Google Busted for Illegal Mortgage Ads

Cover.Homebuyers BewareChapter 26: “Stop Clicking On Mortgage Ads”

I wrote that in 2009. Fair warning I wish more people had heeded.

The Federal government has shut down 85 websites for preying on vulnerable homeowners through their shady, deceptive ads on Google.  No surprise,Google made a fortune off of those fraudulent ads. Now Consumer Watchdog is urging Google to donate that “tainted revenue” to a fund helping out victims of these scams. It remains to be seen if that will happen.

The most common online ad that people suckered for was a scheme that told homeowners to stop paying their mortgages and instead divert their funds to a company that would get them a good loan modification. It included transferring property deeds (ownership) to the scammers. And as if that wasn’t enough, they also had to pay an upfront fee. These home owners were vulnerable because they used the Google search engine to look for a “loan mod” or a “stop foreclosure,” and then clicked on the ads that showed up.

Like I said, “Stop clicking on mortgage ads.” And that includes those ads that offer an impossibly low interest rate to home buyers, too.

I’ve looked at those amazing, rock bottom rates, and invariably, the fees are so high, it makes no financial sense whatsoever. With rates so low now, borrowers are better off paying no points and one (reasonable) flat lender fee.  Some of the deceptive interest rate ads show up on good, legitimate websites, so don’t be fooled.

Feel free to post a comment. For more details about the Google ad bust, see here.

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