of web sites when searching for information. Who or what you think is behind a specific site might not be what you think. Just as the picture, 'who is the man behind the mask'. Just as in mortgage web sites, are you dealing with the government such as HUD or USDA, or lenders and lead generators pretending to be someone else.
What leads me to this blog is because someone left a comment on one of my USDA loan blogs and left a link to a web site. It was one of theirs that makes it appear as a web site for the USDA. If you do your research, it's a lead generator. It's wear you leave your information and this company puts you in touch with numerous lenders. But you would not know this unless you know what to look for. Besides, he had an Active Rain profile, which described what he does for business.
As many of you know or those that follow my blogs, I am all about education. I have never claimed to know it all, but if I don't, I will try to find the correct information. After explaining to this gentleman my thoughts and opinions about leaving his link as a comment, and that I felt his site was misleading to the general public, he wrote back to me. This is what he said.
"www.fhaloansfhamortgages.com This is a FHA site, right?"
He referred to my other blog site that is listed above, trying to tell me that I am advertising that site as an FHA site for FHA loans. I then stated that I don't see how that is possible, when not only do I give my name at the top right part of the site, but there is an about me page, telling people a little information about myself. His site? In my opinion, it truly leads me to believe that it is the USDA site. Here is the front page and you be the judge.
I am sorry, but I have a problem with a site like this. In big bold white letters, it states USDA Rural Development and then opens with the statement, "USDA Rural Development Welcomes You". I know what the USDA site looks like, but do many of you? If you were searching and came across this site, would you know any differently? Do you know this site gathers names and e-mail address and sells them to other lenders? Here is the USDA loans site - USDA Loans -
Do you know that all domain names ending in dot gov has to be approved and registered. There is even a government site that states this. Government Domain Registration & Services - This site protects domain name integrity and this is found on the front page. Here is what it says :
"Domain Name Integrity
To maintain domain name integrity, eligibility is limited to qualified government organizations and programs. Having a managed domain name such as .gov assures your customers that they are accessing an official US Government Site."
My point on web sites is, look at the URL, the very end of it, ( end in dot gov is a clear indication that the government is watching over the site.) This can usually give you a better indication to who is running the site, who is in charge of the site.
I have also seen many FHA web pages claiming to be the main site for FHA loans. There is only one main site and that is called www.hud.gov What I do appreciate and respect are those sites that might look and feel like the main site by the government, but they state right on the site that it's not a government site. Here are a few examples.
Both of these are clippings for other FHA web sites that talk about FHA loans and FHA mortgages. And as you can see, they don't claim to be all about FHA through the government. The first one even says that it's not affiliated with any government agencies, including FHA. I do have a problem with some of these though, because they make these statements in very small letters at the bottom of the site. If you aren't reading the whole site, you might miss this.
Here is one that I have a slight problem with.... this site puts you in contact with other lenders that can do FHA loans. Remember the old saying that people usually don't do anything for free? Well, do you think web sites give out free information? This FHA web site is what I call a lead generator. They put you in contact with other lenders and receive a fee for this from them. Who do you think this fee usually gets passed down to? You, the borrower, because it's carried as an advertisement expense by the lender that signs up for this type of service.
Summary : My whole purpose of this blog is to educate others in what to look for. There are many very helpful web sites out there in regards to USDA loans, FHA loans, VA loans, and mortgages in general. But don't get fooled that you are talking to a government agency or someone giving you information, but who may be capturing your information without you knowing it. Many of these sites have disclose this, but you have to go looking for it on that particular site. Just be careful out there.
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Experience & Knowledge at its BEST !!!
For more information on FHA loans, please go to this link. The FHA Expert
For more information about the 2009 Tax Credit for First Time Homebuyers : 2009 Tax Credit
For important mortgage insight to watch for, please read : Consumers need to be aware of these Red Flags !!!!
Copyright © 2009 by Jeff Belonger