|Mortgage Ripoffs and Money Savers: An Industry Insider Explains How to Save Thousands on Your Mortgage or Re-Finance
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Carolyn Warren better get a bodyguard. Her new tell-all on the mortgage industry exposes so many of the lending industry's favorite frauds, every loan officer from Seattle to Miami is going to be gunning for her! Mortgage Rip-Offs and Money Savers is like a map that guides you around the carefully camouflaged landmines laid by lenders. And it gives you simple, step-by-step directions for saving tens of thousands of dollars. If you're looking for ways to save a king's ransom on your mortgage and monthly payments, you simply must read this book. -- Clayton Makepeace, founder and president, The Profit Center
* Why calling around for the best interest rate is a BAD idea (and what to do instead).
* How to force lenders to disclose their hidden fees.
* The Dirty Dozen: Junk fees You should not pay.
* How to get the lowest possible rate.
* Uncover the best-kept secret of the mortgage industry.
* Avoid the five most common unpleasant closing surprises.
* Turning a denied loan into an approved loan.
* and much more.
- Very Pleased!
Very responsive to my questions. I won't LEND this book to anyone----In fact I guard it with my life!...more info
- BUY IT TODAY
This book will help you understand where you are being riped off!! If you are buying your first home I suggest you read this book first. I can't tell you how much this book helped me. Thanks so muck Carolyn....more info
- Absolute Must Read
READ THIS BOOK! I have never written a recommendation for a book before but this is so important - I absolutely had to. Since it's the biggest purchase you'll ever make, you must do your homework. I never read the book from cover to cover, just concentrated on the sections that applied to my situation. This book actually saved me thousands of dollars. Your banker or broker will know you've done your homework and they will be less inclined to RIP YOU OFF"
The most amazing thing is the author says to e-mail her your GFE (if you don't know what that is then you need to read the book - because this is where they can nail you), and for a nominal fee, she will make sure it's legit. If she can't save you some money, there's no charge. What do you have to lose?
Late one evening, I e-mailed Carolyn not expecting too much. Much to my surprise, I received a response the next morning. Fortunately - since I had read her book - my GFE looked good. She did tell me that I could get a better interest rate. I told her I was locked in at 6.375 and she told me to have them change it, regardless of the fact that I was locked in and if they wouldn't that I should tell them to find another bank that would. I tried this tactic and it totally worked. Within the next day my rate was down to 6%.
Not only was I able to communicate with the author of the book, but I also saved thousands of dollars and avoided getting ripped off.
Thank you Carolyn
- I had no idea!
I'm about to buy my first house, and I'm so happy I read this book first! I had no idea all these junk fees existed. And YSP? I definately would have been one of the 'stupid' people who blindly trusted my broker and assumed these fees were all standard. I also like how the author goes over each loan type and what type is best for each person. I do wish the author would have included more on how to negotiate, but there's so much useful information, I would still recommend this book to anyone and everyone. ...more info
- This Book Taught Me Everything I Needed to Know in 24 hrs...Run to the Store and Get it...You Will Not Be Sorry!
Ah, where do I begin?
I am someone who had to learn the hard way about real estate. I looked to buy my first house in areas that had goldmine rushes in appreciation, like Princeton, NJ, Kapaa, HI and finally settled on Portland, OR--one of the most competitive markets in real estate history (last year, prices raised 150 grand in 3 months, and the bubble still has not burst.)
I was in contract multiple times, but since the houses I liked were old, they were plagued with foundation issues, dry rot, water damage...I was so used to bad inspections and dropping properties, I almost fell out of my seat when a perfect, 6 bedroom, Victorian, commercial space had an excellent report.
I was so focused on the front end of my deals, negotiating into contract, I had neglected studying the loan process.
When the sellers to my dream house learned they had backup offers close to 100 grand more than I paid, they did everything they could to throw my deal and restrict my timetable to get a loan. They asked for a week long extension on my inspection period, pretending they would repair misc. small items and then returned saying not only did they not call in contractors, they would not grant me an extension on the close date and practically cackled in my face,"Have fun getting a loan!" I had 2 weeks.
I read 4 books on mortgages, but still felt unprepared. Then, by sheer luck, I found Carolyn Warren's, Mortgage Rip-Offs and Money Savers and it saved my entire deal.
This book is THE most informative, concise, entertaining book you will ever read on mortgages. It is an absolute crash-course, packed with minute details on the dirty, ugly, greedy world of mortgages.
