OK, so maybe lumping Countrywide with Lowermybills is a little harsh, but I guess I have a grudge due to their dubious links to the housing crisis (for more on that see these two articles from the WSJ Countrywide Seeks to Block Abuse Inquiry and The True Worth of Countrywide). So what's the link? Oh the similar language Countrywide is using in their "Key Interest Rates Drop Again*" ad. I found this ad on the homepage of Yahoo today which probably alone cost them like $300K.
Yes it reminds me of a Lowermybills ad that made me write the post titled Not Online Do Lowermybills Ads Suck, They Have Horrible Timing. You click on the Countrywide ad and it of course takes you to the landing page with the same messaging, but this time you can read what the asterisk points you to "
Ok, well let's just say that it is a little bit of a bait and switch on the interest rates drop again language because the ad is speaking about home loans/mortgages. It leads the viewer to believe that mortgage rates drop again when it really is the Federal Funds Rate. Seems a little bit shaky to me and my old compliance and legal officers at Harrisdirect would never let that through especially with that big asterisk there.
So, sniffing an asterisk game let's follow the second one on the line that says "Refinance Your Home with No Closing Costs!++" The second footnote is really a problem for me and it should be for you. It says: A
Now what exactly is the No Closing Cost option? It says that borrowers finance the closing costs instead of paying them at closing. So there are closing costs and the dollars for it are financed instead of paying them upfront? That's even worse because you are financing the dollars over the life of the mortgage and umm besides the fee for closing cost is still there, just not paid at closing.
That's where I stopped paying attention to the ad and lumped them in with Lowermybills. It isn't bad enough that they are being investigated for their loan practices, but here they go again with questionable marketing language. Key rates drop again? Sure Federal Funds rate dropped. No closing Costs? Sure, you don't pay at closing you just finance the closing fees over the life of the mortgage. To top it all off they paid Yahoo like $300K for one day of marketing? Me, it seems a little too good to be true. That's why when it comes to finances, follow the bouncing asterisk.