A Blog Post Inspired By An Exodus Client

A Mortgage Post Inspired by an Exodus Marketing ClientI was reading a post by one of our clients, Doug Jones of Mortgage Magic in central California, this morning. He decided to report someone to the BBB for what he thinks, and I fully agree, is a deceptive practice. Here’s his post on Active Rain (http://activerain.com/blogsview/3794041/i-filed-a-complaint-with-the-bbb) and below is both the text of his post and my rant response. I was inspired by this post this morning.  Doug, thank you for your post. You can find Doug at http://www.mortgagemagic.com/

By Doug Jones
Tonight I did something I have never done before. I filed a complaint with the BBB, Better Business Bureau. I did not ask for anything from the Bureau and checked the box that the information is for BBB information only.
The only reason I even thought to file a complaint is because the company boasted in a mailer that they sent out “We have an ‘A’ rating with the Better Business Bureau.”
I complained because of a mortgage flyer. The flyer is made to look official and there is an attempt to make the flyer appear to be from the clients original lender. On the outside are the words ‘Official Business ..Penalty of Unauthorized Use, $300’
The flyer was sent to my father-in-law, who recently passed away, and talks about a refinance rate of 2.875% with a payment of $599. This is an adjustable rate loan and that is OK except the flyer works hard to make the loan look like a fixed-rate loan. One of the statements is ‘Lock into a low fixed rate.’
The flyer goes further and states “Rates are at all-time lows…” Well, not anymore and this flyer asks for a response by July 26, 2013, so the lender is well aware that rates have increased. There is no company address on the flyer. I looked them up on Google.
I just noticed, way down at the bottom in small letters are the words, “This is an offer for a new 5-year adjustable rate mortgage with an interest-only payment.” The information is there and the flyer is probably legal, but I still feel it is deceptive and misleading.
If the information is ‘probably legal’ then why am I complaining? Because over the years I have had perhaps a hundred clients bring me this kind of flyer and insist that the loan is a new fixed-rate, 30-year loan. If the company is really good, why not just lay the facts out on the table and tell it like it is. There is a loan for everyone and this could be a good loan for the right person. I still feel it is misleading and designed to mislead.
My Rant…

Ah, there’s that “marketing” thing again. (I just wrote an article about the word “marketing.” Find it here.) Now consider the parties involved: on one end there’s a Loan Officer who’s trying to “market” his business. He gets an email or a phone call from a marketing company. The best they have is late night infomercial tactics like you’ve mentioned, Doug, and there’s many more. Variable data print methods that are “tailored” to the client by inserting their first and last name throughout the piece as if it’s actually personalized. The marketing company is more than willing to sell the loan officer anything he’ll buy and both parties now rely on the unsavory tactic of getting the phone to ring by any deception necessary, no matter how slight. But what about the person who sold the LO on this trickery? He’s just a guy or a gal trying to support his or her family, right? Then there’s the person on the other end of the phone when the unsuspecting homeowner “bites.” It can either be the LO who purchased the lead program OR it’s the phone room telemarketer for said “marketing company” or better yet, a “lead generation” company that then distributes the lead to any number of LO’s who’ve paid any manner of amount to get the lead first, or the description I love the most is “exclusive.” This salesperson or telemarketer is in the same position, he just needs to support his family or maybe I’ll go as far as to say his or her habit(s), who knows. It’s a free country and what people do is their own business, right? I fully support the free market system and Milton Friedman has yet to prove himself wrong at any point.

Two very important things are always overlooked. #1, the consumer! In this scenario, the consumer is the least considered; they are the pellet, the prize of food when the LO hits the button and buys the lead-generation program. Then there’s #2, the proposed program, merely just a matter of words designed to entice an unsuspecting victim.

In my personal opinion, this is the I Pencil story gone rogue, since the intention is purely profit, which I’m all for. But at what cost? Believe me, I could go on and on about this, but your time as well as my own have previous engagements.

For those unfamiliar with the story of I PENCIL you can find it here — http://tinyurl.com/36xkhq.

Thanks for the post this morning, Doug. I’m posting it on my blog at xomark.com.

End of Rant

Keith Shapiro
Customer Service / Sales Mgr
Exodus Marketing Group

P.S. There’s no substitution for integrity!