The Latest Home Scams To Know & How To Avoid Them
New scams continue to pop up every day and scammers will try every angle, including things relating to your home. The Better Business Bureaus online Scam Tracker lists more than 44,000 scams reported in the U.S. this year alone . So what are some of the latest scams to look out for, and how can you avoid them? Here are three home scams to know so that you can stay informed and avoid getting taken advantage of by thieves:
What Is Mr Cooper
Mr. Cooper is one of the nations largest home loan servicers and offers refinancing for existing loans and mortgages for new home purchases. It prioritizes simplicity in the homebuying or selling process, providing customers with a fast, low-stress experience. Borrowers can get prequalified online in minutes and receive a same-day approval letter when ready to buy.
Mr. Cooper also features a Real Estate Rewards program. The company uses the Xome network of real estate agents to offer savings on commissions and closing costs, keeping your homebuying or selling costs low. It has a U.S.-based customer service team and focuses on its customers needs.
You can track the status of your mortgage application online and manage your account with its mobile app. Borrowers can make payments online with no extra fees. Mr. Cooper also guarantees an on-time closing or the company pays your first mortgage payment.
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.
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Mr Cooper Mortgage Review For 2022
Aside from its rates and fees, heres what borrowers should know about Mr. Cooper.
- Mr. Cooper has an A rating from the Better Business Bureau
- The company seems to receive more customer complaints than other major lenders however, many of those complaints have to do with Mr. Coopers loan servicing branch
- Theres no option to apply online. But after submitting an application, there are options to upload documents and track your loan status online
It seems a bit odd that a company with a good mobile app and online services doesnt offer webbased applications.
To be fair, the company says that talking directly with a loan officer helps customers find the best type of mortgage. But if you really want an allonline process, this might not be the company for you.
One potential benefit of working with Mr. Cooper is the companys CloseOnTime Guarantee.
This guarantee states that If your closing is delayed because of something on our end, well cover your first months mortgage payment .
In addition, Mr. Cooper customers might be able to take advantage of the Mr. Cooper Real Estate Rewards program. The company says home buyers can potentially save thousands on real estate agents fees and through a buyers bonus credit.
But to access those savings, you have to use an agent within the companys StreetSmarts network, which is managed by Mr. Cooper affiliate Xome.
My Mr Cooper Experience
Today, I write to you guys as a homeowner and an apparently new Mr. Cooper “client”.
I received two collections calls from a company that I’ve never done any businesses, Mr. Cooper. Being in the banking and finance space for the past 15 years, I have come to know Mr. Cooper as a rebrand of Nationstar mortgage, a second rate mortgage servicer out of Dallas, Texas.
A little search on the internet shows that Mr. Cooper is basically a company run by crooks. Check out their sad one star rating on Yelp. .
Now back to my day. The first call came around 8am EST. A woman caller with limited command of the English language called and asked to speak to me. My fraud senses immediately perked up. She said she works for Mr. Cooper and wants to speak to me about my mortgage. To which, I said I don’t have an account with Mr. Cooper. She basically said, okay and then hung up.
Luckily I know someone that works at Mr. Cooper and immediately reported the incident to that person about someone pretending to be employees of Mr. Cooper fishing for information from consumers.
I called back to the number +1 834-8021 and sure enough the voice recording is Mr. Cooper, the recording the proceeds to say “… being a mortgage servicer, we also need to collect …”.
My initial reaction is that these fraudsters are getting clever by the day and even have recordings to mimic a “legitimate” company. I went on my day without a second thought.
Me: I don’t
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What Can You Do Online With Mr Cooper
Since Mr. Cooper offers no physical locations, the company relies solely on telephone and online support for all its offerings. The company launched a completely retooled online and web app to better support its customers in 2016. While the site is easy to navigate and modern-looking, the functionality is lacking in some regards. For one, you cant prequalify for a mortgage using the online site alone. Each option from applying for a 30-year fixed rate, to refinancing or just prequalifying sends you to a contact form with a customer service phone number, or the option to fill in your information for a representative to call you. Its not the most useful for online-savvy customers trying to get a head start. Another issue is the lack of a search bar. While the navigational sidebar is easy to use, it doesnt have all your needs captured. The lack of ability to search can be frustrating if youre trying to find something specific.
That said, Mr. Cooper does offer plenty of educational resources on its site. Tools and resources include home buying guides and an extensive explanations of each mortgage term youre likely to come across.
