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Quicken’s Super Bowl ad raises toxic mortgage fears

 

SAN FRANCISCO – Feb. 10, 2016 – Buyers want the mortgage application process to be easy – but not too easy.

During this weekend's Super Bowl 50, an ad run by Quicken Loans told viewers that it was easy to apply for a mortgage through its Rocket Mortgage app. But the commercial promoting Rocket Mortgage sparked sometimes-heated discussions online, including questions about whether the lender is making getting a mortgage too easy to get.

In the 60-second commercial spot, Quicken says: "You can get a mortgage from your phone." It says that its move to make the mortgage process easier would, in turn, create more homeowners and lead to a more robust economy.

But on social media, viewers quickly expressed concerns that new easy-to-get mortgages could bring about a second housing crisis by extending loans to unqualified borrowers.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau even weighed in to the Twitter blitz, warning consumers to be wary of technology in the mortgage application process, although it doesn't refer to Quicken Loans by name.

However, Quicken Loans' Rocket Mortgage doesn't underwrite mortgages through taps on a smartphone. Instead, the company says it's a way to skip verbal interactions with a lender over the phone. The app works best for consumers who want to see their rate options – and that tool will make shopping for a loan quicker.

The commercial got people talking on social media, and Quicken Loans has been quick to engage with customers who expressed concerns.

"By using social media to interact directly with consumers, Quicken provided an opportunity to engage with people who are either uninformed about the mortgage process or haven't even given any thought to the idea of buying a home, and answer their questions in real time," National Mortgage News reports.

Source: "Quicken Renews Debate Over How Fast Is Too Fast to Get a Mortgage," National Mortgage News (Feb. 8, 2016)

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