California to Puerto Rico

More Reasons Banco Popular Sucks

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Too busy to rant and rave too much. But, after getting all the things completed to the house that the bank required for our refinance, they tacked $15,000 in closing fees to the loan. Crooks. I spend $5,000 on the house to get the loan and then they try to screw me when they ‘think’ they have me in a corner.

Two things that piss me off about Banco Popular:

1. One of the line items on the paperwork is Discount. This is where they added the $15,000 to my loan at closing. I asked what that discount was all about and that should be a minus sign if they are going to use the word discount, but they corrected me in a very patronizing manor. They told me that: “Discount is the name of the fee and that I am wrong.”
Oh, the name of the fee is disount. Nice move, I wish I thought of that when I was a full time sales guy, I probably could have screwed over a few more people and made a couple extra quick bucks.

2. Banco Popular does not have access to any of Popular Mortgage paperwork, because they say they are separate companies. They told me I would have to drive to San Juan to get my Puerto Rico mortgage paperwork. Here is the thing that annoys me about and should send up a red flag for anyone planning on doing business with them. The Popular Mortgage website is a part of Banco Populars’ website. It is http://bancopopular/mortgage or something (that I won’t link to). I found them at number 1 spot on Google after I searched for the term “Popular Mortgage”. Right below them is Ca2Pr.

If you want everyone to know about how poor the Banco Popular business model is and deter people from opening new accounts there AND stop them from getting screwed by their mortgage division, link to our Banco Popular Sucks page so everyone researching a new bank in Puerto Rico knows what they are getting into if they sign on the dotted line with Banco Popular.

Here, I’ll make it easy for you, simply copy this code and paste it into any html page you have.

If you did it right, your link will look like this: Banco Popular – Puerto Rico


29 thoughts on “More Reasons Banco Popular Sucks

  1. jeff

    First, congratulations on your daughter Sydney. If you werent busy engough you will be now.

    Second, How/where would I put that link on our blog?

    Can you just get a loan somewhere else?

  2. Stefan

    You can paste that code into your sidebar, in an html widget or in a post. 🙂

    We can’t refinance through a different bank for 5 years without a major penalty.

  3. Debbie

    But aren’t those discount points, i.e., paying a percentage of your mortgage loan up front to buy down the interest rate? If so, and I know this won’t help since you are so pissed at BP, but those points are tax deductible. . . You make me very nervous to continue to do business with them, but I am locked in for at least five years as well.

    • Stefan

      You’re right, they could be points. They said the could give less of a discount rate if I went with a higher interest rate. I may have found a new solution. The economic stimulus package may actually work for me. Check out

      I’ll keep you in the loop on how this works with Banco Popular.

  4. sean&lisette

    congrads on baby I went through the same thing with western bank before closing they told me I bought back a half point but at closing they said it was a fee no points back and they wanted twenty grand to refi talk about predatory lending.give me a call let me know how you made out.

  5. Fran and Steve

    $15,000 in discount points equals 1% of a $1.5 million loan or 1.5% of a $1M loan. If that’s not the loan amount you got, you should be talking to a lawyer. Popular is already in trouble (per Caribbean Business articles). Buyer beware. Always read ALL the fine print. If you can’t understand it (because the English translation is usually ridiculous–worse than Chinese to English), get a Spanish-speaker to help you. Pay careful attention to Points (Discount Points), Fees (including notary fees), APR, Prepayment Penalties, and Term (length of loan). The Notary Law that was passed requiring borrowers to pay a notary fee of 1% of the loan was amended to between .5% and 1%, negotiable. They might even negotiate to .25% under certain circumstances. In PR, only attorneys can be notaries and they felt they weren’t getting enough, even though their work was only about 8 hours per loan, and most of that is done by a clerk. And… how are Summer and Sydney doing??? Fran

