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LendingTree Cuts Option Arm and Bad Credit Ads

Mortgage offer aggregator LendingTree sent out an e-mail to affiliates today asking them to remove all advertising containing verbiage relating to option-arms, MTA loans and “bad credit”.

The e-mail said that in recent weeks LendingTree had removed such lending rates/offers and messaging from its advertising and expected affiliates to do the same.

LendingTree arranges multiple loan offers either through its network of nonaffiliated mortgage lenders or though its affiliate, Home Loan Center, Inc. DBA “LendingTree Loans”.

The service presents borrowers with multiple offers from a handful of banks, and then allows the homeowner to decide which to ultimately use.

Of course the result is not one nagging lender, but 5-20 mortgage companies badgering you to close the loan with them.

And they all have the right to do so because you’ve essentially asked to hear about offers from an unknown number of competing banks and lenders.

The company’s tag line, “When banks compete, you win!” has subsequently been re-written by angry customers multiple times as a result.

Such re-writes include, “When banks compete, you win no hope of privacy,” and “When banks compete, you lose.”

It’s interesting to see companies like LendingTree and other online advertisers modify campaigns based on the concerns of the broader market, especially since they typically fail to offer any pertinent information.

The new ads say things like, “Do you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)? Your Rate may increase by up to 60% or more. Refinance to a fixed rate now,” and “Do you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)? Your Payment may increase by up to 48% or more. Refinance to a fixed rate now.”

These new ads are clearly targeting the adjustable-rate mortgage reset due to affect millions of homeowners in coming months.

The good news is that bad loans are seemingly on the way out.

Update: LendingTree is launching a new national advertising campaign on Thursday aimed at homeowner education.

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