She tells you how find a loan in one day, what to say to the lenders, how to cut out their sales pitch and get facts, and she warns you about scams --and trust me, even the most reputable companies, will try to deceive you.
I ended up frustrating so many lenders because I would catch them at every turn. Warren's book gives you the power to anticipate the games these companies will play with your time, money and future investment. I had no idea how loan officers can be worse than car salespeople and they are relentless.
What will they do to you? Lie, lie and lie some more. They will pretend they cannot get you Good Faith Estimates or Truth-in-Lending forms without running your credit or taking an application fee (never pay this!), they will say their "computers are down" and want to run numbers verbally (thus, it is not binding), they will quote good deals and then act like they made a mistake-more bait and switch, they will not tell you what the wholesale price of their loan is and how much they over-charged you, they throw in junk fees...but even when you think you have it nailed in writing, they can surprise you at the closing table--especially, if they know you are pressed for time and love the house--they will try to change terms or slip in new charges, and conveniently be "unavailable" to correct blatant errors, in your final moments.
In addition to her book, Carolyn Warren runs a website where you can email her questions. She answers within a day and will even look over your Good Faith Estimates and Truth-in-Lending forms. She claims she will save you twice as much money in your closing costs then she charges you, or else your consultation is free.
I was so terrified of losing this deal and expressed my desperation in an email, Carolyn even took the time to call me and give me additional advice.
I am not sure if she does this for everyone, my situation was pretty extreme...so, I hope my stating this will not result in overwhelming requests for a phone call from her...but I feel I should include this in my review because she was incredibly kind and she armed me with the knowledge I needed to protect myself. (Thank you, Carolyn!)
And here are some extra pieces of advice, from me. When you look for a mortgage broker, google "Upfront Mortgage Brokers." They have a website, with state directories of lenders and brokers. You can read about their philosophies on the website. They will not hassle you about getting Good Faith Estimates or Truth-in-Lending forms...(at least they won't pretend their "computers cannot generate these" without paying a fee--as Countrywide tried to scam me.) But do NOT let your guard down. Follow Carolyn's advice, watch the junk fees, use her service--if you want an extra pair of eyes to catch something on the forms. Even the "Upfront Mortgage Brokers" will mess with you. Be Vigilant.
Finally, when you notice a Realtor or Mortgage agent is making "mistakes"--but then is suddenly out of the office or town, not taking your calls? Always get their cell numbers before your time line crunch hits and try dialing *67 before their number. This blocks your number from registering on their Caller ID. Most likely you will nab them, because they won't want to miss important phone calls from other potential suckers--oops, I mean clients--and you can demand time-sensitive documents be handled/fixed and not ignored.
I wish all of you luck and happiness in finding a home. And I promise you, buying Mortgage Rip-Offs and Money Savers, by Carolyn Warren, will be one of the best bargains you will ever find. I gave this book, as a gift to several friends and they are like me--they cannot shut up about how great this book is! No joke.
- Now I can Negotiate a Mortage loan with Confidence!
I received this GREAT book in the mail last week & have devoured it!! I am currently on my 3rd read....THANK YOU!! so much for the wonderful info. & insight!! Your tips about how to shop for the right mortgages, 'junk fees', locking rates, etc.,,,were so excellent & easily understood even to a novice to the workings of loans like me...that I now feel confident that I could negotiate a great deal!! I must say your 'TIP" about the YSP was worth $1000.00 or more... when our credit is better & we can negotiate a better loan I will remember & send you a tip....more info
- fantastic for first time buyers !!!
this is a fantastic book!. im 28, and am looking to purchase my first home. this book allowed me to move on confidently through the toughest and most intimidating part of the home buying process: avoiding mortgage rip offs! i admit, i knew a few things on what markets are good for home purchases, but was clueless on how to finance the purchase.
if you are a skeptic of this shady, 'loan shark' infested business, pick up the book and get educated! Carolyn shares many personal and professional tips as well as a bunch or real-life stories. you will easily save hundreds and possibly thousands! ...more info
- Everything you always wanted to know about mortgages, but were afraid to ask!
This book is over-flowing with information, from the basics of credit and debt to income ratios, to more technical topics such as option arm loans.
Carolyn has presented more in-depth information on credit than I've got by talking to reps from credit reporting agencies! She's really done her home-work so you don't have to. As the mortgage regulations tighten up, lenders are getting much more stringent on credit requirements so taking care of your credit is even more important than ever.
