Mortgage Advertising - It can be very deceptive - Be Very Careful

Mortgage and Lending with Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc


mortgage advertising at times can be very deceptive


Why do many advertise. To make money, right?  You have to spend money to make money. But are some ads deceptive or misleading? You betcha.

What about the little giveaways or gimmicks offered when people advertise? Aren't they spending more money on top of the money that they are spending on their advertising? 

There is a very large company that does tax returns who also has a mortgage division advertising on t.v. now. If you close on a loan prior to December 31st, 2010, you will be entered into a contest. The winner will have their mortgage paid off up to $250,000. WOW....   In my opinion, it just shows that they make some decent money off of their clients. They have call centers set up, and in my opinion, many of the loan officers are just of average nature. Yes, bait and switch tactics are still used.

There is a lender in my local market that advertises and part of their ad states that they have the ability to close the fastest and most efficiently in the country because of a special system that they created. Okie Dokie - And that can be backed up how? Hey, you just give it a whirl kiddo and if it happens, it happens. If not, hope you have 2 + months on your hands.




~ TYPES OF MORTGAGE ADVERTISING ~  The numbers in parentheses are the number of search results when searching those exact terms that are highlighted on Google.


Best Interest Rates (14,400,000 search results) 

Lowest Interest rates Guaranteed (10,400,000)  - How to find those best interest rates -

10 day closing guaranteed (83,300,000) - you truly need to read the fine print on this one.

Call Now For a No Cost Mortgage (65,600,000)

Fastest closing (4,860,000) wow.. search this and be surprised.

Best rates available (102,000,000)

Honest mortgage lenders (155,000) - yes, you read this one correct. Sorry, but if you have to advertise this, I have a major problem with it.


Conclusion ?? - Just key words that many will search because that is what they are looking for. The best of the best. What did your honest grandma tell you? If it's to good to be true, then it usually is.



Here is an ad found on the internet



false and misleading mortgage advertising

































What is unique about this advertisement? It is not an actual mortgage company, but a company that sets you up with other lenders on their approved lenders list. Where lenders have to pay a monthly advertising fee to get these leads.  What about that one that we have seen advertised for over a decade... Something Tree? Lending something?  Just search Lending and they pop up first. Same set up.

My point about this particular ad? This company doesn't haven't to comply with normal advertising rules and laws for mortgage companies, because this company doesn't directly lend. Yes, very sad in deed. So what is wrong with this ad?

  • The rate advertised, you don't know if it's a fixed rate or arm unless you read the fine print. It states that it's a 5/1 arm.
  • The adjusted payment that they give you is incorrect, it's not the worse case scenario. That payment should be anywhere from $100 to $200 higher. Why is my range so broad?  Because we don't know if it's a FHA loan or a conventional loan. Why does that matter? The caps are different on each type of loan. Meaning, the maximum adjustment for that rate after 5 years are up.
  • No hidden fees and just low rates. hhhmmm Just attention grabbers. Makes you feel all warm, fuzzy, and safe, right?
  • Endorsements - Ah, one of my favorite topics. Look who is endorsing this particular company. MSNBC, CNN Money, and the Wall Street Journal. All places that are highly respected and known. Gee, my local NBC affiliate endorses the company that I tried mentioning above, who I told you to search by the first word "Lending". I worked for a company, who had a division that I didn't work for, who used them. You had to bait and switch the rates and fees just to be competitive.  Even though certain laws have changed in the last year, this can still be done. So many loop holes.



Summary :  When shopping for mortgages, you just need to be very very careful. I could tell you hundreds of stories, all based on my knowledge of how the mortgage industry operates and based on my opinions. But just beware of many different red flags. We all want your business. Key factor : We all get our money basically from the same place, Wall Street. Meaning, most rates are very close. Those promised best offers? You do the math... and this goes for real estate ads and such...



Below are some great posts concerning different types of advertising and methods.


Shopping for mortgages - The Public Image of Advertising that is misleading !!!! - Part 1 of 2

Advertisements - Is the grass greener on the other side?

How does one advertise? Is it misleading? Important things to beware of !!! Part 1 of 2

The no cost mortgage myth - by Ken Cook -

Shopping for mortgages - It's not like shopping for cars - This post has two good mortgage stories

Shopping for mortgage interest rates - A great post explaining to you on what to look for. The main point, find out what your lock terms and policies are before you go with the lender and not after... such as a potential client of mine did. Finding out 3 days later that he couldn't lock in until the appraisal was done. Rut row..


Posted by




follow Jeff Belonger on Twitter


The FHA Expert's fan page on Facebook     Add Jeff Belonger to your network @ LinkedIN

                                                                            FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK



- FHA Loans - USDA Loans - VA Loans -

- Energy Efficient Mortgages - 

- Conventional Loans - 203 k loans -

- FHA Home Loans - Mortgages -


Experience & Knowledge at its BEST !!!



Follow me on:

Mortgage Myth Busters



For more information on FHA loans, please go to this link. The FHA Expert

For important mortgage insight to watch for, please read : Consumers need to be aware of these Red Flags!



For information about FHA myths & FHA rumors, please read : FHA Myths & Rumors


Copyright © 2011 by Jeff Belonger of Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc

Comments (32)

Ellen Kippel
Weichert Realtors - Suffern, NY
Licensed NY and NJ realtor 914-588-2365

I appreciate your article.  A word to the wise ......

Oct 08, 2010 07:36 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


MARTI... . thanks as always for the feature in your group and for the cookies.. ;o)

GLENN... .  my pleasure and to hear such a comment coming from another loan officer.  thanks

ELLEN... . my pleasure and thanks for the comment.

