Trigger Leads: How to Protect Yourself From Mortgage Spam
Knutson + Casey is currently representing a family who is enrolled in a witness protection program in Minnesota. When they went to get a mortgage to purchase their new home in a secret location, they claimed that Wells Fargo negligently distributed their names and location to the public. And they began to receive unwanted solicitations regarding their property.
So we began to look at how to avoid these unwanted solicitations.
When you apply for a mortgage loan, you may start to receive solicitations from what are called “Trigger Leads”. Trigger leads occur from several sources, including mortgage lenders and even credit bureaus that run your credit report. The solicitations can be confusing, as they may misrepresent that they have a relationship with your lender or mortgage account.
How do you protect yourself from Mortgage Spam?
- The first thing to do is to talk to your mortgage lender about how to avoid your information being sold to trigger lead companies. They may have forms that allow you to opt out and protect your information.
- The second thing to do is to opt out from trigger leads with the 4 credit bureaus. This can be done by visiting the Optout site run by the Consumer Credit Reporting Agency. You can go to their site here: https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t
- Third, you can register with the Direct Mail Association. It only costs $1.00 to register. You can register online or by mail. It takes some time to this to take effect, once you register. But it typically lasts for 5 years, so it is well worth the $1.00.
- Lastly, if you want to stop unwanted sales calls, you can register with the National Do Not Call Registry: https://www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx
Beware that every time you apply for a mortgage or credit, the lender and the credit reporting agencies may be selling your information to vendors and spammers. It is worth taking these steps to minimize your exposure.