I've been using my current mortgage company to complete a refinance on my home. I won't name the exact bank name, but it's one of the major 5 (B of A, Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, Citibank). I can tell you that the experience has been nothing short of a gong show. They originally started out by saying all they needed was one pay check stub. I would have sent them whatever they asked for, but all they wanted was ONE PAY CHECK STUB. That was sent in on 8-3-2010 (76 days ago). 24 days later they came back saying they now needed two years w-2s. Of course I sent the W-2s the very next business day thinking that this was finally moving somewhere because a person had actually looked at my file. Another 16 days pass and then I find out underwriting also wants the previous two years tax returns. Those were sent in 31 days ago. Finally after asking them if they wanted a CPA letter because I saw where this was headed, they then asked for a CPA letter. No one ever took it upon themselves to call me and ask for any of this. It took myself calling time and time again and e-mailing multiple parties (sometimes up to 5 people being cc'd at one time) to get any kind of an update.
And being in the industry as a loan officer and knowing what it takes to get a deal closed does not make one bit of difference. I was discussing my experiences with another professional in my office that used to work for the major bank I am dealing with. They said the processing center that handled all their loans had stacks of boxes upon boxes lined up along the walls in the sea of cubicles that were all waiting to be worked on. This gave me no comfort, but helped to explain the magnitude of volume they were dealing with & the fact that they simply cannot handle it.
If you are contemplating using a major bank for your next mortgage transaction, be ready to babysit it and cross both fingers that it closes on time if it's a purchase transaction. If you don't have them time or patience to do this, then my recommendation is to find a professional that treats you like a human and not a file number.