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The Mortgage Junk Mail Bag

It’s been a while since I’ve written about mortgage junk mail. Today I have been presented the opportunity as a client I helped with their mortgage a few years ago reached out to me regarding some mail they recently received that appeared to have possibly come from our company, Mortgage Master.

The P.O. J. (piece of junk) appears to know a lot of information about the home owner – this is because your mortgage and original loan amount are public record.  This type of marketing also tends to offer lower than available interest rates and things like “no payments for two months”…perhaps it features an offer code or a limited time offer. [Read more…]

More Junk Mail for Home Owners

There is no shortage of junk mail. If you have just bought a home or refinanced a home, you’re a very popular person with folks trying to sell you something. Some of the offers in the mail, like discounts to stores, are kind of nice…however other offers are just plain junk, if not worse.
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From the Junk Mail Bag: Refi with Lender Paid Closing Cost

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know one of my pet peeves is misleading junk mail that mortgage companies will blast out to attempt to generate business.

2016-01-27 12.15.05

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From the Mortgage Junk Mail Bag

JunkIt’s been a while since I’ve shared a POS (piece of solicitation) from the junk mail bag. I don’t have an issue with lenders trying to obtain business from home owners by mailing marketing pieces…although I do wonder why they must resort to marketing to strangers instead of working with past clients.  

This letter was sent last month. It was packaged in a folding security envelope to look as if it may have contained important information, such as the code to an ATM card. It was only a trick to get one to open it. 

They start with quoting an APR of 3.125% for a 30 year fixed rate in the upper right corner with a very low payment of $651 on a $250,000 loan amount. That’s a great rate and an amazingly low payment!  However if you read the very tiny print on the bottom of the page, you’ll see that what the rate offered is actually based on a 5 year interest only adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).  Why not have that information in the upper right corner with the teaser rate and payment? 

The lender who sent this is from a company in California. I really recommend working with lenders in your own state where processing and underwriting are done locally as well. Why would they have to mail to Washington state home owners to try to get refinance business?

I also recommend that you use the NMLS Consumer Access site to research any Mortgage Loan Originators you’re considering allowing to assist you with your refinance. The NMLS Consumer Access site will disclose their employment history and whether or not they’re licensed to originate mortgages in Washington.  I think it’s also a good idea to “google” their name and the company’s name to learn more about them. 

Instead of calling a stranger from out of state for your mortgage needs, do your own research. 

If your home is located anywhere in Washington state, I’m happy to help you with your refinance or financing your home purchase. And by the way, I have never bought “a lead” or sent out a piece of junk mail to try to solicit a mortgage prospect.

From the Junk Mail Bag

Seems like junk mail from random mortgage companies are on the rise again.   I recently had a client who I helped with a home purchase utilizing an FHA mortgage send me a piece of junk mail that he had received from a company (NOT Mortgage Master) that bothered him beyond the typical "deluge of refi offers from firms who's marketing strategy is to look up public records for a targeted mailing".

Some mortgage originators will buy list of home owners who have a specific type of mortgage, such as FHA, where they can offer a streamline refinance thinking if they use your originating mortgage companies name enough times, they just might fool someone into calling them. 

This piece of mail junk has many red flags that home owners should be aware of.

Letter 007

There is no return address on the mailer anywhere.  You have no idea who you will be calling or if they are even approved to do business in Washington State.  I would never contact a mortgage solicitor if you have no way of researching them first.

They are also miss-using HUD's logo in the upper right corner as if it is there own.  This is a big time no-no that I'm sure HUD would be interested to see.

There is no APR to go along with the rate and the small print on this doozie must be too small for my old eyes.

It is true that FHA streamline refinances do not require an appraisal (therefore you are not proving equity) and assets are not verified either.  However the scenario still needs to qualify and HUD frowns about this type of marketing.

The eligibility for a streamline FHA refinance DOES NOT EXPIRE.  This is a weak attempt to try to create a "call to action" to the home owner.  HUD or lenders couldchange guidelines that would have an impact on an FHA streamline refi. 

Oh by the way, IRRL is a term used for VA "streamlined" refinances–not FHA.

What really pushed my clients button was the outside of this mailer garbage.


Another attempt to make this look like it came from Mortgage Master and a nice little threat as a bonus to really make sure you don't disregard their efforts.

I've written about junk mail before many times at Mortgage Porter.  You are welcome to forward this type of crap to the local officials.  They do not want consumers mislead or taken advantage of either.  

As a Washington State home owner, or if you're receiving mail from a mortgage company in Washington State, you can forward mail that you feel is misleading to DFI:

Enforcement Unit, Division of Consumer Service

DFI, P.O. Box 41200, Olympia, WA 98504

A letter like this should also be forwarded to HUD.

I strongly recommend not selecting your mortgage professional by what randomly lands in your mail box.  

Another Classic Piece of Junk…Mail

I actually thought this piece of mail was legit…until we opened it.  This piece of junk was threatening of a possible fine and imprisonment OR BOTH if anyone interfered with it’s delivery.


