Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mortgage mail cranks up?

Today's mail brought three solicitations for mortgage loans. Despite everything some mortgage players seem to be stepping up to the plate again. In fact today they barely lost, 4-3, to credit card. The credit card team now is playing with focus mostly on its usual rewards game with the more aggressive balance transfer tact not being pushed quite as much as before it seems. The mortgage team, despite its loss today, is continuing to play with some flair, demonstrating still that they'll go for the attention getting plays, win or lose. Those plays today were:
---Bank of America, the bank of opportunity, detailing their "GREAT RATE Refi Event". "You're pre-qualified" it says but this limited time offer ends on 11/30/2007. "Pre-qualified", thanks. The pitch stresses the trustworthiness of BofA , superior service, and its strength and stability. The sane side of this is that they promise reduced rates, but don't specify the rates and do not indicate amounts. This is, by any measure these days, a rational advertisement and it's somewhat nice to see some liquidity still being pushed.
---Play number 2 is a more entertaining. It's from Household Finance, "Member HSBC Group". It comes with a fake check, fake mortgage recording document, and offers to refinance $350,000 plus an additional $20,000 extra to pay off credit card debt. It's a fixed rate of 6.13%, can be funded in 10 days, and the proof of income required is "NONE". There's a P.S. that says "This program covers a wide range of credit scores and special situations, such as late payments, bankruptcy, over extended credit and employment issues, just to name a few."(What else is there---can someone live in Latvia, or be convicted of fraud, or be 12) Bring-em on. The last page of more dense and fine type does inform folks that the check is not real and that the loan quoted in all of the fake documents is only available to people with "excellent credit histories". And those are the people that would take this seriously and already cut out the check and call Mama about it? This is bizarre, and it comes out of something owned by those upstanding Scots. Odd.
---Play number 3 comes from Altis Home Funding Corp., "The Gentle Giant Spanning the Globe"(not making this up). It proposes an interest only $300,000 loan at 6%, plus an additional $35,000 to pay off car loans, credit cards, "or whatever". Bankrupcy, late payments, unemployed, "many of these situations are no longer an obstacle in today's lending environment". The firm is located in Orangeburg, NY, where apparently there is not cable service or newspaper delivery. Limited time offer so must "call within 5 days to secure rate".This looks like a bait and switch con, still going on. Come to think of it, the Household Finance offer is heading in the same direction.

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