Since the lead-up to the housing bubble in the mid-2000s, the mortgage industry has been dominated by direct-to-consumer mortgage originators offering lower rates and a streamlined underwriting process. As the housing market heated up, homebuyers were pressed into obtaining a quick lock on their rates and a fast turnaround on their applications, which was what these new mortgage companies advertised. For many homebuyers, the only thing that matters is getting the lowest possible rate. This is especially true in markets such as southern California, where the cost of home ownership is among the highest in the country. Chances are, if you live in or visit southern California and listen to the radio at night, you have heard the radio commercials touting a “no closing cost mortgage” by CashCall Mortgage, a division of CashCall Inc. Founded in 2003, CashCall Mortgage is among the top 30 mortgage originators in the country.
About CashCall Mortgage
CashCall Mortgage, an Orange, California-based company, operates as a centralized call center, taking loan applications directly from consumers or through the Internet. As a direct-to-consumer loan originator, the company offers a streamlined application and lending process, which reduces its costs. The savings are passed on to its customers in the form of lower interest rates. In 2015, CashCall Mortgage was acquired by Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. (NYSE: IMH), an Irvine, California-based mortgage originator founded in 1995. The acquisition ranks Impac Mortgage in the top 20 mortgage lenders in the country. CashCall Mortgage continues to operate as a separate division under its original name.
Mortgage Products Offered
CashCall Mortgage offers a full range of loan products, including 10-, 15-, and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. For each of its fixed-rate loan products, the company offers a zero closing costs version on refinances. Rates on the zero closing cost loans are slightly higher than the standard version, but there are no upfront closing costs to be paid. That includes the cost of an appraisal, which is paid by CashCall Mortgage.
CashCall Mortgage also offers no closing cost jumbo loans over $417,000, and a Do Over Refinance for owner-occupied borrowers who funded a loan elsewhere in the last 18 months. For the Do Over Refinance, borrowers must provide a copy of their mortgage statement with the current fixed loan rate and mortgage term. CashCall will then offer a lower fixed rate with no closing costs, although it may come with a shorter mortgage term. The loan must fund within 30 days of the application.
CashCall Mortgage offers several options for each of its fixed-rate loans, including a zero-cost Roll Down option, a flat $995 lender fee and two-point options.
As of May 7, 2016, the rates on the company's 30-year fixed loan were 3.50% for a Roll Down, 3.50% for a flat lender fee, 3.375% for 0.50 points, and 3.25% for 1.25 points.
For 15-year fixed loans, the rates were 2.875% for a Roll Down, 2.875% for a flat fee, 2.750% for 0.25 points and 2.625% for 0.50 points.
For 10-year fixed loans, the rates were 2.875% for a Roll Down, 2.75% for a flat fee, 2.625% for 0.25 points and 2.50% for 1.0 points.
What Consumers Are Saying
CashCall Inc. has 204 complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but the vast majority of them involve the company’s consumer loan division, which has come under fire from a number of states for illegal advertising and lending practices. Reviews for its mortgage loans found on review sites such as Yelp are mixed, with about two-thirds giving five stars and one-third giving one star. Most of the reviews, both positive and negative, centered on the company’s underwriting process and customer service.
People who had a favorable experience touted the easy application process and quick turnaround, while those with an unfavorable experience complained that the process was convoluted and slow. It appears that the difference in experiences came down to the particular agent with whom they worked. The company either earned high praise for competence and customer service or criticism for poor service and indifference.