Money Rant of the Week: Mortgage Solicitations

The husband and I are in the middle of refinancing our house. We decided to work with the same mortgage broker that secured our loan when we bought the place back in 2008. House image

 

Lots of money experts advise against using a broker because of outrageously high fees that some charge (luckily, many of these were recently banned by the Federal Reserve). But I just don't have the time to call bank after bank to inquire what interest rate we qualify for. Even those online mortgage marketplaces (like this one here) are more than I really want to deal with. So if I pay our broker a little something for all her work (even if it is just running all of our financial statistics through a computer program), that's fine by me. And just for the record, her fee wasn't remotely egregious. Nor was it sneaky—it was clearly presented on our initial fees worksheet. And with the great interest rate that she secured for us, we'll make up for those fees in just a matter of months with our lower mortgage payments.

 

So now that you've got the backstory, I must clarify that this isn't a rant against mortgage brokers. Rather, it's a blast (as my sister would dub it) against the deluge of junk mail we've received since we began the refinancing process. Submitting our application must have put us on some sort of mortgage mailing list. Our mailbox is now remniscent of the fireplace in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone—letters flying out of it, hitting you before you can catch them. Well, okay, not really, but that made for a funny image, right? And to be serious, most days, we receive enough envelopes marked presorted first-class to completely fill our mailbox. There were 10 solicitations yesterday alone. Among the crazy claims they promise: "Refinance without any fees!" "You qualify for a zero-percent interest rate!" and even, "Get your reverse mortgage now!" I haven't even paid off my mortgage, so how can I get a reverse mortgage?! 

 

The government has cracked down on dubious mortgage dealings, so why can't they eliminate this obnoxious practice as well. We have the do-not-call list. Why can't we get the do-not-send-any-junk-mail-to-me list as well? I'm just hoping that this is one of the things that the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will eventually address. But until then, I guess I'll keep ducking when opening my mailbox.

 

What other situations about buying home or refinancing drive you crazy? Sound off below.

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