Woo Hoo! Something Realtors DON’T Have to Be Responsible For!

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My heart goes out to the good folks in the mortgage business these days. Business is TOUGH! 

A significant percentage of buyers come equipped with enough bad credit baggage to fill a truck, what with having done a recent short sale or having a recent foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure (same as a regular foreclosure, but it sounds nicer) or strategic foreclosure (a purposeful decision to walk away from a debt they CAN pay but don’t WANT to pay – don’t get me started on these).   

Combine that with the over-reaction of underwriters making it nearly impossible to qualify for a loan if the buyer has to put gas in the SUV on the way to the closing (“Oops, sorry, that gas charge 15 minutes ago just bumped your debt ratio out of whack”) or if part of the buyer’s down payment is the gift money received from Grandma for graduation and Grandma made the money having a garage sale or the buyer’s publicly traded employer has recently filed a negative outlook report with Wall Street or any number of other scenarios. 

Add in the burden of complex Good Faith Estimates which have to be redone every time anyone sneezes and you have a frustrating mix.

Our government has decided that consumers must be protected from themselves and unscrupulous lenders by instituting the Frank-Dodd Act and the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, which finally has a leader. The Federal Trade Commission has also weighed in, contributing a 22-page policy requiring special disclaimers and disclosures WHENEVER ANY CONSUMER RECEIVES ANY MORTGAGE INFORMATION FROM ANYONE, INCLUDING REALTORS®. Real estate practitioners are specifically named in that policy as being responsible for any financial information they pass on to consumers about mortgages. AND real estate practitioners must retain a copy of the exact information provided in their files for 2-6 years! 

But wait! Don’t panic! This is the time to be thankful for having licensed professional mortgage lenders in your offices. All the flyers, posters, emails, rate sheets and other collateral generated by Metro Home Mortgage, for example, already contains the required disclaimers and disclosures. AND, by allowing a MHM Home Mortgage Counselor (what we know as the loan officers) to directly email or convey this information to your prospective buyers, you are no longer responsible for cataloging and retaining all the info provided to the consumer. Thank goodness we have professionals right in our offices who can handle this latest consumer protection requirement for us!

In addition, BHGRE Metro Brokers makes sure all of its company generated materials – such as the Kitchen Sink brochure and other marketing – conforms to every rule and regulation handed down by the FTC.

If another mortgage company is providing you with information, you should ask them to create their own materials that you can use. If you want to include this kind of information in your own emails, newsletters or flyers, be ready to include ALL of the disclaimers that are necessary.

(Note: The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the writer only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the management of BHGRE Metro Brokers!)

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3 Responses to “Woo Hoo! Something Realtors DON’T Have to Be Responsible For!”

  1. Steve Adkins Says:

    For the last few years I’ve been making an effort to NOT talk about any potential mortgage info, simply because things were changing so fast and I could not keep up. Always recommending a qualified mortgage loan officer instead, so that the potential buyer could get the latest and most accurate info.

    Looks like that was a good plan afterall!

  2. Valerie McDonald Says:

    Thank you for this information. Good grief.
    I am thankful that some years ago i decided the best policy was to tell buyers that there were a number of loan options available & the a loan officer would be far better equipped to give them information about the loans that fit their situation and needs the best.

  3. Ann Bone Says:

    Excellent! Whenenver a consumer asks questions about financing, the best response may be, “I don’t have all the details but I know someone who does!” and get them in touch with a Metro Home Mortgage Counselor.

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