Mortgage lenders need borrowers, right?

So, apparently, sometimes they find out you’re looking to borrow, and start bugging you with phone calls all day and all night.

Borrowers who believe their mortgage applications are private should think again. Other lenders, and their telemarketers, can easily find out that they have applied for a mortgage …

… in the last 18 months, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion had begun selling the names, detailed financial information and contact information of people who have completed mortgage applications.

They obtain the information through extensive relationships with financial institutions, which rely on them to compile credit histories and scores and thereby help lenders assess a borrower’s credit risk.

This can be annoying, right?

William N. Lund, the director of Maine’s Office of Consumer Credit Regulation, said, “Some consumers told us they literally applied for a loan at noon, and by the time they got home that evening they got calls from competitors of the lender with whom they applied.�

In some cases, Mr. Lund said, the callers implied that they were affiliated with the company that was processing the borrower’s application. “At least one said, ‘Your lender can’t help you, so your lender has given me your file to follow through,’ � Mr. Lund said.

Complete story: Honing the Competitive Edge – By Bob Tedeschi, The New York Times

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