Credit repositories now sell the contact information of people applying for new mortgage loans to other mortgage lenders that want to compete for the business.
Called “trigger leads”, an unsuspecting mortgage applicant can have his credit checked by a mortgage lender, and then discover that the credit bureaus have sold the rights to his personal information to countless other credit firms across the country.
Because trigger leads identify a person making a lending decision right now, one marketer of trigger leads calls them “the best leads in the business”. It’s no wonder that the credit bureaus are marketing them, and that some lenders are salivating over them.
As the family in the CBS video learned, though, it’s difficult to make the phone stop ringing. Some of the calls bordered on harassment.
For consumers, there is a very low-tech opt-out Web site called http://www.optoutprescreen.com that is sponsored by the three major credit bureaus (and are also the ones that sell trigger leads). You can opt out for five years, or submit a form by mail to opt out forever.
(Image courtesy: CBS News Video)