Mortgage mailbag


I received this letter in the mail today. Like you, I’ve received thousands of these in the past few years and always throw them out without a second glance. But after weeks of reading about the misery spreading among those on the rough edge of the credit market crisis, I felt compelled to ponder this piece.

This company is lying to me in order to get my business, trying to snare me in a ruse wherein I just may, against my better judgment, perhaps driven by dire circumstances, bite off on something stupid. But I suppose I am heartened by the imprimatur of the United States Government, which assures me that I will never be denied to opportunity to do so.

Also in today’s mail was an letter from Countrywide offering me a 40-year mortgage. It concludes, "Brian, the bottom line is Countrywide is here to help you". I also received a letter "from the desk of Angie McGuirt" a Senior Vice President at Wachovia. Angie tells me "It’s not every day we offer someone a line of credit up to $250,000".

It’s interesting this sort of thing still works amid all the proclamations of the empowered consumer, the democratic Web and transparency. But the fact that we ever came to accept unmarked, tricky letters from major financial institutions offering batshit crazy loans as normal is what’s really notable.

Perhaps sometime soon the numbers from mortgage company marketing departments will show that the conversion rates on honesty are looking good.

Brian Boero