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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Northeast California
Mortgage Seekers Showing Interest in Trustworthy Mortgage Brokers
April 16, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Ca., April 8, 2013 – Better Business Bureau Serving Northeast California is experiencing a surge in consumers seeking BBB Business Reviews for mortgage brokers. The data suggests consumers are seeking brokers they can trust as refinances and purchases rise in popularity. 

In the first three months of 2013 BBB fielded nearly 6,000 inquiries into mortgage brokers locally, a 38 percent increase compared to the same period in 2012. BBB reported an 18 percent increase nationally, recording nearly 500,000 visits to BBB Business Reviews of mortgage brokers. 

“As property values slowly rise and interest rates remain low, BBB encourages those seeking a mortgage to be sure their lending journey is a smooth one,” said Gary Almond, president of BBB Serving Northeast California. “Verifying the trustworthiness of a broker improves the likelihood of a satisfactory transaction.” 

In addition to checking out your mortgage broker at necal.bbb.org, BBB suggests the following tips:

Verify licensing. In California, a mortgage broker must be licensed by either the California Department of Real Estate or California Department of Corporations. In some cases, the broker may be licensed by both entities.  Utilize the multiple department license lookup and guide before engaging in services to ensure a full understanding of the scope of your broker’s work.  

Ask questions. Find out what terms are associated with advertised rates. Ask whether the rates apply to fixed rate programs or adjustable rate programs. Understand that adjustable rate mortgages may cause your monthly payment to fluctuate at any given time. 

Ensure proper disclosures are made. Upon completing a loan application, you should receive several disclosures. 

  • The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) requires that most borrowers receive a Good Faith Estimate. This document discloses all potential costs associated with your mortgage. On new home purchases, you should receive this disclosure after a property address of the purchase is identified. In the case of a refinance, you should receive this document within three days of completing your loan application. 

  • You should also receive a Truth In Lending Act disclosure within three days of completing your loan application. This document should include, at the least, finance charges, your APR, amount financed, schedule of payments and the total amount paid after all payments are made. 

  • A mortgage servicing disclosure should be provided to notify you of whether the lender can sell or transfer the servicing rights of the loan. Know that if servicing rights can or will be sold, you may be dealing with a different lender when making payments. 

  • Other disclosures may be provided over the course of the process. It is important to read each disclosure and understand the contents. 

Be aware of fees. In most cases, a borrower can expect to pay an origination fee to the mortgage broker or loan officer. Find out if you are responsible for the cost of the appraisal and home inspection. Know that you may be responsible for funds paid to escrow agents, title companies and other involved entities. 

Consider other services included in your monthly payment. Should you pay less than 20 percent down, you may be required to purchase mortgage insurance. Some homes may require a homeowner’s association fee to be paid. In other cases, your home insurance and taxes may be included in your monthly payment. 

Understand your right to rescind. When refinancing or purchasing a primary residence, a borrower has a three-day recession period after closing to review closing documents. However, if the refinance or purchase is made on a second home, there is no right to recession. In these cases, ensure you have reviewed all documents carefully before closing. 

For more tips you can trust, visit necal.bbb.org.