The Trigger List

by Alex Stenback on January 30, 2007

We’ve covered this before, but wanted to point out a piece from this Sunday’s Strib that shines a little more light on the "Triggers" program. 

For those not familiar, the Triggers program is sort of the dirty little secret of the credit repositories (Equifax, Experian, Transunion.)  Here’s how it works:  Any time you apply for a loan, that information, along with a slew of other personal, private data is immediately sold (over and over again) to other lenders, which often use rather unsavory tactics to trick you into doing business with them.  For instance:

Anne Carter of St. Louis Park received dozens of unwanted phone calls…"They were very misleading," said Carter, who works at a mortgage
company. "One guy never identified his company and said he just wanted
‘to go over some things with me’ on my application. Another guy tried
to sell me on a really bad deal with an option ARM [adjustable-rate
mortgage] with negative amortization. That would be terrible. I’m in
the industry, so I know what’s out there. "

Doesn’t that sound fun?  The credit orgs that sell this data defend the practice by painting it as offering more "choice" to the consumer (as if anyone would choose to be hounded by lenders who will try to trick them.) Bad news is it is a perfectly legal practice.  The good news is you can opt-out, so your name is not included in these trigger lists.  Link below.

· Opt Out of Pre-Screened Credit Offers, Trigger lists []
· Loan Applicants May Borrow Annoyance Along with Cash [Strib]

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Lenox Financial Mortgages January 30, 2007 at 6:28 pm

That’s horrible. And these people can sleep at night? So if we “opt-out” …do we really opt-out?

Kimberly January 31, 2007 at 12:04 pm

Just in case you see a bump in traffic, we selected you as a top financial blog. We tried our best to make sure that the blogs selected were actually in the state we thought they were in, so I apologize in advance if we accidentally put you in the wrong spot.

derrik January 31, 2007 at 9:40 pm

nearly as crooked as the mortgage biz

Finance Guide 101 February 1, 2007 at 6:04 am

The incident with Martha Ortman and others are few examples of unwanted calls, which are not only irritating but also waste our valuable time.

Derrik Dyka February 1, 2007 at 7:28 am

re my comment above…

that was just a quick jab at those lenders that have been referenced on posts here. for instance, the lender that had the horrible good faith estimate with bogus fees, and wanting a check written to him personally.

for those of you that dont know alex and i have known each other since our wee years. he is a straight shooter and really the only lender that i know that takes the time to sit down and go over peoples full financial situation/goals, and finds the best program for them.

Ken February 2, 2007 at 12:53 am

This very thing happened to a client of mine last week. Four days after we pulled his credit for a refinance loan he started receiving calls from mortgage companies telling him they new he was in the market for a mortgage. There must be some way we can rally and get a law passed to stop this. Both my client and another friend felt very strongly that this was a SERIOUS invasion of privacy and couldn’t believe the credit companies were allowed to do it.

Jon Miller March 30, 2007 at 9:57 am

I had a client lose the home they were purchasing due to financing. Between the time we got them approved with a lender for the home loan and writing the purchase and sale, they took out over 25 home loan applications. They could not refuse the offers of credit. The offers were too good. The Trigger List should be illiegal. I am writing a fictional short story on my blog that reveals the corruption and greed associated with the Trigger List. See the first installment of the story at Thanks for keeping the Trigger List issue at the forefront of problems that need to be fixed.

Zmajrew June 3, 2007 at 12:08 pm

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