Don't be a Target for Trigger Lead Buyers!

Wisconsin first time home buyerAre you aware that credit reporting agencies have the right to sell your personal information to mortgage companies that are willing to pay a lot of money?

When you apply for a mortgage, someone checks your credit report to analyze your credit history. That’s a standard part of the loan approval process.

Out of the clear blue, a different mortgage lender calls you. The lender might say they are affiliated with a credit bureau or give some other red-flag reason for calling. Your suspicions are aroused. You wonder, how did they know you were getting a mortgage and why are they calling you?

When you apply for a loan, your mortgage professional pulls a copy of your credit report. This triggers an inquiry. The credit bureau then turns around and sells your name to other mortgage companies. It’s not against the law for credit bureaus to sell your information to third-party vendors. This is called a trigger lead.

The companies buy the “trigger leads” because they know that you are in the market for a mortgage.

And what happens next is what hurts thousands of people every month. Their phones start ringing with mortgage offers from desperate brokers who just spent a good deal of money on a lead about you. These loan officers will say anything to get your business, but will not live up to their promises.

If you apply with these folks, odds are the deals will not go well for you as the multiple applications for mortgages will impact your credit rating and potentially cause the initial loan to fall through.

I am convinced the practice of selling “trigger leads” is an unconscionable abuse of our clients’ personal privacy!

Unfortunately, honest people don’t have the power to stop the trigger lead sales, but we want to be sure that you know how to protect yourself from an unwanted barrage of telephone mortgage sales pitches.

Remember, never talk to ANYONE who claims to be following up on your mortgage loan application unless they are a Loan Officer or Processor to whom you have already been introduced!

Here are two ways to stop trigger lead harassment:

Put your name and phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. You can register your cell phone number as well. Do this at least a month before you apply for a loan because it takes 31 days to become effective. Make a note to re-register every five years because the order expires at the end of five years. Sign up for OptOutPrescreen. This will stop the four credit bureaus from selling your name as a trigger lead. They are: Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows the sale of your name, but opting out puts a stop to trigger leads for five years.

To permanently opt out, you will need to mail in your registration, which is also available on the OptOut Web site.

While you’re at it, why not opt out of receiving the yellow pages too:

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