Don’t Get Scammed By a Mail-Order Mortgage Company: What You Need To Know and How to Protect Yourself

If you recently submitted to have your credit checked for a mortgage loan, specifically to refinance, you might have noticed you received a call or two from a “mortgage professional” looking to help you. You were falling victim to a trigger lead. 

What Is a Trigger Lead?

Trigger leads are sales leads generated from the information inquiry produced when a mortgage company runs a borrower’s credit report for a mortgage application. The credit bureau such as Experian, Transunion and Equifax then sells the applicant’s name and contact information to third-party vendors, including competing mortgage companies. This can turn an exciting transaction into an irritating onslaught of unwanted solicitation and often unethical promises of better rates.

The companies that purchase trigger leads are usually the companies you DO NOT WANT to be doing business with.

Navigating these solicitations can become a chore in and of itself.  They make the offer sound too good to refuse.  Example, a homeowner with an existing 3.50% 30-year fixed rate mortgage received a trigger lead that says you could refinance and get cash out of $41,000. It’s telling them to refinance into a higher interest rate and that they can eliminate our mortgage insurance.  Yet, this homeowner doesn’t have mortgage insurance. And worse, they advertise no equity is required to make the loan.

However, if you flip over to the back and read the small print it says “30-year term conventional loan with a minimum of 20% equity.”

How Can You Protect Yourself?

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself.  You can register with the National Do Not Call Registry, register with the Direct Mail Association and most importantly talk to your mortgage broker and find out about their information being sold for trigger lead lists. Some lenders have documents that disallow personal information from being sold.

Bottom line is not to trust a company that uses unethical sales tactics.  When choosing the mortgage professional or company to work with, we advise to go on a trusted referral from a friend or family member and/or to search for and read the online reviews of local providers.

Contact a licensed housing specialist now! 602-429-6789

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