Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Credit Bureaus Selling Client's Personal Information

Did you know that the credit bureaus sell your clients' personal information? It's true! The same agencies that possess your clients' most vital credit information will flag the files of those applying for home loans and sell their personal information as leads to the highest bidders.

With a price tag of $25 to $100 or more, your clients' names and certain specifics about their credit reports, including addresses, phone numbers, mortgage histories, and even FICO score ranges, are sold to unscrupulous mortgage companies which then blindly solicit their business. The practice creates "trigger leads" of your clients, causing a flood of unwanted phone calls and mail offers which they may wrongly attribute to you. This could result in a significant loss of trust, costing you future business and referrals.

Unfortunately, no legislation presently exists to prevent credit bureaus from profiting at your clients' expense. As trigger leads, they are simply at the mercy of any number of pie-in-the-sky offers designed specifically to try and discredit you and the mortgage professional you know and trust. Ultimately, there are only a limited number of sources where lenders may turn to obtain mortgage money, and it's unlikely that your clients will find an unbelievably low rate without an unbelievably high cost.

Your best option is to protect your clients from this unfortunate scenario through proper education and preparation. That's why, prior to taking an application for any loan program, I always encourage borrowers to opt-out of credit bureau solicitations by visiting This is a good way to avoid the problem altogether.

As your clients embark on what could be the largest financial transaction of their lives, it's important to have a professional mortgage specialist on your team who will have their best interests at heart.