Bad Information Made Clients Fly Halfway Around the World

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Charlemagne International Properties BRE# 01147470

The lender spoke with confidence, maybe even a bit of swagger, when I asked early in the transaction if my clients could wire money from a US bank account to a California escrow company from China.  "No problem," came his quick reply.  The same information was repeated to my client.  It would be handled with security questions and the use of a private banker familiar with the client. 


Wrong.  Big problem.  Exactly one week before the scheduled close of escrow I received the 'bad news' call.  Even though my client has a long banking relationship (both business and personal) with the bank, he was never assigned a private banker. At the eleventh hour we were told it could not be done due to an increase in fraud. Two weeks prior I asked the lender if arrangements were in place to transfer funds.  He said it was 'being taken care of."  


Bad information from a lender made my clients fly halfway around the world.  They arrived in the US yesterday, went to the bank and completed the wire transfer of funds.  Oh, they transferred a bit more than required--now, no loan is needed.


I suppose the lender was not expecting this tidbit of news either.


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Norma Toering
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes & Beach Cities Homes in L.A. CA

Eric - Sage advice.

Jun 26, 2012 10:56 AM #17
Mike & Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Windermere, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

I just had a closing from hell with BOA as the lender (buyers choice, not mine).


Day of closing Buyer went to BOA where he has all his funds and tries to do a wire transfer...the banks does NOT know how to do one so they send him to another town 50 minutes away to another BOA bank...they ALSO do not know how to do do a wire transfer there either,  but finally figure it out...and we barely close that day.

How can BOA (in the states) not know how to wire transfer someone's money?


Eve in Orlando

Jun 26, 2012 10:57 AM #18
Norma Toering
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes & Beach Cities Homes in L.A. CA

Michael - As illogical as it seems, this lender told the same 'story' to the buyer and to me multiple times.  

Jun 26, 2012 10:59 AM #19
Norma Toering
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes & Beach Cities Homes in L.A. CA

Tammie - A little sweet satisfaction is always good.  

Jun 26, 2012 11:01 AM #20
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Crazy.  Working with internationals and different banking systems is COMPLEX.  There is no simple answer and especially when you throw China in the mix.  Europeans seem to be able to wire easier.  

I just received an overnight of a Security Deposit check for a very high end lease from China.  Wiring would have been more complex. 

All the best, Michelle

PS - LOVE that they had enough not to need a loan.  If you can't do your job correctly that will happen.

Jun 26, 2012 11:01 AM #21
Norma Toering
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes & Beach Cities Homes in L.A. CA

Buyers Broker of Florida - Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what banks do--move money back and forth?

Jun 26, 2012 11:05 AM #22
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Norma, I guess this is a bid perplexing to me, I thought banks were set-up to do this all the time. Good job getting it done. 

Jun 26, 2012 11:17 AM #23
Greg Freeman
The Michael Group - Allen, TX

Wow, thanks for sharing this...I love it when a plan comes together.

Jun 26, 2012 11:26 AM #24
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% o... - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

An interesting read.  Was this lender your recommendation?  I don't see why thelender wasn't on top of this.  So if I understand correctly, a wire transfer from a US BANK ACCOUNT to an escrow office in California was all that was recquired to close the transaction.  The clients happened to be in China.  The clients could have been anywhere in the world, IMHO -- it's their funds in a US bank, no?!?   If they had funds in a US Bank, and simply wanted to wire from their bank to the escrow office to close their deal, what was the problem??  Anyway, they seemed to have their Plan B in place.

Jun 26, 2012 12:00 PM #25
Gary Frimann
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
California Broker and REALTOR

Touche!  I had something similar happen about 3 years ago..  The guy got jacked around by his lender so much that he just paid cash.  Multi-million dollar purchase.  Hopefully, the lender did not spend the money beforehand.

Jun 26, 2012 12:17 PM #26
Dale Samples
304.741.4705 • - Charleston, WV
REALTOR -Homes for Sale Charleston, West Virgini
Wow. I can imagine your clients were steaming. Hurrah for them having enough cash to pay in full.
Jun 26, 2012 12:43 PM #27
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Ah, sweet justice.  

Jun 26, 2012 01:29 PM #28
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA Skogman Realty - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist

Unfortunate that the lender did not have their ducks in a row to complete the transaction.  How ironic that it utlitmately cost them doing the loan at all.  Good for your buyers!  I wonder if they will still remain clients of that bank.....

Jun 26, 2012 02:15 PM #29
Evelyn Kennedy
Gallagher & Lindsey, Alameda, California - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


How frustrating for you and your client.  The lender should have to take care of the problem at no cost to your client.  All the lender I deal with have been good to their word.

Jun 26, 2012 03:05 PM #30
Wayne Jackson
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109 - Hayden, ID
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake

Norma, Great post. I just love those cash buyers. I just had 3 in a row and am working with 2 more.

Jun 26, 2012 09:31 PM #31
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Norma - Though I've not had a buyer have to fly half way around the world yet, I have many who are extremely frustrated with lenders.

Jun 26, 2012 09:51 PM #32
Phil Leng
Keller Williams Eastside Market Center - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng Team - Residential Real Estate Experts &

Hi Norma,

Good buyers.

Bad loan officer at the bank.

They probably came here cheaper than all the loan fees anyway.

Justice was done.


Jun 27, 2012 02:44 AM #33
Norma Toering
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes & Beach Cities Homes in L.A. CA

I asked the lender to pick up the cost of plane tickets and the answer was a quick and curt, "No."  It's that 'too big to fail' attitude that will cause them to lose one loan at a time.


Thanks for your comments, everyone.  Writing this post helped my blood pressure...


Yes, Carla, the money was in a US bank and they could not arrange for my client (a US citizen) to authorize wiring the funds from China.  They insisted on a face-to-face. This is one of the Big Three...

Jun 27, 2012 04:37 AM #34
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties Realty - Pineville, LA
Your Pineville Louisiana Agent

Hope the lender enjoyed working for free! In our business there is nothing wrong with saying, "I don't know".

Jun 27, 2012 07:30 AM #35
Carra Riley
Realty ONE Group Premier Colorado - Denver, CO

Norma ~  now that is a war story to top them all.. I thought I had heard everything!  New challenges every single day.. thanks for the heads up! 

Featured in Cosmic Cow Pie....The Rome Way

Jun 27, 2012 09:19 AM #36
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Norma Toering

Palos Verdes & Beach Cities Homes in L.A. CA
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