It has been brought to our attention that members who have applied for a mortgage with United Financial Credit Union may have received numerous phone calls from other lenders offering mortgage services. As we continue to provide the best personalized member experience throughout any process, but especially such an important one as a mortgage, we wanted to let you know that your personal information remains protected.
Below is some information we feel will assist our members in terms of describing what a mortgage trigger is, the legality of it and offering some assistance in resolving unwanted solicitations. Please keep in mind that these solicitors don’t have access to all of your Personal Identification Information, such as social security number. They only learn about the recent mortgage inquiry from the Credit Bureaus (Equifax, Trans Union, Experian), which enables them to compete for your business.
It is also important to know that this happens at any institution that pulls credit for a Mortgage application.
What are Mortgage Triggers leads?
When you apply for a home mortgage with any lender, they will pull your credit report for review. Once this happens the credit bureaus can sell basic information to other mortgage lenders. This qualifies as a trigger lead, allowing for the opportunity to compete for your business.
The mortgage lenders who purchase your lead can then call, text, email or send you mailings in an attempt to get your business. In their eyes, this is not harassment, but an opportunity for you to get a better rate from a different lender. Typically, these lenders offer you an attractive interest rate but charge you buydown (discount) points, thus increasing your costs to do the loan. It is important to understand the “fine print” to protect yourself! United Financial Credit Union has pledged to our membership to provide the best services to the best of our ability, including competitive rates and costs on Mortgages.
How legal are trigger leads?
Trigger leads are legal. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, if a home mortgage loan is the basis for a credit inquiry, the consumer reporting agencies may produce a report to sell these credit inquiries without the consumers cooperation or consent.
The Federal Trade Commission, as well as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, encourage competition between lenders, thus believing that these trigger leads can be good for the consumer. There is discussion of legislation to ban trigger leads with few exceptions, but that is as far as it has gotten.
The downside to trigger leads is that consumers, like yourself, are being led to believe that your trusted financial institution is selling your personal information, leading to harassing communication, which is not the case. Applying for a mortgage is stressful enough without having to deal with unwanted phone calls, texts, emails or even mailings. The feeling that your private information has been sold without consent is frustrating and concerning, especially in light of security breaches being announced on the news on a more frequent basis. Please know that United Financial is protecting your personal information, and genuinely share in the aggravation of this lawful activity of data sharing.
How to Resolve Unwanted Solicitations
You can be proactive in avoiding trigger leads with a few simple resource options listed below:
- Visit optoutprescreen.com. This stops the credit bureaus from selling your information for a period of 5 years. To opt out permanently, you must complete and mail back a physical form. To allow time for processing, opt-out at least five business days before a credit inquiry.
- Register your phone number on the “Do Not Call Registry” at donotcall.gov. This can also be completed by phone at 1-888-382-1222. It can take up to 31 days for your request to be put into effect so, when at all possible, register a month in advance of applying for a mortgage.
- Sign up at dmachoice.com to keep loan offers out of your physical mailbox. There is a $4 charge for this service, but think of how much junk mail you can eliminate in the process!
Thank you for putting your trust in United Financial Credit Union and our Mortgage department. We value the opportunity to provide you with all of your Mortgage needs and, as always, please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.