SUZANNE... . I would be interested in seeing what you include these post in... In any case, thanks and thanks for the polite compliments..

CARLA... .  I didn't try that search, since I know it's basically dead, except for specific states and their bond programs.  Thanks for the feedback.

ELLEN... . always a word to the wise... sometimes we must beat into their heads.. It might sound harsh, but some still think that the best ads have the best offers.


Oct 08, 2010 07:49 AM
Alex Morris - Austin Real Estate Agent
Austin, TX

10-day closing?  With cash that is tough.  Your overall point is well received.  MOST of these ads on the Internet are trash, to put it politely.  That is yet another reason we are so valuable to help the general consumer avoid such scams.

Oct 08, 2010 07:52 AM
Marilyn Boudreaux
Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Bono Realty - Lake Charles, LA
Lake Charles LA Century 21 Realtor

Just had this discussion come up as I was working on a block ad for my husband and I in a real estaste publication.  Got to stay compliant!!

Oct 08, 2010 08:15 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

The words of P.T. Barnum still ring true. 

Very informative post, Jeff.

Oct 08, 2010 09:13 AM
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Interesting and informative post today. Thanks for getting it out to us.

Patricia/Seacoast NH

Oct 08, 2010 10:04 AM
Deborah "Dee Dee" Garvin
C2 Financial - San Diego, CA
C2 Financial

Jeff,  You have totally outdone yourself on this post!!!  So glad it was featured!  I stand amazed that there is still so much "sleight of hand" going on in our industry.  It seems like bad guys/gals just get more creative in their scams the tighter the market becomes.  I agree the elderly are really being targeted...what is it about the reverse mortgage that rears it's head every time the market gets tough?  I also continue to see a proliferation of scams on specific minority/ethnic groups (more often than not by people of the same group).  Love this post!

Oct 08, 2010 10:47 AM
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

We have person in our area advertising "Loan Modifications - 2% Rates Available..."  Not sure how they can keep their license - or keep from having APR violations for every such roadside sign.

Oct 08, 2010 12:40 PM
Jay Beckingham
Christensen Financial Mortgage - Port St Lucie, FL
Seniors ROCK!

bring back the 1% mortgage

daddy used to say if it looks to good to be know the rest.


Oct 08, 2010 12:44 PM
John Cassels
Sterling Savings Bank - Tacoma, WA
NMLS #197076

Great post Jeff,

I wonder if the "As seen on..." refers to the fact that they are advertising on those websites?

I have seen many of those 10 day close ads in our market.  One of the Real Estate Magazines had Lenders 1up'n each other.. started with the 21 day close, 15, 10 and even 7.  Reminded me of those late night Abdominal Exercise Infomercials.   


Oct 08, 2010 01:37 PM
Barbara Altieri
Better Homes and Gardens RE Shore and Country Properties - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Ah..yes. Read the small print! Looks good on first glance until you really delve into it. It is sad that so many consumers are sucked in by deceptive advertising and bait and switch. Keep educating, Jeff.  You're doing a great job!

Oct 08, 2010 02:06 PM
Lori Fishkind
Reliant Realty - Franklin, TN

There is a lot of advertising out there that is misleading.  There is an agent in my market who does a radio spot.  It talks about internet exposure, their marketing, etc.  Then, sometime during the commercial, it says something like homes listed with them are seen by more people in a week, than the average agent shows in an entire year.


Sounds great, except that they aren't really talking about more showings in one week, are they?  Drives me nuts.

Oct 08, 2010 03:12 PM
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Jeff -- An astute buyer can sniff this stuff out a mile away.  For buyers that aren't astute, they need to learn some critical thinking and analysis skills to not help contribute to dealing with businesses that don't have a solid business plan and can compete verifiability and with a strong local presence.  That said, I'm sure it works, sadly so.

Oct 08, 2010 04:17 PM
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Sohere's what you need: a auto translator. if the ad says this, it really means that. Dog really means cat and so on. Now that would be good advertising!

Oct 08, 2010 07:02 PM
Doyle Beekman
The Beekman Group-Keller Williams, Austin - Cedar Park, TX

It's like a game where there are no rules. They start to make up their own and and consumers get sucked into the vortex one by one......sad.

Oct 09, 2010 12:45 AM
Melissa Juarez
Massachusetts Buyers Broker Agency, LLC - Quincy, MA

Jeff, as always a solid explanation of what's out there. It is sometimes a minefield for prospective buyers. 

Oct 09, 2010 01:30 AM
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Jeff: It's funny how most of the public knows this stuff yet often falls for it anyway. I'm thankful that my clients are a little sharper than most. They seem to go for the trust factor and we all know that advertising isn't a very trusted medium! Thanks for the post.

Oct 09, 2010 02:55 AM
Steve McCoole
Mortgage Alliance Group - San Diego, CA - NMLS#305667 - San Diego, CA

One of the ones I love is a radio ad from a Mortgage Banker in the L.A. area whose slogan is "It's our money and our rules".  The implication of course being that they can make loans in situations that others can't.  

HaHa, THEIR money is a warehouse line that they need to get that loan off of ASAP and their rules are going to be overlay after overlay on top of the agency guidelines.

Oct 09, 2010 03:07 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


I just wanted to thank everyone for the comments and for the polite compliments... I will try and get back to everyone later...  thanks

Oct 09, 2010 03:08 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

We try to warn our customers about these bogus 'great deals' and most often they listen.  A few occasionally get burned looking for that wonderful deal that doesn't exist.

Oct 10, 2010 12:41 AM