Questions To Ask Your Mortgage Broker
Ask questions. Lots of them. For example:
- Do you offer loans from a range of different lenders? What sort of lenders do you work with? What kind of lenders can’t you access?
- How do you get paid for the advice you’re giving me? Does this differ between lenders?
- Why did you recommend this loan to me? Why is this loan in my best interests?
- What fees will I have to pay when taking out this loan?
- What features come with this loan? Can you show me how they work?
- How do the fees and features of this loan affect how much the loan will cost me?
- Can you show me a couple more options, including one with the lowest cost?
- What is the threshold for lender’s mortgage insurance and how can I avoid it?
Mortgage Fraud For Foreclosure
Foreclosure scams generally target vulnerable, low-income individuals whose homes are in foreclosure, or who are at risk of defaulting on their loans.
How it works
While there are many variations within foreclosure scams there are several common elements:
- a criminal approaches a legitimate owner with a debt-consolidation scheme that typically involves the owner paying upfront fees and transferring the property title to the criminal
- the legitimate owner typically receives a cash payout from the fraudster to address immediate bills and remains in the home paying “rent” or “consolidated debt payments” to the criminal
- the criminal pockets all payments from the owner and ignores bills and taxes, which leads to debt-collection procedures against the owner
- the criminal may remortgage or sell the property to an accomplice, leaving the owner without the property title, homeless and in debt
If someone is trying to pressure you into a scheme using any of the above-mentioned tactics, refuse.
Get An Independent Representative
Each party should have their own representatives in a real estate transaction and not use the sellerâs representatives. Have an independent representative registered with RECA as your real estate agent and mortgage broker.
Beware of a real estate broker or mortgage broker who has a financial interest in the transaction. If the seller objects, consider it a red flag.
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The Benefits Of Using A Mortgage Broker:
- Theyâll do all the legwork when it comes to comparing the market, and seeing all of the dealsavailable
- Theyâll check your finances, so theyâll intuitively know which mortgage will suit you best â even ifyou have other ideas
- They might be able to save you money and get you exclusive deals with lenders
- They can help with the âred tapeâ side of things â for example, complex paperwork and contracts
- Theyâll give you a clear picture of the total cost of the mortgage, not just the interest rate
- Theyâll clearly explain your chosen mortgageâs features and any associated pros and cons â forexample, the benefits and potential pitfalls of tracker mortgages.
How To Apply For A Mortgage With Beeline
The application takes you through five steps. Youll be asked a series of questions about yourself, your bank accounts, investments, retirement plans, income and employment history.
Beelines application links directly to the source of your financial information. This direct access allows your bank, pay and tax information to be collected and verified instantly. Any information you enter is encrypted end-to-end and none of your credentials are stored or accessible to anyone.
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What Do Mortgage Brokers Do
Mortgage brokers help you get the best possible deal, and ensure youchoose a mortgage which works for you.
Many people are sceptical of mortgage brokers, and believe that theyâre only interested in pushingexpensivemortgages which they can then earn commission on. This isnât the case â these brokers have a duty ofcaretowards you, are legally bound to find you thebest-possible mortgage, and then they have to be able tojustify why itâs right for you.
What To Do If You Have Been Scammed
Even after taking all of these precautions, its still possible to fall victim to personal loan fraud. If youve been scammed, follow these steps:
- Collect evidence: Document every piece of information you can about the loan, such as any agreements you signed, emails, letters, or phone calls. Also document your bank account statements, if applicable.
- File a police report with your local police department: You might need this report going forward to prove to businesses and organizations that you were targeted by a loan scam.
- File a report with appropriate agencies: After filing a police report, file a complaint with other relevant authorities, including the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, your State Attorney General, and the BBB. These organizations might be able to help you get your money back or at least prevent the scammers from harming other people.
- Check your credit report: If you provided sensitive information , check your credit to make sure the scammers dont also steal your identity. You can use a site like AnnualCreditReport.com to review your credit reports from each of the credit bureaus. You might also consider placing a freeze on your credit report just in case.
Can you get your money back from a scam?
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How Do Private Lenders Work
Loans from private lenders work just like loans from banks or credit unions. You receive funding to buy a property, make a purchase, consolidate debt, make home improvements or any number of other expenses. Then, you pay the amount you borrowed back in installments, with interest. Thats how the lender makes money.
