”

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