Once you open the mailer, you quickly see that it’s from a mortgage company that is so desperate, it must utilize trickery to try to obtain new business.

We have good news about your loan originally funded at:


After reviewing your account history we are happy to inform you that you have been preapproved for a new mortgage at a lower monthly payment.  This offer makes you eligible for a modified mortgage at a lower monthly payment regardless of credit, mortgage payment history, or other financial hardships.  If you are in an adjustable loan, this offer makes you eligible to convert to our fixed product line.

There is no rate in this promotion…however it actually states that we’ve been preapproved for a new mortgage with a lower payment.  What a bunch of baloney.

When I receive a piece of junk mail such as this, I forward it to the Department of Financial Institutions in Olympia.  I hope you’ll do the same too.  Misleading advertising in mortgages must stop.  I encourage you to forward your mortgage junk mail (Washington State only) to:

Enforcement Unit, Division of Consumer Service

DFI, P.O. Box 41200, Olympia, WA 98504

Please don’t ever select your Mortgage Professional by something you receive in the mail or hear on the radio.  And remember, rates that are advertised in radio and newspaper print are not current.  Rates change constantly (especially these days).

The Bottomless Mortgage Junkmail Bag


Here’s a new one for you from the Mortgage Porter Junk Mail Bag.  This gem arrived to us in a hand addressed envelope about the size of a greeting card with real postage stamps but no return address.  What a personal touch. 

But wait…there’s more!  When you open the envelope it appears as though someone has cared enough about you to send you a newspaper article and there is a written sticky note that says:

"Robert, Try this it works!  I just got two months no bills! [signed] J."

Wow, who is this "J"?  Their name is no where on the envelope and there’s no business card included.   The newspaper article is front and back (with a faux-ad of a hottie on both sides) appearing to be an interview of someone in the mortgage/credit repair profession.   The "professional" being interviewed is here to save the day…the article never really says how but invites you to visit a website which I’m not going to promote here. 

The website would leave you to believe this fella is on your side to fight the bad mortgage companies, credit counselors…he’s going to teach you every trick in the book after you sign a non-disclosure statement so his "methods can stay secret from the general public".   

The entire campaign is aimed at people who are in trouble financially either from an ARM adjusting or from too much debt.  It’s predatory.  Do you remember just a few weeks ago what I said about loan originators who use "skip two months payments" as a ploy to get your business?

I have an issue whenever anyone uses "trickery" to obtain business.  Especially when it’s as important as the financing of your home.   This "article" does state "ADVERTISEMENT" in small print on the top of both sides…but it would be easy to miss.  Especially if you’re in a tough position with your mortgage or debts and you’ve received this mail from someone who cares enough to take the time to hand address a note to you. 

I truly believe that those who must resort to doing this type of deceptive marketing is because their business practice is such that they do not have returning or referring clients. 

Please don’t ever select your mortgage professional by the junk you receive in the mail.   

More from the Misleading Mortgage Junk Mail Bag

Yesterday’s prize piece of junk mail has to be one of the worst mortgage mailers I’ve seen in a while.   It states:

Dear M/M Porter,

Congratulations!  We have great news regarding your account originally funded with Mortgage Master Svc. Corp. …

Note:  Who ever shows as the lender on your Deed of Trust is public record.  It’s not magic that someone has this information.   This information is available for purchase from the credit bureaus, title companies or many other data resources.

We are happy to inform you that you have been preapproved for a new mortgage loan that can substantially lower your monthly payment…we can "freeze" your current interest rate and lock you into on of our "fixed" product lines.

We do not qualify for the Bush/Paulson "freeze" plan.   Nice play on trendy mortgage words.

The Federal Government has issued new incentives on 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Loans through FHA & Fannie Mae!  These incentives have considerably lowered fixed rates and made refinancing attractive again!

We’re still waiting on Congress to work out mortgage plans.  Fannie & Freddie now have risk based (credit score sensitive) pricing for a-paper.   Rates are attractive right now due to investors seeking safety in mortgage backed securities (bonds) instead of stocks.

This promotion will expire January 28th 2008!  However, as an added incentive for you to call us right away, there is an immediate opportunity for you to "skip your next two mortgage payments"!!

Ya gotta love the two exclamation points.  The letter goes on how we must call right away and is signed "Have a blessed day!"

Under the signature, it states rates low as blah blah blah, which is an obvious option ARM and does not include any APR.   This is pure trash.   In the fine print below that the letter does state the letter "is not a direct solicitation endorsed or sponsored by Mortgage Master Srvc Corp".   Duh!

What now?  No where on this letter can I see who the lender is or if they are licensed do provide mortgages in Washington state.   Letters that are a solicitation for mortgage loans that are misleading such as this should be forwarded to DFI to investigate.

Here’s the address:

Enforcement Unit, Division of Consumer Service

DFI, P.O. Box 41200, Olympia, WA 98504.

Please don’t select your Mortgage Professional by a mailer such as this one or a phone call from a total stranger.   Get referrals from your friends, family, co-workers or professionals you trust and respect.   If you had a good experience with your previous Mortgage Professional, contact him or her if they are still in the biz.  If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!