Thank you Jeff for a great presentation about some of the advertising that consumers see daily. Being in the mortgage industry for many years I am still surprised how many consumer believe these ads. With regard to the false or misleading ads, I suspect that these companies are more than willing to pay the fines because of the profits they make on the loans that they write.
ADVERTISING – Those ads that seem too good to be true.
I have been in the mortgage business for 17 + years. I have seen so much advertising when it came to mortgage companies and how many of the ads were misleading or just flat out lies. Those companies advertising low rates that didn't happen. This easily went on from 1992 to 2002. I always wondered why this wasn't regulated as strongly as it should have been. I found out that some of these companies had 100's of complaints, yet they still operated for those 10 years. I think this is misleading and I call it Shark Advertising. It's dangerously misleading, yet it worked for many companies, at the expense of the borrower.
If anyone has noticed, we haven't see as much advertising from mortgage companies or large banks in the last 18 months or so. I am now seeing a few mortgage companies advertise on the radio and as of lately, a few advertise on TV, especially ESPN. The ads are misleading because they appear to make you believe that it's being backed by the government. Has anyone seen a few ads on tv that look like a news update, a spokesperson telling you about government funded programs or that the government is helping in sponsoring these programs. Yet if you read the fine print, it's a mortgage company, disguising this ad very carefully, spinning it as thought the government is putting this out to the public??
I am even seeing this more and more in such places as Facebook. Below are a few that I am seeing on Facebook now.
Here are some ads found on facebook and comcast.net. As you can see, these mortgage companies and or companies that are lead generators, make you think that the government is behind this. Obama hasn't asked homeowners to refinance. The first one on the left, upper left, is from a company called Lower My Bills. They sell leads to other mortgage companies, after they have gathered your information online. Then you have like 4 to 10 lenders call you, sometimes daily.
People on Facebook that give basic information – eye catchers to pull you in.
Here is a loan officer on Facebook that placed this on his Wall, to capture the attention of others. You just need to be aware of what you read. Sure, this can happen, but there are some unknowns not mentioned. And sometimes the loan officer will raise that unknown, so you can't obtain that great rate and get the next best thing. Keeping in mind, it's not always about the Best Rate. How service? Integrity? Educating the borrower? And so much more.... Please read : I want the same deal that my friend receivd... & Mortgage payment vs Interest Rate
Web Sites that are deceiving !!!!
As I explained in this blog post, deceptive web sites, here is a great example above. Doesn't this look like it could come from the USDA themselves? But it isn't. It acts as a lead catcher, catching your info to call you and or sell you about USDA loans or any other type of mortgage loan. No Cost Obligation is mentioned on the site. - We always love to hear about free things, but are they free overall?
Here is a FAVORITE of mine !!!
I am sure many of you have seen this one on tv, FreeCreditReport.com. The commercial announces a free credit report. But at the very end, it says that you need to enroll in their Triple Advantage program.
A free credit report? They have tons of commercials & commercials cost money to display on TV. They also have like 3 to 4 different kinds of commercials and. producing commercials cost money.
Well, I feel like an investigative reporter for the news. I filled out my info online, trying to see what I get. It says that it takes 3 to 5 days for me to obtain these credit reports from the 3 credit agencies. (giving my credit card #) And then there is a button that says, to obtain your 3 reports now, click here. Imagine that, it's asking for $24.95 now. See the 2nd paragraph on the left, highlighted in yellow? It talks about the new Federal Law and I am wondering if that is what they are sending me now, because that is free. But from what I know, you have to go to annual credit report to get the free reports.
Conclusion : Just be very careful of what you read and what says free, when it might not be free. I always have said, someone has to pay for it from some where. Is it you? Is it me who pays for it?
Shopping for mortgages - The Public Image of Advertising that is misleading !!!! - Part 1 of 2
Shopping for mortgages - The Lending Trees of the World (lead generators) - Part 2 of 2
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For important mortgage insight to watch for, please read : Consumers need to be aware of these Red Flags!
Copyright © 2009 by Jeff Belonger of Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc