An Apparent Red Flag that Isn't

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For all of the rants I post about bad business practices, there are a lot of things the mortgage industry gets right. One of these looks like a red flag not to do business with them, and may seem like a cruel trick, but it is neither.

With every single loan that is done, you, the client, will get a package in the mail from the actual lender. It looks very official, and in fact it is.

Depending upon lender policy, it usually contains intentional mistakes on things such as the loan type, rate of the loan, or the points involved.

And every so often, I get a panicked phone call because I forgot to warn the client the package was coming.

The point of this particular package is not what it appears to be.

You see, every so often, some criminal wanders into some loan office and applies for a loan on a property they don't own. Sometimes loan brokers actually go out and meet the client in their home, but other sorts of loan providers sit in their office and business comes to them. Therefore, the bank has really no way of knowing if this is the actually the person who owns or even lives in the property. So they mail a loan package to the owner of record.

The idea is that if you haven't applied for a loan, you're going to speak up. You're going to call the bank, the broker, and everyone else asking, "What the heck is going on? Is somebody else trying to get a loan on my property?"

This is the point of the particular package. It's an anti-fraud measure meant to catch criminal activity before the lender is out hundreds of thousands of dollars. And it has just worked.

Caveat Emptor

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on August 24, 2013 7:00 AM.

Asset and Income Rentals - Borrowing Trouble at Usurous Rates was the previous entry in this blog.

The Economics of Housing Development is the next entry in this blog.

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