When looking to buy a house, you will find that the mortgage options are endless. In fact, you probably will notice this even if you aren’t buying a house right now. The majority of lenders in the marketplace are legitimate. They comply with all state and federal laws and work for consumer satisfaction. However, there are lenders out there that take advantage of the uninformed.
There are many predatory lenders out there that are looking for mortgage borrowers. Many people don’t completely understand the mortgage process, making them a great target for mortgage schemes.
To start with, you shouldn’t respond to unsolicited mortgage offers. These include flyers on your car, signs on street corners, direct mail from unknown companies and telephone calls from telemarketers. If they are contacting you about a mortgage, you shouldn’t do business with them. In general, you should always be the one to initiate contact.
The mortgage industry is a high dollar industry. We are talking billions of dollars a year. This makes it ideal for fraud. When shopping for a lender, keep a watch out for:
If you feel that the discussion is a spiel or too rehearsed, you might want to watch out. Ideally, you should feel as though you are in a conversation with a lender. Really pay attention to the way the conversation goes. Are you comfortable? Are both sides asking and answering questions?
Companies you have never heard of
If you have never heard of the mortgage lender, make sure you check them out thoroughly. Call the Better Business Bureau and your State Attorney General’s office for any complaints or investigations. Make sure that they are licensed in your state.
The rates and fees are off
If the rates and fees seem to be really high, have the lender explain your credit score to you. You should already know what your score is and what rates you can expect. Take the time to shop around and compare rates among various lenders.
You should also beware of the lender that offers a rate that is much lower than the other lenders. The terms of the loan may not be the same. The rate may not include all of the costs. In general, most lenders will offer you approximately the same rate. At least in the same ballpark.
You are being pressured to sign now
Listen, there is no rush. You should never, ever be pressured into signing a loan. Walk away. If you are refinancing, you do have three days after signing in which you can change your mind. If you are buying a home, find out about locking your rate, or at least what to expect if you don’t lock it. Don’t sign anything you aren’t ready to sign.
Encouragement to lie
Don’t lie on your loan application. It is against the law. The lender may ask you to up your income or lie about the length of your employment. He may tell you that it is done all of the time. Don’t do it — you could go to jail.
Signing blank documents
Don’t sign anything that is blank, even if the lender promises to fill it in for you later. It is a good idea to even cross through blank spaces on documents before you sign. That way, nothing can be added later.