Sample Phone Scripts Used By Sleazy Subprime Lenders In 2005

An ex-subprime lender employee of a sent us the scripts they used to cold-call homeowners back in 2005 to get them to ditch their 30-year fixed mortgages for risky sub-prime loans. One of them is called, “Wholesale Gangsta Script,” which I think about says it all right there.

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Amazingly, these techniques actually worked.

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  1. LESSTHANKIND says:

    “I would love to meet myself too”? “I’m not interested either”? If I hadn’t hung up after the first sentence, that would do it for me. Great strategy. These should be called the “Act Like a Jerk” scripts. (And “someone who is forging as you.” Brilliant.)

    • FatLynn says:

      Good, I’m not the only one who couldn’t make sense of that.

    • jesusofcool says:

      Seriously. I’d like to meet someone who had the balls to spout this shit…and possibly punch them in the face.
      I’m not angry with the people who fell for this crap, I’m angry with the leeches who live in our society who spout this crap. It goes beyond telemarketing to get people to donate to whatever cause and into blatantly preying on people.
      It actually reminds me a lot of Bill Hicks’ monologue on marketers…. see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDW_Hj2K0wo haha love that.

    • treimel says:

      I think the asshat on the phone is supposed to read it as I’d like to meet, myself, too…

      • LESSTHANKIND says:

        Yeah, but then he says “I’m not interested either” later on. Then there’s the “Kinkos” comment earlier. Sounds like these smarta$$ comments are supposed to be amusing and endearing. Um, NO.

        But even if you’re right, it’s still gonna come out the way I originally read it. hahaha

    • humphrmi says:

      Him: “someone who is forging as you”

      Me: I certainly hope so! The high temperatures, the constant banging of hammers, and my gas bills were completely out of control! My forging days are over! Someone else can do it for me!

  2. tbax929 says:

    While I’m no fan of predatory lenders, I have little sympathy for folks who fell for this crap. We have to stop living so far beyond our means. Maybe the downturn in the economy has actually taught this lesson to some people.

    When I started house shopping a couple of years ago, I was amazed at how much money was available to me as a borrower, and I was only making about $50K. I was smart enough to realize what I could and couldn’t afford. I think some folks think if a bank is willing to lend you the money that means you can afford to pay it back. It doesn’t work that way.

    • Karita says:

      It’s good that you were smart enough to realize that. I’m serious – not trying to be nasty. But I’m really not surprised people fell for this stuff. Mortgage brokers were doing awful things, and their smooth talking was very reassuring. Now that I have a number of mortgage fraud cases crossing my desk, it’s even more apparent that even the most-educated people didn’t stand a chance.

      It took me several years to truly understand all the loan documents, even after looking at them every day. Borrowers trust the people that seem like they know what they are talking about, and a mortgage broker comes across as someone who can be trusted. It’s hard for the customers to question the terms when they really don’t understand them, and are also fed a load of crap from someone who is not being honest.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      the loan officer at my credit union started with “how much do you think you’d be able to budget for a mortgage payment a month?” which made me think it was also a test to see if i had worked out a budget yet.
      i told him the maximum i was comfortable spending and he said “good, that works out to about this amount after estimated taxes and insurance are included in that monthly payment. based on your credit and income we’d actually be willing to loan X more, but it’s really best to stick with a budget you feel comfortable with”

      i suspect that people who relied on the loan officer to come up with a budget or immediately changed their answer to reflect how much the CU was actually willing to loan… probably got scrutinized a lot more closely and potentially denied.

    • VA_White says:

      It always amazes me how willing banks are to lend people outrageous sums of money. I just got an email alert from my bank (USAA!) telling me I was pre-qualified for a $50,000 auto loan. WTF? That is almost three times as much as I paid for my current car, which I purchased used and for which I financed only half of the price.

    • floraposte says:

      From the description, though, it sounds like this was used to get some people who did have a loan within their means to convert to one that wasn’t. They were literally moving people out of mortgages they could afford.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      Not everyone who fell for this was necessarily trying to live beyond their means. I’m living within my means now, but I wouldn’t turn down a (clearly legit) hypothetical opportunity to pay less mortgage interest.