Research The Business Location
Look under the website contact information for a physical address, then look that address up on google maps. You may be surprised how many of these searches result in a residential home address or a business that has nothing to do with lending! If the only address is a P.O Box, make sure you do additional research to verify the company is legitimate. You can also do a reverse search on the phone number calling you.
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Churchill Mortgage: Rates And Fees
Churchill does not advertise mortgage rates on its website and doesnt provide a list of lender fees that borrowers might pay at closing, so we spoke with a loan officer to get information.
The minimum credit score at Churchill Mortgage is 620, no matter what type of loan youre applying for. This is a high benchmark compared to other lenders, which often lower the minimum credit score requirement to around 580 for government-sponsored loans.
But you may have options if youve paid off your debts and lack a credit score altogether. With Churchills no score loan, the lender can create a credit history for you using at least 12 months worth of housing payments.
Borrowers wont pay prepayment penalties on any of Churchills loans, but theyll pay a lender fee of $1,225 at closing. The lender says homebuyers should be prepared to pay between 2% and 5% of the loan amount in third-party closing fees and prepaid costs.
The lender also offers a Rate Secured program, in which applicants can lock in an interest rate for up to 90 days while shopping for a home. You can also lock your rate for another 90 days after submitting a loan application. If rates drop after locking, you get the lower rate.
How To Determine If A Lender Is Legitimate
You may have heard the saying: “Money is the root of all evil.” Arguments could be made in favor or in opposition of that assertion. But one undeniable thing is that people need money to survive, and we’d all like to have more of it.
These needs and desires can often lead people to resort to questionable tactics to acquire it. Some people engage in criminal, even violent, activities in order to accumulate more wealth.
In the business world, it’s unfortunately not uncommon to hear about financially unethical behavior such as scams, embezzlement or fraud. And when it comes to managing your money and putting in in the right places, you want to be unmistakably sure that you are partnering with an ethical, honest business.
Choosing the right lender is a process everyone should take seriously. It’s essential to work with someone you trust implicitly and one you know has your best interests at heart. Your lender should be up-front and truthful and should never be misleading.
In addition, there are potentially lenders who may not have unethical or dishonest intentions but simply might not have the reputation, skill, experience or service you need to take care of you and your money. After all, with a lender, you are entrusting a significant amount of time, money and energy to your future and security. You have to make a wise choice.
To read about the best personal loan companies, view our top recommended suggestions.
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Youre Our First Priorityevery Time
We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesnt feature every company or financial product available on the market, were proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward and free.
So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about , but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.Here is a list of our partners.
At The Closing Table All Your Fees Have Changed
If this happens to you, pull out your estimate and ask for an explanation. Continue to ask questions until you are satisfied with the answers. If you are still suspicious and do not receive satisfactory answers, get up and leave the closing table. Don’t close the transaction until you speak with a lawyer.
Help put these crooks out of business. Report predatory lenders to the Federal Trade Commission and/or your state attorney general.
Our Take On Beeline Mortgage
If youre looking for a smoother, technologically-driven approach to a conventional loan or refinance, Beeline might fit the bill. A relative newcomer to the lending market, Beeline cuts out the middleman to help you save on costs while providing quicker loan preapprovals.
Unlike traditional lenders, Beeline doesnt charge any origination, processing or underwriting fees. It also offers a Price Pact which states that if it cant beat another lenders interest rate, it will pay half of your first months mortgage with the other lender.
But it only offers conventional loans in select states. And youll have to provide logins to your financial accounts for same-day preapproval. Alternatively, you can upload your documents, but this may slow down the process a bit.
Check For An Online Presence
Before you do business with an online lender, do an internet search for the company name.
You can also look up the domain name registration to see when a website was registered. This may help you spot a site that is brand new and may have been created for unscrupulous purposes.
Loan brokers and loan companies must be registered in certain states. If they are, they will list that license information on their website. Look for it, and when in doubt, verify it.
Most importantly, before you enter any information on an online lenders website, check for a padlock in the URL to make sure the site is secure. You can then click on the padlock to see if the security certificate is up to date.
Pro tip: Never enter personal information or sensitive business information on a website that is not secure!
