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?

Similar to when you make a general search on the internet for something, like a pair of athletic shoes, suddenly you begin to see advertisements for athletic shoes on all of your accounts.  That is the same thing that happens when you apply for a mortgage, your inquiry triggers sales leads.

You might ask yourself, how did a mortgage company get my information?  Unfortunately, several of the credit bureaus sell your name and contact information to third-party vendors, including competing mortgage companies.

These calls or letters can quickly turn a what would be exciting transaction, authorization to purchase your new home, into an irritating onslaught of unwanted solicitation and often unethical promises of better rates.

Suggested Reading: Home Plus Home Loan Program

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.

These companies are deliberately selling you or better explained, scamming you, because if you read the small print listed on the back of the letter it reads, “30-year term conventional loan with a minimum of 20% equity.”

How Can You Protect Yourself?

No one wants to be bombarded with inaccurate and frustrating calls or letters, there are actions you can take 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. Better yet, ask your lender if they have a document that disallows 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.

The Certo Team
55 N. Arizona Place Suite #103
Chandler, AZ 85225

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