Shopping for a mortgage
"online" can be a real adventure. The anonymity of the online world
makes it ripe for mortgage scams. Studies show that more mortgage
consumers are finding their home mortgage loans online. The birth of the
Internet has led to a global market for many industries and the home
mortgage loan is no exception to the rule.
it is not all rosy in the land of online mortgages, because lurking
among the legitimate mortgage lenders, is a new breed of
scammers who are loving the anonymity of the online world.
if not thousands of web sites exist posing as a mortgage lender.
Unfortunately, many of them are "NOT" mortgage brokers or
lenders. Typically, these sites are mortgage leads generators,
telemarketers, spammers, scammers, fly by night brokers, etc., who probably operate out of a
basement. They have one common goal, to capture your personal
information and either use it (identity theft), or sell it for questionable reasons.
That's exactly what happened in December, when the U.S. Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) halted a scam run by 30 Minute Mortgage Inc., an
Internet operation that e-mailed spam offers for "3.95% 30 Year
Mortgages"– despite the fact that 30 Minute Mortgage was not a lending
institution at all. But the FTC says the outfit did manage to get
thousands of consumers to fill out applications listing their Social
Security numbers, income and assets, then secretly sold the information
to third parties.
shopping for a mortgage "credibility" is very important.
Credibility is the believability of a statement, or source, and the
propensity of the mortgage shopper to believe that statement.
cautious or wary if the mortgage broker/loan officer tells you
something that is too good to be true, because it usually is. For the
mortgage shopper to make an intelligent decision, you must know that
the "discussion" you had with the mortgage broker and
information provided is accurate and reliable.
mean verifying the "credibility"
of the source. As a mortgage shopper, you have probably been
with a lot of information told to you by someone you do not know. It's
in your best interest to know if the information and the source is
accurate and trustworthy.
the mortgage broker or lender offer any legitimate recognized and
verifiable references? If not, why?
long has the mortgage broker or lender been in business?
year was the State of Florida mortgage license issued? Contact the
Dept. of Financial Services - Tallahassee, Florida for verification.
the mortgage broker/loan officer have the necessary experience and "seasoning"
to help you with your particular loan? How many years?
Does the web site list a physical street
address? If it's a P.O. Box number or NO address -avoid it!
Does the web site list a "local"
telephone number? A local telephone number with the area code can tell you the actual
location. A "toll free" number is easy to get and can be changed every
day. No telephone number at all - avoid it!
Is the company or web site a
the Better Business Bureau? Call the BBB. How many years? Any
complaints? If not a member, why?
Is the lender or mortgage broker
and licensed in Florida?
Online Application:Be very cautious
about submitting personal & confidential information
online. How do you
know who is at the receiving end? What are their intentions?
Does the web site post a written privacy
policy? If not, why?
Is the mortgage broker or lender located
"outside" of Florida? Are they licensed to originate mortgages in
Florida? Verifiable? Contact the Florida Department Of Financial
Services - Tallahassee, FL for verification.
Does the mortgage broker or
lender offer any legitimate recognized references?
If NOT, why?
Posting and submitting your "personal" information to "Mortgage
Portal" sites may be risky. They are NOT a lender, but a
marketing company that advertises so-called convenience of one form to
be completed. These are "LEADS GENERATORS" who SELL your personal information
to whoever is willing to buy it, etc. Your personal information may be sold and
resold many times to UNKNOWN buyers. You never know who has the
information, or who may contact you, or what they will do with the
information. A legitimate lender is licensed and regulated by state and
federal agencies, Marketing companies and Leads Generators are NOT.
Identity theft is also a major problem. Are you
comfortable with that type of convenience?
to State of Florida & Federal laws, a mortgage broker or lender who receives a
completed mortgage application, is required to submit a written Good
Faith Estimate & Truth-In-Lending statements to the borrower. In
addition, other various written disclosures are required depending upon
the mortgage program, property, etc.
homework and independent research. Florida has a number of licensed
mortgage lenders "located" in the state of Florida.
"BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY!