Know the Facts about Unsolicited Mail After a Loan
We recently interviewed Emily Helman, customer service specialist with AgChoice Farm Credit. Unsolicited mail, email and phone calls are a daily occurrence nowadays. If you’ve recently closed or refinanced a loan, you might especially be bombarded with junk solicitations. Emily discussed this issue and tips to avoid confusion. Listen to the full podcast episode with Emily here.
Why do customers experience an uptick in unsolicited mail and calls following a loan closing or refinance?
Let me start by saying that AgChoice does not sell or distribute borrowers’ information.
However, many companies such as those offering home warranties, refinances, mortgage protection insurance and so on, will find information from public records or buy information from one of the credit reporting bureaus to create their own marketing lists for their products and services.
Keep in mind that when a deed is recorded, your name, your lender’s name, you loan amount and number and your property address are all public record. Anyone can see the information, so individual businesses may collect your information and use it in their next marketing campaign. There are also direct marketing companies that scan the data and sell lists to other businesses looking for ways to expand their client base.
That’s why you might see reference to AgChoice Farm Credit on the junk mail, but it’s not from AgChoice, nor is a product or service that we necessarily recommend.
What should a person do if they are unsure about the legitimacy of a piece of mail?
I recommend that you review each piece mail you receive. I know we all get plenty junk mail in our mailboxes, but you want to make sure that you don’t discard or shred something that is legitimate. You don’t want to miss information about your AgChoice loan, property taxes or something else that is important for you to know. You might also receive an great offer for new windows or garage doors from a company you know and trust, and you don’t want to miss that either.
However, keep in mind that scam mail solicitations often look like legal requests. A common solicitation is for home warranties. Don’t be fooled, even if it makes it seem like you need to purchase the insurance. I’ve also heard of a solicitation with an offer to refinance their AgChoice loans.
Again, your information was either pulled from public records or purchased from a credit reporting bureau for others to market their products and services.
Is there any way for a person to opt out of receiving these solicitations?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act provides you with the right to ‘opt out’ of consumer credit reporting companies from using your credit file information. While this won’t help with all of your junk mail solicitations, it may help with some, especially those related to prescreened insurance and credit card offers. Go to OptOutPrescreen.com and fill out the form with your contact information. You can opt out for five years or permanently, and there’s no fee.
If you get a lot of junk telemarketer phone calls, add your phone number to the Do Not Call Registry. Register your phone number at DoNotCall.gov or call 888-382-1222. Again, there is no fee for this service. Within a month of registering, you should get fewer telemarketing phone calls.
As we wrap up, are there any final thoughts you’d like to share with our listeners on this topic?
Just a reminder that any communication you receive from AgChoice will come in AgChoice printed envelopes and letter head. When in doubt, call your local AgChoice office and discuss any concerns you have about communications referencing your AgChoice loan or any other AgChoice information.
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