    • Jevia says:

      Same here. I know the mortgage broker I worked with didn’t know my child care payments since they weren’t listed in the credit report, but I knew them. I knew that when my mortgage broker told me I could “afford” X payment based on my income and listed debts, I knew I couldn’t. But I guess some people will believe a finance person more than their own checkbooks.

      I actually had one of these calls I think less than 2 months after we had bought our house. It was ridiculous to even consider refinancing when we had just bought (and gotten a pretty good deal). The guy argued with me for a while and then I just hung up on him.

    • nosytlot says:

      “being our means, being our means, being our means..” that’s all you Kiyosaki braindead zombies ever echo. Great way to sound like you know what you’re talking about without having a clue about money overall.

  3. Cant_stop_the_rock says:

    I hate when shady companies try to imply (or outright state) that they’re affiliated with a reputable company that I do business with. If they were who they said they were, they wouldn’t have to ask me for all that information. How do people not realize that?

    Then again, Comcast always asks me to punch in my phone number, then the CSR immediately asks for it again.

  4. Mackinstyle says:

    How can someone who is able to have a mortgage be stupid enough to fall for this stuff? I guess when things are driven by profit, you’ll hand a loan to just about any uneducated doofus. An education should really be a minimum requirement to participate in our society.

    • FatLynn says:

      I suggest reading “The Jungle”. It makes the situation pretty clear.

    • johnnya2 says:

      You my friend are an ass. Even highly intelligent people can fall prey to a good con man. I can point out that people who made for more money than you will ever see in your life, fell for Bernie Madoff’s scheme. I can guarantee a good con man could get you to do many things and have you broke before you know it. The problem is the laws are designed to help pyramid schemes (which the housing market and stock market is) succeed.

  5. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    At the “wait for thank you” point in the gangsta script, the most they’d get from me is a slow, questioning “uh-huh”.

    Well, no, in reality, I’d have already hung up.

  6. bornonbord says:

    God, there’s some dirty crap in there. “I understand, I already have your social, I just want to make sure I’m talking to the right person”

    This is like a cop giving you a soda and then taking you to another room so a different cop can swab the can you left behind for a DNA sample.

  7. Karita says:

    The first rebuttal… “That’s great! I’m not interested either, but…”

    That is totally incomprehensible to me. It makes no sense and I can’t imagine a company directing their employees to say that. It’s just weird.

  8. Raekwon says:

    Anyone else get the Dr. Dre song stuck in their head after reading the rebuttals?

  9. diasdiem says:

    Note to caller: Use a different name if your real name is “Mephistopheles.”

  10. Trai_Dep says:

    Puffy White telesales people should – by Federal law – be beaten with a stick every time they utter the word, “Gangsta”. Even if they were high school football players many, many moons ago. Especially if they were high school football players many, many moons ago.

  11. scoosdad says:

    Where is the comeback for a quick slam of the phone in their ear?

    “That’s Fantastic!”

  12. Geekybiker says:

    I love that the rebuttals are full of grammar and spelling errors. Kuality.

    • Anathema777 says:

      I also love that so many start with “Great!”

      I have bad credit.
      Great!

      I’m not interested.
      Great!

      • madog says:

        “I have pancreatic cancer…”

        “GREAT!”

      • Nidoking says:

        I’ve just been shot and I’m bleeding to death. Please hang up so I can dial 911.
        Great! You know, this offer will really help you save money for those upcoming medical bills…

  13. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    How can they say they are part of the homeowner’s lender’s wholesale department when that is clearly not true. What slime!

  14. Kryndis says:

    _I want you to go jump off a bridge:_

    – That’s great! I want me to go jump off a bridge too, but then I wouldn’t be able to keep calling people with these awesome deals!

    _Exactly._

  15. Nidoking says:

    The first question is “Who’s my lender?” If they don’t know that much, they’re clearly trying to scam you. I got a lot of paperwork for “YOUR LENDER” shortly after securing my mortgage and shredded it all.

    • psm321 says:

      That’s actually publicly available information. I get lots of scammy letters for [in small print]for mortgage held by [bigger print] my current lender

      • Nidoking says:

        Well, naturally. That, at least, shows that somebody bothered to do some research. I’m not saying that knowing your lender’s name proves that it’s NOT a scam… but it’s a pretty simple question to ask, and if they can’t answer it, that script isn’t going to help them. Like any other scammer, you have to get them off-script to catch them in a lie that will expose the scam.

        Or just hang up the phone, but that’s rude. Even scammers deserve that small amount of manners. Besides, every minute they waste talking to you, someone who’s not going to buy in, is a minute they’re not spending talking to someone who might.

        • Shadowman615 says:

          No, scammers do not deserve that small amount of manners. It’s my phone, and I’m free to hang up on whomever I choose.

  16. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    Wow. Could that be any more obvious it’s a sales pitch? And an annoyingly smarmy one at that. You’re calling to congratulate me on my excellent payment history? Thanks, now kindly go die in a fire.

  17. madog says:

    Ah, HAH! I can log back in!

  18. Hi says:

    Wait a minute. You have documents, actual scripts, they used to scam people, and you’re posting them online! I don’t beleive it! This is definitely a conspiracy theory. Obviously leaked info obtained illegally and post on the line of the internets doesn’t prove anything. Put your tin foil hats back on. Alien lovers.

  19. GoPadge says:

    It is nice to see that my pat telemarketer answer of “No thanks” isn’t in the list of rebuttals.

    But then again this is one of the cases where I might go “redneck” and play along….

    “Honey, Come quick!

    This’s tha call we’s been waitin’ on! And they said it ‘ud be 10 years ‘fore anyone’s loaned us money afta’ tha bankruptcy….”

    • Shadowman615 says:

      I wonder what the response is for “Get the hell of my phone, scumbag.”

      • Shadowfax says:

        “That’s great! I’d like me to get the hell off your phone too, but in order to do that, you have to help me out. Remember, I’m working for you.”

      • Sheogorath says:

        “Great! I think you’re a scumbag too, isn’t it great that we’re congratulating each other on being scumbags?”
        (Wait for laughter)

    • hoi-polloi says:

      That’s even shorter than mine, which goes, “Thanks for the offer, but I’m not interested. Have a nice day.” I could actually hang up at that point, but it’s more fun to listen to the rebuttal and repeat myself.

    • manifesto-a-go-go says:

      In the days of easy credit, bankruptcy would hardly scare away these guys. You’re debt free and can’t file for bankruptcy again for years. There were plenty of predatory lenders willing to charge you higher rates for “less than perfect credit.”

  20. sir_eccles says:

    To answer the question, why did these sleazy techniques work? Simple greed. Hey, I can get 100k equity out of my house, buy a new car and plasma TV with that and still have money left over to go on holiday, oh what the discount rate will adjust after a few years, that’s ok I’ll refi.

    Both sides are culpable, whether evidence like this eventually forms some sort of stupid class action suit, I wouldn’t be surprised. Can’t blame the victim after all.

    • manifesto-a-go-go says:

      I agree with you to a point and do believe that many people were willing to overlook common sense out of greed. However, so many people were doing it and it worked for so many years. Many people tried to tell me I was stupid for sitting out this game of musical mortgages. And the 24 hour news was filled with cheerleaders saying that the music will never stop.

      • Bohemian says:

        If I had $1000 for every time someone told me I “just didn’t understand” or I wasn’t seeing the “huge investment potential” of all these crazy sleezy and crappy mortgage programs, I could pay off my current 30 year fixed rate mortgage.

  21. Tim says:

    They certainly say “congratulations!” a lot …

  22. The hand that feeds, now with more bacon says:

    These are ridiculous. They obviously are in no way affiliated with your lender if they have to ask:

    - If you still live there
    – How much you owe
    – What your rate is
    – What your payments are

    If they work for your lender, then they have the terms of your loan. I get about 20-30 of these in the mail each month (some of them labeled as notice of default, late payment, or threatening legal action if you don’t respond; some even bold enough to counterfeit the letterhead). I don’t get phone calls anymore because I cancelled home phone service.

    My response to the scam mail is to fill the reply envelopes with rocks and return them since the scammers pay for the return postage.

    • mac-phisto says:

      really? b/c i’ve had to tell my lender at least 3 of those things the last time i spoke to them.

      i understand your point & concur. my point is that the incompetence continues…

  23. ssnseawolf says:

    The Boiler Room image really made me smile.

