Just what we need - more dumbing down of the consumer at a time when mortgage loans are increasingly difficult to obtain for even the best qualified borrowers. Scary stuff.
I sincerely thought about doing this entire post in FLAMING RED. That's how frustrated ... how upset I was ... how close to flames ... after reading and viewing a video about a new Google service being launched regarding mortgage and financial services.
Attached you will find that link to the video I speak of. As a mortgage lender, this new service they are promoting to potential home buyers alarms me greatly. It totally undercuts the important messages that I am personally trying to get across to my clients and potential clients.
In this day and age ... after learning of the misconceptions and confusion that the majority of consumers presently have regarding obtaining mortgages (see recent Zillow.com survey) ... and given the repercussions currently being felt in our present housing market (and financially) from poor information, guidance, and mortgage servicing meted-out in the not-too-distant-past ... the launching of this new Google service IN REGARDS TO MORTGAGES seems almost flagrantly cruel and abusive ... unconscionable.
To suggest that consumers themselves without obtaining any guidance can just "plug-in" all the personal financial and property information needed in today's mortgage processing and arrive at reliable conclusions, is so totally misleading. Yet, Google gives that impression, even going as far to say that consumers can continue on after the initial Google search and comparisons and fill-out an application for mortgage loan online. They suggest that very little, if any, actual interaction or guidance from a mortgage professional is needed until that time! That is so untrue.
I don't think I need go into all the ways this could possibly hurt or delay the actions of a potential home buying consumer. How it could shake their faith in our mortgage industry even further ... sour them on trying to buy or refinance ... after they have utilized this (IMO) unreliable service. In a world where our mortgage industry already suffers from poor perception, this can't help heal.
The fact that it is Google that is offering this ... the power and size of Google behind it, just alarms the heck out of me. Others may offer something similar, but they don't carry the weight that this powerhouse does.
I have to say that I also find the suggestion that what I offer in guidance and services, and what I perform as a mortgage lending professional ... can just be "plugged-in" ... more than a little maddening and demeaning. With over 35 years of experience and expertise to offer my mortgage clients, what I know and what I do cannot be "plugged-in" or easily replaced.
For me, this Google service undercuts my personal battle to convince potential home buyers that education is key to their success in buying a home. It also undermines the message that home buying must be planned and prepared for in advance. That it is a client's personal and individual financial details, along with the specific property they are buying, that dictate the outcome of their mortgage processing.
Honestly, how can the average home buyer begin to understand all the many steps that need to be taken to secure a mortgage today without the aid of a qualified, experienced mortgage lender? All the underwriting details ... the property appraisal issues ... possible seller/REO issues ... and more. How??? Yet Google would lead consumers to believe just that.
Take a moment to view this video clip regarding this new Google service. Let me know what YOU think ...