Fha Loans At Mr Cooper
Borrowers who need more flexible loan terms might turn to FHA loans. These loans provide competitive interest rates and are backed by the federal government. This backing encourages a lender to approve a borrower with a lower credit score and a down payment as low as 3.5%.
In exchange for less stringent underwriting guidelines, borrowers have to pay an upfront mortgage insurance premium of 1.75% of the loan amount to the FHA. Additionally, the FHA charges an annual MIP of 0.45% to 1.05% of the total loan balance. This amount is broken down into monthly payments and remains throughout the duration of the loan. To get rid of it, the borrower must refinance into a non-FHA loan.
FHA loans are best suited for borrowers with lower credit scores or smaller down payments. If you have been saving for a down payment, but home prices are rising faster than you can save, then an FHA loan might be a good option for you.
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Nationstar A Troubled Mortgage Company With A Terrible Reputation Has Changed Its Name To Mr Cooper How’s That Working
1:00 PM on Sep 13, 2018 CDT
A hated mortgage company tries again.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Cooper.
You’re 1 year old today. Blow out the candle. Make a wish. The Watchdog is checking on your growth and development.
You’re one of the nation’s biggest home mortgage companies, based in Coppell. And that is your name.
What kind of name is that for a giant mortgage company?
The answer is a good example of how America is the land of second chances.
Until a year ago, your company name was Nationstar Mortgage, and you were infamous for customer service so bad some of your clients say they lost their homes because of your staff’s incompetence. Others told me they tried for months to correct your errors on their account.
“Hey Watchdog,” somebody would say, “let me tell you about my messed-up mortgage company.”
“Let me guess,” I’d answer. “Nationstar?”
If you did an Internet search for Nationstar, you saw ugly comments by the hundreds.
Dallas Morning News business reporter Jill Cowan reported last year that your CEO, Jay Bray, said: “We took a look in the mirror and looked at the industry overall, and we knew we needed a change.”
Cowan reported that your CEO said millennials would require “a more personalized experience” in the future.
You spent about $5 million on your rebranding project, and out of that came the idea of this bowtie-wearing avatar representing the Mr. Cooper concept.
So how’s that going, Mr. Cooper? Let’s see.
Can I Stop My Mortgage From Being Sold
In addition, the new mortgage owner is required to provide you with its contact information within 30 days after the transfer. … Beyond that, the lender has every right to sell your loan and you can’t do anything stop it, said Tammi Lindley, senior loan officer for the Tammi Lindley Team, a mortgage lender.
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A Simple Selection Of Home Loans May Not Make Up For This Lenders Poor Reputation
finder.coms rating: 3.5 / 5.0
Nationstar Mortgage rebranded itself in August 2017 and has since been doing business as Mr. Cooper. The mortgage provider has a small suite of home loans available and boasts a couple of money-saving programs. But dubious customer experiences and former questionable practices make Mr. Cooper a risky choice.
|Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Refinance|
|Minimum credit score|
How Do You Know If It’s Worth Refinancing
Mortgage rates have gone down So how much should mortgage rates fall before you consider whether refinancing is worth it? The traditional rule of thumb says to refinance if your rate is 1% to 2% below your current rate. Make sure to factor in your current loan term when considering refinance though.
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Mr Cooper: Mortgage Rates And Fees
Mr. Cooper advertises daily interest rates for conventional loans with 30-year and 15-year terms along with 30-year FHA and VA loans. These rates are based on a few assumptions, such as that your credit score is at least 740, youre buying 2 discount points, and your down payment is 30%. So everyone wont be able to qualify for the lowest advertised rates.
Mr. Cooper didnt send a list of fees they charge at closing, but the following costs are common across the industry:
- Tax service fee
- Title services such as attorney fee, survey, and title insurance
Current Mr. Cooper customers can get a credit for up to 0.5% off their interest rate when purchasing a home. So for every $100,000 of the loan amount, borrowers save about $500.
To qualify for a conventional mortgage, borrowers need a credit score of at least 620 and a minimum down payment of 3%, though the down payment may increase for certain loans. Borrowers applying for FHA loans will need a credit score of at least 580 and down payment of 3.5%. VA loans at Mr. Cooper require a minimum credit score of 600. Theres no down payment with VA loans, though borrowers may need to cover an upfront funding fee.
After closing, some borrowers choose to sell their home, refinance, or pay off the balance. If you decide to do so, you wont have to worry about a prepayment penalty.
The Settlement Is Seen As A Warning To Mortgage Loan Servicers Against Preying On Borrowers During The Pandemic
Nationstar Mortgage, which rebranded as Mr. Cooper, agreed to a $91 million settlement this week for allegedly violating consumer protection laws after the Great Recession. The case could serve as a warning to companies that prey on borrowers during the pandemic.