To those considering option arms, read that section carefully and give it a lot of thought before making your decision. Option Arms are a great deal for those who understand them, but not appropriate for someone just looking for the "lowest rate available."
Beyond the loan itself, Carolyn has pointed out the potential issues when financing condos and multi-unit dwellings. Manufactured & mobile homes are also in the difficult to finance category.
Lastly, an one in the mortgage industry, I appreciate that Carolyn points out that not all mortgage brokers are sleazy and out to get the consumer!...more info
- A great primer on the mortgage industry
Carolyn Warren's Mortgage Rip-Offs and Money Savers reveals the mortgage industry, warts and all, in a clear format and easily understood language. This book can easily be read in a day or two, and considering the wealth of knowledge one will obtain (and the financial wealth they could save), to not research and understand the loan process is inexcusable, and this work will painlessly do the trick. I am not a numbers individual, but after reading this book I was easily able to identify over $700 in junk fees and see that the broker illegally failed to reveal the YSP on my GFE. (If you do not understand fully what I just wrote, read this book, because your ignorance will cost you as it could have cost me.) Mrs. Warren outlines what to look for and beware of when choosing a loan and gives the reader a window of insight into the mortgage business, including both the villains and heroes, and how to distinguish between them. It also helps that she is easily available on the web (www.AskCarolynWarren.com) should issues that are addressed or not addressed in the book arise and you need further help. Except for a number of spelling typos (which, if you're like me, can be the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard), this book is a solid and informative work whose information should be shared vigorously....more info
- Best Mortgage "How To" Book...Ever
I have been buying, selling and re-financing real estste, in Southern California, for the past 30+ years. After reading "Mortgage Rip-Offs and Money Savers" by Carolyn Warren, I cringe at how I had been taken advantage of, over the years. I can never re-gain the money I lost in fees, overcharges etc. but with the information I learned from this book, it sure won't happen again. This should be required reading for every person buying a home or re-financing. It is easy to read, understand and apply. Unlike other books, on this subject, it doesn't give you just enough information to be dangerous. It is so practical that anyone can use it to defend themselves against mortgage brokers, banks and direct lenders that would take advantage of you just to line their pockets. Before you do anything related to a mortgage or re-finance,READ THIS BOOK!...more info
- Potential pitfalls to consider
I have as much, if not more, experience in residential retail and wholesale mortgage lending as the author. There are more than enough (justified) positive reviews praising the information and advice presented in this book. However, most of these are homeowners not educated or experienced in mortgage lending and therefore do not have the full picture. In the interest of balance in these reviews, homeowners and potential homeowners reading this book should consider the following:
1. Be careful how much weight you give to the Good Faith Estimate and making a loan decision based on the "best" GFE that has been provided to you by mulitple lenders. A GFE is simply that - an estimate (aka "guess") of what your final settlement charges may be. It is by no means a written offer of credit or guarantee of those fees. While the lender is required to provide a second GFE if the loan terms change significantly, they are not bound to honor any of the terms quoted to you in your initial Good Faith Estimate. The reason for this is because the nature of mortgage lending means that it is impossible to guarantee or quote with 100% accuracy the exact rate and fees of any mortgage loan (even "locked" loans) until that loan has been completely processed, underwritten, and approved. The beginning stages of any loan process and the initial information you are provided about any mortgage loan is always going to be based off HUGE assumptions that may or may not be correct. This is especially true in today's marketplace. These days, its nearly impossible to predict what a particular home is going to appraise for (the most important aspect of any loan proposal) and loan products, guidelines, and interest rates are changing daily - sometimes hourly. The extreme instability in housing and mortgage markets right now makes it almost impossible for even well-intentioned and honest lenders and brokers to quote with any amount of certainity what your final loan terms and settlement charges are likely to be 30 days from now.
2. Be careful entering a race to the bottom regarding loan fees. The loan with the fewest fees or the lowest fees is not automatically the best. The term "junk fees" is subjective. Every single fee charged in any mortgage transaction could be classified as "junk" in one way or another. When you're the one paying them, all the fees seem like junk fees. What's important is to take the total cost of the loan (all fees combined) and compare it to the total benefit (all benefits combined) and, like anything, determine if the cost outweighs the benefit. Very rarely will 3 different Loan Officers working at 3 different companies structure the same indentical loan proposal for you. The cost vs. benefit of each should be judged on its individual merits.