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Crosscountry Customer Service Reviews
An abundance of good reviews and lack of official complaints suggest that CrossCountry Mortgage customers are generally happy with the companys service.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau records all official complaints that borrowers file against their mortgage lenders. And in 2020, only 32 customers filed for issues with CrossCountry mortgage. Thats less than 1 per 100 borrowers.
In addition, CrossCountry earns an average review score of 4.84 out of 5 across a variety of review platforms.
How To Spot A Loan Scammer
Apart from watching out for the too-good-to-be-true terms and conditions, a scam can be avoided if you consider the following:
The Lender Does Not Ask For Your Credit History
Reputable financial service providers tend to pay particular attention to a debtors payment history and risk profile. Companies will also do a credit check before approving applicants as suitable for receiving personal loans. If a loan offer promises funds without a credit check, something is off. Heed the signs and steer clear.
Demand for Upfront Payment
The easiest way to identify a personal loan scam is if a lender demands money upfront. The best personal loan companies are prohibited by the Federal Trade Commission to ask for any advance payments on loan applications.
This includes forwarding funds via gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfer, or any other irregular mode of payment to an individual or group. Customers can call 877-FTC-HELP for assistance in this instance.
Website Isnt Secure
If the loan company is asking you for online banking login details or passwords in return, sever the interaction immediately. Identity theft has become particularly prevalent in recent years. Being aware of the required website security protocols and safety measures may save you from being scammed. Take note of the following:
- A secure website displays a padlock symbol to demonstrate security compliance
- A safe website URL will use the HTTPS protocol, with the s signifying a secure site
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How To Spot Mortgage Scams
In cases of mortgage fraud for profit, scammers most commonly promise victims to save their homes from foreclosure with term modifications and debt management, or to entice buyers with free services and reduced interest rates. Scammers prey on vulnerable homeowners and prospective homeowners who lack education or financial security.
Predatory mortgage lenders will often use tactics to make their offer seem like a good deal. In reality, you may be getting scammed. The following signs may indicate mortgage fraud.
How To Know If My Mortgage Broker Is Legitimate
Independent mortgage brokers are sales people trying to marry a customer to a mortgage provider. They are paid a fee by the mortgage provider for steering clients to the lender, setting them apart from loan officers tied to a specific lender. Before committing yourself to a specific mortgage broker or loan, investigate the type of license yours holds, and whether hes giving you a variety of choices, or steering you to just one loan or lender. Credentials, experience and references are important factors when selecting a mortgage broker.
Ask friends and business associates for referrals to mortgage brokers who can handle the type of loan you are looking for, whether its an FHA or a conventional mortgage. Know that every state has different licensing requirements for mortgage brokers in California, a mortgage broker can either be licensed by the Department of Corporations or the Department of Real Estate.
Interview several mortgage brokers before making a commitment. Have them substantiate information regarding their education in mortgage lending, what kind of license they hold and how long they have been in the mortgage business. Ask to see a current, valid license. Understand that a California Finance Lender license issued by the California Department of Corporations limits your broker’s lending sphere to licensed lenders, not commercial banks, savings and loans or credit unions.
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Know The Common Scams
Anytime you receive an offer that asks you to reveal personal information in exchange for a specific service, you should be suspicious, says Katherine Hutt, national spokeswoman for the Council of Better Business Bureaus in Arlington, Virginia.
Although you might receive legitimate letters in the mail from time to time, usually you have to seek help to refinance or modify your mortgage. Whats more, you must have your current lender approve and sign off on any such change, and thats not going to happen over email or a phone call with a third party, Hutt says.
The usual pitch is a special program guaranteeing a low interest rate so you can refinance your mortgage, Hutt says. She adds theres always a catch, such as needing you to fill out forms with your personal information or wire a fee to get your file started. Other scams include asking you to sign over your homes title to a company or individual in exchange for help .
Scammers will typically ask for your name, address, date of birth and Social Security number so they can steal your identity or sell it to someone else, which can be even more lucrative. In short, if its not your current lender and you dont know the company or individual making the offer, it should set off alarms. The best place for such offers is usually the trash can, but if you think the offer might be legit, be sure to do your homework thoroughly before giving out personal information or paying for services.