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You may be surprised to learn how fast Experian, Equifax and Trans Union are selling your customer's data to the highest bidder. 

They have taken pre-screened marketing lists to another level. So called “Trigger Lists” are, thus far, deemed legal by the FTC; however, in the eyes of many, not very ethical.

The three national repositories have created a de facto marketing department for mostly large mortgage companies willing to pay upwards of $30,000 a month for these lists. Most notably, Experian’s Prospect Trigger Report provides your client’s name, FICO scores, phone number and other pertinent data as fast as 24 hours after you pull your client’s credit report.

Lenders with substantial marketing budgets are able to buy lists of consumers who have had their credit accessed for mortgage purposes and immediately begin soliciting those consumers over the phone. Most small to medium size brokerages are often unable to afford this type of expense on a regular monthly basis. Large corporations, on the other hand, do not face the same expense restrictions further putting the average mortgage broker at a distinct competitive disadvantage.

This is creating a very uneasy situation in the mortgage industry. By default, almost every small to medium size mortgage broker is becoming a lead factory for large mortgage banks prepared to swoop in and take your hard-earned customer. Your national industry association, the NAMB, has taken a strong stance against this practice as a violation of the FCRA and as a practice not in the best interest of consumers. The NAMB has met with representatives of the FTC and Congress to discuss the use of prescreening by third party lead generators and the potential negative impact it will have on consumers and the mortgage industry.

We certainly will hear more about the practice of Trigger Lists in the months ahead. In the meantime, consumers can opt-out by visiting and completing the simple 5-year opt-out form or by calling 888-567-8688. When discussing this option with your clients please make them aware of the following:

  • Opting out (or not opting out) has no impact on their credit score. 
  • Removing their name from these lists for firm offers of credit or insurance DOES NOT affect their ability to obtain credit or insurance. 
  • Consumers may not submit opt-out requests on behalf of other members of their family. 
  • The opt-out process can take up to 5 business days to take effect. 

How to Educate and Support Your Clients

Vision and Planning

The successful mortgage professional is one who can service their clients to such a level that they will come back again and again and provide referral business as a result of their positive experience with your company.

300 loyal clients can create a very busy month or year for most. How is it then, that while they place their trust in us, we are unable to protect them better? 

Send off a customer-focused mailer to your entire client base. This letter should be a positive message of value added service. Let your clients know that they can ease the load on their daily junk mail (creditors they currently use can continue to send mail) and stop their information from being sold to the next bidder when they come back to co-sign, refinance or purchase a new home.

Sample Client Letter

Dear Mr. and Ms. Client:

It has been a while since we have had the opportunity to talk. Rarely do things stand still in our industry. The major credit bureaus are now selling your information to creditors, banks and mortgage companies. 

Are you getting too much junk mail these days? This is why. 

We would like you to consider visiting and complete the simple 5-yearopt-out form. You can also do this over the phone by calling 888-567-8688. This process will not only limit the amount of junk mail you receive over the next 5 years, but will also stop the credit bureaus from selling your information the next time you visit us to refinance or purchase a new home. 

Please contact us directly with any questions.

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