Monday, September 15, 2014

Mortgage Applications and Trigger Leads

You applied for a mortgage loan from a lender and suddenly, out of the blue without any initiative from your end, another lender calls. Now why did this happen? Well, you became a trigger lead. Read on if you don’t want to get caught off guard.
This is what happens: You decide to buy yourself some property, so you get in touch with a mortgage broker whom a friend or family member recommends. In all probability, this mortgage lender is very reputable and you may have even done past business with him. You make a loan application and get your preapproval letter.
Suddenly, another mortgage lender calls. He might say his company is affiliated with some credit bureau or put forth another random reason for calling. You get suspicious and wonder how he knew you’re going in for a mortgage.
When you make a mortgage application, your lender first wants to ascertain your credit rating. So he gets ahold of your credit report. As soon as he does this, an inquiry is triggered.  Very often, the credit bureau goes ahead and sells your details to different mortgage companies. Since it's not illegal for bureaus to make money by passing on your details to other vendors, they make the most of it. This is known as a trigger lead.


Since you’re at the threshold of what is possibly your life’s biggest transaction, you surely wouldn’t want loan reps calling up and offering phony rates of interest. Make sure not to buy over a phone call. Instead of dealing with some telemarketer, try to deal with trusted professionals.
Here are some tips to stop harassment due to trigger leads:
  • Enlist your phone number and name on the Do Not Call List at the national level. You could also register using a cell phone number. Make sure to do this a complete month before applying for a loan since it becomes effective after 31 days. This order will be valid for 5 years, so ensure that you re-register after the period ends.
  • If you don’t want mortgage lenders to send direct mails, you need to register yourself at the Direct Mail Association. This will cost you a dollar whether you register via email or online, and you can use your credit card for the payment. The registration is valid for five years.  DMA puts out its lists quarterly and it’s better to register early. It may take a while for your registration to become effective.
  • If you register for Opt Out Prescreen, you are assured that 4 credit bureaus do not sell your details in the form of a trigger lead. The names of the bureaus are: Experian, Innovis, Equifax and TransUnion. As per the Fair Credit Reporting Act your name can be sold, but when you opt out, trigger leads are stopped for five years.
It’s been heard from lenders that when you choose to opt out, you can up your credit score by 10 - 15 points. To get permanent relief, you could email your registration. This is also available at the OptOut Web website.