Are you considering refinancing your mortgage and want to know if Lending Tree is the best option for your next home loan? Everyone has seen the commercials on TV and knows their catch phrase about “making lenders compete” for your business; however, does Lending Tree stack the deck in their favor when it comes to making money off your home loan and what about hidden fees? Here’s my review of Lending Tree to help you make an informed decision when refinancing your mortgage loan.
Lending Tree Mortgage Review
Lending Tree LLC is not a mortgage lender but claims to act as a mortgage broker for your loan transaction; truth be told they are engaged in little more than lead generation using their website to collect and sell homeowner’s information. You’ve heard their slogan “When Lenders Compete, You Win,” and they’ve recently brought their commercials back “scouring” the nation for the best mortgage deals. Visit their website and you’ll find they’re claiming to be “The All New Lending Tree.”
Lending Tree’s parent company Tree.com is publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol TREE and has been in business since 1998. A quick search of the Internet reveals a large number of complaints and lawsuits.
Lending Tree Contact Information
(800) 555-8733 (This is their main sales number 800-555-Tree)
Fax Number: (704) 944-8625
11115 Rushmore Drive
Charlotte NC 28277
Lending Tree Mortgage Review
Lending Tree’s website is little more than an elaborate lead generation scheme. They make money by selling your information to retail mortgage loan originators (mortgage brokers and direct lenders) and by charging these loan originators fees for being a member of their “network.” The fees mortgage originators pay are passed on you to in the form of Computerized Origination Fees or CLO fees according to HUD. This Computerized Loan Origination fee could cost you as much as $1300. Lending Tree claims that you won’t pay a fee for their services…that the lenders pay their fee. While this is technically correct you will find the Computerized Loan Origination fee on your Good Faith Estimate which is the originator’s way of recouping their expenses from you. When all is said and done you’re paying for the convenience of having lenders “compete” for your business by hounding you for your mortgage loan.
Lending Tree Complaints
Searching Google for LendingTree complaint returns 311,000 results and several lawsuits. According to the Better Business Bureau there have been 289 complaints during their standard reporting period of the previous 36 months. This doesn’t necessarily include complaints filed against other Tree.com owned web properties including Getsmart.com, realestate.com, and domania.com. Of the lawsuits found there was a class-action suit filed because at one time the originators participating in Lending Tree’s network were all owned by LendingTree. Not much competition going on there huh?
Should You Trust Your Home Loan to Lending Tree?
If you don’t mind your contact information being sold to the loan originators participating in LendingTree’s network using a site like this could be a quick way of testing the market for mortgage rates and fees. The problem with the mortgage quotes you get from these retail lenders is that their mortgage rates have all been marked to boost their profits at your expense and that’s in addition to the Computerized Loan Origination fees you’ll pay if you go with one of LendingTree’s mortgage loans.
If you want the lowest possible mortgage rates while avoiding unnecessary markup and junk fees you have to find a local, self-employed mortgage broker willing to work for a flat origination fee without marking up your mortgage rate for a commission. These small time up-front mortgage brokers do exist and will give you a much better deal than the mortgage brokers you see tooling around town in their company hummers.
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