3. Be extremely cautious with "Credit Repair" companies and people claiming they can fix your credit (i.e. remove collections, bankruptcies, judgements, etc.). In almost all cases, "credit repair" involves disputing legitmate debts and other information contained within your credit report. People who practice credit repair rely on a consumer protection law that forces creditors to prove the legitmacy of a negative item on your credit report within a certain timeframe or they are forced to remove it. All credit repair involves the practice of disputing every single negative item on your credit report and counting on the fact that the creditor will not produce the proof of the debt or negative pay history of the debt within the specificed timeframe and therefore be forced to remove it. The vast majority of negative items reporting on anyone's credit report are going to be legitmate debts. Therefore, the practice of credit repair involves disputing (claiming the debt isn't yours, or that you were never late on it, etc.) debts that are perfectly legimate and correct. This is called fraud and its illegal. Disputing a debt you know to be valid, or allowing someone to dispute it on your behalf is not only illegal, its unethical and dishonest.
- Quick read, arm yourself before buying/refinancing
The most valuable contribution that this book has made is a good dissection of the mortgage or refinancing process. Carolyn Warren will educate you, giving you a reasonable "how to" guide for working with lenders when buying or refinancing property. For what should be a straight forward process, loan documents appear to be intentionally confusing. Some inside the lending business have learned how to capitalize upon the confusion and make you give away your money.
Everyone always wants to know what the closing costs will be, and this book reveals that the amount of closing costs should not be an uncertainty, and the loan officer should know a rough number up front. If the loan officer does not know, then somebody is padding somebody's wallet, and the book explains how. Warren also describes why knowing the rate isn't important. The rate itself is yet another way for a lender to potentially steal from you. "Buying down" the interest rate is just another way to put money in somebody's pocket (not yours). Quoting you one rate doesn't necessarily mean that it is the going rate for the day - it is the rate the lender thinks you'll take.
The book explains a number of ways how you can get robbed while buying house. In this market, however, a lot of the questionable practices identified in this book are either gone or reconfigured to look more reputable. You might look over your previous loan documents and find "junk" fees that, had you been better informed, you could have negotiated. Or not. It appears that finding a reputable lender is more than half the battle. Applying for a loan in person may give a person more security than a phone call or an online application. When buying a house, you should understand how interest works - if you don't, then you are in danger of not understanding when someone is hoodwinking you.
If the fees are in question, one thing to consider is that negotiating fees or rates is likely easier said than done. When it comes down to saying "I don't like this fee" it is a battle of the wills, just like it is at a car dealership or the poker table. The loan officer and his or her manager might just stare you down until you buckle or walk out. Warren's recommendation to bring several estimates to the table is likely a good one, because then you've got something to work with and walking away is a real threat. It also depends on whether or not the officer/company you are working with is based on a commission structure. It appears that the commissions are the source of predatory lending evils, which is no surprise. Direct greed is often the source of many problems.
The housing market looks much different than it did when this book was written just a year or two ago. Hopefully a lot of the scum involved in questionable lending practices have fallen away by now (good riddance). Over time this book may serve more value as a historical document explaining how bad it was. Future economists looking for the "why" behind this market slump might get a unique insider's peak from this book, but we can only hope that it gets better from here.
- Mortgage Ripoffs and Money Savers
At last, a mortgage professional exposes the dirty sales tactics prevalent in the industry !!! Borrower, BE AWARE !!! Read this mortgage lending "BIBLE" and you won't have to be "BUYER BEWARE" !!! As a mortgage insider I can vouch for Ms. Warren's contentions and have myself actually been faced with the unscrupulous tricks some mortgage "experts" that are taking advantage of the unsuspecting borrowers. Some of the savings are enormous. One reader caled me to place a mortgage application with me saved over $6,000. Read the manual for survival and big savings on your home financing....more info
- Carolyn Warren for Sainthood!!
I am so thankful to Carolyn for writing this book and informing the public of the twists and turns of the mortgage/home buying industry. I purchased her book 2 weeks ago and I am reading it through for the second time, I can't put it down!! As a first time home buyer I can honestly say that "Mortgage Rip-Offs and Money Savers" is a MUST-HAVE for anyone in the market. I will definitely be visiting the Money Savers portion of the site as soon as I get my GFE. THANK YOU for your integrity and willingness to share your brilliance!!!!
- Warning: Do not take out a mortgage or refinance until you've read this book!
