Don't Fall For Mortgage Infomercials Masquerading As "News Networks"

Reader Brian says he saw the above pictured infomercial on CNBC this Sunday, and is wondering how they get away with such a “blatant attempt to take advantage of those same mortgage consumers who where hoodwinked in the first place.”

We took a look at the infomercial and it’s just about as shady as it could possibly be. It opens with a fake news report about the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, then slowly transitions into a sales pitch for “FHA loans.” The anchor even stages a fake interview with the mortgage company pitchman. He’s introduced as an “expert.”

“Joining us to offer his expert advice and insight into all of this…,” says the fake anchor from the “MLN Studio,” while the screen is festooned with the same kind of tickers and gizmos that you’d expect to find on CNBC.

And what does the mortgage pitchman suggest that you do with your “FHA loan?” Whatever! Pay for “college tuition, home improvement, start a savings plan… Anything you want!” How much can you borrow? “97.75% of your home’s value!”

The infomercial then instructs consumers to call what seems vaguely like an official government information “hotline,” but which doesn’t go to the FHA at all. Sophisticated consumers won’t be fooled, of course, but we suspect that the lender isn’t targeting them with this advertisement.

If you are actually in need and want to take advantage of the new FHA-Secure program, click here. HUD will help you find an approved lender and a HUD-approved counselor to answer your questions about the program.

If you’d like more information about the FHA and how they can help you refinance your home and avoid foreclosure, call HUD at: 1-800-CALL-FHA, 1-800-225-5342.

Federal Housing Administration

UPDATE: Commenter Triborough points out that the shadiness of this infomercial is compounded by the fact that the fake “anchor” is a real working reporter for WCBS radio who used to be a substitute tv news anchor at NBC4 in New York.

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