  6. Stefan

    I appreciate your feedback. I am actually circumventing the broker right now and trying to get some action on Obama’s stimulus package. We have a Fannie Mae loan, so we qualify for a government funded re-finance. After researching it myself, Banco Popular told me that I could only do that if I was late on payments or was in danger of foreclosure so I called Fannie Mae directly with my loan number and they told me otherwise. They told me to speak with the Loss Mitigation department about the “Make my Home Affordable” program. I did this and spoke to someone withing 10 minutes that knew what I was talking about. She sent me over the documents to get the ball rolling but they were in Spanish, she said she would send the English docs over and went MIA. I have spent 5 hours on hold since Wednesday, but at least now I feel like I can get somewhere. Even if I have to knock on their door myself and camp out until I make progress.

  7. stefan

    “You’d think banks would be able to compete and succeed by treating customers with integrity. But left to their own devices, they do just the opposite.” LA Times June 21, 2009

  8. stefan

    “Companies compete not by offering better products but more complicated ones, with more fine print and more hidden terms,” Quoting President Obama

  9. Debbie

    Regarding, it does not apply to second homes, which is what mine is in PR, so I am stuck with 6.25% at BP. 🙁

  10. The G Manifesto

    “I wish I thought of that when I was a full time sales guy”

    You don’t remember that one?

    What about:

    “Perfect! That’s exactly what I wanted to talk to you about! Grab your calendar!”

    – MPM

  11. Lisa Kinsella

    Banco Popular SUCKS not only they steal money from my daughter but they always said she and I were the wrong ones,when I close my account they kepted open I had make 3 trips to close my account and hope this time this bank did Because I’m so tired of them. My daughter Child Support Money was always place on a friday She would take it out on a Monday they were fast to take money out from her account Because supposely It was not taken on a Tuesday.She was stole of A lot I finally gave up and decided to close that account and I do not want to know about this BANK for real bunch of stealers and from a minor wow Too much GREED I’m referring to you all at SUNSET branch In Bklyn,NY wow that spanish community really needs help.

  12. Bianca

    Banco Popular is sneaky, people should not use them at all even in the states!! My boss deposited 100’s of thousand’s of dollars in to his account all the time and they never wanted to make him a VIP or give him a card with a Visa or Mastercard logo, which ever one they have. Costco does not accept BP cards in their stores because they charged them 2 million a year. That is why a lot of smaller merchants only accept cash the fees were becoming to much for them, now I see they are trying to charge the customers what they are losing from the businesses.

    Just have to say I stumbled upon your blog and Love it…at least I know I am not alone here in PR in thinking that such much stuff here is done half backwards.

  13. Bianca

    Actually I know for a fact that the Costco in Puerto Rico do not accept BP cards. I am there pretty much every week. For a few months they had people sign up for their own Costco “debt card” that deducts money from a person’s checking account and deposit’s it into the Costco debt card to be able to use at Costco, if the person didn’t want to use cash. I also asked why and the manager explained the reason which I gave above. I am not saying that they are not accepted at other stores. I am sorry I should have stated that they are not accepted BP cards from PR @ the Costco’s in Puerto Rico. I do not know about the Costco’s in the US. If you don’t believe me than contact a Costco in PR and they will tell you that they do not accept BP cards that have an address in PR. Here is a number for Costco in Caguas, (787) 653-6930. I am just letting you know from my personal experience.


    Bianca i did called Cosco and you were right but i have solution for you .Cosco dont take your BP CARD BUT SAMS ,Amigo , GrandeWalmart Supercenter and some otherbussiness will so screw Cosco thats whats great about Free Enterprise they give freedom of choice or you could close your BR account and another financial institution will love to do bussisnes with you

  15. Bianca

    I actually LOVE Costco. They have a great warranty program, one year for free. Also, the quality of their product is the best I have seen in PR. Also their 2% back on your purchases program is great. So I won’t stop shopping at Costco ever!! LOL…Thanks for the suggestions though. Plus I don’t even have a BP account any more. I closed it awhile ago because of some of the crazy stuff they have done. Plus I would rather have an debt card with the Visa or Mastercard Logo on it and BP doesn’t not do that in PR but other banks do. Currently I bank at RG but I think I am going to change to another bank, but not sure yet