The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau collaborated with attorneys general from all 50 states and mortgage regulators in 53 jurisdictions including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in the case against Nationstar, which is the largest non-bank home loan servicer in the country.
The CFPB said the settlement involves allegations that Nationstar violated consumer protection laws during its servicing of mortgage loans between January 2012 and the end of 2015. The proposed agreement, if approved by the court, will result in $85 million in payments to consumers and more than $6 million in fees and penalties.
Nationstar also entered into a separate settlement agreement with the Justice Department to address past mortgage servicing issues affecting homeowners under bankruptcy protection. Under that settlement, the Justice Department said U.S. Bank, PNC and Nationstar will provide more than $74 million in redress payments to homeowners. Most of the remediation and corrective actions have already been taken by the servicers, the Justice Department said.
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How Much Money Do I Need For A Down Payment
The larger the down payment you are able to make, the less youll have to finance when you purchase a home. On a conventional mortgage, making a down payment of at least 20% will prevent you from having to pay for private mortgage insurance. The minimum down payment required varies based on the type of mortgage you obtain. In 2019, the median down payment for first-time buyers was 6%.
Refinancing With Mr Cooper
Refinancing a home loan may help you save money, borrow against your home equity, or adjust your loan term. Mr. Cooper offers the following types of refinance loans:
- Cash-out refinances: If you have enough home equity, you may be able to take out a new mortgage for more than you owe. Youll pay down the old loan and keep the rest of the money, which you can use for any expense. There are trade-offs, though, as your mortgage payments and payoff timeline will both increase.
- Rate-and-term refinances: A rate-and-term refi allows you to swap out your interest rate, new loan term, or both. Homeowners usually apply for rate-and-term refinances to save money or switch from an ARM to a fixed-rate loan.
- Streamline refinances: If you have an existing government-sponsored loan, you might be able to save money through the VA interest rate reduction refinance loan or the FHA streamline loan. These programs cut out some of the paperwork involved with a refinance and make it easier to save money.
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What Is Mortgage Insurance
Private mortgage insurance, also known as PMI, protects the lender in the event that you default on your mortgage. Typically, if you make a down payment of less than 20% of your homes purchase price, you will be required to pay PMI. How much youll pay for this insurance will vary, depending on factors that include the size of your down payment and your credit score.
Nationstar Leadership Lets Companys Marketing Team Rebrand It As Mr Cooper
It seems like Nationstar Mortgage wants to rebrand itself in the image Gary Cooper.
Meet Mr. Cooper. The new name of Nationstar Mortgage. Nationstar entered 2017 looking for a fresh start and apparently a name change was just the thing. They didnt choose just any name.
They chose to name the company after movie icon Gary Cooper. Nationstar also plans to base their corporate governance around characters the late actor portrayed in the movies.
2016 was not a good year for the mortgage servicer. The embattled servicer lost several senior executives and the value of Nationstars stock dropped by 60%. They also were busted for trying to scam a 9/11 first responder.
Customers also describe their experiences with Nationstar as being like in the nightmare world of an Alice Cooper song.
Nationstar was also issued a fine by the CFPB in March forHMDA violations.
CEO Jay Bray and his team felt an offbeat, very personalized identity is just the ticket. Bray told investors on an earnings call:
Mr. Cooper is meant to be that advocate that person thats going to connect with the customers. To deliver best better experience and to be an advocate for them day in and day out.
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Home Improvement Scams & Disaster Recovery Scams
After a major storm like a hurricane, blizzard, or flood, there are unfortunately shady contractors who prey on those dealing with the aftermath. There are also contractors in every market throughout the year that could be trying to scam you. Make sure you use trusted referrals, speak with past clients, check online reviews, and read tips and tricks to ensure youre dealing with a legitimate contractor. Its also a good idea to speak with multiple contractors and get at least three bids in writing on any major projects, so that you can compare prices and materials estimates. Also check to confirm that your contractor is licensed and insured and look into their background by checking sites like the BBB. No matter what, take your time to do your homework and dont feel pressured to work with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable or like the business relationship is only on their terms.Red Flags To Watch For: If anyone asks for 100% payment upfront, you should be weary. Its common to pay for a portion of work up front to cover materials costs, but if youre expected to pay in full before having work done, you might want to consider another contractor. Contracting job scammers often go door-to-door, so also be weary of anyone who stops by your house.