Beware Misleading Mortgage Junk Mail

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Homeowners who refinance their mortgages are getting official-looking solicitations from businesses.

    Homeowners with new mortgages are getting flooded with official-looking mail that could be confusing.

    After recently refinancing my mortgage, I’ve received at least 10 letters from businesses in the past few weeks.

    Take a Closer Look at that Mortgage Letter

    [DFW] Take a Closer Look at that Mortgage Letter
    You may be out to save money by refinancing your mortgage but that new loan is also an invitation for businesses trying to sell you stuff. (Published Monday, Aug 30, 2010)

    From the public records filed for a mortgage, businesses can get a consumer’s address and other personal information, such as the name of the mortgage lender.

    It allows businesses to send solicitations after the mortgage has closed that could lead some homeowners to believe it is a necessary business communication and not advertising.

    Dallas Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Jeannette Kopko said the consumer group gets many inquiries about the letters because new home loans and lower-rate refinancing are attractive options.

    “The main thing to understand is that all of this is to get your attention so they can sell you something," she said. "It’s not from your bank or mortgage company or any official or government-type agency."

    One letter labeled “Important Mortgage Information” came from “Mortgage Processing Center” with an address in Carrollton. But the address is a home on a residential street.

    The man who came to the door declined to provide his name. He said the mail was from his address but claimed that it was not deceptive because it clearly stated in small print that the letter is selling insurance.

    The “Mortgage Processing Center” literature provides a link to www.homeloanprotector.com

    Another letter came from “Nationwide Biweekly Administration” in Ohio to arrange a payment schedule.

    “A business like this is going to make a fee upfront when they set up the biweekly plan, and they might even administer it, and then you make the payments to them, and they would pass them on to your mortgage company,” Kopko said.

    But I arranged a payment schedule directly with my lender, so an outside third party was unnecessary.

    The Texas Department of Insurance takes complaints about misleading solicitation.

    The Texas Attorney General handles other consumer complaints.

    And the Better Business Bureau website allows consumers to search for information about a business and file complaints.

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