  24. Shadowman615 says:

    LOL. “Wait for Thank You.” A bit presumptuous, no?

  25. d says:

    oh what a crock of shit. This is a script for taking advantage of the insane, moronic, and sleepy grandma types that just stroked out…

    These people would get as far as “Hi, I’m calling from” before I’d tell them “Put us on your do not call list. We don’t want to hear from you or your affiliates ever again. “, and then I’d file complaints with the FTC and FCC…

    These scripts violate FTC rules on telemarketing anyway – I hope these fools get investigated by the FTC, fined, and put in a Federal PMITA prison…

  26. VOIDMunashii says:

    All those “That’s Great”s make me think of Special Ed from Crank Yankers.

    “I’m not interested either” WTF? Well that’s great, we can end this call then.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      You have never worked in this type of call center (Fortunately my exposure is on the back end and not a sales job). You have a lot of sleezy people who say whatever works. They deceive until they are the top sales agent, and suddenly everyone copies them, and the trainers put it in the rebuttal list.

  27. SacraBos says:

    From the first sentence “calling FROM your current lenders Wholesale department” is fraud right there. And proceeds to go downhill from there, especially in the rebuttals.

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      Is it? Random scammy companies call our office all the time using similar tricks. CSR’s pretending to be from the company we lease the copiers/printers call in asking for the serial numbers.

    • West Coast Secessionist says:

      Yeah, we get all kinds of calls at work claiming to be AT&T, but they’re some reseller, or worse, trying to do something fishy to our phone service.

  28. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    “I’m from the future and I foresee a sub prime mortgage meltdown”

    - That’s great and CONGRATULATIONS! I’m from further in the future and I see sub prime comebacks…

  29. trujunglist says:

    I love how half of the rebuttals are some snarky answer, like basically fuck you you’ll take this and love it! excellently written, I’m sure those were used quite often.

  30. Darrone says:

    Boiler room is a classic. Great view into guys that end up running scams.

  31. docrice says:

    Wow, I feel like I need a shower after reading that…

  32. H3ion says:

    They made a movie of this. Glengarry Glen Ross. Good movie too.

    Now I want to refinance.

  33. Generic_Username says:

    I work in the mortgage business and it’s sleazy, uneducated, moronic call center drones who read things like this that give the rest of us a bad reputation.

    What never ceases to amaze me is that people consistently place the biggest investment of their lives in the hands of people who barely have high school educations.

    How is it that people will do more research on an upcoming TV purchase than the mortgage program they’re buying?

    • clamjuice says:

      Exactly, I personally like to describe these drones that work for mortgage companies as kids just out of high school with the “gift of gab”. They can bullshit on the phone, and they are good at it, but don’t know shit. Meanwhile, they drive around at the age of 21 with a 100K Mercedes and a stack of “C” notes.

  34. calchip says:

    6 or 8 months ago, while doing late-night workouts at the gym at about 2AM, I had the pleasure of watching some of the lovely late-night infomercials. One constantly recurring one was for some fraudulent loan modification scam. It was a total low-budget infomercial, and the “expert” they were interviewing was so knowledgeable, he couldn’t even pronounce “predatory.”

    I wouldn’t be a but surprised but that the same sleazebags that were making these Godawful pitches for awful mortgages are now in the business of charging large fees to help you steal even more of your money after having previously sold you a “preditary” (as he pronounced it) loan.

  35. BytheSea says:

    It took me to the end of that to realize this isn’t “the wholesale dpt” of a company the target is already involved with. IE, this is a totally different, scammy company pretending to be the company that has my loan. I probably wouldn’t realize that on the phone, either.

  36. clamjuice says:

    HA! These scripts are nothing compared to the ones that I was asked to use. They are all pretty much the same at the end though.

    I actually worked at the Corporate office for one of the biggest Retail (if not the biggest) companies in the game. I was a green Loan Officer Trainee that was actually showed and trained how to committ fraud in the State of Texas. I personally witnessed this company make a lender go out of business because the lender couldn’t sell it’s piece o’ crap loans. Obviously, I “pulled chalks” and split.

    Amazing Industry that i want nothing to do with ever again.