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Why am I getting calls for mortgage offers? Occasionally, we hear from customers that they receive unsolicited offers from other lenders after they apply with us. Their first question is always, “Did you sell my information?” The answer is emphatically, “No, BankSouth Mortgage did not sell your information.” Unfortunately, this means a credit bureau, such as Equifax, Experian, Innovis, or Transunion, has sold their information as a lead to another lender. This is called a trigger lead. What is a trigger lead? After you apply for a loan, we order a copy of your credit report, which creates an inquiry that is reported to the credit bureaus. This tells the credit bureaus that you are in the market for a loan. The credit bureaus can sell this information to other companies that want to offer you their services. This practice is not against the law. Companies set criteria for the leads they want to buy. This can include where you live and aspects of your credit profile, such as your credit score, the number of open accounts, and the type of credit accounts you have. Buying this information allows creditors to offer you pre-screened offers for credit. Insurance companies can also buy these leads to make offers to you. How to prevent these calls? If you prefer not to receive calls for pre-screened credit and insurance offers, you can opt out by visiting  www.optoutprescreen.com or calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT. You can also add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry by visiting www.donotcall.gov or calling 1-888-382-1222. Neither of these actions will take immediate effect, and they will not prevent ...

General

Protect Against Wire Fraud

Jul 13
9:00
AM
Category | General
Mortgage wire fraud occurs when a criminal impersonates a real estate closing firm, a lender, or a real estate agent and provides false wiring instructions to a borrower. The goal of this fraud is to have the funds wired directly to the criminal instead of to the closing firm. Borrowers are often contacted close to their closing date with updated or corrected wiring instructions. These can be provided via email or verbally. This is a sophisticated type of fraud, and some wire fraud criminals are very good at impersonating others. Borrowers should take the following precautions to prevent wire fraud. Identify Two Trusted Contacts at Closing Firm Early in the home buying or refinancing process, identify two contacts at the closing firm that can securely confirm wiring instructions in case of a scam attempt. Write down or save contact information for these individuals, including their names, phone numbers, and email addresses. Only use this contact information to confirm wiring instructions. Review Closing Procedures with the Closing Firm In advance of closing, discuss by phone the closing process with one of your trusted contacts from the closing firm. This conversation should include how you will obtain wiring instructions. Be cautious about discussing the closing process and wiring instructions via email. Save Contact Information for Other Involved Parties Make sure you also have contact information for everyone else involved in your closing transaction, including your real estate agent and your lender. As with the closing contacts, make sure you have names, phone numbers, and email addresses. If you receive suspicious emails ...

General

If you purchased a home in 2017, you may be eligible for a Homestead Exemption. This valuable exemption reduces the taxable value of your home, provided the following: - The home is occupied by the homeowner on January 1, and - The homeowner applies for the homestead exemption in the county in which the property is located. The home must be your legal residence for all purposes including the registration of your vehicles and the filing of your Federal and Georgia income tax return. For most counties in Georgia, the deadline to file for a homestead exemption is April 1 . Failure to file on time for the Homestead Exemption will disqualify you for the exemption for this tax year. Application is not automatic, nor does a mortgage company or closing attorney complete the application for you when the home is purchased. Once granted, the exemption is automatically renewed each year you continually occupy the home under the same ownership. In many counties, the tax assessor’s office is the designated office to receive homestead exemption applications. Please note that in order to file, you may need to provide the following: warranty deed book and page, proof of residence, social security number, driver's license with correct home address and/or car tag information. We’ve put together a list of the top counties in which our customers purchased homes in 2017 and included links to each counties’ homestead exemption application page and the address to each Tax Commissioner or Tax Assessors office. Simply click your county below for more information or to complete your application, where applicable. Editor's Note: ...

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