Posts Tagged ‘junk mail’

Junk Mail

March 25, 2013


Whether you own a home or rent a home, you can’t escape junk mail. That said, when you get a new mortgage, you are opened up to new and different types of junk mail. I first blogged about this in 2011. Since the home buying market has picked up this year, I’ve been receiving more calls and emails from clients wondering why they are getting so much junk mail. I figured it was time for an update to the post.

Can you stop junk mail? Yes and no. You can opt out all you want, but you can’t stop companies from sending you junk mail offers from the information found in public records. This is where these types of companies find your information.

The type of junk mail I’m talking about here can be deceptive. The text on the envelopes say “complete and return”. Once you open the letter, the top of the letter will say things like “You are not protected”… “last chance”… phrases that cause people to react instead of read and respond.

On top of the words being used, the letters appear official. They will have your lenders name on it. Some of them even have your loan officers name on it. Somewhere on there, you’ll see an “*”. If you find the details that correspond with the “*”, it is usually at the very bottom or on the back of the letter. The text after the “*” usually reads something like this:

“Our Company is in no way connected to INSERT YOUR LENDER NAME HERE.”

Unless you specifically looked for this information, you probably wouldn’t have found it. This doesn’t even get into other offers you’ll receive such as handwritten postcards telling you a parcel has arrived for you but couldn’t be delivered at your new address (yet the postcard could be delivered?!?).

The moral of the story is this – When you buy a new home, a public record of your deed is recorded at the court house. Companies pay people to go through and get the information on new deeds in public records. Then junk mail will begin heading your way. Legitimate mail will come from your lender telling you how and where to send your mortgage payment. You’ll also receive junk mail appearing like it is coming from your lender.

Take your time when going through the mail as you don’t want to respond to the wrong letter!


got junk mail?

September 20, 2011

Owning your own home is a wonderful thing, but it does have its drawbacks. For instance, when renting an apartment, there are things that you don’t have to worry about such as normal upkeep on the home, maintaining a yard, etc.  Now that you own a home, you get to “enjoy” those aspects to their fullest potential.

An additional frustration is junk mail.  It doesn’t matter how you answer the privacy policy questions with your lender, you will still receive more junk mail. Here are some reasons why:

#1 – When you take out a mortgage to buy a home, the mortgage information is placed in public records and is recorded at the county courthouse.  The transfer of title is recorded in the form of a Warranty Deed and the fact that you have collateralized the property with a mortgage is recorded in the form of a Security Deed. Since this information is in public records, anyone (and I mean anyone) can access it. Companies and solicitors have access to your name, your property address, your lender/investor, whether or not your loan has Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI, and your original loan amount.

Junk mailers and solicitors gather the information from the courthouse (or purchase it from a directory-consumer list company) and use it to send you everything from coupons, to flyers, to notices about refinancing.  Some of the refinance and second mortgage solicitations are the worst and most misleading going so far as using phrases like, “Please call immediately concerning your Hillside Lending mortgage . . .

#2 – A lot of loan services offer ancillary services as part of their affiliate companies.  The most popular (and in my opinion, the most annoying) seems to be the mortgage-life-insurance product sold TO the consumer as a way “to protect their loved ones”.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I DO think that it is a good idea to have enough life insurance to cover your mortgage balance, but there are better options than mortgage-life-insurance. Mortgage-life-insurance is usually a declining value life insurance premium that decreases at the same pace as your mortgage balance. In the event of your death, the policy is used to pay off the mortgage and nothing more.  A better investment of your time and money would be looking into getting term life insurance that never declines in value.

#3 – Depending on how a privacy policy statement is worded, the lender may still be able to share some of your information.  This is a particularly frustrating point to consumers who do their best to protect their information.

In summary, congratulations on buying your new home, but get ready for junk mail. Some of these offers are scams, and the “legit” ones are typically not a great deal for you to use.  So, be careful.  Hide the women and children.  They are coming…