I'm so relieved I've got this book. I have a 3 yr ARM and I'll need to refinance at some point. And this time, I'll know what I'm doing. I didn't when I first got my mortgage.
This book is packed with good information, explaining what all those crazy lines are on your "Good Faith Estimate" (I didn't even know what a GFE was when I got my mortgage, and I'm not sure I ever received one).
It will tell you which fees are junk fees, the pros and cons of different kinds of mortgages, how loan officers can sneak in extra fees that can make a seemingly low interest rate actually very high, and - most important - what the YSP is and why you'd better not ignore it!
When it's time to refinance I will *definitely* re-read this book thoroughly. Now that I've read it, I know it could save me thousands of dollars.
Best of all, it's not dull or hard to understand. It's straightforward.
Nobody should buy a home or refinance without reading this book, imho....more info
- Great Book
I'm no expert when it comes to buying a home, especially the mortgage process. Being that my wife and I will be purchasing our first home in hopefully about six months or so, I decided to become a bit more educated on the subject. This book just happens to be one of four I selected, and it is the one I chose to read first. Simply put, this book is easy to read, entertaining, and gets right to the point. Warren really seems to have a passion for her chosen career. In my opinion, the vast majority of this book simply translates a lot of issues one may be faced with when securing a mortgage for a home purchase/refinance. Regardless of whether or not this advice is 'perfect' or not really doesn't matter much - I feel more confident and informed - able to make good choices in my financing decisions. I highly recommend this book. ...more info
- Buy This Book Before Your Buy/Refinance a Home
I purchased four other books on mortgages and refinancing and none of them were as helpful, relevant or insightful as "Mortgage Ripoffs." What distinguishes this book is that Ms. Warren zones in on the areas where consumers get ripped off the most. The advice is concrete and practical - for example, she will show you various marked-up mortgage documents and highlight areas where the mortgage professionals who prepared them are being dishonest or deceitful.
Ms. Warren also gives many real-life examples from her experiences in the industry. Some of them are infuriating, some of them will make you gasp, and some are actually pretty funny. I liked this background information because it gave me a snapshot into the mortgage industry, but also provided "context" to my current situation. I instantly recognized some of the shady types I have dealt with in the past.
Although Ms. Warren places a fair share of the blame on the industry's deceit and avarice, she also advises consumers to take responsibility for their finances and protect their home and equity. Willful ignorance is not an excuse....more info
- California Buyer
I got so much MORE than just a book full of information. I get PERSONAL help as well. I can ask Carolyn a question and get back an answer within 48 hours, plus she will give me a discount on a personal "Ten Point Check-Up and Personal Loan Recommendation" AND guarantee I will save at least double or it's FREE. This book is actually Fun to read. WOW! Don't miss out on this money saver....more info
- Mortgage Ripoffs and Money Savers
Easy to read. I am IN the mortgage industry and this book taught me things that I did not even know. MUCH MORE GOOD INFORMATION than just about "ripoffs". Carolyn is an interesting author. Believe it or NOT - I could not put this book down.
- Outstanding Book!!
I'm shopping for a mortgage right now and this book is VERY HELPFUL! Furthermore, I emailed the author and she replied with an informative reply within a day or so. I'd recommend this book to anybody who is shopping for a mortgage!
Steven Fink...more info
- A Survival Guide Like No Other
As a retired attorney, I have read my share of how-to books in various areas of expertise. Many have disappointed for lack of follow through and updating techniques such as online access to the author, with up-to-the-minute links to web pages addressing new areas of concern. Carolyn Warren's incredibly thorough, professional and brilliant comprehensible book lacks nothing in this regard. In fact, I would place this book among the various genres as the #1 book I have read in the last year that has made it possible for me to actually understand what was once an almost impossible mess of information for the layman. Having no background whatsoever in banking, financial management, debt, mortgages, credit, equity loans etc., this was a perfect book for me to rely upon for clear and concise knowledge. Oh, and after reading this book along with accessing her free info online, you will be delighted to know that Carolyn Warren does not just leave the reader there. She actually answers your emails! Yes, an author who cares about you -- long after you have purchased and read her book! You just gotta get this one - she is a star who knows what you need to survive like no one else out there....more info
- The only book you'll need. Forget the rest.
I poured through at least 15 books on mortgages. This book is the only, I repeat, only good book out there. While other books may have had two or three "pointers", every page of Ms. Warren's book is worthwhile. Do not go for a loan without this book. Invaluable!...more info