  16. Francisco

    I almost fell into their dirty tricks when I refinanced my mortgage a few years ago. After they filled in the form that says how much of the loan is going where, it concluded that I would have $12,000 left over. My wife and I signed the form and then the loan request would be processed and we would be notified of when to come in and pick up the check. As it turned out the day my wife and I went to pick up the check they handed me one for $5,000. We were totally surprised. What had happened to the rest ($7,000)that totalled the $12,000 we had been told we would get? To make a long story short. I called the Puerto Rico Banking Industry Commissioner’s office. Explained what had happened, they said the bank could not do that. They had changed the form that my wife and I had signed, claiming they had forgotten to add a fee which was suppossed to be charged, thus leaving only $5,000 as residual. I went to the Popular Mortgage office where they processed the loan application and they called someone at the Hato Rey office and gave us an appointment to meet with an officer. We met with three of them together, and we stuck to our guns that they were doing something illegal. Once the customer signs that form, they can’t change it like that. They thought to get me by saying, “Well you don’t have to accept the loan, simply refuse and we’ll leave it at that.” Unfortunatelly for them, I knew better (thanks to the Banking Commissioner’s office), so I told them to straighten out the mistake and give me the total of $12,000 or I would report them to the Commissioner. Again to make a long story short, they not only gave me the additional money. They gave it to me without making it a part of the loan. So I got it free of charges. Which later made me think, I could have pushed a bit further and gotten away with the entire loan as a gift by the bank. The penalty for what they were attempting to do was in hundreds of thousands of dollars to the bank. So when in doubt, call the commissioner’s office. Its in the phone book.

  17. shelly

    We will be in Rincon in a couple of weeks to look at property. Does anyone have a bank that they recommend using for a mortgage? Thanks

    • Stefan

      @Shelly: My only experience is with Banco Popular but I have heart GREAT things about the “Co-Op” and it looks like Western Banks rates are pretty good. I would hit up the Co-Op first. They are kind of like a credit union.

  18. Rosa

    We used Domingo, he was very good, spoke English, I don’t know if he is still there, but his office is right in town. A very well known person. can’t think of his last name…must ask my husband.

  19. Liz Trujillo

    I would also like the number to that real estate attorney. We’re buying a condo in Aguadilla (by crash boat).

    Also, I’ve been looking on-line for furniture stores in Puerto Rico. I found rooms to go and they look like they have some nice pieces. Any other recommendations? Thanks!

  20. Rosa

    His full name is Domingo Acevedo and he used to be right in Rincon town. We used him 3 or 4 years ago so I can’t imagine that he left town…
    Furniture…San Juan is the best bet, but Rooms to Go is the next best thing…depending of your style.

  21. Arnaldo

    We just closed on a condo and we’re very excited. Unfortunately, we live in NY so we’ll have to do a lot of the logistics remotely, i.e electricity, water, etc. We spent the weekend in San Juan and looked at furniture in the West Elm store – they will deliver to Rincon. We bought our mattresses locally (La Nacionalon 115) and they seem reliable; i’ll let you know when they deliver but whenever possible, we want to patronize local businesses. As far as banks, we used the local Westernbank and they were very efficient and accomodating – it was strange to bank with real people – They answered the phone every time we called and whatever we asked for was ready by the end of the day.
    Love this blog and all the helpful comments – Summer and Stefan, good luck and thanks for getting this started.

  22. yira

    2011 people! and they still suck! Modification? they screw you for $$$$, raise your payment, so no help there! They just sit and wait, because they know that by raising your payment they have another property to take away and sell off. Blood sucking Vamps! I heard they screw over their own employees! Bunch of Thieves!!

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